The judges laughed, acknowledging how silly their criticism must have seemed. There they were, over looking the Grand Canyon with the most spectacularly unique opportunity in the world basically being forced to find the negative.
Sure, I could whine about how I didn't get to take a helicopter ride over the West Rim, or how I didn't get to participate in what appeared to be the most epic long-table meals of all time. But what really bums me out is that I couldn't be there to experience that unique connection to our country's past and our culinary history.
I am so proud of the Masters for making such a thoughtful effort to honor the traditions of the land and the people through their dishes. I hope I can continue to approach my culinary reporting with the same intention — even on those dreaded 14-hour days.
Agree with your sentiments re the reality check and perspective thing. And the nitpicking thing. Which I'm about to do, though: Would probably not have reduced the guest who made the (wonderfully tart) comment to "tribesman," however. Also would probably not have characterized the episode as connecting just to our country's history-- it's very much our present and still very vital.