Allez Canine!

I’m not a true fan of cooking shows or game shows, but I always got a kick out of Iron Chef. The original version from Japan that was ridiculously dubbed in English, not the American knock-off. Chairman Kaga is the god of my kitchen with his bold statement, “Allez cuisine!” spurring me to reheat leftovers.

I have leftovers because I do cook from scratch. Mostly soups and casseroles that are easy to divide up into lunches for the week, but I like to be in control of how my food is prepared. Weekends will find crockpots stewing, the rice cooker steaming, and the oven warming in preparation for a week’s worth of feasting.

My kitchen is small. That was one of the selling points of this house for me. Only enough room for me, and I am usually wielding a knife. You don’t want to be too close.

Then I adopted a Velcro dog. She’s professionally underfoot. If you’ve ever cooked with a dog around, you know they are not keen on running blenders, chopping herbs, or sauteing onions. They seem to have few abilities beyond cleaning up spills, pre-washing dirty dishes, convincing you they are starving, and acting as a disposal for scraps. If laying in the middle of the floor is a talent, mine is an expert. She’s also tops at garbage sorting and pretending it’s news to her every time she is told to get out of the trash can.

It’s with her in mind, that I propose this idea for a cooking show that combines the skill and thrill of Iron Chef with the happiness of a warm puppy. I call it the Kitchen Dog Challenge.

Top chefs will compete to pull together a 4 course meal while assisted only by a dog.

Round 1–4 weeks long, 2 chefs each week. Each chef will have 2 hours to prepare a meal in the company of one medium sized dog. The dog will have no training beyond basic obedience. The chef must manage the kitchen and the dog. The chef must be aware of what foods can be toxic to a canine and be quick to snatch up any dropped foods that could cause problems. The chef must be able to convince Rover that his paws don’t belong on the counter. A doorbell will ring unexpectedly. Agility will be tested once the dog plops down in the most inconvenient spot and has to be stepped over in order to navigate the cooking area. All food must be served at the proper serving temperature for the dish.

Winner is decided by most complete meal, complexity of the recipes used, and least amount of dog hair in the dishes. Points are deducted for tripping over the dog, doggy garbage raids, and foodstuffs lost to counter surfing and thievery.

Round 2, the semi-finals- 2 weeks long, 2 chefs each week. The winners will do everything they did in round one, but a small dog will be added to assist the first dog. The chef may have to settle puppy disputes over spills, dropped food, and attention given. In addition to a door bell ringing, the dogs will hear another dog barking from an unseen location. Scoring is basically the same as the first week with even more attention paid to the amount of dog hair found in the dishes served.

Round 3, the final challenge- 1 spectacular show. A third dog of large size is added. This dog’s head will be roughly as high as the chef’s work counter. Chefs will have 4 hours to prepare a 4 course meal. At random times, a doorbell will ring, a dog will be heard barking outside, and a cat will enter the room. The rules and criteria from the previous weeks apply.

The winner will be the chef who cries the least and manages to have something to serve at the end of the show.

Who’s up to produce this and does anyone have Shinichiro Ohta’s number? This simply can’t be done without the best kitchen reporter in broadcasting.

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