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erraticninja

Favorite/Least Favorite Food "Celebrities"

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Faves:

Jamie Oliver: I hear the Brits make fun of him now but I still find him a hoot. His cooking is my favorite, easy for home but still novel and full of flavor, and a wide variety of international styles.

Giada: Bordering on too simple but very practical for the home while still being elegant and tasty.

Tyler Florence: A hottie of course, and I like his show tracking food around the globe. He is remarkably patient with that highly irritating co-star on How to Boil Water and explains things well. His cookbooks are not my fave though (sort of impractical).

Mario Batali: Always articulate, intelligent and pleasant.

Anthony Bourdain: As my friend said, he definitely has a way with words.

Nigella: haven't seen much of her lately but I enjoyed her show and her elegant, voluptuous personality

OK:

Martin Yan: Fun to watch but his recipes seem repetitive after a while and his personality seems kind of two-faced.

Rachel Ray: Yeah her perkiness can get old, and her food is nothing fancy, but some of recipes and ideas are indeed fast and flavorful.

Ming Tsai: used to be one of my faves, very cute, but I'm not a total fan of his use the same sauce on 3 dishes approach, and find some of his recipes unwieldy.

Lidia: tasty, authentic recipes, if somewhat time consuming. Pleasant personality.

Dislike:

Bobby Flay: His food looks delicious and I like his bold flavor style but he still comes across as a jerk most of the time.

Ina Garten: I do NOT get her appeal. As hard on the eyes as on the ears and yet she acts like she's a million bucks. Her food is generally boring and tedious, and I can't stand her affected way of talking.

Sandra Lee: She has her own style all right, but it's too grown-up Southern sorority chick for my taste.

Gordon Ramsay: horrifyingly abusive on Hell's Kitchen, although he kind of grew on you towards the end.

Emeril: 'nuff said.


Edited by jeanki (log)

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Why I like Rachel Ray:

OK, she's not my favorite TV personality. But there's a point to be made here, that many have missed.

Rachel cooks with primarily fresh ingredients, and shows that it can be done easily. I posted on another thread a story about being at a meeting a few nights ago, and hearing a woman describe chicken breasts baked with instant rice and canned soup as "real food." It made me so sad. I used to think like she does, and cook like she does. But slowly, I started migrating toward fresh ingredients and nothing-out-of-a-box cooking. As my cooking skills grew, my palate also changed, and I have not only discovered a whole new world of flavors and food experiences, but I have grown to hate the junk food I used to eat. It's not a philosophical thing, or a food-snob thing. It really doesn't taste good anymore.

While we (almost) all detest Sandra Lee's "fake-it" cooking, we fail to recognize that Rachel Ray is the very person who can preach to the fresh food-impoverished masses. Mainstream America can identify with her, and here's hoping they'll prefer her show over Sandra's. Once learning Rachel's style of cooking, these cooks are primed and ready to graduate to more sophisticated and ambitious dishes. Undoubtedly, many won't. But Rachel is the person who is best positioned to help a lot of people make the transition to good food.

Her show isn't geared to people like us, and we need to get off her back. She's a lifeline being thrown to a junk-food laden America, and she may well lead many out of that hellhole, and into a better way of eating.

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Cross Tyler Florence off my fave list. Caught a couple episodes of How to Boil Water recently... he is a camera hog, and not very gracious to his co-host.

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I like Rose Levy Beranbaum. A lot. Her "Baking Magic" show on PBS is rather dry and no-nonsense, but that's okay, since I am there just to learn.

I like Martha Stewart, too, still. I'm going to be watching her new morning show, which starts today, in just a few minutes. She comes off arogant sometimes, but she always had so many good ideas on her shows that I don't care what she's like in her private life.

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Can someone explain why Bobby Flay is disliked so much? He has two very good NYC restaurants, his food is quite tasty, certainly paid his dues and his techniques are sound. Sure his personality is somewhat aggressive - but he's a born and bred New Yorker, what do you expect, Casper the friendly ghost?

Something similar can be said for Emeril except his best places are in New Orleans (and hopefully will be back.) And he is a very nice fellow.

PS - plus Bobby Flay is a Thoroughbred race fan - so how bad a person can he be?


Edited by rich (log)

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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I watched a special on the opening of Flay's restaurant in Las Vegas. What a difference from the Rocco show. Bobby was so much more professional, and just plain real. Rocco was an absolute ass.

