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Food related television shows


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Why is 'our' ABC spending money on a TV show that seems to demean the whole cooking process??? Is James Reeson the worst TV chef ever?

I mean...making a chocolate beetroot cake with a premade chocoloate cake mix and a tin of beetroot!!!

Are there any redeeming features of this show? (I can't bear to watch it any more it makes me so angry).

Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

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When I read in the tele guide that Occasional Chef's dish du jour was some kind of Asian noodle thing - with Vegemite (?!) in it - I couldn't bring myself to watch. Still, if I'd known that he'd be baking with pre-mix and canned beetroot (ew! ew! ew!!), I may have taken a peek, purely for the oh-my-god, how-can-he-be-doing-this-on-tele factor. Revolting can be entertaining (I always was a sucker for those surgical procedure documentaries that once screened on the ABC), if only for the briefest moment. It really does sound like a case of "what were they thinking??"

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I'm not sure if this explains what they were thinking but.... they basically found someone who was supposedly good looking (obviously not jamie oliver) and tried to teach him how to cook. It seems that someone has let the himbo think for himself.....

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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  • 1 year later...

Any idea what happened to this show in AU? We got one episode and that was it. I loved Jamie's Kitchen and was hoping to like The Restaurant too but didn't get much of a chance.

Lori

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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I heard that they plan to reschedule the show for a "more suitable" timeslot. Most likely to be the 3am one.

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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I remember reading in The Age it was simply ratings driven. Apparently, almost literally NO ONE in aussie watched the thing. It was up against some other killer, like the hemi-quarter-semi-finals of Australian Idull or something.

Frankly, as someone who was so completely looking forward to it, I actually found it pretty boring too... but surely it didn't help that Jamie basically did the same thing for the three months previous? It just felt far too similar to hold up, at least judging from the one episode they aired. And Jamie invaded Australian TV and media years ago, so his was far more of known entity. Rocco, despite years of hype and fame in New York and the States, is a complete and utter unknown to the average Australian punter.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about food shows on Australian TV, there's been a pretty reasonable surge over the past six months. Best of all, as a transplanted New Yorker, I'm now getting Bourdain's Cooks Tour (on Discovery, on Foxtel, Saturday arvos) AND IRON CHEF!!!! on SBS. In the same month!

That's food TV bliss.

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  • 1 year later...

Okay, okay - it's trashy tv, but I was too lazy to do much during Saturday afternoon. Anyway, they showed 2 episodes back to back, and in the first one, each team had to pitch their restaurant idea to a panel of 3 judges.

On the panel is Caterina Borsato from Cucina e Bar. One of the Melbourne team members starts his pitch with the comment that Melbourne's Italian restaurants weren't any good. Needless to say, it wasn't a good way to start.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Okay, okay - it's trashy tv, .

Not sure where you are going with this but my thoughts are for reality TV its got some legs. The new series has a much tighter and more interesting format. If there is an upside to reality tv - it has to be that it educates (usually by osmosis than intention) - and I think that the show can educate people a bit about food & the restaurant business.

This can only be a good thing as an important key to a vibrant restaurant scene is informed and interested clientele

As for the various teams - the ones that stand out at the moment as the last two standing are Adelaide & Brisbane (which is where the first round $ went)

And as for the 'singles night' concept? Under which rock do these people dine?

"The purpose of a cookery book is one & unmistakable. Its object can conceivably be no other than to increase the happiness of mankind - Joseph Conrad"

www.booksforcooks.com.au

new & old books about wine, food & the culinary arts bought & sold

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Okay, okay - it's trashy tv, .

Not sure where you are going with this but my thoughts are for reality TV its got some legs.

I just have a general view that most reality tv shows have a large trash element to them. Put some unprepared people in front of a camera to try and prove themselves to a panel of experts and let's all laugh at the abuse they cop.

Having said that though, I reckon Matt Moran and Caterina Borsato are genuinely interested in helping the competitors with constructive criticism, but Patrick Collins is nothing more than a boor.

The new series has a much tighter and more interesting format.  If there is an upside to reality tv - it has to be that it educates (usually by osmosis than intention) - and I think that the show can educate people a bit about food & the restaurant business.

Yeah, that's a fair point. I thought Jamie's Kitchen did a good job of showing how hard it is to run a kitchen and start a restaurant. Whilst I haven't seen it myself, but some friends say that Gordon Ramsay's tv series was similarly as good.

As for the various teams - the ones that stand out at the moment as the last two standing are Adelaide & Brisbane (which is where the first round $ went)

Those two teams have the advantage of having people who have worked as chefs. I'll be following the Brisbane team. I was very impressed at how the guy in that team not only did his own work, but helped and encouraged the non-chefs in their work when they did the "working in a professional kitchen" show. That won me over.

And as for the 'singles night' concept?  Under which rock do these people dine?

I was taken aback by that idea, but on reflection, it may not be too bad. If they do something like "speed dating", it might work. But putting four strangers on one table for the whole evening leaves too much chance of that table not enjoying the evening and never returning to the restaurant.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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The "singles night" thing is just following the speed-dating concept, I think. It seems to be growing as a 'recreation' for the 25-35s.

