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Ron Johnson

Food Network Chefs

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  (Rachel, Rachel, Rachel.  Why do people hate you so much.

I can't stand anyone who giggles at her own (unfunny) jokes, that's why. And she visits crappy chains like La Madeleine and Bahama Breeze on her $40 show. Blech.

:laugh::laugh::laugh: I know. It's true. But I noticed she must have gotten some serious feedback on giggling, because in the lastest or newest episodes, she's not doing it as much or at least not as aggravating. She has also stopped with the "this is the best thing I've ever had in my life!" eye roll. As for the selected restaurants, what are you gonna eat for $40? She said on David Letterman, that if she says "the room is beautiful," or "they give you so much food," that the meal was awful and the crew eats it. So she is aware that the food is not great.

Stepping back here...I am not advocating Rachel. I just don't hate her.


Emma Peel

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Cooking on TV begins and ends with Julia! What's the matter with you people??? :shock:

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Mmmmm.... Tyler Florence.... yummy. :wub: I mean the food of course. :wink: I also like Ina Garten and the trailer guy (have only seen him once or twice, is he still on the air?). Oh, and Jamie Oliver.

I think it's important to remember that hosts are not necessarily chefs (NOT that I encourage opening THAT semantic can of worms), and wouldn't call themselves such. The network reaches a broad audience with diverse tastes, and I think they do a pretty good job of covering the bases. So even though I think some of shows might provide recipes that I wouldn't prepare (or care to eat), I don't have a problem with them being there.

Considering this is an entertainment medium, I know I'm heavily influenced by personality. Besides liking the food styles of Tyler, Ina, trailer guy, and Jamie, they all seem like pretty laid back individuals who do what they enjoy. Conversely, my least favorites are Bourdain -- a bit self-destructive for my taste, and Babbo -- I know he's knowledgeable and creative, but so does he. Did anyone see the show (or maybe it was a series) when culinary students worked in his restaurants and competed their dishes against his with NY food critics? He was SOOOO condescending. Perhaps he forgot that he was once a nub too. On the other hand, I really liked his Mario Eats Italy programs - he and his friend were the right brand of nutty.

Edited to add: I like the old Galloping Gourmet with Graham Kerr (sp?) shows -- I think I've seen them on PBS?


Edited by bavila (log)

Bridget Avila

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Well, I love Bourdain personality-wise, he reminds me of who I would be if I just decided to not give a fuck about anyone or anything.

I also really like Bobby Flay, his asshole nature appeals to me, and his food looks tasty, though he does use too much honey.

I think Rachel Ray is cute, well, maybe more than cute, but I have little respect for her knowledge base after seeing some of her supposed 'low-carb' episodes where she uses refined wheat flour.

On a similar note, while I would love to love George Stella, I just don't. He reminds me of low-carb cooking a full year ago, it has gotten a lot better since then, he needs to be less afraid of specialty ingredients and needs to stop the low-fat and low-carb thing in combination.

Ina Garten and Paula Deen remind me a lot of each other. They are both grandmotherly and awesome, home cooking at its best. Who cares of it is greasy, southern cooking is supposed to use lots of grease, it is an official food ground in AL ;).

Sandra Lee I could take or leave. I tend to avoid lots of processed stuff, so I can't make much from her show, it looks tasty though.

I like Emeril a lot, and pork fat certainly is equal to god in nature. Still, I hate the audience in his live show. Reminds me too much of Oprah, and how do I hate Oprah...


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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The best of the best? Emeril. No contest. Hands down. He IS the most influential chef in America. 20 -30 years from now when people look back he will be in the same league as Julia. Every other chef with a t.v. show knows damn good and well he is a driving force behind their being able to make money doing a show. Besides being a people person, an excellent teacher, and writer, he also happens to be a first class chef. You think Commander's Palace was a dive? The line outside one of his restaurants before opening isn't by chance. If it came to holding his own against any other well known chef I wouldn't bet against him.

Besides personality, if you want to know why he is successful go his website and look at the mission statement of his businesses. Not only does he have a mission statement (something more buisinesses should have) but he follows it. He also puts back to the community with a focus on youth. Only Jamie Oliver has put a similar focus in terms of youth, and yes I have a great deal of respect for him as well. All of the Emeril bashers seem to have their head buried somewhere, I need not say where.

After Emeril? Alton's cool. Alton knows his stuff and Alton makes things pretty easy as well. Entertainng and an first rate teacher.

Paula Deen, damn, for down home cooking, how could anybody with any southern roots or background not be creamin' their jeans over her food. So what if it cuts 20 years off your life, you'd die happy.

Most all of the others, to some degree or another have their redeeming qualities. I find Bourdain entertaining. He calls a spade a spade, or rather he calls it a f--ing shovel. His shtick is that street wise bluntness and in your face attitude and from him it works. Bobby Flay can be obnoxious and arrogant but he can back his up by walking the walk. Of course I like his line of 'don't skimp on the salt, something else will kill you anyhow' (or something close to that.

