Last night, my daughter and I watched episodes of Chopped in which famous chefs--heard of Jacques Torres, anyone?-- battle for the title of the All Stars Chopped Grand Champion. Even though the show is like the more famous Iron Chef, I enjoy watching this much more. Why? Because the judges on Chopped are all highly-experienced chefs, unlike the celebrities and actors who perform the judging on the other show.
I have often wondered how the contestants on Iron Chef feel about being judged by people who are not trained in their art. Kinda like Hilary Hahn and Joshua Bell being judged by violin students.
Receiving critiques is hard, no matter who gives it, but I imagine it would be a little easier to hear commentaries from someone who have had much training and experience in the field.
Seems like Chopped provides a better way of judgment, no? I watched Chopped, but I would squirm and lose interest if I had to watch Iron Chef.
In real life, chefs cook for patrons, who, unlike food critiques, may not care about how difficult it is to produce souffles that rise just so, or how much acid is needed to balance a particularly oily fish. They just want to eat good food.
You know exactly how I am going to relate this to writing, don't you? Every published work is judged. Some works are loved by those in the know and some are loved by the masses and some by people from both camps. (I resisted the urge to use parenthesis around the two groups of people, but by golly, I really need you to know that I am aware of how unnuanced I am to put people into two neat groups like that. And isn't this the perfect example of how we want to appeal to those who do the same thing as we do, a certain understanding, or maybe even affirmation?)
As a writer, do you have a preference for which group of people you wish would value your work? Assuming there is a show like Chopped and another like Iron Chef for writers and you can only be a contestant in one or the other, which would you choose?