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SilverStormm

Cooks Vs. Cons

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I liked this show.  There were many ways to go when guessing who might be the cons.  My granddaughter had the right system.  She listened to what they said rather than watching for their skill level.   She said a chef would never say that!  

 

Since the challenge was a hamburger,  and we all know how to make them, you have to look for the subtleties.  Fu

 

I guessed the woman con correctly because of her skill with the onion rings; that was obvious but my granddaughter nailed her before she made the onions!  

 

Thank you for creating this thread, Drogo!  

Edited by wings707
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I'm glad to see a forum for this show because I enjoyed the first episode and was hoping other people did too.  The premise was something different but, most of all, I liked the atmosphere.  Everyone seemed to be having fun.  And no sob stories.  The only thing I didn't like was Daphne Oz as a judge because I can't stand her but it looks like she won't be a regular so that's OK.

 

It made me very happy to see Graham Elliot on the panel, laughing and not playing second fiddle to Gordon Ramsay or being demeaned by stupid stunts.

 

I was reasonably certain that the guy who turned out to be a garbage man was one of the cons but I kept changing my mind about the others.  I'm looking forward to the next episode.

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I liked the mood of the show, too.  Very upbeat and everyone was having fun either guessing or conning.  Geoffrey Z was a good host. It  was nice to see Graham's personality.  We never really saw much of it in the other format.  I can't blame that all on Gordon, it was just not a set up to banter.  

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This was my post in the general FN thread before this one was started:

 

Did anyone else subject themselves to Geoffrey Zakarian's new show Cooks vs Cons last night? Judges watch people cook, Zakarian provides inane color commentary, and the object is for the judges to figure out who are the professionals and who the home cooks and for the home cooks to fool the judges. I found it both tremendously dull and--as an accomplished home cook myself--someone offensive. "Oh, he's turning the protein 90 degrees to get grill marks, Only a professional would know to do that." Bite me.

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I actually enjoyed the first episode.  I guessed them all right at the end but kept flip flopping on the woman and the garbage man.  I wasn't insulted about them calling certain techniques "a total pro move".  I didn't feel they were putting anyone down in the process.  I'm just happy to see Graham Elliott in something other than MasterChef.  He didn't look happy there after the departure of Joe Bastianich.  I think he's much happier here and I wish him and the show some success.  This has got to be an improvement over Guy Fieri's face on every show or that dreadful Alton Brown monstrosity, "Cutthroat Kitchen".  I really had higher hopes for Alton and feel he's wasting his talent with that silliness.  I don't mind a little silliness every now and then but that's just gone over the line for me.

 

What interests me about this show is that I don't necessarily guess based on cooking technique, because as the show has already proven, that might not be the best barometer of whether someone is a pro or not.  I chose based on personality and my general ability to size people up pretty well.  I think my guessing success was probably more beginner's luck than anything, though, LOL.  We'll see how I do next time.

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They definitely sell home cooks short with their assumption that certain moves are exclusively done by chefs.   I can easily ignore that because what else are they going to use as a barometer?  They have to look at skill level.  No one is going to apply for this show unless they consider themselves knowledgeable home cooks, though, so they better pay attention to other cues.  

 

I love games of any kind and it is fun to have one where viewers can participate.  

 

I knew the Indonesian woman was a con right away.  She was cooking familiar food from her heritage and it was easy to fool them making dishes that were unfamiliar.  Good casting call!  

 

The cop had me guessing but I thought the sausage, pepper mac and cheese was a common choice so the jury was out for me until the white rice. Con move. 

 

I figured the guy with the foam disaster was a new cook who tried to show off.  He was only 24 and probably had very new job.  A con would not use the foam maker; it is not a common tool in home kitchens.  I am a good cook and have no desire to own one.  

 

The minute the woman who won started working I figured her as a chef right off the bat.  She ripped a live lobster apart to cook it.  What home cooks do that with ease?  

 

I guessed everyone this time!  

