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erraticninja

Favorite/Least Favorite Food "Celebrities"

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Love:

Jacques (and Claudia doesn't bother me)

Julia (in every incarnation)

Tyler

Mario

Sara Moulton (it takes a cold, cold heart not to love Sara. She brings on chefs. She'd watch your kids. She'd bring you chicken soup. She's the warm, caring older sister I always wanted)

Irritated by:

The America's Test Kitchen Crew (I watch and I read, but they can come off like they've just discovered Cold Fusion and the recipes often turn out kind of soulless)

Emeril (too much)

Bobby Flay (too cocky too soon)

Rachael Ray (she's the pain-in-the-ass, annoying kid sister I never wanted)

Graham Kerr (sober)

Miss:

Two Hot Tamales

Two Fat Ladies

David Rosengarten

Tony


Tony

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My $0.02:

Donna Dooher-Cookworks on FoodTV -condescending

Glad I wasn't the only one who noticed that! I like the premise of the show, but that woman....... :angry:

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Speaking of food shows, has anyone seen the trailer or promo cassette for the new "Home Plate" show on Turner South? What's up with that show?

Evidently, the premise is as follows:

Home Plate

Love fried catfish, hush puppies, and hash browns but hate the health risks? Chef Marvin Woods offers you down home dining with a healthy twist during this new Turner South Original Show.

First of all, who'd want to eat that?

Secondly, on the tape they sent me, my man was making lemon chicken over Ramen noodles (really!)

Is this southern college cuisine, perhaps? At what segment of the South is this aimed? In the name of John Egerton, I hereby protest.


Timothy C. Davis

Charlotte, NC

timothycdavis@earthlink.net

www.themoodyfoodie.com

www.cln.com

www.southernfoodways.com

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It seems to be universally agreed - Bobby Flay is irritating.  Very.  Amanda Hesser mentioned him in one "Food Diary" column, where she talks briefly about the "smirk" on his face.  I can see that quite clearly.

I like Tony Bourdain and Alton Brown a lot.  As much as I like Bourdain, I don't see what he meant about Alton Brown's "holier than thou" speech.  I don't get A&E, but I saw part of Alton's acceptance speech on the internet (http://www.jamesbeard.org/awards/awards.php?year=2003) and it wasn't that bad.  It was sort of self-deprecating, actually.  Alton Brown may have just been surprised by being greeted by Tony Bourdain and not known how to respond that quickly and Bourdain just misunderstood.  I think I'm being objective in saying this, having done the same thing myself many times - I was a completely socially inept dork for much of my life.  :smile:  I really find it hard to believe that he's a jerk - I've read MANY nice things from the people who have gone to his book signings.  He'll sign anything, take pictures, and stay until the last person leaves.  (Or the store kicks him out, I guess.)

Bourdain actually said Alton was "Brainier than thou" :biggrin:

I heard similar things about Alton's personality. I really believe it was a misunderstanding between them two and Bourdain has a knack of making anyone seem like an a-hole.

FM


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Side note:  I was lucky enough to attend the Aspen F&W Classic this year, and it became clear that the majority of foodies who had the means/interest to attend such an event want entertainment first, expertise second.

You just hit on the reason some of the programming is what it is. The audience here is NOT like the rest of the world.... It still doesn't explain all of those inane "unwrapped" shows, though.

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?

I think the reason people's food gets wrapped up with their personalities in this facile way is that certain people (Bayless, David, Child, Steingarten) become, if not Gods, at least apostles. Elizabeth David personally brought the south wind to our kitchen -- so she must be an incredible, emulatable person.

Sorry. She's just a good cook. And a good writer. Her personality is no more relevant than J.Lo's, unless you hang out with her.

Edit: That said, Emeril's schtick is particularly grating. More to the point, the food looks terrible, as everyone's other favorite person, Amanda Hesser pointed out recently.


