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October 23, 2007

Two Dudes

Filed under: Celebrity,Japanese Food,Television — Mr. Henry @ 1:33 pm


Mr. Henry is tolerant of eccentricities. He chooses to reside, after all, in New York City where long before the advent of cellphones sidewalk pedestrians talked animatedly to themselves. When running the gauntlet at Fairway, for example, he doesn’t mind receiving an occasional elbow in the kidney from a blue-haired lady. Long ago he learned what to expect when ordering a “regular coffee.” (It’s coffee with milk. Please don’t ask why.)

However much he may embrace the caprices of city living, he remains a little squeamish about the preparation of his food. He expects restaurant employees to adhere to basic standards of courtesy and, more to the point, of hygiene. Cities are where civilization is supposed to be located, no?

Two Dudes Catering, the riveting new Food Network show, features two total stoners in the kitchen. It conclusively demonstrates: 1) the Two Dudes can cook like nobody’s business, 2) as reflected by their palaver and the upkeep of their clothes and hair, they appear utterly incapable of doing anything else.

Mr. Henry finds endless fascination in the functioning idiot, the overachiever, the C-student billionaire, the clueless success story. (Is not President Bush the shining example of this quintessential American dream, namely, that ANYBODY can get ahead here in the land of opportunity?) Such stories give him more than hope; they form the backbone of his long-term financial plans.


And yet, and yet, when the Dudes’ execute lightening quick chopping skills without rousing their higher brain functions, Mr. Henry wonders whether the Duh-Duh-Duo are really taking every sanitary precaution to ensure that diners will not ingest C. difficile or some other antibiotic-resistant pathogen.
In the Iron Chef America “battle eggplant,” the Two Dudes came within one point of equaling Iron Chef Cat Cora, a surprising and noteworthy feat. Against all odds, their food really was prepared imaginatively, carefully, and beautifully.

Flash: Through secret sources deep within Food Network itself, Mr. Henry discovered that the Two Dudes pushed the TV production team to install 24-hour surveillance cameras in the kitchen, thereby recording every legendary Dude word and deed. The mind reels at the opportunity of witnessing such history. Somehow the producers failed to appreciate the trove of treasure before them, however, and elected to edit in the can.

Wow, Dudes, sorry. That was so random.

September 19, 2007

Mr. Henry makes a confession

Filed under: Celebrity,Japanese Food,Television — Mr. Henry @ 7:38 am

SandraLee.jpgIt all started with Sandra Lee, America’s semi-homemade TV food vixen. Channel surfing on a rainy vacation afternoon, Little Henry and Stinky found Sandra on the Food Network and the rest is, well, an ugly story of dependence, obsession, and addiction.

Who can resist the way her pink top matches not only the drapes but the paper napkins and the hors d’oeuvres, too? Who can resist watching her scoop the innards out of an A & P cheese cake, load it into a pastry sleeve, and “pop it” onto cute lil’ crackers? The scene recalls Shelley Duvall’s pigs in a blanket from Robert Altman’s dark masterpiece 3 Women. She’s a train wreck of Americana.

Then came Iron Chef, the high-kitch, haute cuisine smashdown that years ago Mr. Henry watched in translation on some obscure cable channel. Mr. Henry remains in awe of the remarkable inventions these masters cobble together in one hour.
Now there is Top Chef.

Night and day Padma Lakshmi’s toffee-tongued locutions ring round the Henry living room. Clipped, staccato, 22-calibur pronouncements explode up through Tom Colicchio’s shiny pate. Yes, Top Chef on Bravo TV never ceases. Should you miss an episode, just wait. The replay is coming up soon.

The secret attraction of Top Chef, Mr. Henry confesses, is the weekly drubbing the judges hand out. It is the sure promise of real humiliation that grips the audience, the sadomasochistic pleasure of seeing young, eager acolytes sent to their doom. Die, young chefs! We who are about to cook salute you!


Looking at Padma’s longshanks frame, one wonders just how much rich food she actually swallows. Mr. Henry, in fact, spends a good part of each episode examining Padma’s hypnotic physique and the clothing with which she drapes it. How can she be so thin and still have curves? Has she been surgically redesigned into a foodie fem-bot? Padma.bikini.jpg

Will she ever reveal the secret story behind the enormous scar that runs the entire length of her upper right arm? Mr. Henry harbors a secret affection for the tall, scarred Padma’s of this world.

And Padma, too, harbors secret affections. When forced to eliminate tall, handsome guys like Sam last season or C.J. this season, her dark eyes swell with tears. Hard as he may try, Mr. Henry cannot look away.

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