Reality television is the latest thing, apparently, with programs on just about every topic imaginable, and some I’d never have imagined at all. There are also an immense number of programs about cooking and food on television, with the cooking crews competing for a variety of prizes with an equal incredibly diverse set of requirements.
With all of that out there, it’s only natural that I imagined setting up my own version of a reality television show in which cooks compete to create delicious, nutritious, and attractive meals but with a twist of reality that few people ever really see.
The average family has a very tight food budget these days. We can continually hear about how jobs are going to be coming to the Gulf Coast, about how Ingalls is returning, about how many people are going to be put to work in the shipyards in the coming months…but until those paychecks are being put into the bank, that money is nothing more than a pipe dream. Even for those who don’t work in the shipyards themselves, that influx of money into the community at large’s economy is going to make a difference. In the meantime, I know a lot of people who are making do with very little “wiggle room” in their food budget, and sometimes…get more than a little depressed by their inability to create some of the recipes they see on television and in magazines. They just can’t afford the long list of ingredients.
I think the Food Network should bring a crew to the Gulf Coast to film a reality television show. What would be a good title? Maybe “Celebrity Dollar Dinner Challenge” would work. Maybe I’ll think of something more creative later.
With this new program, they could have a celebrity chef, any one of them would do…and a couple of local cooks, almost any housewife from the area that was comfortable with the concept of competetive cooking would do…and they have to create 7 dinners from locally available ingredients, serving four diners with each meal and keeping the per-meal budget at $10 or less. They’d also have to include at least one dessert during that 7 day meal series.
Their creations would then be graded by the judges by taste, appearance, nutritional value, diversity, and creativity. The winner, should it be a local cook, would get a promotional package of goods from various manufacturers, as well as the opportunity to choose a local charity who would then receive a food donation of non-perishable foods valued at $10,000. If the celebrity chef wins, they would be able to choose which charity received the food donation of non perishable foods. The recipes created by these teams would be compiled together into a recipe book which would then be distributed by the local food bank and sold at local stores to benefit the food bank.
Everybody wins, and the viewers would get a glimpse at the reality that many families face regularly. The $10 dinner for 4 isn’t an unfamiliar concept, nor is it impossible.
I wonder…if they could sell such a concept on the Food Network.