Edited by wings707
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I kind of liked the show too.  A pleasant background diversion.  And I too tend to guess based on personality over what they're making or "skill."  The one thing that does annoy me is the "That's a total pro move" commentary whenever they're evaluating the chefs.  It sounds amateurish, especially when they make that claim about something being done that anyone watching Food Network would know.  I'm not insulted or anything.  I just find that aspect annoying. 

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I like the idea but I almost immediately found myself wondering why Geoffrey Zakarian was yelling at me, and also how all that gunk had wound up in his hair.

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I don't rely on technique, I rely on my sizing up their personality.  I not only knew the cop was a con but I also knew he was a cop!  Mr. Snarklepuss was amazed when I blurted that out and it turned out to be true.  I am the idiot savant of spotting cops, always have been.  And I'm originally from NYC and know Westchester County and Peekskill going back forever.  I was confused by the Malaysian woman.  She seemed so artsy fartsy that she was throwing me off as some chefs can seem that way too, but the other woman pinged more as a chef to me.

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I like the idea but I almost immediately found myself wondering why Geoffrey Zakarian was yelling at me, and also how all that gunk had wound up in his hair.

 

 

I wondered who made him wear that tiny jacket with one button, buttoned.  

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Geoffrey dresses that way on "The Kitchen" too.  I've always thought that was his schtick.

 

 

His stylist probably chooses his clothes but to my knowledge that look is not in style now.  I haven't seen any other man wearing jackets that appear too small.   If they were Brad on Fashion Police would be wearing them. 

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Geoffrey Zakarian is very into fashion and pretty much every article I've ever read on him discusses his personal style, which always includes a blazer with only one button fastened, so I personally think he chooses most of the clothes he wears on TV.  From what I know of his style, the jacket he wore in this episode is definitely in line with his personal fashion sense.  He's even so into eyeglasses he's on record saying he'd rather come out with a line of those rather than pots and pans.  "Skinny" pants and fitted jackets are definitely in style for men - It's more of a young man's look but Geoffrey is always fashion-forward.  I've also seen Marcus Samuelsson and Brian Malarkey wearing similar looks, probably even more shrunken than Geoffrey.

 

See here:

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=skinny+suit+for+men&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNu5iKnOHLAhXElx4KHZ_eCPYQsAQIQA&biw=1536&bih=731#tbm=isch&q=skinny+blazer+for+men

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=skinny+suit+for+men&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNu5iKnOHLAhXElx4KHZ_eCPYQsAQIQA&biw=1536&bih=731

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Yes, I did a search on menswear, too.  A tall thin, young model looks fabulous in the tight jackets and pants.  Geoffrey does not have the figure for that.  When he buttons his jacket it pulls across his body giving the appearance that he has recently gained weight but failed to go up a jacket size.  Not a good look on him.  

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Geoffrey Zakarian is very into fashion and pretty much every article I've ever read on him discusses his personal style, which always includes a blazer with only one button fastened, so I personally think he chooses most of the clothes he wears on TV.  From what I know of his style, the jacket he wore in this episode is definitely in line with his personal fashion sense.  He's even so into eyeglasses he's on record saying he'd rather come out with a line of those rather than pots and pans.  "Skinny" pants and fitted jackets are definitely in style for men - It's more of a young man's look but Geoffrey is always fashion-forward.  I've also seen Marcus Samuelsson and Brian Malarkey wearing similar looks, probably even more shrunken than Geoffrey.

 

See here:

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=skinny+suit+for+men&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNu5iKnOHLAhXElx4KHZ_eCPYQsAQIQA&biw=1536&bih=731#tbm=isch&q=skinny+blazer+for+men

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=skinny+suit+for+men&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNu5iKnOHLAhXElx4KHZ_eCPYQsAQIQA&biw=1536&bih=731

 

 

I do get that he is into fashion and how he presents himself.  I like that about him.  And I like that Graham wears white frames, too.  Maybe Geoff should choose more casual clothes for a kitchen setting where he is moving about so much!  I like him. 

