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They're no Julia


Vervain
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Watching Jacques Pepin's new show made me think about how some people, like Jacques and Julia, are wonderful teachers. I think Sarah M. is good at this too.

So, in your opinion, which chefs really aren't so good at teaching on TV? Whose show is/was too obscure, intimidating, unclear, etc.?

Emily
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Different shows have different purposes. Some seem very much set up to teach you how to maky specific dishes, such as 30-Minute Meals, Good Eats, or Sarah Moulton's show.

Others are there just to give you ideas and let you know certain things can be done, along with a lose idea how you might go about doing them, such as Emeril Live.

Both have their strengths, and I like watching both kinds. I hardly ever follow the recipes that are given exactly anyway, so it doesn't really bother me when the chef is vague.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Hmmm... two names spring to mind, both from TVFN...

1) Bobby Flay. I'm sorry, the man's an excellent and accomplished chef, but he's also an unbelievable ass, condescending and overbearing and in love with his own superstar status. I've seen him working alongside homecooks on TVFN a few times, and I don't know how they resisted the urge to force a skewer through their ears to put themselves outta their misery as he put on the condescending act.

2) Sandra Lee (of Semi-Homemade Cooking infamy). Quite the opposite of teaching cooking.. more like constantly generating excuses as to why one should not cook - and crack open a can/bag/jar of some Kraft Foods type bilge instead. Watch her enough times and you WILL be convinced that cooking anything from scratch is a task reserved for the obsessive-compulsive.

"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

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1) Bobby Flay. I'm sorry, the man's an excellent and accomplished chef, but he's also an unbelievable ass, condescending and overbearing and in love with his own superstar status. I've seen him working alongside homecooks on TVFN a few times, and I don't know how they  resisted the urge to force a skewer through their ears  to put themselves outta their misery as he put on the condescending act.

Sounds like you will really enjoy his new show coming up on TVFN "Bobby Flay: Chef Mentor", where he has a group of young chef-wannabes and he plucks his new protegé from their midsts. Apparently he was plucked (mentored) when he was a wannabe and now he wants to return the karmic favor...with the cameras rolling.

 

“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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Sounds like you will really enjoy his new show coming up on TVFN "Bobby Flay:  Chef Mentor", where he has a group of young chef-wannabes and he plucks his new protegé from their midsts.  Apparently he was plucked (mentored) when he was a wannabe and now he wants to return the karmic favor...with the cameras rolling.

Sounds more like somebody ripped off the BBC and Jamie Oliver! :shock: (Of course I can't remember the name of the show! That would be too easy!)

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Sounds like you will really enjoy his new show coming up on TVFN "Bobby Flay:  Chef Mentor", where he has a group of young chef-wannabes and he plucks his new protegé from their midsts.  Apparently he was plucked (mentored) when he was a wannabe and now he wants to return the karmic favor...with the cameras rolling.

:blink::huh::wacko:

"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

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Martha Stewart is pretty good at teaching, step by step, .. and what I liked best was when she talked about if "this happens, do ..." or ways to repair something made erroneously ...Ming Tsai is also easy to follow ...

But, not so easy to follow? Nigella ... not many recipes are actually all that specific and the camerawork is all over the place, mostly focused on her, rather than the food.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Sounds more like somebody ripped off the BBC and Jamie Oliver! :shock: (Of course I can't remember the name of the show! That would be too easy!)

Jamie's Kitchen was the title ...

Calorie Commando Juan-Carlos Cruz, is a close friend of Chris Cognac .. see pictures on one of his threads and text to validate ... :rolleyes:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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But, not so easy to follow? Nigella ... not many recipes are actually all that specific and the camerawork is all over the place, mostly focused on her, rather than the food.

That's why more men apparently watch her show... :wink:

That's also why she started out on another cable network, not the Foodnetwork. She's selling sex appeal under the guise of cooking.

Me? I can't stand that semi-homebody/maid, what's her name. She gives food (and good cooks) a bad name. Also, I can't watch Sarah M for very long. She drives me crazy. Seems nice, just can't watch her.

Give me Julia, Jacques, and Mario I like too.

I like to cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.

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I know with Juan's show, he was told to stick to a script and it was really hard to do...He just finished filming the new season, this time at Food TV studios and supported by Rachael Ray's production crew from 30 min meals...He said it was awesome, he was allowed to improvise and chat....he also said that there are 5 camera's instead of only 3 when it was a Film Garden production....We will have to have a

"viewing party" at a local place out here when it debuts just for fun

Moo, Cluck, Oink.....they all taste good!

The Hungry Detective

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Martha Stewart is pretty good at teaching, step by step, .. and what I liked best was when she talked about if "this happens, do ..." or ways to repair something made erroneously

Martha was generally talking down to us

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I have never yelled so much at my television than I have when Tyler (How's my hair look?) Florence is on.

Edited by Really Nice! (log)

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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Mario has probably taught me more about cooking than any other TV chef. Martha can't teach cooking - hell, she can't even cook, same goes for Emeril. Sarah Moulton is an excellent teacher. I saw recently that Alton Brown got some sort of award for teaching. Whoever gave him that should be taken out and shot. The man is a mine of misinformation. I'm a practicing chemist and about half of what he says is wrong, provably wrong, have you read your high school text wrong. It's sad that FN is eliminating its good shows in favor of populist crap. How many times do we have to see Rachel's block party in prime time?

