“When you’re always in the shits, you’re never in the shits.”
That tremendous quotable, dropped by Kenny “Admiral Snackbar” Bush during the fourth installment of COOK’s frenetic and tremendously popular Open Stove series, seems like something that should appear on a limited-edition T-shirt or apron, or at least on a check card at The Industry. But the Bistrot La Minette man (right), who squared off against Henrik “The Swedish Hammer” Ringbom of Brauhaus Schmitz last week, might have also unwittingly stumbled upon an unofficial mantra for Open Stove itself.
Yes, competitions centered around revealed-at-the-last-second secret ingredients are de rigueur for food TV — but that’s TV, where editors, fiending for fabricated drama the same way Cookie Monster fiends for his personal smack, cut and paste and fold and tweak until their sadistic boob-tube whims are met. At Open Stove, there is no phony smoke blown in any direction: It’s real-deal off-the-top cooking, a challenge that places competitors directly “in the shits,” bogged down with 20,000 tasks while the clock ticks in triple time and hungry guests double as potential witnesses to a Chernobyl-caliber kitchen meltdown.
There is also soooooo much alcohol.