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Ron Johnson

Food Network Chefs

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I know that this topic was tangentially addressed in the Bourdain lovefest featuring Chef Anthony and Mr. Mamdujar.  However, I thought it was topic worthy of its own thread.  My Ũ.2 on the various personalities is as follows:

Sara Moulton:  PROS: Nice lady, decent chef.  CONS:  call-in shows make me wince.  Are we Americans really that stupid.  Also it bothers me how she is always making the guest chefs rush through their preparation.

Mario Batali:  PROS: Seems like a heck of a nice guy.  Definitely genuine passion for his cuisine.  Probably among the most talented of the chefs on the newtwork. One of my personal favorites CONS:  My god the man mangles the english language.  His efforts to use the most poly-syllabic and verbose terminology to describe an item often leave him severely tongue-tied and gasping for air.  Rooney, the idiot sidekick on his travel show, must be killed.

Bobby Flay: PROS: He came to my state (Kentucky) and he said nice things about it.  CON:  He acts like a jerk.  The only thing left for him to do to Jackie Malouf is smack her on camera.  Even the format of his show is exclusionary, sexist, and self-serving.    Oh yeah, and he uses a gas grill.  So much for him being a real man.  I wish Jack McDavid had kicked his ass on their last show.

Emeril Lagasse:  PROS:  Nice guy.  Creating more interest in food and cooking.  CONS:  Makes tons of mistakes on his show.  Dangerous source of misinformation to new cooks.  Acts like a clown.  I keep expecting him to pull up to the set jammed into a tiny car with "Doc Gibbs" and Cliff, all wearing red noses and humongous shoes.  

Gordon Elliot:  PROS: None  CONS:  Him.  Shoot on sight.

Ming Tsai:  PROS:  Got the fusion thing down.  Seems nice.  CONS:  Tends to be cheesy.

Alton Brown:  PROS:  Best cooking show on TV.  Extremely informative sessions with just enough classroom shtick to keep it from being a lecture.  I wish Emeril would watch some of these episodes.  CONS:  He lets the Rooney guy on his show.

Wayne Harley Brachman:  PROS:  Makes good desserts.  CONS:  Acts like a creepy serial killer.  And whats up with that voice?

Padma Lakshmi  PROS:  She is even hotter than her food.  CONS:  Not a chef.  Continues to do her show clothed.

Keith Famie:  PROS:  He didn't like that woman on "Survivor" either.  CONS:  After her the person I hated next was him.

Anthony Bourdain:  PROS:  A guy from the trenches makes good.  CONS:  Does he have to pay Hunter S. Thompson royalties for stealing his identity?

Martha Stewart:  PROS:  K-mart filed chapter 13.  CONS:  This is too easy.

Thats all I can think of now.

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I have nothing whatsoever against Jackie Malouf, and deplore violence to women, but the vivid mental impression of Bobby Flay whacking her on his show has made me laugh immoderately.

Is it only me that misses Dean "I'm an old-time saucier from way back" Fearing and his mile-wide smile.

A big problem I have with Alton Brown's show, and even more with Bourdain's, is the youth/music TV-inherited camera style.  If stuff's worth talking about, can't you point the camera at it long and straight so we can see it?

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RE: Booby Flay - i couldn't have said it better. LOL!!!

Alton - number 1.  best show.  

Anthony Bourdain - gets props for wearing a "Bellevue Bar" t-shirt on last night's show.  this is one of the seediest places left in NYC, and one of the only places with actual atmosphere.  one of my favorite bars.  i'll buy him a beer if i run into him there.

you're pretty hard on mario though.  us dumb people think he sounds smart!

RE:  are americans really that stupid - see above.

gordon elliot rules.  Door Knock Dinners was funny and spontaneous.  you gotta love when the 6 foot 15 gordon would bump his head into stranger's chandeliers.

who is the skinny short haired girl that i see cooking with people (calling all cooks?).  she's by far my favorite.

+2 points to you for admitting that you watched Survivor. ;)

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Quote: from Wilfrid on 2:04 pm on Jan. 23, 2002

A big problem I have with Alton Brown's show, and even more with Bourdain's, is the youth/music TV-inherited camera style.  If stuff's worth talking about, can't you point the camera at it long and straight so we can see it?

alton was a film maker at one point, no?  i think that's why he builds so many creative elements into the camera work.  some annoy you, some don't.

the naked chef is by far the worse offender when it comes to sweeping camera.  plus that crappy english TV quality produces no less than a blurred smear if the camera moves just a little.  forget about trying to read credits on Absolutely Fabulous, which has nothing to do with this thread, but which is very funny.