And of coure the food looked a hell of a lot better at Flay's place. He's a real talent.

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Cross Tyler Florence off my fave list.  Caught a couple episodes of How to Boil Water recently...  he is a camera hog, and not very gracious to his co-host.

It seems like the woman on the show does less and less. A saw one episode where she sits on a stool most of the time and just comments.

Previous formats had the hostess trying to do some of the cooking.

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I think they need to rotate the co hosts on "How to Boil Water". I like Jack, but sweet Jesus, she's hosted how many episodes and she still doesn't know how to boil water? She either has a really flat learning curve or just acts like she hasn't absorbed a ton of information.

It's kind of like watching Campbell Brown on the Today show (weekends mostly). She has done a ton of cooking segments with guest chefs and is unable to beat an egg to this day. She actually looks afraid of kitchen utensils.


Edited by monavano (log)

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Can someone explain why Bobby Flay is disliked so much? He has two very good NYC restaurants, his food is quite tasty, certainly paid his dues and his techniques are sound. Sure his personality is somewhat aggressive - but he's a born and bred New Yorker, what do you expect, Casper the friendly ghost?

Something similar can be said for Emeril except his best places are in New Orleans (and hopefully will be back.) And he is a very nice fellow.

PS - plus Bobby Flay is a Thoroughbred race fan - so how bad a person can he be?

I hear he's actually a genuinely nice person to work with, although that's not from someone in one of his kitchens, but it was enough of a reference for me to believe he's not a bad person. I suspect he brought the bad guy persona on himself in his appearances on the wide world federation of iron cooking when he celebrated his victory climbing up on his work table and stepping all over his cutting board. Some thought he was a bad winner, some thought it was unprofessional to walk on the food prep surface and some thought it was a vulgar display of bad sportsmanship. So he became the guy everyone wanted to see lose. It's good for ratings, but people should remember that role a chef plays on TV is just a role.

I wonder how much attention he pays to his restaurants however. After some tasty appetizers at Bolo, we were pretty disappointed by the quality of the execution of our main course dishes. Just simply below average and enough so that concept didn't even matter. It appeard to a case of celebrity chef mailing in his executive responsibilities in overseeing the kitchen. I liked everything about the place but the cooking. So I supsect he's earned his position of being seen and treated as TV celebrity rather than restaurant chef.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I think they need to rotate the co hosts on "How to Boil Water". I like Jack, but sweet Jesus, she's hosted how many episodes and she still doesn't know how to boil water? She either has a really flat learning curve or just acts like she hasn't absorbed a ton of information.

It's kind of like watching Campbell Brown on the Today show (weekends mostly). She has done a ton of cooking segments with guest chefs and is unable to beat an egg to this day. She actually looks afraid of kitchen utensils.

It's not a cooking show. TV has learned to ham up the cooking shows devoted to those who supposedly cook, so the general public won't turn the dial. The Today Show features cooking segments designed not to offend those who can't, don't and won't cook. The helpless disinterested anchor is their hook.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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As far as likes are concerned, grew up watching (on a PBS-equivalent channel) some foodshows by house-wives.  But then something different happened and we had Martin Yan, and man! that was interesting and entertaining and learning experience.  Also, the first Indian commercial cooking show, "Khana Khazana" by Sanjeev Kapoor and offcourse the midnight showings of Galloping gourmet.

Actually, this made me think about the current offerings on both PBS and Food Network.

It seems like I hardly ever see food shows concentrating on ethic cusine anymore. I'd love to see shows geared towards, Janpanese, Indian, Cuban and other food cultures. What happened? Are there no TV personalities that want to an indian cooking show (as an example)? Or, is it that the audiance is not large enough.

Right now, Ledia's Italian show is the closest think I get to ethic.

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As far as likes are concerned, grew up watching (on a PBS-equivalent channel) some foodshows by house-wives.  But then something different happened and we had Martin Yan, and man! that was interesting and entertaining and learning experience.  Also, the first Indian commercial cooking show, "Khana Khazana" by Sanjeev Kapoor and offcourse the midnight showings of Galloping gourmet.

Actually, this made me think about the current offerings on both PBS and Food Network.

It seems like I hardly ever see food shows concentrating on ethic cusine anymore. I'd love to see shows geared towards, Janpanese, Indian, Cuban and other food cultures. What happened? Are there no TV personalities that want to an indian cooking show (as an example)? Or, is it that the audiance is not large enough.