Edited by badthings (log)

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Alton Brown may have just been surprised by being greeted by Tony Bourdain and not known how to respond that quickly and Bourdain just misunderstood.  I think I'm being objective in saying this, having done the same thing myself many times - I was a completely socially inept dork for much of my life.  :smile:  I really find it hard to believe that he's a jerk - I've read MANY nice things from the people who have gone to his book signings.  He'll sign anything, take pictures, and stay until the last person leaves.  (Or the store kicks him out, I guess.)

My memory is kind of hazy, but I vaguely remember Tony telling us that the whole Alton Brown thing was just a misunderstanding and that Alton sent him a dozen long stem roses and they're best friends now. Or something.

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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.


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Indeed: I got a very nice communication from Alton--via an interested and trusted third party--and my pique over an imagined snub quickly evaporated. For the record: I always thought the show was pretty decent--and filled with useful and even enlightening information.


abourdain

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Indeed: I got a very nice communication from Alton--via an interested and trusted third party--and my pique over an imagined snub quickly evaporated. For the record: I always thought the show was pretty decent--and filled with useful and even enlightening information.

Thanks for the update Tony...I can now abdicate my title of rumor-monger (and maybe even watch Good Eats again)... :unsure:

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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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.

I've talked to him at length in person (sat next to him on a flight to Oaxaca in '94) and he is nothing like the cheeseball personality he has on TV. I've also heard rumors that he's had plastic surgery (look at his picture in the first cookbook). :shock:

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i don't think i've ever seen a more dorky personality than Rachel Ray.  first of all, anyone who giggles at their own inane "jokes" should be tarred and feathered.

ha ha ha, i couldn't agree more and thus i will start with those i don't particularly enjoy--that would be about a legion , pretty much anyone you find on tv. i find most shows offensively, fist-eatingly boring and therefore do not watch most of them. i will watch a new or newish show but usually they are so dissapointing. food network be damned! can't watch emeril , mario (although early episodes when he burns stuff in saute pans can be entertaining), jacques pepin and claudine (how many years in this country and still barely understandable? i do prefer him on his own or with julia), bobby flay (annoying and smug), wolf puck (brilliant individual, extremely uncomfortable tv show host, paiful to watch), rachel ray (see the quote), todd english (so stiff!), barefoot contessa (dead wood, boooring), the FN "best of" hosts: mark silverstein and jill sb (although i'll take mark over jill). oh, and "cucina amore" host, rock moonen (plagiarist), sara moulton (way too sweet and monotone), charlie palmer with his kids (must be the kids), john villa (for the playgirl spread--everyhting is for sale mentality; sadly, it didn't save pico), grimes (he does NOT enjoy his job), and rocco on his show (although it's an edited and manipulated rocco but he should know better).

i love nigella, the two fat ladies (when there were two), david rosengarten and arthur schwartz (nyc radio) ON A GOOD DAY (great knowledge of food but both can be moody), jeffrey steingarten, julia, tony bourdain,alton brown-- basically anyone who's got a great knowledge and passion for food, sense of humor, unwillingness to compromise on quality but still laid back and having fun in the kitchen, is irreverent and does not take him/herself too seriously. obsessed is good! on second thoughts, i prefer writers to tv personalities (not much of a tv fan in general). and radio over tv. i like a lot of ruth reichl's writing (but not the reviews) and that of elizabeth david, mfk fisher and james beard. jeffrey steingarten. piero selvaggio of valentino in la, although he's not a celebrity. he's a wonderful host and has an amazing knowledge of wine and food. jose andres for his incredible enthusiasm for food, throughout history. tetsuya wakuda for doing his own thing and walking away from money when it meant he wouldn't be able to control the food.

pure entertainment but only at times: gordon elliott (murdochian take on food on tv--evil but entertaining in that aussie tabloid way, the guts!), certain martha shows--for the wrong reasons: how she intimidated her guests and flirted with others


Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.

P.G. Wodehouse

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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.

