I’m a Food Network competition junkie. For me, culinary artistry paired with some sort of outlandish rivalry is the perfect mix. Whether it’s Chopped or Cupcake Wars, I love to see what chefs will prepare under pressure with less-than-ideal ingredients.
My favorite show?
If you aren’t familiar with this series, it’s where “sabotage isn’t only encouraged, it’s for sale.”
At the start of each episode, super-host Alton Brown hands four chefs $25,000 each. These stacks of cash are intended for that-less-than-friendly purpose I mentioned. Yep, that’s right, sabotage. Before and during the show’s three rounds, the competitors are given opportunities to use this money to purchase what I like to call “specialty items” at auction.
Sometimes these items provide one chef with an advantage while adding injury to his or her opponents. For example, the highest bidder can purchase “the sole right to taste” or “the only chef allowed to fry.”
Other times these items just throw metaphorical arsenic into a foe’s recipe for success. One rival is given Reynolds Wrap in place of utensils. Yep, first they have to sculpt a make-shift knife and spoon before they can even start prepping. Another has their standard eggs swapped for one, huge ostrich egg. Happy boiling … or not.
While I love to observe this battle of strategy and sabotage on TV, it’s not something I crave in my real, day-to-day life. Yet this idea of sabotage — which Dictionary.com defines as “any undermining of a cause” — isn’t confined to the Food Network. Or to high-stakes business deals. There are times you and I sabotage, whether purposefully or not, the unity God intends and desires for our marriages.