“Working Class” is a Bad Thing? Apparently it is on Top Chef Canada!

Like most people, there are a few things that really push my buttons. Tonight, when watching Top Chef Canada, I was reminded of one such thing as I found myself actually feeling angry — not my usual response to reality tv!

Top Chef Canada logo

On tonight’s episode, the chefs were cooking for the Housewives of Vancouver (I have to say I’ve NEVER watched this show because I could care less about the petty antics of these women, but that’s another story) and their friends and they were instructed to make two opulent appetizers with a focus on one specific food item they had randomly chosen.

Danny Smiles, a true ray of sunshine this season, drew lobster as the item which was to be the star of his appetizers. Danny decided to make deep fried lobster with General Tso as his hot appetizer.

According to the judges, this appetizer was a true miss. And, in the judging room, one of the judge (who I could have sworn was Sheeren Arazm  but I have read on various media sites that I might be mistaken) told Danny that she hated to say it but this appetizer was “working class”.

Danny became visibly upset and at this moment I felt myself getting really angry.

I understand what the task entailed but I have to ask — why the hell should “working class” be defined as a negative thing?

I grew up working class. For many years I have to admit that I was embarassed about being working class because I was worried that people would look down on me because I didn’t grow up with a lot of money.

But today, as a professional in my field, I’ve realized that I was lucky to have a working class upbringing.

It made me sincere, it allowed me to judge people for who they are and not what they have — it truly made me a better person.

And some of the best meals I’ve ever had (and, yes, I have eaten in 5 star restaurants!) have been “working class” meals.

I understand that Danny didn’t hit the target for this task but to say that “working class” anything is a negative thing offended me on so many levels! Being “working class” is not a negative thing – it is simply different!

So FOR SHAME Top Chef Canada — you really missed the mark when you insulted Danny Smiles, and anyone with a working class background, by implying that working class is a negative thing!

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18 Responses to “Working Class” is a Bad Thing? Apparently it is on Top Chef Canada!

  1. Chris says:

    Wow, to me anyone and everyone who works is working class, no matter the skill level or pay level. They were way off base with that comment and yeah, it’s insulting to everyone who is not one of the housewives of Vancouver.

  2. Heidi C. says:

    I grew up in Montreal like Danny and my family was definitely of the “working class” variety. I am sure we would have loved his plate! Both of the ladies seemed very supercilious which is funny because if you have ever seen an episode of RHOV, you would know that that particular “housewife” has the worst potty mouth!

  3. Yikes, that is a value laden comment. I’m sure there were be lots of backlash about that one!
    I grew up in a working class family and I think it taught me lots of things that I might not know had I been raised in different circumstances.

  4. Soozle says:

    I agree with you – working class is not a BAD thing.

    I have to say – I AM working class.. While I would the freedom of having more money (aka not having to save and scrimp for an entire year for next years vacation), I am thankful for the humbleness that comes with it.

    I am more likely to give back when I can because I realize what it is like to not have everything you want when you want it. I appreciate what I have because I have to work for it… I understand the value of a dollar.. and that’s perfectly fine with me.

  5. Not a show that I have ever watched, however Sheeren should have chosen her words more wisely.

  6. Jennifer says:

    so true and good for you for posting about it, I’ve never watched either show, maybe it had a little bit to do with the snooty housewives being loaded lol regardless, it should never have been said in such a way, how insulting!

  7. Elva Roberts says:

    May 28- I totally agree with you. I thought the ‘caste’ system was even discouraged in India! A person is the sum total of their life experiences and environmental factors, to name a few. I have a grandson who quit a job in an ‘Upper Class” establishment because many people with money were very rude to the waitresses and he did not like working in such an atmosphere.If you are a Christian, I believe that we are all the same before our good Lord and no one is less valuable-only different. Viva la Difference!l el03ro
    e.m.roberts@hotmail.com

  8. Carlie says:

    Top Chef Canada’s Facebook is blowing up over this remark, although I thought Lisa Ray was the one who made it? I found it ironic because ALL of the judges come from working class backgrounds, and since when does someone who’s on Real Housewives deserve a spot as a judge on a cooking competition? She just didn’t like Nicole from the start, and her cracks about her food were unwarranted. Jody’s own daughter and her friends were scarfing down Nicole’s food and raving about it, so it couldn’t have been as terrible as they made it out to be. Face it, no one gets this far on Top Chef Canada if their food is sub-standard. Much of this is posturing for the cameras. I’m disgusted enough to consider not watching again.

    • I’m not sure if Lisa said it as well, but it wasn’t her that said it at the judges’ table. Mark also referred to it as “pedestrian”. I’m with you — I’m ready to cut ties with the show because it was beyond insulting and downright ignorant (and they kept referencing Lisa Ray as a chef — is she really one?)

      • Carlie says:

        Lisa Ray isn’t a chef. She was a “model” in India and she’s an actress of sorts. I was surprised to hear Jody referred to as a chef. While she does own a baking company, the reasons for its success have been questioned, and she’s hardly a Julia Child. 🙂 The whole show seems to have lost its appeal after the last episode. Not sure I care now who wins since it appears to be so subjective and ratings-driven.

  9. Working class is not the same as low class!! Absolutely nothing wrong with working class, that’s for sure.

  10. I dont like all these competitive shows anyway and i have to say …Many top trained chefs end up defecting from the fancy food and go back to the comfort food most people want.

  11. stephy905 says:

    I think my family would fall under the working class category. We may not have a lot of money but we’re all extremely happy with who we are. ❤

  12. P1 says:

    I am in Australia and just saw this episode. I found the working class comment incredibly rude and actually cruel. Lisa Ray seems to have misunderstood that this is a program about food, and her crass comment about class actually seems to suggest her limitations at not being able to behave professionally. If class is about suggested refinement, then what does her inhumane behaviour towards another human being suggest?

  13. Anne Taylor says:

    I just caught this episode……what an insulting and ignorant comment it was. Personally speaking, having a Real Housewife of Vancouver on the show lowered the shows overall class.

  14. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    This was a totally uncalled for comment, it could merely have been said that it wasn’t the high standard of cooking they were looking for. There is absolutely no need to treat the working class as if it’s a lower class, which it is not! I grew up in working class family and it did me no harm what so ever. Like others here, I believe it made me a better person rather than had I been born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Besides, where would the world be without the working class? Lost is the answer.

  15. Elva Roberts says:

    I just read your post again and I am still dismayed by the comment of this ‘Top Chef’. It is so discouraging to know that , in our so called enlightened world, people are still being judged by the jobs they do, rather than their character. el03ro
    e.m.roberts@hotmail.com

  16. loucheryl says:

    I remember seeing this episode. That comment irritated me too. Douche!

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