Posted by: Brad Nixon | July 6, 2010

Ironic Chef America

Welcome back to Kvetchin’ Stadium, where our master chefs are nearly ready to present their offerings for tonight’s edition of Ironic Chef America, the action-packed cooking-and-attitude drama in which, each week, two chefs face off in a ridiculously-contrived setting that resembles no other place on the planet — except Japan — where, irony is probably wasted since everything is serious.

Before we get to the presentation of tonight’s dishes, let’s look back. First, to the Chairman as he revealed tonight’s secret ingredient …

“And the seclet ingledient tonight is …. “Pity!”

Oh boy, it’s going to be a veritable Hemingwayesque Movable Feast tonight, combining irony AND pity. Here’s the Chairman again to kick things off:

“And now, in the words of my Uncle … “Wop Bop ba-Loo-Lop!”

And with those words, our two master chefs launched into a frenzy of preparation in the mighty Kvetchin’ Stadium. Let’s watch some of the action as we review our two contestants, in case you turned in late:

First, Vizine Tisane, French chef, philosopher, athlete and self-described Renaissance Man. And challenging Ironic Chef Tisane is the well-known master of southern American specialities, Deene Emeril, known as the Bubba Bubbler, Dean of Crayfish.

It looks like our two masters of culinary and attitudinal arts are ready to present their preparations to the judges, so let’s go up to the Chairman’s table.

“Ironic Chef Tisane, tell us what is ironic about your dishes tonight, and how you added the special ingredient, pity.”

I have prepared tasty and perfect French cuisine to dominate an American cooking show. Ironic, n’est pas? To add pity, I will not make my very best dishes, so that my victoire is not plus de compris — too overwhelming.

First, I offer unto you a French version of a traditionelle American deesh, which is ze barbecue, alzo of course I have not used gross beef or sausage as in America, but ziss instead is a refined version of of same made with exquisite French Duck. In keeping with ze American tradition, I have used extremely hot spices, and, to offer extreme irony, it probably is far too spicy even to eat. However, because it is just le barbecue, as we say, zere is no great loss, so I offer some pity by giving you a tiny, tiny morsel of caviare, prepared as only I know how. At least you weel enjoy ze caviare, and you can enjoy ze irony of sinking about ze barbecue and how good it would taste if only you Americans would avoid the many spices you favor and steek weeth butter and cream.

For another course, I offer you a famous French deesh, le poulet de cordon bleu. Ze chicken, it is very good, as is all the sauce and all zose other fine things, but, here, the irony is that the tastiest and most memorable part of ziss deesh is the cordon bleu — as you would say, ze blue ribbon — wheech I have awarded it. I have made a delicious cordon bleu out of blueberries and other rich sauces far too complicated for me to take time to explain. I sink you will agree zat ziss is indeed a blue-ribbon bird. To show some pity, I have made as a side deesh from radicchio and strawberries and beets a leetle salad in the shape and color of a red second-place ribbon for my opponent, so zat we are not very far apart in ze final voting, you see?

And finally, I have made une dessert of most delicious and rich madeleines. These are, par naturel, ze most famous French dessert, thanks to the French maitre de nouveau, Marcel Proust. Ze irony of ziss dish ees that now when you theenk of les madeleines, you will theenk not of M. Proust, but of — myself. In pity for ziss loss to literature, I have tempered zees  deesh with oodles and oodles of rich whipped cream, which is ze best reason always to go to France even when the buses and trains and airplanes and farmers and shopkeepers and waiters all are on strike and the silly museums are all closed for some reason no one understands.

Thank you, Ironic Chef Tisane. Extremely tasty and ironic. Now, let’s return as the Chairman greets our challenger, Deene Emeril.

“Ironic Chef Emeril, tell us about your use of the secret ingredient in your ironic preparations tonight.”

Wail, tuh start out, ah’ve made uh big ol’ crawfeesh aytooffay, but both ironically and also outa pity for all the thousands a’ crawdads I done boiled up all these years, I made an aytooffay without no crawfish. ‘Stead, ah put a little bowl a’ live crawdads out there, an’ if ya take pity on ’em you maht feed ’em a little a’ that tasty ragout there.

Tuh go along with that, I got somethin’ I call grains and grains. Y’see, the funny thang is, in some parts a’ the South ya cain’t hardly tayll the difference atween the word for garden greens and grains lahk wheat n’ corn, so ah jes put both of ’em in a big ol blender an’ mashed ’em up real fahn. Ah took pity on ya’ll, though, an gave you a little grits with butter on one sahd an a leetle greens with bacon on t’other, so’n’s y’all could taste both.

One thang that Frainch dude shore got raht was about barbycue — gotta have it. I don’t rightly think he had the proper approach, but y’all’ll be the judges o’ that. I made us a Frainch barbycue, too, though, in his honor. This ain’t lahk no barbycue you probably ever et, and certainly not lahk any I ever cooked, ’cause I started with what the Frainch call patay de foi grah, ‘cept to take pity on those pore geese, I just used ragler goose ‘stead of one that’d been stuffed with food afore it was butchered. So this here is a goose barbycue, and ah made a spatial sauce outa raglar chicken liver ‘stead ‘a that fancy goose liver.

Finally, fer dessert, ah made a spatial version of the dish that got me started inta cookin’ in the first place. This here is marshmellow-stuffed deep-fried home sausage corn dogs. Ya see, the irony is that I learnt cookin from my ol’ grand-dad, who tried to sell his homemade sausage back durn’ the depression and all, and when no one had two nickels fer sausage, he started comin’ up with wacky recipies to sell at fairs and such. He an’ I eventually came up with this here marsmellow-stuffed version. So, ironically, here ah am, all famous and what-not, having studied at that Cordon Blue in Paris and this is more’n lahkly the dish that ya’ll will remember.

The pity comes in here fer all the cooks like my granddaddy, out there in taco trucks and street corners and county fairs, or in greasy little short-order joints tryin’ to scratch together a livin’ and to feed their families with whatever skill god gave ’em. An’ even if all they grew up known’ was greens outa the garden and homemade biscits and gravy, an’ that’s all they can cook raht now, well, maybe someday they’ll go to the Cordon Blue themselves and won’t have to take no back-talk from some la-di-dah Frenchie Chef with a attitude.

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. One of the most hotly-contested editions of Ironic Chef America I can remember. We’ll await the judges’ decision. Meanwhile, what would  you decide?

© 2013 Brad Nixon



  1. ach, herr braut, zis ist der biggester dilemma i haff yet to be zeeing! i am sinkink i vood mit der gritmeister be going, as ve haff, mit den franzoish, problems in earlier times hatt!

    i had to read it outloud, laddy buck, but it was wonderful!


    • Ein vote der gritmeister fur. Ja. Danke.


  2. And the clear winner is — the writer! You had me laughing out loud. Will there be a sequel?


  3. I give it to the author, who must take pity on the readers who embarrass themselves by guffawing at their respective desks.


  4. Veeeeery choppering – indeed! Bravo.


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