Rough Draft with Revisions

I need to watch at least two more episodes of Cutthroat Kitchen in order to expand further. This is two hours of watching I could not accomplish by class on 4-4. I did, however, revise and add text (in bold). I will add more by 4-6.


Rough Draft


The Food Network is quite possibly the most popular channel on US television for folks to binge out on everything food related. The channel offers a broad range of entertainment from games shows related to food to how-to’s on making a whole Thanksgiving dinner in 4 hours. At the face of these shows, are usually notable food icons such as professional chefs, male and female alike. One show my girlfriend and I have come to enjoy over the last couple years is a game show by the name of Cutthroat Kitchen. The show puts four chefs up against each other in an elimination style fashion with a unique twist. Cutthroat Kitchen is known for it’s outrageous “sabotages” that contestants bid for before each round in order to make other chefs work from a disadvantage. This increases the competitiveness of show tenfold. (added paragraph break)

Each episode always has a split of male and females starting out, so watching the chefs’ behaviors, and even going further, and dissecting the mannerisms of each gender is quite interesting. If one puts the show into a feminist’s lens, a couple questions get raised almost instantly: Are the female chefs represented on television breaking away from the social roles relating to food that have been ascribed to them in eras past? How to do their mannerisms differ or relate to their male counterparts in the kitchen?

If one is attempting to view how these female chefs break away from the stereotypes that have been instilled throughout our culture, one needs to pay attention to the actual meals that these female chefs choose to prepare during the rounds.

“Mothers were expected to educate, if not tame, their adolescent daughter’s propensity for “sweetmeats, bonbons, and summer drinks” as well as for “stimulating foods such as black pepper and vinegar pickle”. This is a quote from Joan Jacobs Brumberg’s, The Appetite as Voice. This quote spoken to me in the context of this show because the chefs have complete autonomy to cook what they please, long as the dish falls into the broad category the host presents for each round. The quote reads in a very suppressing manner. These female chefs break away from this Victorian notion that their mothers should’ve taught, even tame, them to avoid certain foods in order to keep up with others’ (men’s) judgments and opinions. For instance, in episode 10 of season 9, a professional female chef by the name of Claire Robinson comes onto the show and is faced with making a Pu Pu platter. Pu Pu Platters usually involve many forms of protein meaning food items can vary platter to platter. Instead of reforming the dish in a typical manner one may expect from a female chef, she went against the grain and threw a southern twist on this Chinese dish. This, in my opinion, is exemplary of how today’s female chefs can break away from traditions when it comes to stereotypes in the kitchen.

The chefs are cooking to their own specific tastes and preferences, which they learned on their own free will or maybe were taught from someone else other than their mother. The thought that mothers are the only one’s nowadays to teach their daughter how and what is acceptable to cook would extremely one-dimensional. On the show, we see females cooking exactly what they want, and that doesn’t mean it always has to be health conscious. Which breaks away from the stereotype that females are more health conscious when it comes to food. Women can cook mean bar food too!

The mannerisms of the women on this show generally break away from social stereotypes as well. Both genders are forced into this competitive mindset & area where they’re pitted against each other in the hope of winning up to $25,000. The women are just as competitive as the men. They are not afraid to use that potential winning money in order to sabotage someone else. If you watch the show, they can be anything but passive at times, engaging in big bidding wars over a potentially detrimental sabotages they do not want to come their way. There’s a level of ruthlessness on this show, and men aren’t they only ones participating in the sabotaging aspect of Cutthroat Kitchen.


            The image to the right is sous chef and Cuthroat Kitchen Participant, Janet Ross. As you can see, she’s dealing with a sabotage in this still image. I think the image is very telling of the behavior of a lot of the women chefs that come onto the show. They usually have a positive attitude about sabotages / adversity. She may be gritting her teeth, but it’s with a smile. Without video or audio you can see she’s handling the sabotage well. This is what separates the female contestants from the male contestants on this show. The females tend to handle the pressures the show’s twist better than the men do.

4 comments for “Rough Draft with Revisions

  1. isis thorpe
    April 4, 2017 at 5:26 am

    I like your analysis using food and the network show. I find it interesting when I watched the video and only saw one female in competition. I find it interesting because women in the kitchen is the traditional image that society gave to women. Also they didn’t show her a lot on the show so I find that interesting. The examples you used made it clear about how women handle pressures and the types of they cook and I find that very necessary because of the stereotypes. The stereotypes of what kind of foods women cook and eat.

    I think you can use another example of how women and mannerisms break away from the stereotypes. Is there something dramatic that happened where it really showed women in a different light ?

    I do like your analysis because I never payed attention in detail to those things.

  2. April 4, 2017 at 6:13 am

    Good start to your paper, Zach.
    I think it is interesting that you chose to analyze a show; since there are many episodes there will be a lot to analyze. You seem to take a unique view and attempt to show how women on the show break away from stereotypes rather than reinforce them which is very cool. I look forward to reading more as you analyze how women break away from the traditional stereotype in this show.

  3. Bonnie Boaz
    April 5, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    typical manner one may expect from a female chef, — sounds a bit sexist? What is “typical” for female???

    cooking exactly what they want, — how do you know? Do women deviate from men in some way in what they choose to cook?

    In your “mannerisms” paragraph you say women are just as competitive as the men. TALK about their behaviors — specific examples NEEDED. You tell us they are ruthless but never give us description of a specific scene where they behave ruthlessly? Isn’t this part of the show though? Wouldn’t they look weird if they refused to be “cut throat?”

    You need to analyze very small segments — did you miss our discussion of TW ?? We broke down a lot of the components of that episode as a model for how to do analysis.

  4. Bonnie Boaz
    April 6, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    The difference between the way men and women handle sabatoge
    Give examples — example of woman “handling” it vs a man handling it
    guys cracking under pressure

    women as homemakers ==
    women asked to engage in tactics that men do — war tactics

    women asked to do nontraditional things — sabatoge
    language — do women apologize ?

    final words when they get eliminated — comparing it to men
    do men whine in sabatoges, break under pressure (how?)

    premise of show — male competitieve war like aggressive look out for yourself

    complexity of what they cook — compare genders assumption would be halth oriented — but made pu pu platter — not healthy meat infused

    men “safer” choices — prove it using examples from shows

    Tailgate Warriors — read it — it talks about the masculine course readings unit 2

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