I’m a foodie and I can attribute my borderline obsession with food to my husband. He comes from a long line of amazing home cooks and has picked up all the ‘tricks of the trade’ by observing his mother and memere (grandmother) in the kitchen. Out of hundreds of meals produced by his hands, I can only count on one hand the number of meals that I haven’t liked. Some of my favorites are his chicken saltimbocca, ‘milkshake’ chili (and no, there’s not actually milk in it), asparagus and shrimp risotto, and Texas burger (with fried egg on top).
It only makes sense that one of our favorite tv shows to watch together would be food-related. We enjoy watching Drive-Ins, Diners and Dives, Good Eats, Kitchen Nightmare, Lidia’s Italy, but our all-time favorite show would have to be Chopped. If you’re not familiar with the show, let me take a minute and explain. Four professional chefs are each given a basket of the same 4 very random mystery ingredients and have a set amount of time to create a course of a meal incorporating all of the given ingredients. Three judges decide the chefs’ fate and after each course is tasted and critiqued, a contestant is chopped and sent home. After the appetizer round, it’s down to three contestants, after the entree round, two, and finally, the dessert round determines the winner. The winner receives $10,000 and the coveted title of Chopped Champion.
Last week, I was watching an episode where it came down to two very competent chefs. One was a French woman who so badly wanted to use her prize money to visit her grandmother who raised her who still lived in Europe. She was super driven and relentless, to the point where she decided to stay in the competition after suffering serious burns on her legs as a result of accidentally spilling a pot of boiling water after falling in the kitchen. The other contestant was a man who didn’t really give details as to how he would spend his money and he made it quite clear that he really wasn’t expecting to win. He was an outspoken Christian and during his interview clips which were woven sporadically through the program, he made it clear how accepting Christ into his life had really changed him for the good. He viewed cooking not only as his occupation, but as a way to serve and minister to people. Anyway, before the winner was announced, it showed the two talking in the back room. He told her how great she did and stated that she deserved to win. To his surprise, he was the one chosen as the winner! The French chef was chopped and was on her way out when he yelled ‘Wait!’ She turned around with a bewildered expression on her face. He told her that he didn’t expect to win and wanted to buy her ticket to go see her grandmother. She broke down in tears and threw her arms around him, so grateful for the selfless gift. I sat there watching with tears in my eyes…even the judges had tears in their eyes! It was such a beautiful expression of love and service! This man not only preached about his faith, but he lived it out with such grace and humility.