Edited by wings707
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Yes, I did a search on menswear, too.  A tall thin, young model looks fabulous in the tight jackets and pants.  Geoffrey does not have the figure for that.  When he buttons his jacket it pulls across his body giving the appearance that he has recently gained weight but failed to go up a jacket size.  Not a good look on him.  

 

I agree, I don't like the look on him.  I also don't like that he cuffs the sleeves.  Between that and the pulling he looks like he's trying to wear a taller, thinner man's clothes.

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I agree, I don't like the look on him.  I also don't like that he cuffs the sleeves.  Between that and the pulling he looks like he's trying to wear a taller, thinner man's clothes.

 

Yes and yes, my point. Fabulous dresser but not the look that works for him and his weight/body type.  

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I watched the first episode and then took it off my DVR. 

Am I the only one who thought that "Cons"  was going to mean, like ex-cons, people out of prison who are learning to cook?  Oh, "CONS"  means they're conning you into thinking they're professional chefs?  OK.  No, that's dumb.

 

It's really more "pros vs amateurs", I guess.  

I hated the constant "that's a total chef move"  for the most inane things.  And playing up the SHOCK and DISBELIEF that some, or all,  contestants were not professional chefs.  I guess it just seemed to fake to me, and I was annoyed by the whole show.

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I watched the first episode and then took it off my DVR. 

Am I the only one who thought that "Cons"  was going to mean, like ex-cons, people out of prison who are learning to cook?  Oh, "CONS"  means they're conning you into thinking they're professional chefs?  OK.  No, that's dumb.

 

No, you're not alone.  After this episode, Mr. Snarkle (who is a lawyer) commented that this show should be called "Cops vs. Cons" or "Cooks vs. Cops vs. Cons".  LOL

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I thought that too. But it actually works for the show that people misunderstand that, because I think it makes a lot of people curious and they watch to see how that would work.  Then the quality of the actual show has to hold them,

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It didn't hold me. I knew it wasn't actual cons because they talked about it on The Chew and Mario or Michael asked her if they meant former convicts but I was bored halfway through the first challenge.

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No, you're not alone.  After this episode, Mr. Snarkle (who is a lawyer) commented that this show should be called "Cops vs. Cons" or "Cooks vs. Cops vs. Cons".  LOL

I can't believe they didn't go with the name "Pros and Cons". Guess it was already taken.

 

This show has to be over the top with cheerleader-type optimism. A less-charitable way to phrase the premise would be "Let's bring professional chefs on national television and accuse them of being amateurs." And that's not particularly fun so they have to hit very hard in the other direction: "That's a pro move."  Over and over.

 

As a result I think I'm going to find this a little saccharine in the long run. But it is nice to see home cooks getting to prove just how good they really are. 

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The landscape of cooking competition shows is pretty bleak with Top Chef leading the pack by a huge margin.  I will continue with this and enjoy it for the fluff that it is.  It exceeds others by a hair and that is because I enjoy seeing Graham out of Masterchef.  

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The landscape of cooking competition shows is pretty bleak with Top Chef leading the pack by a huge margin.  I will continue with this and enjoy it for the fluff that it is.  It exceeds others by a hair and that is because I enjoy seeing Graham out of Masterchef.

It was interesting seeing GZ so relaxed, even manic. I could do without the Chopped like element of the curveball ingredient but I guess they need it. I enjoyed Graham also.

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I'm enjoying the show but I don't have a clear understanding of the judging.  I liked the chef who won but he overcooked his lobster in the first round and goofed up his Hollandaise in the second so how did he end up in first place?  Even he was surprised.

 

I wonder if the girl who is an overly perky private chef really cooks for her "high end" clients with her long hair hanging down and flapping all over.

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I'm enjoying the show but I don't have a clear understanding of the judging.  I liked the chef who won but he overcooked his lobster in the first round and goofed up his Hollandaise in the second so how did he end up in first place?  Even he was surprised.

 

I wonder if the girl who is an overly perky private chef really cooks for her "high end" clients with her long hair hanging down and flapping all over.

 

Because his crab cakes were better than the other two dishes.  They judged the dish in front of them. 

