Cooking

Why Jacques Pépin Isn't a Fan of 'Top Chef'

Do cooking competitions do a ‘disservice' to cooking?
Why Jacques Pepin Isn't a Fan of 'Top Chef'
Photo: Edsel Little via Flickr

Though cutthroat cooking competitions like Top Chef and Chopped might be entertaining to watch, iconic chefs Jacques Pépin and Alice Waters say they believe the shows do a "disservice" to cooking, the Wrap reports.

"It’s a disservice very often because this is not what cooking is all about. That kind of confrontation that you have there is not really how you learn to cook. Or how you understand food," Pépin explains. (Surprisingly, Pépin appeared as a guest star on an episode of Top Chef in which the challenge was dedicated to Julia Child. And Padma Lakshmi recently said Waters is her dream celebrity guest.)

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Waters, who was sitting next to Pépin at a press event for an upcoming PBS documentary series that features them, Child and James Beard, adds, "We’re teaching the kind of fast-food values of our country in those competition cooking shows, when in fact cooking really is something that can be very meditative. It’s never about competition. It’s about the pleasure of dealing with real food."

Thankfully, Waters says we as a culture are starting to turn the tide and learn how to cook. "The only way we’re going to change it is by teaching it in school," she says, something she has been doing with the Edible Schoolyard Project.

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