I've talked to him at length in person (sat next to him on a flight to Oaxaca in '94) and he is nothing like the cheeseball personality he has on TV. I've also heard rumors that he's had plastic surgery (look at his picture in the first cookbook). :shock:

OK... I just don't get it. My dork detector is pretty sensitive and I have never put Bayless in that category. Maybe I am missing something or I am just too dazzled by his skill and knowledge of my favorite cuisine.

g - I hate you. Did you follow him around when you got to Oaxaca? I would hope that if I had had that opportunity that I wouldn't have become the same annoying talking-person that I hate sitting next to on airplanes.

Plastic surgery? WHY??? I gotta dig out my books.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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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.

I agree, I think Rick Bayless is great. I watch every show and glean as much as I can, often taking notes here and there. Clearly has the love that sometimes only a foreigner can have for a country. With comprehensive knowledge to back it up. Still, the mannerisms sometimes get to me. So in that sense, I care. Maybe that makes me shallow, but the host is still presenting the information, and I have to receive it. For myself, I was just trying to make snarky distinctions between my various preferences.

Even if it's not reality, people react to TV personas almost as if they are meeting and interacting with the host in person. I'll have to go read those media books mentioned to better understand it. [grin]

Also, in my opinion, food is very personal. I don't like to feed people I don't like, and I'm sure there are people that don't or wouldn't like to feed me. Conversely, I love the food that my friends make for me. Sure, a dish can be appreciated in a vacuum - say you walk into a restaurant without knowing anything about the chef, etc. But if you know that the something about him/her, like spending years to learn authentic cuisine, traveling, immersing himself/herself, it changes your associations with it, and your perception of it. It becomes more personal.

BTW, forgot to mention that I think Chris Schlessinger (East Coast Grill rest., Thrill of the Grill) is another favorite, really brilliant, even if a bit dry on TV.

~Tad

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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.

I've talked to him at length in person (sat next to him on a flight to Oaxaca in '94) and he is nothing like the cheeseball personality he has on TV. I've also heard rumors that he's had plastic surgery (look at his picture in the first cookbook). :shock:

OK... I just don't get it. My dork detector is pretty sensitive and I have never put Bayless in that category. Maybe I am missing something or I am just too dazzled by his skill and knowledge of my favorite cuisine.

g - I hate you. Did you follow him around when you got to Oaxaca? I would hope that if I had had that opportunity that I wouldn't have become the same annoying talking-person that I hate sitting next to on airplanes.

Plastic surgery? WHY??? I gotta dig out my books.

I was just trying to say that his "real" personality and his "TV" personality are much different. I would love to see some of his old PBS shows to see if I'm right. I think he went through lots of media coaching before his new show started. I was scared to death to talk to him, my wife had to start the conversation. I always compare it to a basketball fan who becomes speechless when he sees Michael Jordan.

Oaxaca is a very small city, we saw him almost every day. He gave us some great restaurant and market recommendations on the plane

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A friend who works in video production said a friend of his (you know how that goes...a friend of a friend of a friend...) worked on Martin Yan's PBS show. He said Martin Yan speaks perfect English and puts on the "broken English" act for his TV show and public appearances.

If true, he's at the top of my "Nay" list.


 

“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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A friend who works in video production said a friend of his (you know how that goes...a friend of a friend of a friend...) worked on Martin Yan's PBS show.  He said Martin Yan speaks perfect English and puts on the "broken English" act for his TV show and public appearances. 

If true, he's at the top of my "Nay" list.

i always was kinda annoyed by martin yan. and if this rumor is true....then he goes onto the top of my list also beating out even surviour-rocco

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Yan blames his heavily accented English on television on his "enthusiasm":

http://web.ask.com/redir?bpg=http%3a%2f%2f...n%2findex3.html

He was asked about this by the SF Examiner to which he said:

Q: Many people have asked if your accent is real or if you created it for entertainment value.

A: First of all, English is my second language. My native language is Cantonese and Toisanese.

    I did not pick up English until I was 17 years old. You can never shake it. I have done the Yan Can Cook show for 24 years and my accent now is better than it was then. I have learned to improve. Today, my wife still corrects my English.

