[Sca-cooks] Time Machine Chefs

Nancy Kiel nancy_kiel at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 17 05:52:01 PDT 2012

Did anyone else watch this show on ABC last night?  They took four modern chefs first to 1416 AD China, where they had to make a dish featuring crispy duck skin; one unsuccessful chef was left behind and the other three went to Henry VIII's court to make a cockentrice.  The idea was that they would use the tools and technology of the day.  
One issue I had: A real "head cook" in the period has assistants---lots of them---to replace things like food processors. I don't see how the modern cooks could have managed all the prep work in the 2 1/2 hours they were given to cook the dish, and suspect there was prep stuff happening that wasn't shown on TV which is misleading.  (I know, I shouldn't be surprised by that.)
Also, none of them had the least notion of how to make a cockentrice in terms of attaching the parts.  They were given peacock, lamb, venison, pig, and cod and had to use four of the meats.  They were shown modern pictures of a pig's head & body attached to a chicken's body& legs.  All three of them cooked the different meats however they chose and laid them on the serving dish so they were touching, but they didn't attach them together.  I did enjoy the spit dogs---three cute jack russell-ish dogs.
The judges thought everything tasted good, although I wish they had given more info about how they spiced the dishes.  And one chef cooked cabbages by putting them on the hearth and putting coals over them, which is a new one for me.  I don't recall seeing or hearing about them later, so I wonder if it worked out.  
All in all, I enjoyed the program and hope they do more.  The "time machine" gimmick is a little annoying.  I confess to being surprised that the chefs didn't know more about period food, since I always want to know everything about a subject I'm interested in, but perhaps learning all those impressive cooking techniques and running successful restaurants doesn't leave a lot of time for research.
Your servant,
Anne van Sint Maartensdijk

Nancy Kiel nancy_kiel at hotmail.com Never tease a weasel! This is very good advice. For the weasel will not like it And teasing isn't nice. 		 	   		  

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