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Thread: Absurdly vague cooking terms

  1. #1

    Absurdly vague cooking terms

    Is anyone else bothered by this?
    My wife is watching Masterchef, and Graham Elliot gives the most useless feedback I've ever heard. His culinary vocabulary is about that of a parrot. "Oh, the cook on this is really good", "it tastes yummy", "its actually very nice".


    The Cook?

    What next? The cook was nice, and the look was really good, but the eat was not yummy. Me no like.

    Reminds me of some coworkers at the sushi bar who used to say "this has no taste". 'This food has no ****ing taste at all', 'They were all "oh it's so goood" and I tried a piece and there was no taste'.

    DRIVES ME NUTS. What the eff are you talking about? What is it?

    Corollary to this pandemic is using the same word for everything in a kitchen. My last job it was "Grill", the job before that it was "cut".

    Instead of "He doesn't know how to break down the whole fish because his knife skills are poor and his knives are dull", they'd end up saying "He can't cut the cut-fish because he can't cut and his knives have no cut".

    Instead of "Can you ask the Short-Order Cook to sear some par-cooked chicken breast on the flat-top for me?", they'd say "Hey, tell the grill to grill some grill chicken on the grill".

    Words. They mean things.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    The incredibly sophisticated Boise, ID <g>
    Heh...what do you expect from a show that is so choreographed and phoney that it's emetic, with three arrogant, know it all pricks in charge? ;-)

  3. #3
    Being on a scripted show is no excuse! I couldn't talk like that about something unless you kept me awake for 40 hours and beat me up first.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    The incredibly sophisticated Boise, ID <g>
    After I sent the last post I got to's so scripted that the comments from the chefs should be perfect, not monumentally inane and meaningless as you indicated. shrug

  5. #5
    Good point. I didn't think of it that way, since I just assume they have to talk down to the audience. It's TV. But really. There has to be a stopping point short of "The steak...the cook was good." If I was told that, I'd be tempted to say "Thanks for nice talk."

  6. #6

    Zwiefel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Little Rock, AR
    America generally doesn't like complexity....this is just one dimension of that phenomenon. IMNSHO, of course
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    The incredibly sophisticated Boise, ID <g>
    Well, true. Although it's difficult for me to sufficiently express my disdain for the intellectual acuity of the American public, one would think that people who watch this program would be at least slightly interested in food and would expect a bit more than the drivel which Eamon described.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Carl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Eugene, OR
    For what it's worth I enjoyed it. Last nights episode was especially fun. Like me, the contestants are enthusiastic home cooks, not pros, and seeing the 3 old geezers/special guests was a thrill. We've all said stupid sh... stuff.
    BBQ Heretic

  9. #9
    It's not just food tv. I can't comment about the use of English in other English speaking countries, but what you're describing is common in many other industries. In my opinion, it's basically the dumbing down of the English language.

    Acronyms are used instead of complete phrases. People spell words incorrectly on a regular basis, write grammatically incorrect sentences, and use incorrect/inappropriate words (e.g. "the cook on this is really good" instead of "this was well cooked"). Look at many major newspapers and you'll see obvious errors (e.g., "your" vs. "you're") that you would generally assume the writer (who should have a good command of the English language) and copy editor (who also should have a good command of the English language) should never write in the first place. Even in my profession (I'm an attorney), I see more and more examples of very poor writing to the point that finding a well written document is now the exception, not the norm. (I use acronyms regularly here so I'm certainly not above some of these trends as well.)

    For some people, I do happen to think that these words/phrases are being used because the person thinks he/she knows what he/she is saying and believes that he/she is correct. On the other hand, I think some of these terms/phrases are being used by people trying to be cool and "create" new words/phrases. Nonetheless, it starts a horrible trend. Other people use these words/phrases thinking that they're correct without knowing that these words/phrases are incorrect, and the trend continues unabated. But, the worst thing about this, to me, is the fact that we're moving way from descriptive, vivid, and emotion-inducing writing that can engage and educate a reader.

    I would also venture that a lot of it happens to do with time - a lack of time. Good writing takes time. Most people can't be bothered to take an extra ten minutes to write something better. (Again, I'm guilty of this as well.) But sometimes, it's really worth taking that little extra time so that you can really accurately communicate what you want to communicate. Words are important.
    Last edited by mhlee; 08-29-2012 at 09:57 PM. Reason: Had to fix a few typos and grammar
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  10. #10
    Just another case of the American mass audience being perceived to glorify ignorance. It's not cool to know a lot about something. I think that's garbage and you don't actually need to talk down to people. Even the ones that don't know exactly what you're saying or may miss a word will get the gist of it and might learn something. *insert rant about terrible corporate media in the USA and Americans hero-worshiping idiots on reality TV*

    I feel better now.

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