Right now, Ledia's Italian show is the closest think I get to ethic.

You just don't live in the right place. In Philadelphia we have WYBE, a public station not in the PBS network. It shows two hours of cooking shows five days a week. Mondays, Asian; Tuesdays, Italian; Wednesdays, eclectic (Latino, Penn State restaurant school, a restaurant tour show, low carb cooking ); Thursdays, chefs at work including Charlie Trotter; Fridays BBQ, Weir, & Americ's Test Kitchen. The individual shows change from time to time, but the format is pretty stable.

Best of all and not noted on their schedule is a 10 minute filler, Posh Nosh, a BBC parody of an English foodie couple.

This kind of programming is in keeping with their commitment to serve the entire community and represent many ethnicities, with news and other kinds of programs from all over the world from Ireland to Ballywood. Two nights a week they have a Korean epic historical drama (with subtitles) that I've become addicted to. It's frsh and far less corporate than PBS.


"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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Cross Tyler Florence off my fave list.  Caught a couple episodes of How to Boil Water recently...  he is a camera hog, and not very gracious to his co-host.

I think he's incredibly gracious considering how infuriatingly ditsy she is. How is he a camera hog, he's the one who knows how to do the cooking? In any case he's nicer than the prior chef who starred on the show, some young French guy who (understandably) could not hide his irritation with Jack at all.

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I was watching Barefoot Contessa this afternoon and Ina said " you could always use Maytag blue cheese that comes from WI" Any self-proclaimed foodie knows that Maytag comes from Iowa.

I like her cooking, but she does rely on a lot of convience foods, she just uses them with a lot of fresh ingredients.

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I like:

Giada De Laurentiis (and her gigantic head)

Bourdain

Martha (yes, Martha)

Paula Deen (for the same reason I like Hal Needham movies. It's like letting your brain take a nap)

Don't like:

Rachael Ray (Do you need to say EVOO, and THEN say "extra virgin olive oil" right after it? We can figure it out, Rach, but thanks for abbreviating anyway. What?)

Sandra Lee (she came in my store once and said, "You might want to order more copies of my book because I was on [insert early morning news program] and you're going to get lots of requests." Um, okay. People around here don't cook like this. Eff off.)

Lidia (she was a rag to me at a signing)

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You just don't live in the right place. In Philadelphia we have WYBE, a public station not in the PBS network. It shows two hours of cooking shows five days a week. Mondays, Asian; Tuesdays, Italian; Wednesdays, eclectic (Latino, Penn State restaurant school, a restaurant tour show, low carb cooking ); Thursdays, chefs at work including Charlie Trotter; Fridays BBQ, Weir, & Americ's Test Kitchen. The individual shows change from time to time, but the format is pretty stable.

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I was watching Barefoot Contessa this afternoon and Ina said " you could always use Maytag blue cheese that comes from WI" Any self-proclaimed foodie knows that Maytag comes from Iowa. 

Uh, I didn't know that. :unsure: Am I still allowed buy it even if I don't know where it comes from?


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Sandra Lee (she came in my store once and said, "You might want to order more copies of my book because I was on [insert early morning news program] and you're going to get lots of requests." Um, okay. People around here don't cook like this. Eff off.)

I don't even think that woman can be considered a chef, cook, or even a food celebrity. Anyone who takes store-bought angel food cake, slaps bright Tiffany blue frosting and some fake pearls on it and calls it dessert doesn't deserve to have a book out. Feh.

I love:

Tony Bourdain - He'd make boiling water interesting.

Alton Brown - I love the science lessons and goofiness.

Mario Batali - Oh the food this man makes.

Ming Tsai - I've caught him a couple of times on a local (MA) cooking show, and I really love the food he makes and respect his modus operandi.

Julia - Does this even need to be said?

I don't love, but do have a soft spot for:

Emeril - he was my husband's first inspiration to start cooking, plus I met him once and he really was lovely

Paula Deen - I know, I know, but watching her on her wedding special just charmed me. But I still think her sons are creepy.

Yan - One of the first chefs I ever watched on TV. I always had to order take-out after watching one of his shows.

I appreciate but am annoyed by:

Ina Garten - and I do a damn good impersonation of her laugh. Unh-huh-huh-huh-huhhh.

Rick Bayliss - I just can't watch him. Or even look at him. I respect his wealth of knowledge but I just can't deal with the guy himself.

