We here at Chine bLog are decidedly down on most of what comes across the cable wire these days as TV programming. I realize that, with the Charlie Sheen show fresh on our minds, this is hardly a brave statement. I say it, however, to distinguish from the pack of schlock one program I really admire: “Chopped” on the Food Network. For those who haven’t seen it, here’s the deal. They bring in four true chefs and have them prepare pieces of a three-course dinner. For each course, there is a set of mandatory ingredients, and they are usually random and/or esoteric (e.g., geoduck clam, Buddah’s hand, black radish, and taco shells was on last night for an appetizer). Preparation time is extremely limited, of course. At the end of each course – round – one chef is “chopped,” that is, removed from the competition, based on judging from celebrity chefs. Desert is, therefore, a one-on-one for the final prize, usually $10K.
Obviously, the competitive element, augmented by heavy editing, creates the requisite amount of drama. What makes the show so different, though, is that it is truly a test of skill and creativity. The chefs have to be able to cope with any possible combination of ingredients with no time to think about a menu. You must truly know what you are doing and be able think on your feet. I am always amazed at what these folks pull off.
Some time ago a made a crack on my Facebook page about why there isn’t a boat equivalent of “Chopped” and how crotchety, middle-aged men with power tools would be grounds for good TV. I began thinking, though, that we could try this, here in our own little corner of the blogosphere. So I propose a contest, as follows:
- I provide a “basket” of boat design elements below. These are mandatory, but you can bring any thing else into the mix as well (the chefs have access to a full kitchen).
- You take 30 minutes over the next week, honor system, a draw a boat (cartoon-level sketch) that uses at least those elements.
- You contact me through the contact form and let you know you have a picture to send. I’ll give you an actual email to send to.
I won’t chap, saw, chisel, plane, or otherwise mentally abuse anyone. I’ll show off all comers, including one of my own, and we can all admire. Sound good? Here we go!
The category is: coastal cruiser (interpret how you see fit). Your “basket” contains:
- 30′ LWL
- A balanced lug sail
- Double ended
- A large supply of bamboo
That seems suitably random. Remember: you must use all mandatory elements, but not necessarily in a substantial way (though we’ll give you more props if you do. I am hoping to see some fun and interesting designs come out of this. Enjoy!