You have every episode of Hell's Kitchen on disc and you have a complete collection of Iron Chef America, you bought cookbooks by Giada, Mario, Guy, Paula, before the scandal and you even have Nigella Bites that you sleep with under your pillow, but that's a whole 'nother thing and we won't say anything more about it except she is uber hot with all of the weight loss brought on by the court case and the drug allegations and the new TV show and she was pretty hot even before that and as English Muffins go Nigella can take over my kitchen anytime, but what we need to talk about is more local.
In case you hadn't heard our own celebrity chef Jardin Kaazar is headed to Las Vegas this week to match his skills against the best of the best at the World Food Championships.
Now I grew up in an area much the same size as Coos Bay and way back then before the designated hitter and quarterback protection rules men only went into the kitchen to steal bacon or get a beer and they only cooked after they had coaxed a spark out of a pile of kindling in the backyard sometimes even in the grill,
Yes grilling was a man's job and all of that sissy stuff about vegetables and spices and oven temps was strictly for the kind of guy who took HomeEc and was whispered about at the back of the church on Sundays.
Course we still did most of the eating and back then before women evolved into the independent, motivated, educated, super powers they are now they never did eat cause they had to wiggle their way into those demonic panty girdles and you just can't have anything in your stomach if you are going to be in a panty girdle wiggle or not.
So the LINE OF DEMARCATION was set, men on the couch and women in the kitchen slaving over a stove which put almost as much heat into the kitchen as it did in the oven and they did this three or four times a day cause all of the family never could get their schedules straight and there were people demanding food all around the clock.
Then a funny thing happened, all of the Betty Crockering, Good Housekeeping, Redbooking made families grow big and strong and before you knew it the kids were going off to college and the thing on the sofa was sleeping through most of the weekend and there was nothing for that emancipated, enlightened, empowered woman to do so she burned her bra, cause she didn't watch the cooking shows and didn't know that a bra has to be marinated for at least twelve hours before you can cook it.
And all of those growing minds away at college soaking up the collected learning of the AGES were eating pizza and burgers and in a pinch making chili rice cause there was no ramen noodles in the convenient cellophane pack and pretty soon they got sick and tired cause ramen noodles will fill you up but they won't make you sing and dance and there was a whole generation of folks who wanted food but had no idea how to make it.
But television never lets any idea, good or bad rest and in the midsts of programs about watching nothing happen like Ghost Hunters and programs about wishing what was happening wouldn't Survivor, Real Housewives, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo they rediscovered food.
Now food has always been an important part of television, most of the ads are based on flogging some food stuff so it was a natural thing to take the ad out of the thirty second time slot and put it in a thirty minute time slot with even more food ads in the commercial slots.
Then they noticed that something strange had happened to chefs. They weren't all the Pillsbury Doughboy, well some of the were, but they had a sort of swagger like real celebrities and they were likable and even some of them were funny and they could sell up a storm while the were making blueberry scones and strawberry humus and they could cook and talk at the same time.
And then there was Giada.
The beautiful daughter of a famous film making family she had everything, good looks real kitchen skills, and interesting back story, legendary relatives, a successful business and an science fiction rack which threatened to fall out of her open collared blouse and make all of the guys walking through the room to get away from the cooking stuff stop and look.
After that it was only a question of which celebrity chef would make the next big sensation, would it be Jamie and the fresh veggies, or Guy with his spiked hair, David Rocco the boy next door with the right genes or even Gordon Ramsey with his purple language and sincere expression.
There was a chef for everyone and the guys, the guys no longer had to hide their cookbooks in the corn crib slipping out after dark to sneak a few pages before they turned for the night, they could keep their cookbooks on the shelf, in plain sight and not be accused of being a metrosexaul.
So it should come as no great surprise that Coos Bay, not the biggest mark on the map has a gifted, talented, master chef in our own backyard.
And that chef has been tapped to go to Sin City and try his skills against the best guys in the hash slinging business.
Now the hard truth is all of these contests have more of the judge's opinion than they do of the skill of the chef so a straight-up win is unlikely, but what is likely is that Jardin, one of the most generous, talented, dedicated people in Coos Bay will be taking our little corner of the world to television.
He will win or lose make an impression and through his brilliant and engaging personality be a better spokesperson for the Bay Area than a dozen scantily clad super models. The super models should come to Coos Bay so that we can all enjoy the exposure, but that is probably not the right approach for a community of righteous citizens.
Now what we can do and what we should do it to make sure that Jardin knows just how much the community supports his efforts and how proud we are of him to gain such recognition and bring such accolades to Coos Bay just by doing his job. We should mark the contest on our calendars, tune in our TVs and make a point of showing Kristin just how much we appreciate our own Celebrity Chef.
Will this make any difference to Jardin? He is already a community icon, he will come back win or lose and go back to being the best chef in our community and he will do it all with the grace, good humor and delight that he always does and we will be the ones who reap that reward.
Just be sure that when the chance to acknowledge the value of this gift comes you aren't staring off into space.