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Cooking Channel


Lisa Shock
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I did watch a new-to-me show earlier in the week. The premise was that the chef (who's also a singer/composer of rap-ish/hip-hop-ish stuff) worked with "exotic" ingredients. Like...wait for it...mango. It was a Canadian production, again with a copyright like 5 years ago. I won't be seeking it out again.

Be thankful they're not showing the BBQ show that's hosted by a retired CFL player (football). At least the host of this one has a food background. Don't like his show, and they're really stretching with the 'exotic' theme.

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As I was remarking to friends of mine who get the Food Network, but not the Cooking Channel, it's essentially Food Network Rebooted.

While I appreciate re-airing some series that I miss from years ago (Two Fat Ladies and the original Iron Chef series ... well not COMPLETELY original because they've changed the background music), most everything else is a variation on what I can already see on the Food Network. Because the Cooking Channel wasn't part of my cable package already, I had to pay $5 to add it. I made sure as to inquire when the billing cycle closes (June 28th) so that if I don't want to keep it, I can call in time to cancel it before being billed again.

Unless some compelling programming comes along soon, I'll be canceling it. At least I'll have a couple of weeks to make my final decision.

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I caught one Guy Fieri show on the Food Network when I was in Canada last. He went to restaurants and watched them make really big plates of food? He seemed obnoxious, but the show was at least related to food. He, however, made none of his own food during the show, nor showed anyone how to make food like what was being shown. It was basically just: here's how a restaurant makes 800 litres of red sauce. Interesting to some, I guess - not to me. But you know - food related, so you could justify it being on the "Food" network, I suppose.

But something called the "Cooking" channel, you would think would focus on "Cooking". Does Mr. Fieri have a show that does that?

Shows I would be interested in seeing on a so-called "Cooking" channel:

Shows that demonstrate regional cooking: North African; regional Indian; Thai; regional French; regional Chinese; Japanese home cooking; etc. How people in those countries shop, learn how to cook, plan and prepare meals.

Shows that demonstrate how to organize/manage a home kitchen, including keeping/maintaining inventory; planning weekly/monthly shopping; assessing kitchen equipment; planning and preparing celebratory meals; canning and preserving, etc.

Seasonal cooking - through a year, cooking locally a plus. But you know, in a challenging area. Like Maine, or somewhere with a winter.

Shows that assess cookbooks: ie, this week we're cooking with:"..."

Shows that solely test cooking equipment.

Shows on packed lunches.

Shows on cooking for picky eaters/allergies/dealing with other limitations.

BUDGET cooking.

Shows that show you how to create your own recipes.

Does this "Cooking" channel have programs that serve these areas?

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Shows I would be interested in seeing on a so-called "Cooking" channel:

Shows that demonstrate regional cooking: North African; regional Indian; Thai; regional French; regional Chinese; Japanese home cooking; etc. How people in those countries shop, learn how to cook, plan and prepare meals.

Shows that demonstrate how to organize/manage a home kitchen, including keeping/maintaining inventory; planning weekly/monthly shopping; assessing kitchen equipment; planning and preparing celebratory meals; canning and preserving, etc.

Seasonal cooking - through a year, cooking locally a plus. But you know, in a challenging area. Like Maine, or somewhere with a winter.

Shows that assess cookbooks: ie, this week we're cooking with:"..."

Shows that solely test cooking equipment.

Shows on packed lunches.

Shows on cooking for picky eaters/allergies/dealing with other limitations.

BUDGET cooking.

Shows that show you how to create your own recipes.

Does this "Cooking" channel have programs that serve these areas?

No, it doesn't.

Like most people here, I watch Good Eats and Julia Child and occasionally Hubert Keller. That's about it. (Have you noticed Hubert uses the word "nice" about 30 times in an episode, and "really" about 50 times? Try a Hubert drinking game -- drink every time you hear him say, "Really nice." You won't make it through an episode.)

I dutifully recorded one or two episodes of every show on Cooking Channel.

Here are my opinions:

Foodjammers: If you're stoned, and have a lot of power tools lying around, this is the show for you.

