15 January 2012

In Appreciation of "Epic Meal Time"

Adding massive amounts of ground beef soil to a "Meat Garden"
Last month while speaking with students, a couple of them mentioned something called "Epic Meal Time".  I saw a couple of their videos, found it interesting, but didn't continue watching them.  That is, until this past week.  I continued watching them and am making my way through them and love them.
     What Epic Meal Time essentially is several twenty-something Montreal natives get together and concoct some massive meal.  Now, it takes meals to the next level, usually involving meat and almost always involving bacon.  This isn't a regular dish that they are preparing on the Food Network - no, they are preparing a feast with tens of thousands - if not hundreds of thousands - of calories.  It is something that is totally within anybody's grasp to do and is essentially quite simple, yet, there is a simple brilliance to preparing gigantic amounts of caloric concoctions. 
On occasion, they do desserts, too
       Stylistically, it is well-done: not only is the quality of the footage excellent (they've got a good camera) and the editing also great, but the music is what really catches the viewer.  In keeping with the name of the project, the music accompanying the footage reminds the viewer of music often heard during epic battles in movies and makes it seem as if there is, indeed, a massively epic culinary experience.
        Also, while the preparation of the food is interesting, there are several further fascinating elements to what they do (in addition to the epic music): 1) They include a caloric counter and fat counter to show the viewer just how any calories are going into their meal; 2) They drink lots of alcohol (primarily Jack Daniel's Whiskey, but also beer and Patron), which makes it seem totally unpretentious; and 3) The tongue-in-cheek usage of Hip-Hop language (such as "haters", saying things are "stupid", and taking cooking to "the next level".
They make a lot of different elements, but eat it all
        However, what is perhaps the best piece of what Epic Meal Time is the way in which their story comes together.  Preparing a meal is basically taking different ingredients, cooking them together, and you have your dish.  While that may sound simple enough, the Epic Meal Time folks seem to focus so closely on individual aspects of making the food, that the viewer has a growing sense that what is being prepared is a lot to eat, but only in a piecemeal fashion.  However, as any individual episode continues, the viewer starts to see the food pile up and, similar to a good detective story, you don't get the full picture of what's going on until the climax and when they bring the disparate culinary concoctions together, it makes for an intense realization of what they are constructing is actually exponentially more massive than any of the individual elements combined were.
       Thus far, I've seen a small fraction of the episodes, but the ones I have seen make me hungrier for more.

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