Hide or Highlight?

I recently ate a tripe dish that I didn't care for, but I'm guessing my bad experience was different from that of most others who complain about eating cow stomach. The usual gripes are about the texture (chewy), smell (a combination of cat pee and dirty socks when raw) or taste ( cooked improperly, that pee-sock smell becomes a flavor). Despite these descriptions, the stuff is brilliant when its done right. One of the chef instructors at The FCI created a tripe epiphany when he made a tomato-based Spanish tripe stew with chorizo and chickpeas. Braised for hours, the offal was toothsome instead of rubbery, and any cloying organ flavor was perfectly cut by the acidity of tomatoes and zest of Spanish seasoning. I've been in cow stomach love ever since.
I was excited to try the tripe at a nationally renowned restaurant in the DC area, as the chef is known for his deft hand with organ meats. The waitress described the dish as being "lightly fried," a promising new preparation. Yet what arrived at the table could have been veal schnitzel, had I not cracked the seasoned layer of brown crumbs and seen the honeycomb tripe inside. Instead of being prepared in a manner that curbed the tripe's strong organ taste, any rich, primal flavors were masked entirely by the crust. Granted, it was perfectly fried and seasoned meat, which is never a total disappointment. But in an array of phenomenal courses, I was surprised to have the tripe fall comparatively flat.
I would rather the tripe dish have been dreamily sublime instead of thought provoking, but it did bring up the question of the proper way to handle organ meats. Foie gras aside, they are the cheapest, generally least desirable part of an animal. And unlike muscle meat, long, involved processes or heavy handed preparations are typically involved to turn offal wonderful. So the question is, how much does a cook hide, and how much does he highlight, especially when the lower cuts are entering the mainstream as recession specials?

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            L'Ecole Culinaire , Saint Louis
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
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            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
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            • Accredited
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            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
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