Crushed like Grapes

So, I saw one of the re-airings of the Iron Chef Battle:  White House Garden. I love Iron Chef, I love Food Network, and I was vaguely curious as to what the WH Garden looked like, what they had growing, etc. . .

Now, from the ChiTrib (and reading via Michelle Malkin and Ace): The veggies picked weren’t the ones used in Kitchen Stadium. I understand that Kitchen Stadium is in NY, and so for freshness, they really needed fresher veggies. And, granted, they were the same veggies as those picked. But, the whole premise, was that they were cooking and eating the actual WH veggies. That the fennel picked in the garden was used in the salads.

I’m glad they donated the veggies to a local food pantry, so it wasn’t wasted. But it kinda undermines the point of the show, doesn’t it? The point, I thought, was: “See what you can do with your own backyard!”

Despite my general disapproval of most things this administration does, the message of growing one’s own food, of increasing one’s self-sufficiency is clearly one I support. Granted, the garden looked like it was cared for by professional round the clock gardeners. But to find out that they cooked with, essentially, store-bought food just turns the whole thing into Battle: Produce Aisle! Couldn’t Chairman-sama have set up a small, temporary Kitchen Stadium somewhere in DC? Was there no way to use the actual veggies? No way at all?

Understandable, I suppose, but essentially misleading. Everything used in that battle was essentially fake, except the chefs. And Alton Brown (because no matter his politics, he’s the sort of geek we like in the kitchen, or the potions lab). The only truly special thing was the selection of chefs– Two Iron Chefs (Batali and Flay), Emeril Lagasse and Exec. Chef Comerford.