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erraticninja

Favorite/Least Favorite Food "Celebrities"

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Wow. Some fantastic thoughts and observations on here....

Favs:

Alton. I started watching him when I was about 21 on break from college with my mom. The way he obssessed over the ingredents and the process was just magical to me. I love his quirky sense of humor. He's the reason I cook now. When you're young and know nothing about food, he is a great place to start. It's like a culinary class you don't have to pay for.

Mario - passionate about his food.

Oliver - love of life and passion about food. Always seems to be having fun.

Giada - beautiful and great looking food.

Dislike:

Rachel Ray - what can one say? She's just annoying and I hate what a lousy tipper she is. But...contrary to what some have said, she is not a sell out. In fact, I read an interview where she told the food network that she can't really cook and has no knife skills, etc. So, I think she's alway been honest about who she is. Needless to say, there is a huge market for her, and I think that's fine. If it gets people to sit down and have dinner with their family, instead of having McDonald's, so be it.

Flay - cocky. Annoying. Food looks average.

Emeril - respect his sucess. Come to think of it, I almost hate him for the mere fact that people love him. Is that jealousy? If people didn't watch him or care for his food, I might be able to tolerate him.


“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”

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Rachel Ray - what can one say? She's just annoying and I hate what a lousy tipper she is.

15% across the board. regardless of service, apparently. although, it's just a TV show and i have no idea how generous she is in real life. nor do most people.


Edited by tommy (log)

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Rachel Ray - what can one say? She's just annoying and I hate what a lousy tipper she is.

15% across the board. regardless of service, apparently. although, it's just a TV show and i have no idea how generous she is in real life. nor do most people.

i only really watched her $40 on a day show a few times, but i recalled in one episode, a new york episode i believe, she went to a restaurant with live jazz music, asked the waitress a ton of questions, took a table close to the band, used the table for probably at least 1.5-2 hours, and then tipped 15%, which i believe worked out to about $2. in another situation, Rachel Ray went to a very high end restaurant just to have dessert (for the experience...) and again, tipped about $1 for amazing service and for using the table for over an hour.

although her tips were technically within the bottom end of the acceptable range, being an exact 15%, it just doesn't seem fair to the restaurant or the wait staff to engage in those kinds of practices. if most customers followed her lead, my guess is that the places she visits would soon be out of business.

sorry for the rant. the tipping thing has always bothered me. it sets a terrible example for those who actually use the show for information purposes and don't really know any better. (i know i'm preaching to the choir here - and that very few on this board would use that show for information purposes)

p.s. my favorite hosts are colameco (although he seems to pander to the restaurants that will allow him to shoot), lidia (although she gets too preachy on family-related matters), charlie trotter (although too pompous), and of course, Anthony Bourdain...(no complaints on that one).


Edited by Cornellrob (log)

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i only really watched her $40 on a day show a few times, but i recalled in one episode, a new york episode i believe, she went to a restaurant with live jazz music, asked the waitress a ton of questions, took a table close to the band, used the table for probably at least 1.5-2 hours, and then tipped 15%, which i believe worked out to about $2.  in another situation, Rachel Ray went to a very high end restaurant just to have dessert (for the experience...) and again, tipped about $1 for amazing service and for using the table for over an hour. 

jeez. she really screwed the servers.

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Rachel Ray - what can one say? She's just annoying and I hate what a lousy tipper she is.

15% across the board. regardless of service, apparently. although, it's just a TV show and i have no idea how generous she is in real life. nor do most people.

i only really watched her $40 on a day show a few times, but i recalled in one episode, a new york episode i believe, she went to a restaurant with live jazz music, asked the waitress a ton of questions, took a table close to the band, used the table for probably at least 1.5-2 hours, and then tipped 15%, which i believe worked out to about $2. in another situation, Rachel Ray went to a very high end restaurant just to have dessert (for the experience...) and again, tipped about $1 for amazing service and for using the table for over an hour.

although her tips were technically within the bottom end of the acceptable range, being an exact 15%, it just doesn't seem fair to the restaurant or the wait staff to engage in those kinds of practices. if most customers followed her lead, my guess is that the places she visits would soon be out of business.