(Edited by tommy at 2:47 pm on Jan. 23, 2002)

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Can't believe that I forgot the Naked Chef!  The show has such intense close-ups and shaky camera work, not to mention sudden sweeps from Jamie's nose hair to a tiny mole on his hand, that not only I am unable to discern what technique he is employing, but I have also experienced motion sickness.  That show cannot be viewed without the benefit of dramamine tablets.

Wilfrid:  I too disdain violence toward women, however, given Bobby's inclination to treat Ms. Malouf like a piece a trash, I am afraid the backhand is coming any day now.  Their relationship is oddly reminiscent of a pimp and his 'ho (sp?).

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Quote: from ron johnson on 2:18 pm on Jan. 23, 2002

Their relationship is oddly reminiscent of a pimp and his 'ho (sp?).

he keeps his pimp arm strong.

seeing booby get smacked would be *much* more entertaining than seeing anyone else take a hit.  i'd tune in for that one.  i'd then like to see jackie slap all of those fake-friend women that show up at the shows.  come to think of it, i think the entire cast, with the exception of jackie, should be slapped.  maybe i'm being a bit over the top on this one.

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Tommy:  That would be cool.  jackie loses it after months of verbal abuse from Bobby.  She splits his melon with the nearest cutting board and then goes after the silicon injected blondes smiling idiotically in the audience.

Over the top?  No way my good man.  Pure genius!

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Anyone remember Kieth Flloyd in the PBS shows Flloyd on France and Flloyd on Fish.  He was one of those irrascible curmudeons that liked invading other folks kitchens and basically taking over the meal preparation.  He had a sarcastic attitude I found rather amusing.  He was also obviously the type of guy that if he found himself in Jamie Olivers kitchen would browbeat the film crew then kick Jamie's ass!

I also liked Graham Kerr better when he was a drunk.


=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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Alton Brown is indeed a filmmaker by training.  In fact, his own production company (Be Squared) has taken the show over from Means Street.  Means Street is still doing Mario Eats Italy so Rooney will stay with Mario and not be seen on Good Eats.

Patrick Belden does the music for both shows.

Shiva (Alton Brown Trivia 'R' Us)

P.S. Padma Lakshmi, me, and a gallon of ghee is my dream date.

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Keith Floyd is alive and has recently been seen on Channel 5 in the UK in "Floyd on India" in which he was very well behaved and was quite entertaining.

He has however lost a great deal of edge and it seems that the endless routine of cooking stews in different locations around the world has rather worn him down.

But give me Floyd anyday over Jamie Oliver and I'm not just saying that. I have probably seen 90% of all of Floyds TV shows (mind you I have seen all of Olivers. But it's a bit like a nasty road accident, it's so horrible you just can't look away).

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I thought Flay was about to chin Jack McDavid once.  Flay was doing some fairly simple prep, and good ol' Jack weighed in with some comment like "What you got to remember there, Bobby boy, is you need to...(etc)", to which Flay replied, without a flicker of amusement, "Yes, I know Jack, I do this for a living."  I would back Jack to punch his lights out.  Not sure who would win a Flay/Malouf bout; she's pretty buff.

(Edited by Wilfrid at 3:54 pm on Jan. 23, 2002)

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Tommy:  the problem with Naked Chef is the #### camera work.  Its like trying to read scrap of newspaper floating in the ocean through a four inch porthole while riding in the steerage compartment of a underpowered steamship.  Puke city. For God's sake, zoom out, zoom out!

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On Food Network Canada, the 2001 shows no longer feature the pointless Ms. Malouf. If she shows up again, I'd more than be pleased to see Flay backhand her. I could never last more than a braying chortle and idiotic comment from her before turning it off. Of course, even without her on, I hardly ever watch a full episode.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I agree Alton has the best show on FTV...

A pretty good website devoted to the show is at They'>http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/

They

are REALLY into Alton and co....transcripts for every show etc...

Is it true that the gadget expert "W" is his wife?

