I’m a big Guy Fieri fan. He’s my favorite personality on any of the cooking channels. I even like his new show Guy’s Grocery Games, where four chefs shop, then create culinary masterpieces right in the grocery store for a chance to win $20,000.
The elimination rounds are creative and cruel – shop a single aisle, cook only with frozen food, spend less than $10 including coupons, use only what you can carry. The most vicious is cart swap, in which contestants load the ideal ingredients for their best meal into their carts, then – surprise — trade carts with the competition.
For me, the most challenging is ABC — make your best dish using only ingredients that begin with the letter Guy draws from the container. On a recent episode, with eyes closed Guy selects the letter “G.” Appropriate since the show is dubbed Triple G, a play on Fieri’s popular show, Triple D: Diners, Drive-Inns and Dives.
I played along in my brain — green beans and gruyere. Then I’m stumped. But the contestants aren’t. They gather ground lamb, ground beef, garlic, ginger, ground herbs, green pepper, garbanzo beans, green chiles, goat’s cheese, grapes, green leaf lettuce, green peas, Greek yogurt and grapefruit.
When a gal from California grabs a box of gumbo mix, I groan. It’s only an hour show. It’s the first round, and she has only 22 minutes to make gumbo. Good grief. To the mix she adds her other G ingredients — ginger, frozen garlic, green peppers, green onions, green olives. Gag. She realizes the rice in the mix is still crunchy, though she calls it “al dente.” Panicked, she plates a New Orleans Inspired Ground Beef Gumbo Lettuce Wrap. I groan again.
She loses. I giggle. Told you so. No respectable gumbo cook uses lettuce.
To view episodes of Guy’s Grocery Games, go to http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/guys-grocery-games.html