Fans, be they football fans, baseball fans, movie fans, or, as we are here, fans of food and wine, most fans tend to be opinionated. Perhaps too arogant at times and too blind to the facts. Like them or not, facts are facts. Barry Bodns is the best (steroid question aside), Michael Jordan was the best, Tiger Woods is the best, and fact is, so is Emeril.


Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

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Ina is my favorite, although I know from previous threads that that is not the popular opinion. Paula Deen drives me nuts. Alton is cool and Bourdain is the sexiest and most interesting. His picutre on the cover of Kitchen Confidential is better than food porn! :raz:

Emeril is just on too damn much. I don't think he'd bother me as much if he wasn't on every time (it seems) that I turn the TV on. He also needs to find new "catch phrases" - if I have to listen to "I don't know where you get your xxxxx from, but mine don't come seasoned" one more time I'll scream.

I think the male watchers like Giada and Rachel 'cause they're cute. However, Giada does the simplest recipes that really have no business being on a cooking show . Rachel's laugh (at her own stupid jokes) is irritating to the extreme, but I hope she is inspiring non-cooks to get in the kitchen and out of the drive-through lines.

The saddest part is that the best shows are no longer on.... I liked the CIA show, there was a "best chef's" series that was great, of course, Julia is no longer on new shows (so proud that she's my namesake!)

The non cooking shows (Food Finds, Unwrapped) really suck. If I flip on the TV and one of them is on, I feel really gyped.

The best review of Tyler Florence was posted by ExtraMSG - but I haven't been able to find it... it was fall-on-the-floor hilarious - ExtraMSG, please provide a recap or link!

Julia (still addicted to Food Network despite the criticisms!)


"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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Well, I love Bourdain personality-wise, he reminds me of who I would be if I just decided to not give a fuck about anyone or anything. 

I also really like Bobby Flay, his asshole nature appeals to me, and his food looks tasty, though he does use too much honey.

I think Rachel Ray is cute, well, maybe more than cute, but I have little respect for her knowledge base after seeing some of her supposed 'low-carb' episodes where she uses refined wheat flour.

On a similar note, while I would love to love George Stella, I just don't.  He reminds me of low-carb cooking a full year ago, it has gotten a lot better since then, he needs to be less afraid of specialty ingredients and needs to stop the low-fat and low-carb thing in combination.

Ina Garten and Paula Deen remind me a lot of each other.  They are both grandmotherly and awesome, home cooking at its best.  Who cares of it is greasy, southern cooking is supposed to use lots of grease, it is an official food ground in AL ;). 

Sandra Lee I could take or leave.  I tend to avoid lots of processed stuff, so I can't make much from her show, it looks tasty though. 

I like Emeril a lot, and pork fat certainly is equal to god in nature.  Still, I hate the audience in his live show.  Reminds me too much of Oprah, and how do I hate Oprah...

CTZNCane,

A bit taken aback by your enthusiasm for Emeril but hey your opinion is valid as mine. I will disagree that Emril will have the same influence as Julia. As I've said, I don't think he show imparts much knowledge or is very entertaining but it must be to someone. It continues to hold primetime. I can speak to a number of dining experiences at Emerils establishments in New Orleans and Vagas. Lets just say I won't be a repeat customer even on another persons dime.

BTW, HTBW has a new blond. On the most recent episode she doesn't seem to even cook anymore? What happened to the first origional duals?

Best cooking show ever for entertainment value has got to be Jacque and Julia. Best moment in cooking is a tie: chopping dual between Jacque and Martin Yan or Jacque deboning a chicken in about 2 minutes in his first solo PBS series.

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:laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh: I know.  It's true.  But I noticed she must have gotten some serious feedback on giggling, because in the lastest or newest episodes, she's not doing it as much or at least not as aggravating.  She has also stopped with the "this is the best thing I've ever had in my life!" eye roll.  As for the selected restaurants, what are you gonna eat for $40?  She said on David Letterman, that if she says "the room is beautiful," or "they give you so much food," that the meal was awful and the crew eats it.  So she is aware that the food is not great.

Good to know that bit about deciphering her comments. I guess I have a problem with the premise of the show, since when I travel, I set aside enough money to go ahead and splurge on a few good meals out, so I'd like to find true gems without sacrificing. If I had to follow a daily food budget, the first thing I'd do when I got to town would be to buy a few staples at a local grocer or deli, perhaps some fresh bagels, some lunch meat, cheese and fruit or veggies that I could keep in my hotel for simple noshes or small meals. In a pinch, I could pack a sandwich and go to a park for a picnic, then save the money I'd otherwise spend on a mediocre restaurant meal, plus tax and tip, for a bigger splurge at dinnertime. She does find some good places to eat here and there, but I'd just really rather not assume I was going to have to rely on restaurants for 3 meals and a snack with little or no alcohol budget every day of my trip.