sorry for the rant. the tipping thing has always bothered me. it sets a terrible example for those who actually use the show for information purposes and don't really know any better. (i know i'm preaching to the choir here - and that very few on this board would use that show for information purposes)

It's the format of the show that causes this, and probably not Rachael's actual, personal tipping habits. They have a hard set cap on what she spends (hence, the name of the show). Personally, I have some issues with the hard rules like this (or the 30 minute one). However, to be a little fair to Rachael, there ARE a lot of people that follow a hard 15% rule, sometimes even breaking out the calculator and tipping to the exact penny. I've seen it. I'm sure lots of us have. It's not like she created this.

Is there anything wrong with going to a fancy place for a drink and appetizer at the bar? Or dessert? No. Not in my opinion. I think you'll find others here that agree and will suggest the same thing.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Yeah, it's like the definition of a sell out. I don't know his background, but I like that he has an easy-going, instructional-type style. But that Applebee's thing just blows it.


“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”

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I believe he has a culinary degree although from where escapes me at the moment. I had the exact same thought though, about selling out. I turned to my dad and said 'well I guess this is the ultimate in branding isn't it?' I was begining to like his shows a bit too. Hope to God he doesn't go and become extremely overexposed like Rachel Ray. :blink:

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Yes, of course the most flamboyant cook on TV Mr. Reza himself. I watched on Sky for 2 years during my time in Germany...Can't find him or Keith Floyd on US TV anywhere...

Some of these are British, some Australian - I watch them on the Lifestyle Food channel here in Australia

Like:

Jamie Oliver (his recipes work)

Sophie Grigson - daughter of Jane and a good practical cook

Tamasin Day-Lewis (the inside of her Le Creuset casserole is browner than mine :biggrin:  not pristine and "unused")

Gordon Ramsay (an English chef was telling me Ramsay's actually a really nice fellow. Great food. Love his programme The F Word )

Curtis Stone and Ben O'Donoghue

Tyler Florence (caught his radio show via podcast and he thinks quickly on his feet and knows his stuff)

Giorgio Locatelli

Neil Perry (great travel pieces)

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Reza Mahammad (so over the top he's fun!)

Gone off:

Ina Garten (teach Geoffrey to fend for himself!)

Kylie Kwong

Rachael Ray

Emeril - though I caught him doing a quiet show with no audience and he was actually OK

Alton Brown

Michael Chiarello

Rocco DiSpirito (why did he let the cameras in, for goodness sake)

Michael Smith (repeats himself after every ad break)

Cook Like a Chef (too many cameras appearing in the picture)

Antony Worrall Thompson (too uptight)

[edited to give reasons for a couple of choices]


Expat Russ

Three Passions:

Food

Travel<=click to go to my travel website...

BBQ and BQ<=click to go to my blog about trying to balance great food and qualifying for the Boston Marathon

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I've had expanded cable on and off over the past few years, so I don't know all of the current food "celebs." Of those I know, here are some faves and less-than-faves:

FAVES

Julia, Jacques, Martin, Jeff Smith, etc. (gotta give props to those who made all the rest possible)

Iron Chef (Japan and USA)

Mario (I liked Babbo, I like his food, I learn from him)

Lidia (I learn, the food looks good; I do admit that it's not great theater)

Alton Brown (he's a food geek, but then so am I)

Bobby Flay (I give him credit for the smackdown thing -- everyone slams him for being arrogant, but he seems plenty willing to be humbled most every show)

America's Test Kitchen (they're geeks, but I am so glad that they'll try something 87 ways to find out the ideal way of doing something so that I only have to do it once)

Rick Bayless (I like his restaurants, and he knows his stuff; he does seem awfully mellow, though, to the point where I wonder if he's meditating or buzzed on his shows. Maybe he's just an incredibly laid-back guy)

LESS-THAN-FAVES

Emeril (he may have great chef skills -- I can't really tell from the show -- but my dislike of his style can be expressed in one word: "BAM!")

