Monday, March 3, 2008

Robert Irvine: Resumé Impossible

I wasn't going to write about this when I first read about it a little bit ago, because I don't like to harp on anyone's misfortune. (YES, it's true...other evidence to the contrary.)

But just today, I've seen 2 references to this sad affair. The first was an article in the British press (we had it here first), sent by my UK-living sister. It detailed the whole affair about Robert Irvine’s exaggerating his contact with the British royal family. I guess in Britain that’s nearly treasonous.

My second brush with Irvine today was that, just after I read that the Food Network had fired him* (or actually they “have not renewed (his) contract for future seasons, but will fulfill (their) contractual obligations to him”), I received the newest Food Network newsletter in my inbox. It featured a wonderful sounding Coconut Pudding that I had to take a look at. Guess whose recipe it is? Yup, Dinner Impossible’s Robert Irvine.

It’s rather ironic, considering they’ve banished any reference to him on their Hosts/Celebrity Chefs page. Dinner Impossible is still on the air…for now, but the FN says they’ve gone back and made sure that any references to his deceitful claims have been removed. So why include him in the current newsletter? Any intern could have substituted another recipe with a few clicks.

It’s a shame, but, of course, they had to fire him. The part that makes no sense is that Irvine was perfectly qualified and had tons of culinary experience to impress his Food Network suitors. He didn’t NEED to lie. He comported himself quite well on his show, where he went about cooking in the most extreme circumstances.

This isn’t, of course, the first instance of a high achiever lying on a resumé. But it really is insane, especially when the truth is so easy to fish out. Being knighted by The Queen is one of the easier prevarications to figure out, I would imagine.

Lying on your resumé isn’t just bad if someone finds out. It’s a spurious path you’re taking on the road to success, and it’s paved with undeniable peril and the morass of quicksand.

*This is almost as bad as banishing him to an 8 AM Sunday timeslot.


Anonymous said...

I heard about it last night. My husband actually is the one who told me and I was surprise because I saw it programed on FN during the weekend_or was it Friday? Either way, sending a newsletter with his recipe is stupid. I have never seen his show though.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I felt the same way about the whole mess. I wasn't a fan of the show, but I know it had its followers. For those that like that sort of thing, what's wrong with a show that says, "This professional chef, whose background includes cooking for many crowds, is being challenged." He has that crusty attitude that people find amusing. Why should it make a difference if he catered to the royals or not? It wasn't just about his need to lie, it was about FN's desire to have someone with a lot of prestige do a show for them to the point where they don't research someone's background.

Sue said...

Hi Anon,
They were dumb about the newsletter.

His show was pretty good, but not worth ending an entire career over.

Hey Rachel,
I don't usually like the blaming-the-victim-for-the-crime thing, but the FN definitely missed the boat here. How hard could it have been to have vetted him better? It actually should give hope to all the flimflam men and women out there, who probably really can fool most of the people most of the time. I guess the trick is to not get it on paper.

Emiline said...

I was wondering if you were going to write about this. I first read about it on the Epicurious blog.
Then the Today Show.

For me, I feel a little bit of satisfaction. I like the concept of the show, but I hate him! I refuse to watch the show because he's such a jerk. I don't like how he treats the people that are supposed to be helping him.

Also, I think he takes steroids. His head is the size of a peanut, and his arms are massive.

I'm not happy that his career is probably over, but I'm happy that I won't be forced to watch him every night on FN.

Catherine Wilkinson said...

"Also, I think he takes steroids. His head is the size of a peanut, and his arms are massive."

oh, emiline, how you make me laugh!
I agree totally! He bugged the heck outta me! I wince to see anyone bagged like that, but I just couldn't abide the show. Didn't teach or entertain me one bit.

Sue said...

Eventually, I just couldn't resist mentioning it. The universe kept sending the story my way.

You are so funny. Now that you said that, I can't help thinking of peanuts when I think of him...not that I do that often or at all, actually.

Hi Catherine,
I don't know, I kinda liked the show...the 3 or 4 that I watched, although frankly the whole concept was a bit out there. What real life party organizer or planner is going to allow his or her party to be catered in this way?

Cynthia said...

You see how much I have been missing by not visiting your blog?! :O

Sue said...

Hi Cynthia,
Please stop by whenever you have a moment. I LOVE hearing from you.

Anonymous said...

I love the show and was a fan of not only Dinner Impossible, but also Robert Irvine. I found the show very entertaining, and if he is indeed X'd from DI I will be quite unhappy. So he embellished on his resume.......He is not a brain surgeon! I just can't imagine anyone that could replace him. I know he shouldn't have lied, but sometimes people get caught up in a story and just can't get out of it! After all of this I still think he deserves a chance. I will still watch! As for the proportion of his head to petty can you be! Anyway, I think he is hot!

Sue said...

Hi Anon,

Unfortunately, he cooked his own goose when he lied about his experience. I agree it doesn't actually matter in his particular position, which makes it all the sillier. He didn't NEED to make up additional qualifications.

Anonymous said...

I will surely miss Robert Irvine on Dinner Impossible. I will not be watching it anymore with his replacement. Noone can cook like Robert and do that show with his great personality. He was chef for some great resorts. Donald Trump can back that up. I also understand that they pulled his products from HSN, which I think stinks. It's like what Food Network did to Martha Stewart. Martha was screwed by them also. I will surely miss Robert Irvine. I hope he is asked to work for another cooking network or opens a restaurant and lets the press know about it. I still believe in him as a chef.

shecanreate said...

I have always been a fan of Robert Irvine. I think he was very good on the show, and funny. I also don't understand why one would choose to lie, especially if the resume is already a good one. But shouldn't FN be researching these things. I think I am just as disappointed in FN.

Sue said...

Hi There Shecanreate,

I agree 100%. Making up marvelous credentials is, of course, wrong, but elaborating on credentials that you already have is wrong AND stupid. And I suppose the Food Network should have checked on him more thoroughly, but I don't want to blame the victim for the crime.