As far as cooking shows go...I love some Chicago Productions that are on PBS...I'm not sure if they're nationwide..I'd assume so...

Charlie Trotter show is excellent along with Rick Bayless' show...

Any Iron Chef fans?  I'm not sure if I like it or hate it...I am guilty of watching occasionally...

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Quote: from OB on 1:00 pm on Jan. 24, 2002

Is it true that the gadget expert "W" is his wife?

i always hoped so.

love the iron chef. and, thanks for that website!!

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Any sites for fans of Ming's cookware? Got to have this mexican eatherware he uses. I even sent email to foodtv.com asking them about those vessels, but as you might expect, no answer. They look like cazuelas, but have cute handles, and Ming has them in every size imaginable...

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Quote: from tommy on 8:50 pm on Jan. 23, 2002

what is so horrible about oliver's show?  it's energetic and fun.  hardly qualities to hate.

Tommy, I typed an hilarious response to this yesterday, but I lost my connection before it fully submitted and now it's gone.

There is no way I can be bothered to type it all out again, but it was basicaly that I don't hate the guy, the first series was good, but now he believes his own publicity and his TV persona has become a bad parody of itself. (God it was so funny, it's a shame you won't get to read it.)  

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Quote: from Andy Lynes on 2:15 pm on Jan. 24, 2002

[Tommy, I typed an hilarious response to this yesterday,

[jumping on the Andy-bashing-bandwagon]

why do i doubt that.

;)

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No, "W" is not Alton's wife.  She's an actress named Vickie Eng.  Alton's married to Deanna who's a partner in his production company.  Their daughter's name is Zoey.  :shocked:

Shiva (Helped Mike with some of the transcripts at goodeatsfanpage.com)

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Quote: from Andy Lynes on 2:15 pm on Jan. 24, 2002

the first series was good, but now he believes his own publicity and his TV persona has become a bad parody of itself.

Are you talking about his specials and the new "Pukka Tukka" show? First off that title is awful. When written down I tend to read it with a long rather than short u (i.e. puke-ah), bleh! They still just bill it as The Naked Chef (on my DirectTV schedule). What is really silly are the current shows where he goes to celebrities' houses to cook for them, getting them to participate in the cooking. Last time he jammed with Jamiroquai, oh wow.

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The show with Jamiroquai is the only one I've seen - didn't mean to, but I was trapped by that horrible fascination.   Two jovial mockney blokes in one kitchen.  Quite vile.  Highlight was JOl (as I shall call him) plonking a huge prime rib roast on the table, and explaining:  "It's called the forerib.  Now, that's not becuase it's got four ribs sticking out of it."  Nothing if not informative.

And what has Jamiroquai done to deserve that vast stately home.  He sells those records?  

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== Shiva:  (Helped Mike with some of the transcripts at goodeatsfanpage.com) ==

Thanks for the info on "W'...not sure where I heard that rumor....

When you say you "helped" with the transcripts...what do you mean exactly?  How did you transcribe the shows?  I for one can say that I truly appreciated the effort...I've refered to a number of them when refreshing my memory for something or another...

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My only foodtv 'can't miss' show is Tony Bourdain's new Cook's Tour show.  I will tape it if I have to.  I didn't think I would like him very much because of his x-rated language in his books, but he has won me over.  He exhibits a certain sense of vulnerability on his show in contrast to his bad-boy image, which is attractive (Tony Bourdain is sort of a Russell Crowe of chefdom IMHO,) and the location scenes are also attractive.  

I also like Ming Tsai's show, as well as occasional Jamie Oliver, Mario and Emeril (my husband won't watch Emeril, though).  I also usually like the melting pot.  I like Alton Brown when he has an interesting topic, like last nights cheese cake.  A lot of his shows are just too wacky for me, like when he makes Barbeque in a string of gym lockers...who is going to do that?  I turn the channel when I see weird stuff like that.  The most boring to watch (IMHO) are the chef's schools shows, and the couple that do the restaurants around the USA, so I turn the channel then, too.   One more thing I also wonder...who are those 'friends' of Bobby Flays?  It's a very weird show, but quite often the recipes/food looks very nice.  I hate it though, when he has one of his 'friends' chop the ingredients, etc,...it's painful to watch.

Overall, I like foodtv...sure glad we have it now (just came to me us maybe 4 months ago).

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