Rocco (if he is only 1/4 of the jacka$$ he seemed to be on that show, then he's still 3 times more of a jacka$$ than I can stand)

Giada (her food strikes me as OK, but just OK, and her cookbooks seem about the same; I don't want to diss the woman, but I can't help but think that if she weren't an attractive woman who wears low-cut, snug-fitting shirts, she'd likely be out of a show)

FOOD WRITERS

Tony Bourdain (good stuff, written from a strong point of view)

Michael Ruhlman (I like his work, even if he seems to repeat himself a bit -- the whole chefs as artists vs. craftsmen thing keeps coming up every time, even after he seems to have answered the question)

Bill Buford (the man writes very well, notably better than most food writers I've ever read; he tells a good story, too)

M.F.K. Fisher (hit and miss, in my book; when she's on, she's one of the best there is)

Ruth Reichl (the less she talks about herself, the more I like her writing)

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Now it looks like NBC is trying to "Rachel-ize" Giada De Laurentiis. They seem to be grooming her as a non-cooking co-host for their third hour of broadcast (soon to be four hours!). She's interviewing guests on the show and not cooking a darn thing.

I guess there's always the OFF button...


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Loves/Likes

Jacques Pepin - Super awesome god-like knife skills and he seemed like a nice person who has very interesting story to tell. His personality shines through in his shows and books.

Anthony Bourdain - I love his books and shows, but I wouldn't mind learning more about his cooking since he is chef first, celebrity second.

Iron Chefs - they're so creative

Ok

Alton Brown - He has very good recipes, but I avoid his show because he talks as if he's a know-it-all. That annoys me since I'm a scientist by nature, and while I do appreciate him trying to enlighten people about the science in cooking, he doesn't need to be so condescending. Plus, his humor sucks.

Dislikes

Jaime Oliver - I don't care about his uber cool personality that his shows try to portray, and his food is all about mushing things together. I do admire what he's trying to do with school lunches, but I wonder what's his motivation.

Nigella Lawson - Her posh accent hides the fact that she's a sloppy cook. Plus being a female, I don't find her to be the sexy domestic goddess that people think she is.

Rachel Ray - That super perky personality is just too much and The lame catchphrases make me cry. Maybe she's ok in tiny doses, but she's over exposed. How many shows does she have now?!

Michael Smith - That "Chef at Home" guy who talks like a greasy used car salesman.

Kylie Kwong - Her Chinese cooking doesn't look authentic. Something about her personality grates me but I can't put my finger on it.

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I love cooking, so i really don't care whose doing it as long as its being done. I've actually lost remote control privileges at friends houses because all I'll put on is food network. Anyways. I like all chefs, unless they personally pissed me off, which none have, so yea.

And for all those who claim that come celebrity chefs don't cook, only entertain, be that as it may, almost all are restaurant owners and accomplished chefs, so obviously they have talent even if it doesn't come out in the show.


16 years old and in love with cooking, you'll hear about me in the future. ;)

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I'm waiting to get flamed but I see things differently.

I break the food celebs into good informational content/food, good entertainment, both, and neither.

GOOD CONTENT/FOOD

Chris Kimball/America's Test Kitchen: Kinda dry, not a lot of eye candy but well researched topics, good recipes, excellent lessons in technique.

GOOD ENTERTAINMENT

Julia Child: For the era, she was entertaining and, obviously a pioneer in food television. However, her food didn't look that good and her technique wasn't either.

Giada/Sandra Lee: Eye candy. I like the cleavage of Giada and low hanging breasts of SL (means they're real).

Anthony Bourdain: He just has a way with words and he does a lot of interesting shit.

Original Iron Chef: Great theater. Funky food and ingredients. Great show.

Jaimie Oliver: Enthusiastic. Some of his food looks only so-so.

BOTH

Alton Brown: I like his schtick and his food is good.

Pepin: He's the best.

Mario Batali: His food looks terrific and he's very knowledgable about Italian food and culture. Bravo.

NEITHER/I DON'T LIKE

Emeril: Irritating schtick and fans.

Bobby Flay: Food looks good but he seems like a dick.

