I’ve said before, cooking shows never shout at you. What about a cooking show that scares the bejeesus out of you? I caught part of PBS’s “New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad.” Our host is apparently both a chef and outdoorsman; the show is apparently both cooking show and travelogue. In the first segment, Cooking host Andreas prepares his vinaigrette salad. He has a cutting table set up on a flat stone slab about the size of a large living room floor. Disturbingly, we discover the slab is actually the very top of a thousand foot high basaltic granite stone monolith, projecting up into the sky from out of the depths of a Norwegian fjord. The work table is set up about eight feet from the edge, a sheer drop. Due to some unnecessarily foolish experiments with great heights in my youth, I’m already getting the creeps.
Chef Viestad is chopping tomatoes to add to the coarsely shredded lettuce and fresh dill. He says, “this tomato is bad,” and throws it over the edge to the ocean waiting far below. He adds cheerily, “in a few seconds, it will be catsup!”
The salad is done. Viestad enlists a friend to help him eat this masterpiece. They both sit down very carefully at the cliff edge, feet dangling over a sheer drop to certain death, and enjoy a very fresh salad with vinaigrette dressing.
Later, Chef Andreas prepares a Brisling Sardine quiche on a manicured green lawn at the edge of another fjord. Maybe real men eat quiche after all.
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