Bobby Flay - That spectacle on Iron Chef made me wince at the thought of it, for days. The cockiness bugs me. That said, he seems more dorky lately than anything, which I like, and his food looks/sounds really amazing, so there's hope.

Rachael "Ra-Ra" Ray - yes on the EVOO thing and let's add to that her constant bleating laughter and her miraculous idea of keeping a bowl out for garbage while you're cooking. That said, she has her moments, seems like she's genuinely nice, and I like some of her ideas.

I can't stand:

Todd English - dear G-d, why is this man so successful? Creepy, cocky, and thinks he's a gift to women everywhere, when in reality he's just keeping the local health department in business.

Rocco DiSpirito - oh, please.


You say I am mysterious. Let me explain myself. In a land of oranges, I am faithful to apples. ~ Elsa Gidlow

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I am watching 30-Minute Meals (I know.....but I have the sound turned off) and note that Rache is showing off her <ahem> cleavage in some low cut black top. Perhaps we will soon see her in a bikini doing a 30 minute Hawaiian luau, with special pineapple upside down cake by Sandra Lee.

I'm sure she is a nice kid but the over-promotion is really silly.


Dave

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Cross Tyler Florence off my fave list.  Caught a couple episodes of How to Boil Water recently...  he is a camera hog, and not very gracious to his co-host.

It seems like the woman on the show does less and less. A saw one episode where she sits on a stool most of the time and just comments.

I think that's the idea. She looks pretty good sitting on a stool.

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I love this thread . . . :wub:

I LOVE:

Tony Bourdain - what a guy!! He tells it like it is, sugar-coats nothing, and, well, isn't that difficult to look at :wub:

Rachel Ray - I know - too happy, too perky. I like her, and she just puts me in a

good mood.

Giada DiLaurentis - She knows her food, and acts like a pal

Paula Deen - "Hey, y'all!!" Love her accent and her down-to-earth persona. Yeah, she uses too much butter and mayo, but that's okay.

I LIKE:

Andrea Immer

Jamie Oliver

Tyler Florence

Julia

Iron Chef Sakai

Martin Yan - "Stir it up, stir it up, stir it up . . ."

Gordon Ramsay

I DISLIKE (hate is such a strong word):

Bobby Flay - That Iron Chef fiasco was truly disgusting. Granted, I do watch his

show from time to time, and he really is a good cook, but his cocky behavior is

off-putting.

Martha Stewart - I don't enjoy being talked down to.

Emeril - Went to Emeril's in Orlando a year ago and was absolutely disappointed.

The rolls were cold and hard as rocks, the broccolli rabe was so tough, even a

steak knife wouldn't cut it, the plates were dusty, and the bananas foster tasted

like it came from the freezer. I will not go back. And, if I hear, "Here's what we're

gonna do . . ." one more time, here's what I'm gonna do!

Alton Brown - seems like a doofus to me, but maybe I just haven't watched him

enough.

Sara Moulton - Well, she is a good cook, but she seems to talk down to her guests.

Rocco DiSpirito - Seems like more of a pimp than a restauranteer, schmoozing and

cozying up to the chicks. Turns me off.

UNDECIDED:

Michael Chiarello - He truly knows his stuff and he is starting to grow on me.

Ina Garten - can't keep my attention.

Mario Batali - haven't seen him enough.

Sandra Lee - the little I've seen of her has not impressed me. And, from the posts

on this thread, I'm not sure I'll bother.

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Two Fat Ladies - What's not to love?

Jamie Oliver - I thought, right from the get-go as The Naked Chef, that this guy had important things to say, but that the production did not serve him well. They were so busy trying to paint him as a hip, happening young lad that you couldn't appreciate everything he was trying to say and do, what with all the MTVesque quick-cutting and shaky-cam camerawork. Watched his School Lunches when I was in Britain - riveting television. Wish I'd caught more than one episode of his Jamie's Kitchen series.

Jacques Pepin - Love everything he has to say, wish he were on the Food Network all the time instead of that annoying Emeril guy. They need better production values, though (see below).

Giada de Laurentiis - Not particularly enamored of her show, but the producers of all cooking shows should pay attention to the first-rate lighting, cutting and use of close-ups that they do on this one - a very, very professional production. Grandpa's film experience left a mark, evidently.

