Tuesday, November 30, 2010

International Flavor.

My new favorite show is called International Flavor- a local self-described 'reality cooking TV show' on Cable Access... An amateur, Calgarian 'Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives', if you will. I'm sure you guys can already tell that it's a great 30 minutes of television. It's hosted by a perky blonde woman and a really gung-ho guy. Free espresso at the studio, I guess.

Sometimes they go to Indian restaurants or Moroccan restaurants and try exciting new foods, but sometimes they have to go to truck stops and still pretend to be amazed by chicken fingers and pancakes. They take bites of the dishes while the chef, owner, or staff silently watch them chew. Sometimes they pepper the chewing noises with sentiments like "mmm", or "this is good". Sometimes they just stay silent and move onto the next dish. This is the secret way that they signal to the viewer to not order this dish if they ever find themselves there, but without being totally obvious. I appreciate their subtlety in this matter. People's feelings are at stake here.

Sometimes the female host will take a gigantic forkful, like when she would be alone in the kitchen at home eating last night's KFC coleslaw out of the container, and then remember she is in front of a camera, and deposit half of the bite back onto the plate. She deeply nods with each bite, like she's computing how pork chops are supposed to taste. She often takes a second mindless bite, only to realize that she must hide a portion of the second bite in her hand under the table because it's time to move along to the next sample. Out of the two hosts, she is the polite one.

The male host often joins the cooks in the kitchen, where they show him exactly how to prepare some of their most popular dishes. This of course falls to shit, because often the host will begin to stop following directions, and start to cater to what he likes to eat. It doesn't matter that the Southwest Burger has onion on it, because he doesn't like onion and this is his burger. I would say he's the more assertive of the two hosts. A real go-getter, a self-starter.

They put real-life, visibly uncomfortable, customers on TV to give testimonies on the quality of the restaurants. They ask leading questions such as: "Do you think that this restaurant, one of the best in the city, is a good restaurant?", and "Would you say you come here often, all the time, or regularly?"
I have seen a man almost reduced to tears with fear when the camera got up in his grill to ask what he liked about his nachos. He eventually choked out that they were "good, I guess".
They often interrupt their guests in the middle of an interview or let the microphone fall to the wayside so that you can't hear what anyone is saying. I should find this annoying, but it's just plain endearing. Wonderful, in fact.

Obviously, it is the cutest show on TV right now, but I can't do it full justice. You'll have to watch for yourself, if you're in town. Maybe have a couple of glasses of wine first.
Thursdays, Channel 10, 10:30PM.

~sarah p.

p.s. Also, this lady is the producer... She's like the Calgary version of Charo! Neat!


Anonymous said...

Came across your blog; it's full of amazingness. Even better? I just watched this clip and one time, like ten years ago, my best friend had sex with the guy at 4:55. It took me watching this clip to remember his name, because back then, we just called him Jean Jacket.

That's all. Keep writing funny stuff, yo.

~sarah p. said...

Thank you, kind stranger!

Also, for the record, any gossip about random folks having sex with other random folks is always very much appreciated.