UNFAIRLY FLAMED ON THESE BOARDS

Rachel Ray: C'mon, she's not the most knowledgeable and some of her mannerisms are irritating. However, the concept of her 30 minute meals is good and her food looks good too. RE: the bad tipping. I know that lots of eGullet posters are in the biz so it strikes a raw nerve. However, anyone knows that the crappy tips are just so she can make her budget.

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I already cited this in the Rachael Ray thread. In a January interview in the Detroit Free Press, she says that she used to be a waitress and in fact always leaves huge tips (going over $40). Because of the premise of the show, they can't in fact televise that particular reality. . . .

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I already cited this in the Rachael Ray thread.  In a January interview in the Detroit Free Press, she says that she used to be a waitress and in fact always leaves huge tips (going over $40).  Because of the premise of the show, they can't in fact televise that particular reality. . . .

So what's the point of "$40.00"a day?

Isn't that the biggest mistake of all?

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I already cited this in the Rachael Ray thread.  In a January interview in the Detroit Free Press, she says that she used to be a waitress and in fact always leaves huge tips (going over $40).  Because of the premise of the show, they can't in fact televise that particular reality. . . .

So what's the point of "$40.00"a day?

Isn't that the biggest mistake of all?

It's some number pulled out of the air that says "dining on a budget while travelling". It's a "gimmick". just like a meal in 30 minutes is a gimmick. For some people, $40 is an absurdly low number. For others, they think it's a lot. Personally, I think it's in the ball park of "budget" dining. Since that's the number they chose, they have to hit it. It would be very difficult for the show to say "tip a lot more than the generally accepted standard amount of 15%". You may aregue that 15% is too low. That's fine. But I still think a majortiy of people stil lsee 15% is the right number. If you say 18% is right, the actual real dollars given in tip when your check total for the day is only $40 won't be much more than it is at 15%.

Personally, those are my largest beefs with those two shows. The hard set rules of dollars and time. But this is about making TV shows more than it really is about actually cooking something more or less from scratch withotu spending too much time doing it or dining on a reasonable budget.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Who would I like to see come to my TV? Flo Braker.

I remember that she was a sometime feature on the old Food Network (or was it The Learning Channel?) show Baker's Dozen in the late 1990's. She was excellent-- everything she did looked so perfect. You can tell she took a very scientific approach to baking. (A very stiff) Gale Gand was also featured in that show, and she continued on to "Sweet Dreams," a show which I also like (fortunately she loosened up a lot for that show), but I can't help wondering how much more amazing a show by Flo Braker would be.

I found it so adorable when she was making cake layers and she used a 3-6-9-12 o clock approach to cutting them (is the term torting?). And then she forgot what time she was on while cutting them.


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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Doesn't the whole celebrity-centric approach just miss the point? I mean, if you care about the food, who gives a shit who's making it? Bayless is a perfect example -- the man's a genius, but he talks like a dork. Who cares?

Am I the only one who really likes Bayless? He doesn't bother me at all, and I dig the pukka shell necklace he wears sometimes. He comes off as sincere, and he knows his stuff.

NOO, I love Bayless too. My wife and I can't get enough of his shows.

I guess I'm an idiot for liking Bobby Flay as well? The guy can cook.

I'm so sick of watching people with "good personalities" on FNTV that cannot cook. Give good slots to the people that CAN cook and get rid of the rest.

If I was able to start my own FNTV, the line-up would be awesome.

Trotter

Bourdain

Batali

Keller (if we could talk him into it)

Bayless

Ducasse

Ripert

Pepin

Moulton

Torres

Colicchio

Like Nickelodeon (sp) used to do the reruns of old tv shows late at night, we could do reruns of Justin Wilson and The French Chef and other great shows that have been nixed or declared 'irrelevent' by FNTV