-- lamington a.k.a. Duncan Markham

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - collaborative book reviews about all things food and wine

Syrup & Tang - candid commentary and flavourful fancies

"It's healthy. It's cake. It's chocolate cake."

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  • 2 weeks later...
The "singles night" thing is just following the speed-dating concept, I think. It seems to be growing as a 'recreation' for the 25-35s.

As a business model - I have to question it. Maybe it gets more bums on seats (doubtful) I would have thought the spend would be lower per head - and the focus is not on the restaurant but on the 'talent' who also turned up.

I reckon Matt Moran and Caterina Borsato are genuinely interested in helping the competitors with constructive criticism
- Agreed. I would find the show a lot more interesting if more attention was paid to their comments instead of the 'stunt' nature of the show.
I thought Jamie's Kitchen did a good job of showing how hard it is to run a kitchen and start a restaurant. Whilst I haven't seen it myself, but some friends say that Gordon Ramsay's tv series was similarly as good
- Jamie's Kitchen was the better balanced show. The Ramsay show was fascinating but excruciating at the same time. I saw the first episode with an interesting collection of chefs - and all were agog/aghast at what they saw (this was the one with the young git calling himself a head chef who couldn't cook an omelette).
I'll be following the Brisbane team.
Yep - me too. The food won me; and I think they've covered their front of house weakness. The catch is they (read he) seems to be serious about being in the restaurant business as an owner chef and is not in the business of entertainment...so I can't see him winning the public vote at the final hurdle

"The purpose of a cookery book is one & unmistakable. Its object can conceivably be no other than to increase the happiness of mankind - Joseph Conrad"

www.booksforcooks.com.au

new & old books about wine, food & the culinary arts bought & sold

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Jamie's Kitchen was the better balanced show.  The Ramsay show was fascinating but excruciating at the same time.  I saw the first episode with an interesting collection of chefs - and all were agog/aghast at what they saw (this was the one with the young git calling himself a head chef who couldn't cook an omelette).

That Ramsay show was "Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares". I saw that one where the "head chef" couldn't cook an omlette. The woman that ran that restaurant tried to sue Ramsay because her restaurant didn't flourish after that episode was shown on TV.

Anyway, the Ramsay show I was thinking of was "Boiling Point". It was a behind the scenes documentary showing how Ramsay ran his restaurant.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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  • 3 weeks later...

Anyone see last night's show? Surely Melbourne have to be eliminated now. It's unbelievable that they could run such a filthy restaurant, It just defies common sense, and with the recent food poisoning incidents at Alasya and Sofia's, you would have thought they would have been perfectly aware of hygene issues.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Anyone see last night's show?  Surely Melbourne have to be eliminated now.  It's unbelievable that they could run such a filthy restaurant,  It just defies common sense, and with the recent food poisoning incidents at Alasya and Sofia's, you would have thought they would have been perfectly aware of hygene issues.

You are right Shinboners, it was absolutely disgraceful. I don't see how they can avoid being nominated for elimination. I am looking forward to seeing what happens on Sunday night.

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  • 4 months later...

Did anyone else watch "Heat In the Kitchen" on SBS on Wednesday night?

It's a five week series following the fortunes of Matt Moran (Aria), Matthew Kemp (Balzac), Luke Nguyen (Red Lantern), and Matthew Evans (food critic).

The first episode showed the aftermath of the Sydney Good Food Guide awards. Aria went from 2 hats to 1, with Moran getting the shock of his life, but also showing part of the staff meeting where he discusses what they have to do to get back that chefs hat. Matthew Kemp's restaurant won 2 hats with the result of his restaurant going from being just very popular to one where there is a 3 month waiting list for a table and giving him the confidence to open a second restaurant. There was also footage of a gathering with family and friends where they serve a roasted pigs head! Meanwhile, Red Lantern got their first entry into the Good Food Guide and it appeared that the recognition hasn't quite sunk in for Nguyen.

If the first episode is any guide, it's a very interesting show. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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oh, thanks! I just had a browse of the website. The first 2 episodes look excellent! I only wish I could see 'em and not just read about 'em.

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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The series portrays critic Matthew Evans as someone with enourmous power and influence over the Sydney restaurant scene, something this article in the Sydney Morning Herald backs up. But is his opinion respected by the general dining public?

Perhaps the question is whether the dining public aren't capable of making up their own minds and simply follow the words of whoever the SMH reviewer is. After all, Terry Durack was said to be able to make or break restaurants with his reviews.

Take a look at Aria. Now, whilst they may have taken some poetic license with the way it was portayed, but going from a full house to not breaking even on the basis of losing one chefs hat makes me wonder - were the punters there for the food or just to be seen?

Living in Melbourne, I don't read Evans's reviews. But here in Melbourne, I do read John Lethlean's reviews in Epicure. I do take note of what he says, but he's only one opinion out of many (mainly through word of mouth) when it comes to me on deciding where I want to go to dinner. And in the end, I'm more persuaded by what's on the menu (if they have it out the front) and the feel of the place than the words of any reviewer. But I do know many people who will go to wherever Lethlean says is good.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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