I'm kind of half-watching this cake challenge as I"m checking email, etc. but I have to comment that it irritates me when they have the judges commenting on how the competitors' process, as opposed to the product. I know it's just for the drama, but just shut up about "I don't know how they'll get it all done" or "I think it's ridiculous to work that way, I don't like it." Are they judging the final product or their work process? I don't see how the path to get to the product has anything to do with the product. I've noticed that they make those kinds of comments a lot more often now on these shows, too. Just my opinion...
For me the commentary is a little distracting. I'm interested in watching the techniques and seeing the finished product.
I believe the work process *IS* part of the judging criteria. It shows how organized they are and especially the clean kitchen part. A disorganized kitchen not only costs money in lost productivity, but may have a cake that turns out not quite like what was expected. ("Where DID I put those fondant figures? Oh well, moving on.....!"). It's also a safety issue.
When I have my staff working in the kitchen, I am always on them about cleaning up as you go (avoiding cross-contaimination), cleaning spills off of the floor (employee safety), and it's more cost effective for me because I'm putting out less payroll since it takes less time to clean as you go instead of cleaning a big mess at the end. Especially if you're on a time crunch, cleaning as you go is and general neatness *IS* a time saver.
I clean as I go, since there's nothing more depressin than saying "I'm done!" then turning around and seeing the big load of dishes in the sink
But...These competitions are so artificial to begin with, I don't think that they should be so nitpicky about it. If I had to make what they're making in 8 hours I think I might not have time to stop and straighten up, either. Just plow through and get it done, then worry about the cleanup later.
I also think it's stupid that they show so many moments where the judges are all huddled together talking about which kitchens seem to be "in trouble", or wondering about who's not going to get done. Yes, I realize that it's all in the editing and they have to try to make it look like someone might not finish at all, but if the time isn't finished then they shouldn't have to be, either.
I think I'm just getting tired of these shows, they seem to be really desperate to get competitors and subject matter in the recent ones.