As for me, I don't really care. These shows are there primarily for entertainment, secondarily for education. So long as the food's honest, it's cool by me.

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Fascinating topic. Food Network is our default channel at our house and supplies that white noise that drowns out the children killing one another.

My list:

Dislike:

1.) Rachel Ray. My wife will beat me if I say, once again during her show, that she drives me crazy. Her Dad, who was on her Father's Day show, is equally annoying. And if I couldn't eat myself silly on $40 a day... What's the challenge in that?

2.) Surreal Gourmet. This guy cooks out of a trailer? I have to think he's sleeping with someone at the Food Network Programming department because he's a galoot.

3.) The two ladies who have the cooking light show. I wouldn't eat canned soup out of their kitchen.

4.) Contessa.

5.) Martha

Like:

1.) Jamie Oliver

2.) Bobby Flay

3.) Emeril (although my opinion of him dropped when he made 200 pounds of tater tot casserole for the kids in his back to school special. Yuck.) (Maybe someone should start a "favorite cafeteria food from my childhood" thread.)

4.) Mario: I ALWAYS learn something when I watch his show. I would never go to a ballgame with him, though.

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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.

I agree, I think Rick Bayless is great.

Well. I think he looks and sounds dorky on TV. I was just trying to use him as an example of someone whose awesomeness transcends his personality. Which is what I feel the point of food TV should be.

Also, in my opinion, food is very personal. 

You are so right. This is why you feel close to the people whose food you are learning, or watching. And why that perception of closeness is probably more "real" than the run of the mill celebrity-identification false consciousness. I was just getting cranky thinking about Food Network's increasingly unbearable content, which is clearly celebrity-driven, not food-driven.

As long as I'm complaining, can I just mention Joanne Weir (?) who does some show called wine country living or something, and seems like a horrible person both because of her food and her personality (i.e., the simulacrum as presented on TV).

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Rachael Ray seems to be universally disliked, and as I think tommy noted, people find it particularly irritating that she giggles at her own lame jokes. She does have a whole bag of tics, none of them pleasing.

But the concept of 30-minute meals has wide appeal. Any ideas why her producers haven't attempted to train Ms Ray out of her more grating mannerisms?


Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"

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Poor Rachael. She HAS toned it down. I think she and/or her producers read all the nasty posts about her on their Web site chats. Looks like she's been doing Atkins, too. I can't decide if I like her or not, yet I always watch if she's on. At least she's stopped with the salt over her shoulder. :rolleyes:


I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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:biggrin: Could you imagine walking behind her and gettin a big ole whack of salt in the eye? Yep, here's your bad luck. :cool:

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Any ideas why her producers haven't attempted to train Ms Ray out of her more grating mannerisms?

i think that the average lame american thinks she's cute and funny. they probably also think that she's hip.

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Julia Child ?? - I don't know, she's certainly well reputed, but watching her used to freak me out. She's kind of like a charicature of herself. Shouldn't a food celeb, like any other celeb, have good presentation and audience performance?

That brings me to Rocco! Like it or not, he's a celeb now. Can't say his performance or presentation was that great either, but he does intrigue me. He's definitely got people talking about going out to eat and the whole restaurant experience more - the good, the bad, and the ugly of it! (yes, it's a boost for the marketing.)

Anthony Bourdain - He's probably my favorite. He writes well (big credit in my book) and makes a good presentation - not too stuck on himself, not too wierd, almost like "everyman", but uniquely his own man.

Martha Stewart - does she qualify, or will this boo me off the board? I don't think I would want her to be my neighbor, but I admire her business empire, and she puts on a good show. Makes me realize I really don't need to go to all that trouble, and wonder why others would? But, if you want to know how to make some good oldfashioned dish from stuff gathered from your backyard, she's the one. :rolleyes:

Don't think I have any least favorites. I'm kind of a neophyte in the food celeb category. Have heard of people like Iron Chef and Naked Chef, but don't really know what they do, or why they do it!

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