Here’s the Much-Talked About Chris Cosentino Mad4 Talk on the Pitfalls of Food TV
Remember the buzz about Chris Cosentino’s talk at the MAD Symposium — how being on food TV would ruin us all? The full video is here, and it’s a doozy.
He explains very simply the appeal of why he wanted to compete in food TV shows: “I’m a competitor … I love to compete, I love to win.” Once he competed on The Next Iron Chef, he found that “all these people start calling you.” “I’m looking at all these chefs who are on national TV, and their restaurants are busy,” he said. “I wanted to showcase my skill set.”
Then there was the one TV show, five years ago, that was a challenge that couldn’t be overcome. Cosentino said that the show found his learning disabilities, his dyslexia and ADD. “I didn’t need the country to know that … I didn’t need to be poked at,” he said. But even despite the insane challenges — 8-pounds pizzas, whole ghost chiles, “12 Red Hots with the works” — he knew that he couldn’t quit because “as chefs, we’re taught to follow through [… and] commit to the task at hand.”
It’s an extremely heartfelt and emotional as he admits his true feelings on the TV show, admitting that he looked like a bully. The worst part? Watching his son, in pre-K, reenact the show’s eating competitions in his class. Ultimately, Cosentino shares important lessons about the pitfalls of being a chef in the national eye: “There’s chef mentors, and now [we need] TV chef mentors.” No wonder there’s multiple rounds of applause throughout the speech.
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