From Dixon, Wyoming

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I didn't realize until I read Julia Child's biography that Sara Moulton started out as one of JC's assistants, fresh out of culinary school. Maybe that's where she picked up some of her TV teaching techniques. Makes you wonder about who Sara's assistants are now...will any of them be teaching future TV-watching generations, still using some of Julia's techniques?

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But, not so easy to follow? Nigella ... not many recipes are actually all that specific and the camerawork is all over the place, mostly focused on her, rather than the food.

I can't see trying to make anything complicated by following her on TV, that's for sure. On the other hand, a lot of her show seems to be about giving you tips, rather than recipes.

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So what specifically makes Mario or Julia or Jacques or Sarah or (fill in with whomever else) a great TV teacher? And what do the others do or not do that keeps us from learning anything?

Do the good teachers talk more about ingredients (quality, variety, freshness, etc.)?

Does the camera work focus more on their hands, showing us technique?

Do they work slowly enough for us to follow what they're doing, but fast enough so we don't get bored?

Do they explain why they use what they use in a recipe?

Are the "bad" teachers failing because of bad or overly difficult recipes, their tone, bad camera work, they move too quickly to follow, the entertainment focus overrides the instructional one?

Emily
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I think its a combo of alot of things, rushed production scheduales, lack of proper camera equip, not allowing the chef creative freedom all create a situation thats difficult to work in. Up and coming chefs with a first show dont have much say in how things are done or what things happen. When they get more popular, they get creative control and are able to relax. In Altons case, he produces the shows himself, thus eliminating alot fo those issues.

Moo, Cluck, Oink.....they all taste good!

The Hungry Detective

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In defense of Nigella - she has never been on the FN, but rather Style Network. That says a lot, even if I absolutely love her *attitude* towards food. That is what comes out in the show, and what makes her appealing to watch and read. Her cookbooks read like true gastro porn: a particular example is of eating a grilled portobello sandwich, describing the brown juices running down her arm - it made my mushroom-averse boyfriend say, "Yum!".

:laugh:

Andrea

http://tenacity.net

"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda

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Food Lovers' Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos: OMG I wrote a book. Woo!

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I saw recently that Alton Brown got some sort of award for teaching. Whoever gave him that should be taken out and shot. The man is a mine of misinformation. I'm a practicing chemist and about half of what he says is wrong, provably wrong, have you read your high school text wrong.

I watch Good Eats now and then. Any examples of what he says that is wrong. Just curious

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I watch Good Eats now and then. Any examples of what he says that is wrong. Just curious

Are you by any chance a Father Ted fan?

An example, particularly grating to me (I was an optical crystallographer in a former life):

I quote from his tuna episode, "The Other Red Meat," as copied from the Good Eats Fan Page transcripts, which are very accurate.

  Speaking of color, you ever notice the rainbow effect that sometimes appears on the surface of freshly cut tuna? It's not from age and it's not fat. It's birefringence.

    [reading from a book] "*Anisotropism of the refractive index which varies as a function of polarization and fre ... " [gives up]

    Here's the deal. This surface is pretty smooth. But, if you look closely, you'll see it's actually a vast landscape of parallel fibers. When cut, the reduced surface pressure coaxes microscopic beads of moisture to the surface, each one of which acts as an independent prism. When viewed in concert, they look like a rainbow.

Wrong. Liquid water is isotropic. There's no way in heaven or hell that it can exhibit birefringence. Ice, on the other hand, can - because it's (1) crystalline, and (2) ice does not crystallize in the isometric system. In any event, birefringence cannot be observed in the absence of polarized light, and even with a polarized source could not be seen with the naked eye on the "microscopic beads of moisture" scale.

He is correct in stating that the minusucle droplets of water act as prisms, but his explanation of why is completely off-beam. The actual cause is dispersion, the tendency of refractive index to vary with the wavelength of light passing through a solid or liquid - the same effect that gives us rainbows in the sky and the "fire" in a diamond.

That's high school physics.

I also noticed much more schtick in the show after he ran out of things to mine Shirley Corriher's Cookwise for.

Charlie

Walled Lake, Michigan

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I have to put my 2 cents in about Sandra Lee. How can someone teach something that they don't know how to do? That show is an abomination and does more of a disservice to people who are actually trying to learn to cook.

Bobby Flay is unwatchable.

I do like Ina Garten and Sarah Moulton. I like Sarah's approach and Ina has some refreshing ideas.

Haven't seen Jacque's show yet, but will be looking for it.

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Are you by any chance a Father Ted fan?

An example, particularly grating to me (I was an optical crystallographer in a former life):

I quote from his tuna episode, "The Other Red Meat," as copied from the Good Eats Fan Page transcripts, which are very accurate.

Wrong.  Liquid water is isotropic.  There's no way in heaven or hell that it can exhibit birefringence.  Ice, on the other hand, can - because it's (1) crystalline, and (2) ice does not crystallize in the isometric system.  In any event, birefringence cannot be observed in the absence of polarized light, and even with a polarized source could not be seen with the naked eye on the "microscopic beads of moisture" scale.

He is correct in stating that the minusucle droplets of water act as prisms, but his explanation of why is completely off-beam.  The actual cause is dispersion, the tendency of refractive index to vary with the wavelength of light passing through a solid or liquid - the same effect that gives us rainbows in the sky and the "fire" in a diamond. 

That's high school physics.

I also noticed much more schtick in the show after he ran out of things to mine Shirley Corriher's Cookwise for.

I agree with you , makes sense after reading up on the definition of birefringence. And yes i am a Father Ted fan

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