The Great Muppet Cook-Off (“Börk Börk Börk!”)

It seems like ages ago that I first saw the trailer for The Muppets Most Wanted. The movie premiers this spring, and the creative team behind Kermit and the gang has already begun their promotional push with the debut of online “Muppisodes.

In the first of what we can only hope will be many of these fun videos, the gang stops for a bathroom break and stumbles upon the wonderful world of food trucks. Being the sole cook of the crew, the Swedish Chef sets up shop and serves customers like WWE wrestler The Miz (a.k.a. Michael Miznane of MTV’s The Real World). Unfortunately, the food truck scene is a bit more territorial than our Muppet friends realize and the Swedish Chef finds himself battling Gordon Ramsay in a “Food Truck Fight” for a particular spot on the lot.

Michael Buffer, the man who coined (and subsequently trademarked) the phrase, “Let’s get ready to rumble,” announces the face-off. The rules are simply: whoever cooks the best dish wins. Each chef is allowed an assistant; the Swedish Chef picks Beaker, Gordon Ramsay picks Sweetums (and promptly starts to boss him around).

The chefs and their inexperienced assistants (okay, Beaker is not nearly as bad as Sweetums; Bunsen Honeydew taught him well) retreat to their respective trucks to create a winning dish. The highlight of the “behind the scenes” shots is when Sweetums tells Ramsay, “you sure do ‘bleep’ a lot.” Moments like this are exactly what makes the Muppets fun for the whole family.

The judges panel is a virtual who’s who of the Muppet universe (although I kind of wish there was another food world representative besides Ramsey… Was Padma Lakshmi not available?). Everyone’s favorite crotchety old men, Statler and Waldorf fill the Simon Cowell role and compliment Ramsay on his rudeness. Miss Piggy plays the judge who sticks to the aesthetics and compliments the Swedish Chef’s pretty plating, rather than his cooking skills. Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, the founder of Muppet Labs – famous for his crazy inventions, combines the two dishes to create the perfect “fusion.” Unfortunately it’s not of the Asian-fusion variety, but instead cold fusion and the dish explodes.

The Swedish Chef wins on a technicality (Ramsay’s dish is foiled by Sweetums’ fur), but Ramsay will live to battle another day. As for the rest of the Muppets crew, I’d imagine that they’re moving right along…

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