July 11/12

today's weight: 172

Sweet Genius: Ron Ben-Israel

If you keep experimenting with the Food Network - or whatever your TV package calls it - you've either encountered Sweet Genius or else you will.

Sweet Genius is an hour-long show that starts with four chefs. Each of the three challenges eliminates one, leaving a champion at the end. The champion is the "Sweet Genius".

The challenges always involve making a dessert - or sweet. There is at least one required ingredient to start with, then the host (Ron Ben-Israel) assigns more while the chefs prepare their sweets. These surprise ingredients, sometimes assigned quite near the end of a challenge, can be hard to incorporate into a sweet the chef had thought finished.

Ben-Israel usually smiles as he dismisses a failed contestant. However, the atmosphere is of uncompromosing formality. Ben-Israel takes sweets so seriously that a missing grain of sugar has equal significance to a room-sized boulder. The irony of the situation is extremely funny (to me, anyway), even though the show is not supposed to be a comedy (I don't think).

Like often on reality shows, Ben-Israel has his own send-home line: "On this challenge, you were no Sweet Genius." I highly recommend Sweet Genius - it's just very entertaining. Let me know.

Looking good, Ron Ben-Israel: you are, indeed, a Sweet Genius.

Ron Ben-Israel Back