Instead of the Rachel/Alton Block we could have the Alton/Corriher Block...Maybe we could talk McGee into it as well...

~~~~~~~~

There are an endless number of people that can cook that would be leagues better than what their current line-up is.

I mean, for the love, we'd learn so much!

...such a pipe dream

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Trotter

Bourdain

Batali

Keller (if we could talk him into it)

Bayless

Ducasse

Ripert

Pepin

Moulton

Torres

Colicchio

I like your list very much, but I would re-order it with Pepin definitely at the top.

I noticed you included Tom Colicchio..Has he ever done a cooking show other than as a Judge on Top Chef? I'd be very interested in seeing him do his "thing".

Ted Fairhead

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I like your list very much, but I would re-order it with Pepin definitely at the top.

I noticed you included Tom Colicchio..Has he ever done a cooking show other than as a Judge on Top Chef? I'd be very interested in seeing him do his "thing".

Ted Fairhead

Oh yeah...that was in no particular order. Sorry about that. Pepin would definitely be a top priority.

I don't think Colicchio has ever done an instructional show. He communicates really well on Top Chef and in his cookbooks. I'd love to see a show that focused on his style of cooking.

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Random Thoughts:

Julia: The one and only. My mother learned classical technique from her, then I did. Her series was a cooking school in itself, something that is lost on the current food network with it's "quick and easy" focus. Can't there be one show where it's not all quick 3 minutes segments? Just one?

Jacques Pepin: Such a great teacher. The best skills and technique, not to mention adorable, in his day, whether with or without Julia.

Jacques Torres: A genius. The time he created a sheet of sugar glass and blow torched it onto Butter Cookies with fresh flowers on them, to create a glassine top. Oh my god. Incredible.

Martha: She's good. She knows what she's doing. And prison seems to have greatly loosened her up. Who would have thought?

Michael Chiriello: There is just something so FAKE about him. And the whole concept on his show is just overdone and annoying.

Mario Batali: I've never been tempted to try anything he made. But his food is supposed to be good. He looks like he needs a bath. Sorry, but if I'm watching you, that counts.

Bobbie Flay: I like watching him, especially on the Next Food Network Star. You can see his contempt. I like that. And I love the concept of the Throwdown show, although sometimes I feel bad for the small guys with the one good recipe having to go up against the FN resources. He generally ratchets up the heat and intensity of the flavors to make the home town team's dish seem bland....

Emeril: Some time ago, I caught an old show (I think it was Julia's Cooking with Master Chefs)where he did a cooking segment before he was famous. He was restrained, and it was so much more pleasant that the annoying, grown-very-old BAM stuff.

Giada: Stop smiling. Bring it down a notch, and she would have more staying power.

Paula Deen: Sometimes I watch agap. Like when she made the Bread Pudding with a dozen (or was it 2 dozen) Krispy Kreme donuts. It was a train wreak, I couldn't help watching.

Alton Brown: Like him. Nuff said.

And Finally,

The Evil Sandra Lee. Did anyone ever see the ime she was on the View and she prepared a bunch of dishes? Merideth Viera and Joy Behar were visibly gagging on her food. I've never before or since see hosts on a show clearly expressing there revulsion for a guest's food.

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But in this era of reality TV, Aunt Sandy has the only remaining sitcom.

Take a NY strip, melt chocolate chips, add a taco seasoning packet, pour over NY Strip, put in a slow cooker for 6 hours?

Hilarity ensues!


Edited by Diner Girl (log)

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Faves:

Nigella Lawson

Biba

Lidia Bastianich

Paula Deen

Daisy Fuentes

Ming Tsai

This French woman named Madeliene something or other cause of her soothing voice.

Dont Like:

Nathalie Dupree

Mary Ann Esposito

Christina Cooks (YUK)

Barefoot Contessa

Sarah Moulton (Because of her saying "Turkey Lurkey" at Thanksgiving)

And the MOST HATED OF ALL:

Michelle Urvater


Edited by GlorifiedRice (log)

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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:angry: Add to the dislike column: The bimbo who is the editor of Food & Wine mag...whatever her name is......Her monthly "places I've eaten at" blurb makes me wanna chuck my ups. What a snotty and snobby bitch. ugh.

My fave is Tony B.......now that guy knows how to live and eat.


"We do not stop playing because we grow old,

we grow old because we stop playing"

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