Who are “they” to criticize?

My boss Ron recently debuted his new television show on the Food Network, called “Sweet Genius”.  We premiered the first episode with a huge party that was thrown for him at the school he teaches at, The International Culinary Institute. (Pictures to come when we get them from the photographer!)  We sat in the culinary theater and for the first time along with all of his friends watched the show together.  Ron had done all of the filming in July and the production team has been editing each show since then.

I enjoyed watching the first episode, I thought Ron was a good judge and host, and he played his “character” very well.  That is right, I said character.  This is television and we watch television to be entertained.  First and foremost this man runs a business, he is a baker, an artist and a boss.  He has started his company from scratch, taught himself accounting, how to manage a staff and put a product out in the market place that no one can come close to matching.  How many people can claim that?

I understand people are going to either love something or hate something.  But what I never understand is how mean people can be with their words.  When Sweet Genius aired, people started throwing out their opinions.  Of course everything I read was from loving the show to not loving the show.  But the things that people say are just down right mean.  I find it interesting that all of a sudden everyone is an expert because they have been watching food shows on television.  Ron is a man who has been in the industry of baking for more than 15 years, and has a very refined palette.  He has mastered techniques that others in our profession struggle with.  In my book that makes him an expert just like any one of his other colleagues.

But there is also the other part of the show, the competitors.  What happens if they are not good on television, or they are not creative enough?  How is the host/judge supposed to interact with contestants if they themselves can’t perform or produce food that tastes good?

When he was initially approached about doing a television show, he did not want to appear mean in anyway. There is a process to filming that 95% of the population watching television is unaware of.  When you see one of these competition shows there is over 8 hours of film being recorded.  You see 45 minutes of it.  When finished filming, the production company starts the editing process and turns over snippets to the network.  The network has final say as to how they want the show to be perceived.  Not the artist, Ron had no say as to how he would appear to other people.  We had to leave that in the good faith of the network.

SO enjoy the show for what it is – ENTERTAINMENT.  What other show are you going to watch where you have to turn a frozen waffle into a couture dessert?  Those out there saying the mean things actually might learn a thing or two about how to “throw” together a dessert from the ingredients they only have in their house.  They also might figure out just how hard it really is to cook something (anything) for other people to enjoy.

Ron and Rebecca at the premier party of Sweet Genius.
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11 thoughts on “Who are “they” to criticize?

  1. I absolutely loved the show … Who cares about what negative and jealous people have to say. He is always excellent at anything he does and should not let all the negativity upset him. We love him!!

  2. Rebecca, I am smiling as I read this because you sound like a mama bear defending your family. I feel for you because I know it is tough to hear criticism about those you care about.
    People can be so rude and heartless – they hide behind the anonymity of the web and say things online that they would never dare say to a person’s face. But as I understand it, people in the public eye need to develop a thick skin and get to the point where they just don’t care what people say or think about them anymore. It’s their problem, not yours and not Ron’s.

    I have met Ron and I knew he was putting on a character. I loved the show and can’t wait to watch the 2nd episode which is sitting on my Tivo.

  3. “They” are Criscocream worshipping sycophants. Collectively, they possess about 1/1000th the talent of Ron, and the intelligence displayed in the posting doesn’t even register on the positive side of the scale. Can’t wait to see the next episode.

  4. Just remember….jealousy runs deep and people who have little self-worth always want to criticize others in an attempt to feel better about themselves. Ron IS a genius….plain and simple!

  5. I just wanna say, that keep doing what You all do, because it is so amazingly beautiful and You are admired even from such a” far far away” country as Estonia 🙂

  6. Unfortunately, I’m one of the people who stupidly bought the hype. Before the series started, I thought he was scary based upon the promos. I (sadly) remarked to someone he might require some fava beans for his chianti. Then I actually watched the show. Both shows. And looked at his website and saw his stunning cakes. I now think he is very sweet, indeed, with a smile that lights up the screen and beautiful, kind eyes. Mea culpa. I will continue watching & thanks for pointing out to people like me that he is playing a character.

  7. I watch “Sweet Genius” because it’s interesting to see what the contestants will come up with. From the first, I thought Ron was very sweet and kind. I was impressed with his kindness. I just looked at his Website and his gorgeous cakes. They are truly beautiful. All the best to everyone at Ron Ben Israel Cakes and especially Ron.

  8. I’m a cake designer in Seattle and I’ve been inspired by Ron for years (who in this industry hasn’t been inspired by him?). I haven’t met him in person (yet) and even I knew he was playing a character. I am hooked on the show; I get swept up in the intensity of each round and find myself fighting for the ‘underdog’ home bakers every time because I am one of them! Ron, you really are a genius; I always wanted to work for you but have a family on the West Coast and no money or time to attend FCI in New York, so I settled for teaching myself everything I know, launching my own business here (which is doing well!), and being inspired by the best in the industry (you!). If the Food Network offers you another season of Sweet Genius, please do it. Ignore the critics! And thank you, Rebecca, for your wonderful blog – it gives us all such a great sense of what it must be like to work at RBI Cakes.

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