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Chef/Writer Spencer

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Everything posted by Chef/Writer Spencer

  1. They're scrambling obviously. Although I haven't seen but a couple commercials advertising the new shows I feel obliged to weigh in. My opinion---there are suit and ties in a board room at The Food Network bumblefucking ideas back and forth unconcerned or unaware of the fact that their network is depreciating daily. Phrases like "We need to keep it fresh", "appeal to a larger demographic", "compete with the big networks," are fouling up an already doomed channel. I saw an ad for a Food Network dating show--apparently already airing. Jesus Christ people, have we lost sight of our senses. What is that? A Blind Date/Food 911 hybrid? Who needs that? What they're doing--and all of their shows are demonstrating signs of this bubble gum/music industry pasteurization--is turning true food industry workers off and beckoning the twenty something teeny boppers to trade in their Grilled Chicken Flatbread with guac on the side and a Mountain Dew for a Blue Corn Crusted Kumomoto Oyster Gratin with Melted Leeks. Or worse yet, they don't even care about their demographics real interest in food and are using sex to pay their bills. I might go for a dating show where the contestants were obese and the object was to blow each other to smitherines with bacon fat or something equally as absurd,you know, something that appealed to our cynical sides. But they're headed in the wrong direction. And if they take Malto Mario off I'm going to take a full page ad out in my local paper in protest---a dating show? what the f...?
  2. Uh, Jaymes, I don't think anyone said all that. But if they did, they'd deserve a good ass whoopin'. Hey thanks Ron but I think I made the housewife comment. But her retort was a less than savory. I don't mind. I deserved it.
  3. The lack of a real "celebrity" lady chef has mystified me as well. Call me naive, but I thought the concept of "well, some women can cook, but few are chefs" went out the window with Alice Waters, Lidia Bastianich and some others. If that is indeed the case, then the fault must lie with the marketers. Think about it for a sec: Nigella Lawson - has all the right stuff in as far as looks and charisma, but questionable culinary skill. Gale Gand - is arguably a fair baker, but has a hard time with the camera and is not particularly engaging. Rachel Ray - is great in the personality department, but has been ascribed an image that annoys many - I like her. Ina Garten - don't get me started, there are more than a few lady e-gulleteers who I am sure are better cooks than she is and probably could handle a cookbook and tv show more elegantly. Sara Moulton - who I adore, suffers an image that belies the high professional level of her attainments and relegates her to the aforementioned "housewife" category. Fenniger and Miliken - I loved those gals, and I think FTV really dropped the ball with their shows. They certainly had a better than fair balance of personality and culinary ability. Martha Stewart - the only one who is of "real" celebrity is of course self marketed, but I think many men find her aloof perfection off putting. In addition, she's got so many other things going for her besides cooking. Martha not withstanding (I am a shameless Martha fan), I am reminded of the tune "Ya gotta get a gimmick"; there's no real marketing tool here to propel these ladies to the status of a Mario or a Bobby Flay (emeril status might be unattainable for anyone - regardless of gender ). This is of course not a complete analysis, but a fair cross section of those who might be able to be "molded" into celebrity status. I wonder if that "sexism" of which you speak affects the marketers as well. Needless to say - none of the "Three Sopranos" efforts has been as successful as the boys either - but I think that's a different issue. I'm sorry if this veres too far off topic. HEY WHAT ABOUT THE FAT LADIES. GOTTA GIVE SOME FAT GIRLS PROPS. THEY RULE...
  4. Ballast you seem to want to intellectualize everything--which is all fine and dandy but I think you're coming from deep left field with that last inquiry. It appears to me that you're trying to delve into a netherworld of thought that doesn't exist. Broad culinary learning and availability of new and interesting food stuffs and the genesis of the movement to increase awareness can't be directly correlated to a principal "selling out" that's so vague and unmeasureable. We could speculate on the seed count of a valencia orange, whether or not the ones grown in Florida are more abundant with seeds than ones grown in California but in effect we'd be contemplating our navels--it's really a mute point.
  5. That's more like it. Oh, Chef Spencer dear....Do Not Mess with Jaymes! To know her is to fear and adore! I kinda got that impression. Thank you for the concern...
  6. Desserts are hard to sell if you don't use certain catch phrases sometimes. Creative chefs want to cook like Achatz, Keller, Adria so sometimes they end up with titles so convoluted sounding and nauseating that customers opt out. Use phrases like Pot de Creme, Creme Brulee, Mousse, Cake--imagine actually calling a cake a cake instead of a gateaux or delice, I know it may be tough on the creative soul. But if you want to sell your creations to people that freak when they hear foreign language you need to do what the chains do and hone in on eighties Americana. Trust me, when I create elaborate layered constructs, I'll use the term Napoleon nine times out of ten instead of Mille Feuille. Maybe that's your problem amigo. And drop a few freebies on regulars--if they like the stuff they'll tell the tables around them, probably bragging that they know the pastry chef...
  7. it's refreshing to see someone besides my self use that phrase. Call me an illiterate putz but, uh, isn't the phrase, "chomping" at the bit.
