March 27, 2008

Think before you speak. . .

Another TV reference for you.

Last night on "Top Chef," after failing in his task to create a fine dining version of the humble taco, Erik Hopfinger made the statement, "I don’t think fine dining and Mexican go together."

For an executive chef who's supposed to know a thing or two about food to make a blanket statement like this on national TV -- not a brilliant move. Did he really just say that a whole entire cuisine has no fine dining?

Besides the fact that there are indeed fine dining Mexican restaurants in this country, all Erik has to do is take a trip down to Mexico to realize that, like just about every other cuisine, there is street food, haute cuisine, and everything in between.

Take it out of the context of a TV show and imagine Erik giving a speech to an audience in the food industry. Not only does he make himself look ignorant in front of his peers, he might even offend a few.

I remember being really embarrassed one time when I called on a young man in the audience only to discover that she was a young woman with very short hair. After apologizing, I told her I could relate, as the same thing used to happen to me all the time (and occasionally still does)!

Have you ever put your foot in your mouth during a presentation? How did you recover?

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3 comments. Please add yours! :

David Dust said...

Erik was just not smart on SO many levels.

Click here for DavidDust's Top Chef Recap.

Anonymous said...

You do raise an interesting point, Lisa. As someone who enjoys Mexican food (and has been to more than one fine restuarant that serves Mexican food), one has to wonder how someone could make a slip like that. And I agree 100% about making blanket statements like that during a speech - I've seen many people lose points with the audience because a slip like that.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks for your comments, David and James! If a speaker doesn't have credibility, what else IS there? And I imagine chefs need some credibility as well.

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