 

I had fun with this one.  I guessed the woman was a cook and I based that on her skill at filleting the fish.  She had clearly done that many times.  

 

But I waffled throughout the show on all of them.  

 

I thought Brian was a con right up until he responded to the woman, "yes, cook."  A home cook is not going to say that so I guessed him as a possible cook.  

 

Cheffy move to swirl the water when poaching an egg?  Not at all.  

 

Home made fried pickles!  YUM.  He was clearly the cook in the fire house.  I thought he was a cook most of the way through. 

Edited by wings707
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That guy who was a fire fighter had me fooled. I was convinced I had seen him on Chopped.

I was surprised the winner was a pro because the judges were pretty appalled at the way he mangled his lobster. And for goodness sake the guy is a big deal executive chef not a cook. I wonder why they don't say chef.

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That guy who was a fire fighter had me fooled. I was convinced I had seen him on Chopped.

I was surprised the winner was a pro because the judges were pretty appalled at the way he mangled his lobster. And for goodness sake the guy is a big deal executive chef not a cook. I wonder why they don't say chef.

 

 

I think the don't say chef because the title Cook or Con has better alliteration.  And it doesn't really matter in the scope of things. Just draw the viewer in, that is all.  

 

This was a tough one for sure.  I was back and forth the entire show.  I love that!  I really do love a game. 

Edited by wings707

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I think the don't say chef because the title Cook or Con has better alliteration.

 

Heh, it would have cool if they'd called it "Chef or Charlatan", although I still wouldn't have liked the show itself. I got really tired of the judges repeatedly saying "that's a [pro/con] move" or some minor variation thereof, the premise was muddled, and "hopped up on speed" is not a good look on Geoffrey Zakarian. This show is one-and-done for me.

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Heh, it would have cool if they'd called it "Chef or Charlatan", although I still wouldn't have liked the show itself. I got really tired of the judges repeatedly saying "that's a [pro/con] move" or some minor variation thereof, the premise was muddled, and "hopped up on speed" is not a good look on Geoffrey Zakarian. This show is one-and-done for me.

 

 

Yes, YMWV of course.  I like it for filler in between better options. Sure their catch phrases are annoying.  The title of the show has little to do with my enjoyment. 

 

It is silly fun and they don't take it seriously nor do I.  I love a game show and Graham is far more likable than Alex Trebek!    It tops Cutthroat Kitchen and many others, which I don't watch. 

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I wonder if the girl who is an overly perky private chef really cooks for her "high end" clients with her long hair hanging down and flapping all over.

THIS.  I was expecting to see one of the fabulously wealthy guests pick up one of those appetizers with a long black hair trailing from it.

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I'm pretty good at this - I knew the fireman was a con right away.  He did not act like a chef at all.  My hunch had nothing to do with the food.  I also knew the woman was a pro based on her overall demeanor and the way she filleted that fish.  I didn't think the lobster guy was a pro at first because of the way he mauled and then overcooked the lobster.  I was also fooled by the tattooed guy who seemed more "cheffy" to me, but in my defense it was easy to get fooled by a bartender who is also in the restaurant industry.  I started to think lobster guy was a pro even before the bartender left because he said the phrase that's a dead giveaway that they're a professional chef - And I'm putting it under a spoiler alert because it's that good.  He said,

"Today I have prepared for you"

.   For some reason only the professionals say it in just that way with that certain delivery I've heard a million times on "Chopped" and "Top Chef".  I'm wondering if it isn't a phrase they learn in culinary school.  The fireman said something similar but not exactly in that way, which made me laugh because I said to myself "Close but no cigar".  My husband thinks I'm amazing.  I'm beginning to think I missed my calling.  Just call me "the Amazing Snarklepuss".  LOL

Edited by Snarklepuss
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Heh, it would have cool if they'd called it "Chef or Charlatan", although I still wouldn't have liked the show itself. I got really tired of the judges repeatedly saying "that's a [pro/con] move" or some minor variation thereof, the premise was muddled, and "hopped up on speed" is not a good look on Geoffrey Zakarian. This show is one-and-done for me.