Galloping Gourmet: This was fun to watch a couple times just to see the 1960s culture. This show is FAR too dated for the 21st Century. I won't be watching it anymore. I'd frankly rather see the Frugal Gourmet.

Julia Child: People will be watching her 100 years from now. 'nuff said.

French Food at Home: Laura Calder, the host, did a solid Boeuf Bourguignon recipe. But no reason to watch Ms. Calder when I can watch Mrs. Child doing it better.

Chuck's Day Off: A Quebec version of "Tyler's Ultimate." Meh.

Chinese Made Easy: Ching-He Huang cooks the same recipe three different ways each episode. Then she goes out onto the street and gives her food to construction workers and asks them how they like it. Out of all the "original" shows on Cooking Channel, this one is my favorite. It's a one-note wonder, but I've picked up a couple things from this show.

Drink Up: Darryl Robinson is far too cool for his own good. And he's nowhere near as entertaining as Zane Lamprey. Next.

Indian Food Made Easy: Basically the same as Chinese Made Easy, except Anjum Anand makes food and gives it to her friends -- then asks them how they like it.

Unique Eats: A 30-minute infomercial for various NYC restaurants. Next.

Foodcrafters: I am not normally one to pick on someone because of their looks. But I have a solution to the Gulf Oil Spill -- deposit it in Aida Mollencamp's hair. Seriously, she looks like one of those old Everready battery commercials. This is also another infomercial show, highlighting $50 cheesecake and $12 ice cream.

David Rocco's Dolce Vita: David lives in Tuscany. And he rubs our noses in it. [Censored] David Rocco.

Bill's Food: Bill Granger from Australia makes food that simply does not interest me -- crumbles, sponges, etc. Bring on the Vegemite!

Everyday Exotic: Haven't seen an episode yet due to recording conflicts. I'll get to this one soon.

Nigella Feasts/Express: Just want I wanted! More Nigella on TV!

Rachel Allen: Bake!: Another baking show that doesn't bother with proper measurements. "One and a half cups of this, two cups of that." Next.

Two Fat Ladies: I didn't care for this show the first time around. Next.

There you have it. Nothing really worth watching, here.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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I've been watching and they have two wonderful new stars. A woman calling herself Julia Child (apparently a reference to the movie Julie & Julia), and a guy named Graham Kerr who seems to want to emulate the style of the movie Pulp Fiction with an even greater degree of 1970's historical veracity.

But seriously, that's all there is there. Between PBS, Fine Living, Planet Green, The Travel Channel, etc., it's already getting its butt kicked, IMHO.

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I'm just waiting for them to show WWE Pro Wrestling like the SciFi Channel does.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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Shows I would be interested in seeing on a so-called "Cooking" channel:

Shows that demonstrate regional cooking: North African; regional Indian; Thai; regional French; regional Chinese; Japanese home cooking; etc. How people in those countries shop, learn how to cook, plan and prepare meals.

Well said as always. SO much world out there that most of us won't get to see. Take us to the market, take us to your kitchen, show us something you would feed your friends. Can't you do a show from China?

Edited by JTravel (log)
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Except for Julia Child this is my take: "Yawn. Seen it before." Since there is very little on the Food Network that I watch I'm not surprised that overall the cooking channel is pretty much worthless.

I will watch Julia forever wherever she is on the air.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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I would like to see them bring back Curtis Aikens, John Ash and the Two Hot Tamales. I really enjoyed those shows back in the day.

Good Eats is okay, but I rarely watch the Food TV channel.

I do watch the shows that are on one of my local PBS stations every Saturday afternoon.

I have the complete set of The French Chef on DVDs plus several of the "Julia &" whoever segments that have slowly become available on VHS and more recently on DVDs.

I have a VHS of Julia and Graham Kerr that is hilarious.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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HEY! I like this new channel. At least they show actual COOKING shows, not some dude driving around eating creepy crawley things that are still alive. I like Chuck's Day Off, it has a much less pretentious setting than those of stars like princess Giada...

*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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HEY! I like this new channel. At least they show actual COOKING shows, not some dude driving around eating creepy crawley things that are still alive. I like Chuck's Day Off, it has a much less pretentious setting than those of stars like princess Giada...

