There’s an old biblical saying that you shouldn’t do to others what you don’t like to be done to yourself.
So that’s why I decided to do the exact opposite: I watched the French show Top chef with the firm intention of emphasizing in bold all the little subtleties that make it a typically French program from France.
A French columnist makes fun of the Quebec version of Les Chefs and, suddenly, it makes people react
First of all, I wanted to do it right by going to the streaming platform of the M6 channel, where I created an account to finally be told that the show I wanted to see was not was not available in my country.
Not serious! I went to another site whose name starts with Y (no, it’s not YouPorn) and easily found what I was looking for.
So I started watching the most recent episode of Top chefwhich is a semi-final of the current season.
First, first observation, it lasts two hours. Calvince, that’s a long one! Very French.
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From the first 30 seconds of the show, the expressions “C’est che-lou!” and “phew stuff!” have already been heard. It sets the tone…
In the following 60 seconds, they are each repeated once.
Then I noticed that the French chefs had a large triangle-shaped table that reminded me a lot of Squid Gamebut since it’s not a text on the differences between South Korea and France, we’ll put that aside.
When the candidate Arnaud announces that he wants to propose a challenge recalling his Belgian origins, his colleague Louise declares: “Arnaud talks about Belgian gastronomy. There will definitely be fries. And then, I don’t know, it could be a Flemish carbonade, it could be… From what I know, there aren’t a billion things in Belgian gastronomy”. It is not only towards Quebecers that prejudices are tenacious!
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Then what happens, well, is the culinary competition as we know it. The chefs fetch the foods they need and they rush to do their business before the time is up.
Their studio looks really gigantic, though. It looks like it was shot in an aircraft hangar.
As for the music, we certainly called on the same composer specializing in rush music as in the Quebec version. I really feel like the fate of my life depends on the seasoning of Sebastian’s tuna stuffing.
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Major difference: in the French version, the competitors have “coaches” who follow them everywhere and who give them advice. I’m not too sure of their usefulness and honestly, in the place of aspiring chefs, it wouldn’t take long for them to be told “Get yours out of my legs!”
It’s not to be chauvinistic, but I prefer the Quebec approach where renowned chefs bitches in their corner, without interfering.
After 43 minutes, it was time for me to take a nap, because that’s the normal length of an episode of Chiefs.
I woke up just in time to see, at 1:01:00, Louise put her fingers in Sébastien’s recipe. Ark!
After Arnaud had won his challenge and Louise had done the same with hers, it was Sébastien’s turn to take charge and come up with a recipe.
And he asked his opponents to do hare à la royale.
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“Hare à la royale is an emblematic dish of French cuisine. In the traditional recipe, it is a hare which is deboned, marinated in red wine, mounted in a medallion with a stuffing of offal and foie gras, and topped with a sauce related to blood”, explained the narrator.
It really sickened me, but I hadn’t seen anything yet.
Here are some screenshots of the carnage that awaited me…
(I’m not a vegetarian, I like meat, but I nevertheless advise people who are vegetarian to scroll down quickly quickly quickly…)
In short, at the end, as with us, some win, some lose, people yell, people laugh, the music is too intense, but personally, I got caught up in the game and at the end, I no longer felt like I was watching a French program.
I was watching a show, period.
So I was entertained.
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