  8. TYLER BASHING...I can feel it starting...
  9. Way too much info. there fruitcake.....
  10. Well, a good bit of what makes the brut or the angel fly are Q scores (odd, difficult to interpret numbers that indicate popularity), or estimated Qs based on test audiences and focus groups. If this were on cable, I could certainly see the advantage of going with the vulgar, tyrannical brut. That stuff sells like hot cakes...but this is a network venture, and the brutes rarely win in that arena for some reason. When you're playing to the lower half of the midrange, I guess ya gotta be nice. The larger question is, is that reality? Then again, is any of the reality-based stuff reality? In Rocco's kitchen, I suppose it will be as real as the magic of television will allow it to be. Spencer, I'm with you. I would love to sit back and watch real-life kitchen underlings get their asses chewed. Yes, that would entertain me. Perhaps we would be happier if they acquired Chef from the BBC and just ran that? Sure, an eGullet crowd would dig it (envision the Food Network if it were left to us to make the decisions)...but what about those sizable portions of the population that consider a night at Applebee's big doings? The networks perceive this demographic as lacking the ability to see things the way we do, Spencer. Unfortunately, those same numbers tell the networks that these are the people most responsible for helping them get their bills paid. Apparently, there are more of them than there are of us. Therefore, "evil" must always meet with "justice." Conflict must be brought to happy resolution and this must be neatly wrapped up before the end credits illegibly scroll up in that vertical sliver of television screen while your perky, dashing local anchors tell you about all the bad news they're about to report. Without a doubt, someone like Bourdain would be more like what we would expect. Think of it -- ranting, raving, screaming, sarcasm, chain smoking -- it would be great, but no network could leave it at that. Again, think of it...Sorry Tony, the last ten minutes of the show are approaching. The network says it's time, once again, for you to get your "evil" ass kicked by the lowly recipients of your abuse. This week, it's out back by the garbage cans. Gotta even this up and make it right. The shoddy vendors and half-wit line cooks that you've mercilessly barked at in this week's episode must have a say and make sure that you get yours... We can't put Bourdain through that every week. Rocco it is. Oh, and yes, Spencer, you are a curmudgeon. I wouldn't change a thing. Nice to hear you're not offended by my unceasing vitriol Aurora. And I agree with ya whole-heartedly. Maybe the cable networks, pending success of the Rocco shennanigans, will option a show with a little more bite in the foreseeable future. I'm predicting mass success for Mr. Dispirito--and also predicting that he'll be checking camera angles incessantly to make sure his ass pokes out of his checks to the great satisfaction of the Tyler Florence contingents. I don't predict any juicy rants, and employee harrassment by Mr. Zippdy Do Pastel Model Face--but time will weigh in as it is wont to do. And about Bourdain switching gears and going back to the adorable fucker that he was in KC, I think he's too taken with becoming the Rudy Maxa/Hunter S. Thompson world traveller to put that bloody apron on and sew up his dishwashers ass-slash in front of a hung over waitstaff for TV. I don't blame him one bit but he's not going back to that, I can assure you. He's finally reached his comfort zone...
  11. I think it's about time for a reality show in a professional kitchen but with Rocco Dispirito? Does that guy even curse? While I can appreciate his food (the guy's brilliant) and his business acumen I can't imagine the viewership getting the full picture with him as our guide. He is after all a card carrying member of the pastel food network club. Who wants to watch a level-headed guy like him knocking out orders and directing traffic. I'd rather watch Ripert or G. Ramsey conduct their affairs in front of the camera. Sure, I'm a curmudgeon, but I know it'd be a lot more interesting to watch a brut than an angel.
  12. Had a great meal at Brasserie le Coze. I'd try that if you're into French bistro type stuff...
  13. Somewhere the other side of the planet from you v Well Vanessa, sounds like there are a few more takers here...you could probably enlist a couple of local chefs and their staffs for a keg and a promise of future employment...Good Luck...
  14. Someone needs to intervene in this madness. No, that's not a normal procedure. If they wanted to clean the jets out, yeah, they should let them burn a while after they've poked the shit out but someone should be in close proximity to the stove as it burns. These guys are presenting clear and present danger to the business--and, oddly their paychecks. I suggest getting on a bullhorn and clueing in the appropriate authorities before these bumbling idiots bring the house down. I've got a couple of big dumb guys that could help...where are you?
  15. The "housewife" contingent? What the hell does THAT mean? Because he's popular with the ladies has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with "housewives." Is that supposed to be a slam of some kind? Some sort of dismissal in general of women's opinions? Llisten here Pal, I ain't been a "housewife" for some thirty years. And I think he's as pretty as black caviar on cream cheese. yes ma'am...
  16. you know you may be right....
  17. I think you answered your own question...Dececco is probably the best you can get in The United States....
  18. Foie Bearnaise (oh la la), Sauce Robert, or for a twist--a rich beef reduction mounted with plenty of President butter and navel orange juice and zest....
  19. Tyler, apparently, leeches out the housewife contigent. Welcome ladies.
  20. She's not a chef per se but, with all the years she's spent trying to educate people I'd be willing to gift her the title. I love Julia. I grew up (4years old watching The French Chef with my mom) with Julia. If anything Julia transcends definition---she's a culinary missionary perhaps...By saying she's not a chef is not to disparage her just stating that, like J.Day said, she hasn't worked full time in a restaurant managing a crew of cooks. But I bet she'd be great at the task.....Long live butter and over-sized meat cleavers, long live The French Chef........
  21. The best example of a female chef with national stature, and not just a niche appeal, is Julia Child. Almost everyone knows who she is, as opposed to Alice Waters, who is known to foodies but I'm guessing not to a wider audience. Of the list you made, only Martha Stewart achieves Julia's name recognition. Julia is not a chef....
  22. I buy Deliza from Tuscany in a three gallon box for 65.00. It's a great aged balsamic for drizzling on stuff. It's sweet like raisins with the perfect acidity....It's not what you would consider a boutique vinegar but it's an excellent middle grade product. Unlike the schwag you get at the grocery store this stuff can almost be consumed like an aperitif....
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