I'm having fun getting a little snarky as I watch. "Oh, he's using the knife with the sharp part facing down.That's a pro move."

 

Perky Caterer looked familiar to me, but I can't think Food Network would put someone on this show that they've used before. And you're all much better at that sort of recognition than I am, so I guess not. Nevertheless, she has the personality for Cutthroat Kitchen and I can see the powers that be queueing her up for that show next.

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Lord, Ep 3 and Geoffrey Z. is still yelling at me. A lot!

 

Did someone hide his Ritalin?


I mean he's also bouncing around like a 5 year old on a sugar high.

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Lord, Ep 3 and Geoffrey Z. is still yelling at me. A lot!

Did someone hide his Ritalin?

I mean he's also bouncing around like a 5 year old on a sugar high.

I was thinking the ever-loud and annoying Sunny Anderson and Jeff Mauro are getting to him from his time on The Kitchen. Not a good look for you, Geoffrey. Have a cocktail and dial it back below 11, please.

 

Edited to fix wonky quote.

Edited by jcbrown
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There is a lot I have to overlook but I do.  Chefs saying scallops are difficult to cook is nuts; they are easy, one of the easiest proteins!   Why do they do this?  Poached eggs, too.  How many of us make those frequently?  I think most people do.  They are the easiest breakfast to make if you are trying to skip carbs, too.  They go over sauteed mushrooms or any vegetable.  Over pan roasted cauliflower is another favorite of mine, with a side of bacon, yum.

 

People who believe what they say won't try making poached eggs or scallops and that is a shame.  Youtube is a huge help for those wanting to try cooking these things they say are tricky.  

 

And, of course, all of their lame comments about cheffie move.  I will watch another season if is has one though.  I love to guess and I get more correct than Jeopardy.  

 

I'm having fun getting a little snarky as I watch. "Oh, he's using the knife with the sharp part facing down.That's a pro move."

  

Love this, Amarsir!  

Edited by wings707
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There is a lot I have to overlook but I do.  Chefs saying scallops are difficult to cook is nuts; they are easy, one of the easiest proteins!   Why do they do this?  

Because they're following the overall script begun by Gordon Ramsay, screaming for years on his shows about people mangling scallops?

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I guessed the French woman as a con because her food was way too basic. Then when i saw her restaurant, yep it was and so is her restaurant!

The French man was obviously a con to me. He tried too hard.

I thought the guy who burned his meat was a chef and just made a mistake.

I would like them to announce who the judges thought at the end. They go all over the place and I never catch who they settle on if they even do.

Edited by wings707

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Finally caught an episode. I have loved GZ, but not yelly, screaming GZ. I'm meh on Graham, but that's because I had a somewhat crappy service experience at his restaurant before he became a tv personality, so tha has colored my perspective. You have two accomplished chefs, and then pair them with one of the Epic Meal Time idiots? Good lord....

I agree with what someone said up thread about this being offensive in some ways. Tonight I learned that home chefs don't know how to use cast iron or chiffonade basil. Ok then. I found all the contestants likable enough, but I could do without the running commentary of how every little thing they did could only mean they are a pro.

If there is nothing else on, I may watch again.

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I'm enjoying this show although I do think Geoffrey could be a bit less enthusiastic.  I got a kick out of the way he introduced the cookies talking like Cookie Monster.  You could tell that he has little kids.

 

I was pretty sure that the woman who owns a restaurant was a real cook but I'm not sure why I thought so.  Something about the way she went about everything.  She seemed comfortable with what she was doing.  I was also pretty sure the big guy was a con because he was overdoing his sales pitch.  I never would have guessed that he's a physician.  In the end, I was happy for the woman who won.  She probably needed the money worse than the other two.

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Geoffrey is mainly just bad in the very beginning, he looks like he got some bad direction, "No, that last take was too chill.  Say it like the camera is 300 feet away!"  He's more tolerable during the show, though I'm getting the vibe he's trying too hard to be Alton Brown and just does not have that kind of charisma.  The judges are underwhelming.  But in general, I'm still loving this show because I'm paying attention to the contestants, not the presenters.