I'm still watching and searching for nuggets of shows that I might like and I agree, I also like "Chuck's Day Off." Last week I saw him do a segment with fish that he got from the fishmonger's that supply his restaurant in Toronto.

He prepared a couple of dishes and then had them come in and sit down for a meal with him. It was really a quality show-instructive and informative and he's got some class and style in his delivery that I think is attractive to today's audience. Hats off to another quality food show produced and delivered via a Canadian Chef. I've enjoyed some other Canadian cooking shows, (some produced for and aired on Food Network CAN), which in many instances are light years ahead of Food Network US in terms of quality.

Hopefully the Cooking Channel will share some more Canadian, (and BBC), cooking programs if they can get their hands on them.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So far I have found myself unimpressed with the rinse, lather and repeat that I am seeing on this channel. I was hoping for some new, fresh shows and idea's but not finding it at all. I do like Ching-He Huang. I have been catching her video's on you tube for awhile so I haven't seen anything new on the CC with her either.

Julia is Julia and she will be a timeless classic forever. I have enjoyed watching her. Surprisingly, I have made a few of the recipes from Roger Mooking's show Everyday Exotic. If you can get past the music and the 30 times he says obedient ingredient, the food was really good.

Kinda nonplussed by the channel as a whole though.

Edited by Liveitloud (log)
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  • 1 month later...

Well, I think it's pretty darn swell.

Rancho Gordo is on it tonight. We're featured on Foodcrafters on their Grow show. Despite what ScoopKW implies, it's not an infomercial. Aida Mollenkamp knows us from the farmers market and was kind enough to use us for this show. I think it's a short five or six minute segment but they had two different crews here, one in Napa and one in the farmers market. It was pretty wild.

Whether the show or network succeeds or not is up for debate but to say that Aida is anything other than gorgeous is a little weird to me. She's a knockout and truly contemptible because she is also very smart and generous. Hate that bitch!

Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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I wish I was able to get this channel on my cable linup without forking over more money to Time Warner. They have this channel up on some "Plus" tier with a couple of other channels I have very little interest in. Just not worth the extra $10 a month they would want.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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You do have to give them credit - there are three indian cooking shows, a chinese show, the show focusing on drinks (cant remember the name of this of hand) - all these are a fresh change from Food Network. Yeah there's a lot of pretentious overproduced crap but having another choice in cooking channels is still better than having none.

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In my opinion you're not missing a thing.

You are probably right, but it would be nice to be able to see it for myself. Who knows, maybe there would be one show I might just like. If the channel was part of my standard lineup, then I would have no issues TiVoing that and ignoring the rest.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Well, I think it's pretty darn swell.

Rancho Gordo is on it tonight. We're featured on Foodcrafters on their Grow show. Despite what ScoopKW implies, it's not an infomercial. Aida Mollenkamp knows us from the farmers market and was kind enough to use us for this show. I think it's a short five or six minute segment but they had two different crews here, one in Napa and one in the farmers market. It was pretty wild.

Whether the show or network succeeds or not is up for debate but to say that Aida is anything other than gorgeous is a little weird to me. She's a knockout and truly contemptible because she is also very smart and generous. Hate that bitch!

Congratulations, RG. I caught the show last night, and found it overall extremely interesting. I like the idea of somebody giving favorable publicity to folks like you trying to offer alternatives to our highly-processed, fast food world.

Just as you say, Aida is gorgeous, does seem delightful, and it's a pleasure just watching her. Seems like somebody I'd like to know.

You, of course, stole the show. You seem like somebody I'd like to know, as well.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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You are too kind, madam.

I think the editing was a little odd. They left out huge chunks of information but I think it's geared towards a younger audience. The one thing I wish they'd left in was all the work in Mexico.

There wasn't a mention!

It was a lot of fun and I'm still a fan of Aida and I do enjoy the whole channel.

Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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Mexico was mentioned. Said that's where you source some of your beans. And you said that you were happiest rattling around Mexico looking for new varieties, because New World beans are all you offer.

So Mexico did get a couple of plugs.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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