Sara Moulton - Her Cooking Live show reminded me of what most women who really cook dinner have to deal with - successfully putting together a meal despite a zillion interruptions. It endeared her to me.

Julia Child - My experience of Julia on television has more to do with Dan Aykroyd's parody rather than the lady upon whom it was based. Loved both, though. :biggrin:

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like:

Giada

Sara Moulton

Julia

Ina Garten

David Rosengarten

Ming Tsai

dislike:

Bobby Flay

Rachael Ray

Paula Deen

Sandra Lee :wacko:

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Like someone said before, I'm not sure if I replied to this in the past or not.

Love:

Bourdain - brash, truthful, and credible (a big thing in my book). Watching him turned me on to offal and the lovely, beautiful Fergus Henderson. Without Bourdain, I might never have tasted livers, sweetbreads, or other organs. Okay and so I have a huge crush too. He could feed me fermented shark fin anytime.

Bayless - reminds me of the "White Rabbit" from Alice in Wonderland. I've learned more about mexican food from his PBS show than I ever thought possible. Now, without a knowledge of Spanish, I can go into a Mexican restaurant and recognize the names and know what the contents likely are of many of the dishes.

Florence - for a purely aesthetic reason (although what he makes doesn't usually look half bad). And he had a couple of Thanksgiving recipes in an old issue of Gourmet that were pretty good.

Chiarello- great tips (though I'm scared to put a pinch of Vitamin C in my pesto). And I love when he does a "cook off" with Jan (from New Orleans). He is enthusiastic without being annoying.

Kimball - and the rest of the "From America's Test Kitchen" gang. So nerdy, at times too nerdy, makes me feel cool - plus I'm a science nerd at heart. Which brings me to...

Brown - Alton's schtick can go a little to far sometimes, but I loved "Bill Nye, the Science Guy" growing up and his show is like an extension of that. That said, I don't like his cookbooks too much, but I love the culinary history of a dish in his show and any time Shirley Corriher shows up on screen in an awesome moment.

I'm indifferent about:

Rachael Ray - without her show, my sister might never have started cooking from scratch and my niece and nephew might not have wanted to help out in the kitchen. She made many of the things previously thought of by my sister as "too difficult" easier. Granted, she is not my cup of tea (or shot of Jaeger), but she has her audience and I respect that.

Giada - I can take her or leave her. Can't stand her cookbooks.

Paula - entertaining, but can get on my nerves. I don't think I've ever made a single one of her recipes and I have no desire to visit The Lady and Sons.

Dislikes:

Ina- pretentious, her fake laugh gets on my nerves. And her amount of butter, sugar and sour cream rivals that of Paula Deen - and she has nowhere near the likability.

Emeril - I have some of the same things to say about him as Rachael. He's getting people to try things they might not otherwise try...but even my sister go sick of his schtick.

Sandra Lee- Who makes (okay opens the bottle of Prego and adds jarred minced garlic) tomato sauce in a white Juicy Couture velour jump suit? She's an assembler, not a cook. Covering a store bought angel food cake in whipped topping and canned mandarin oranges does not a dessert make. But sometimes I sit and watch, it's like a train wreck you can't look away from. Plus she looks like a reject from "The Real Housewives of Orange County."

Shannon

(I just realized that all the ones I like are males, I think this means I need to find a single chef to hook up with. Wait, wait, I do like Martha Stewart, but then again, that is a chick with some balls).


my new blog: http://uninvitedleftovers.blogspot.com

"...but I'm good at being uncomfortable, so I can't stop changing all the time...be kind to me, or treat me mean...I'll make the most of it I'm an extraordinary machine."

-Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine

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I liked Ina till her Christmas dinner show.

Prime rib

Yorkshire puds

green beans

some dessert.

I'm like come on! that's half of my christmas dinner and i'm half her size! :blink:

Where's the brussell sprouts, oven browned potato and parsnips, the relish tray, the creamed onions, etc.

that was hardly a christmas dinner.

Rachel is annoying.

But you gotta love how she gets enough food on forty dollars a day to feed a couple of truckers on a long haul. :laugh:

Paula's sweet. I could never eat like that, her show is like a fantasy where food has no calories.

Bobby was a dick on Iron Chef, but he seems agreeable.

Emeril I feel, has sort of been ruined by his celebrity, you know?

ETA Alton Brown rocks. He knows everything. I've made his food and it was good.

Same applied to Julia Child and Mario Batalli.


Edited by christine007 (log)

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