 

Definitely thought Eric (the first guy who got booted) was a con.  He was just so goofy and seemed to have no idea what he was doing.  But then there was part of me thinking it was almost too obvious, so I wasn't completely shocked at him being a cook.  I'm sure they look for people like that who are actually cooks but don't really seem like it.  The two women I was on the fence about the whole time and guessed wrong.  The doctor though, I got him from the beginning.  He came off like he had watched a lot of Chopped or Cutthroat Kitchen and was doing almost a parody of the stereotypically confident/competitive contestants we see on those shows.  Not all that convincing, but he could have made a good comedy act out of it.  He seems like a funny guy.

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Interesting that the woman cook who was part owner in the restaurant did a typical steak house dinner the first round.  Clearly that speaks to the simple fare they serve at the restaurant but why not go all out to win?  She had to know that a filet is the least favorite cut of meat to any chef or anyone who loves beef and is knowledgeable.  I wonder if they clear the dishes they intend to make with production and they help set up things to confuse the judges.  It would not surprise me to learn they have been coached to some degree.  They cannot control a pan being too hot or a mistake anyone, no matter how skilled can make.  You cannot anticipate that.  

 

I loved the winner and glad she got the 15k. 

Edited by wings707

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Michael seemed like he got his shtick directly from the Muppets Swedish Chef. I really enjoyed this episode and was glad to see a con win.

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Do they just edit Geoffrey "down" somehow on Chopped so he isn't screaming there? I don't get how his demeanor is so effing different. I mean it is, I just don't know why or how.

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Geoffrey must have recently graduated from the Guy Fieri "How to be a Really Obnoxious Food Show Host" correspondence course.  Why can't they just let him be himself?  Do they think their audience likes being barked at?

 

When the woman who owns a restaurant introduced herself I knew right then that she was a cook because first of all her family owned wineries in France and she grew up going there a lot plus she put her kids in child size chef hats emblazoned with the word "Chef" on them.  Duh, dead giveaway!

 

Plus I knew right from the beginning that the doctor was not a chef because as someone else said, he sold himself a little too much to be believable.  I thought, "Methinks he doth protest a little too much".  One of my good friends is an Emergency Room physician - I can see him as one for sure.

 

I was on the fence about the fire inspector.  I thought she could be a cook but when the first guy was eliminated I knew I had to let her go but I didn't want to in spite of that.  Like most people I was fooled by the first guy.  I thought he looked like he could be another engineer.  I agree that they seem to be going out of their way to pick unlikely chefs to throw us off.  But I guess that's part of the fun of it!  Some of the food looked really good on this episode.  I think the fire inspector should consider finding a way to market that talent.  She was an inspiration - First of all a female fire inspector, a great cook, a 2 time cancer survivor AND an obviously nice person too.  Plus the doctor did seem like a funny guy and was very entertaining.  In all, a fun episode.

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Agree that this is a fun show.  Maybe the "pro" "home cook" comments are a little heavy-handed, but it's a new show.  Host/judges/contestants seem to be having a good time, and they all cook pretty well.  We all remember some Food Network competitions that were big fails.  Kitchen Casino, anyone?  (And what was the one with Curtis Stone and the stairway?)

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This show probably won't go down in the annals of FN history as the most compelling cooking show ever devised, but for a change of pace, I think it's fun.  Yes, GZ is a little too ramped up for me, but the guy gets points for trying hard.

 

I think I know what's happening.  The producers are looking to cast chefs who ranked very low in their culinary classes so that they won't appear to be too cheffy, and they're looking for cons in other fields who have strong affinities for cooking.  That gives them a fairly even playing field and adds to the viewers' confusion.

 

This show doubtless will never expand our culinary educations, but it will provide an hour of cooking whodunits just for the fun of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        

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His stylist probably chooses his clothes but to my knowledge that look is not in style now.  I haven't seen any other man wearing jackets that appear too small.   If they were Brad on Fashion Police would be wearing them. 

Tim Gunn always seems to have on a too-small jacket,usually buttoned.

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