I love Julia Child. Since my name is also Julia, and I love to cook, the comparison comes up frequently, but it's usually a situation where someone refers to me as "Julia Childs." No, no, it's Child, damnit! Not that there's really any reason to refer to me by any name other than my own, since my first and last name actually ring together pretty well. My last name? Rachel. Ha ha ha. I suppose that would be funny if it weren't true.

Her shows with Jacques were among my favorites. I also love Alton Brown for his scientific knowledge of food in chemical reactions. Other than that, most of the food shows pale in comparison to the PBS shows from years ago, like "Great Chefs" and the old Galloping Gourmet.

As for Emeril and Paula Dean, Bobby Flay and several others, well, if I can't say anything nice, I guess I'll just leave it at that, eh? :wink:

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Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

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Sandra Lee I could take or leave.  I tend to avoid lots of processed stuff, so I can't make much from her show, it looks tasty though. 

I wonder if Sandra Lee makes what she makes because she's related to Sara Lee?

Seriously, I don't watch much Food Network fare--the occasional episode of the original "Iron Chef" or a snippet or two of Emeril--but I have warmed up quickly to Alton Brown. I like the geek-in-the-kitchen quality of his program and find his advice easy to follow. I also think he's cute in that same geeky way.


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Here in Canada the lineup is a little bit different, of course, and since I can't be bothered to get cable I've only watched it while staying with the in-laws. Of the shows I've watched...

Rachel Ray...the food wasn't that interesting, but I'd watch her all day with the sound off.

Sara's Secrets...the reverse. Her food seems to have something goin' on, but the woman puts me to sleep.

Bobby Flay...like oven cleaner, he irritates on contact. Severe case of ego pollution.

Molto Mario...a huge favourite. Excellent balance of information and entertainment, excellent food, lots of knowledge, a smattering of humour. (No wonder they've dropped him, adds the bald guy's cynical side...)

Tony Bourdain...loved the couple episodes of Cook's Tour that I caught, as well as the book. That gawky Lou-Reed-meets-Judge-Reinhold charm...who can resist?

Bob Blumer...okay, the guy's not a cook. He just putzes around and does silly stuff. But you know what? I enjoy watching him. Maybe I have a previously-underrated sense of whimsy, but the goofy things he turns out are fun to look at and I bet they taste okay.

Cook Like a Chef...Canada only. Various reasonably high-profile Canadian chefs prepare things they like, in a monstrous studio kitchen. Most of them are impaired in their camera-friendliness, droning inanities as the camera zooms in on their hands, *but*...these are serious pros making decent food, and I watched it every chance I got.

Christine Cushing...is in front of the camera 'cause of her cheekbones, not because she was knocking Toronto's culinary world on its ear. Having said that, her show is fairly watchable and the food is frequently interesting.

Michael Smith (Chef at Large)...one big ol' goofball (6'7" or so), but pretty serious about food and a very giving individual with his time. His show was hit or miss, but frequently fascinating (I loved the episode where he visited the Famous People Players, a troupe of mentally-challenged puppeteers who now cook at their own dinner theatre).

Emeril...shut the f*k up and cook, already. I understand and appreciate the influence he's had, I just wish the show had more substance. And lose the audience of barking seals, applauding madly when he dribbles EVOO on a plate.

Alton Brown...rather silly at times, but he puts food science across to Joe Schmoe and I don't think anyone else could do what he does. I enjoyed every episode I ever watched, though I sometimes hated myself for it.

Anna Olsen...again, Canada only (I think). She's not super-smooth on camera, but not clumsy either...a working pastry chef, she'll show two or three related dessert items on every show. Best part: at the end of each episode she takes a simple item from the beginning of the show and morphs it into a nicely showy plated dessert. I liked watching her. Her show, I mean.

Iron Chef...mixed feelings about this one. Loved watching the chefs lose their minds under the pressure, detested the goofy narration. And the judges...who picks the judges? A businessman, a starlet, and somebody's mother-in-law...what's up with that? (I refer to the original IC, of course, haven't seen the American version)


"The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself."

Ursula K. Le Guin

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

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    I've eaten at 2 of his restaurants.  NOLA in New Orleans and THe FIsh House in Vegas.  The food was excellent and the service was over the top, second to none.  I can certainly understand one having a bad experience at a restaurant.  Even a second bad experience.  When I hear 'numerous' though I become a bit suspicious.  I truly find that hard to believe unless someone has unrealistic expectations or a horrible demeanor towards a restaurants staff.  Then again, what would possess someone after even 2 bad experiences to go back and try for the trifecta?

OK, I feel a need to share my experience with Emeril, as I worked at one of his restaurants, my SO worked in the same restaurant, and a number of my friends and co-workers have shared experience working with him/his company. On the one hand, I've butted heads with some here in Atlanta who, while considering themselves to be restaurant "critics," refused flatly to even try visiting the restaurant before declaring it an absolute abomination. Having worked there, I tried most every dish on the menu, plus a variety of nightly specials and soups. I ate there as a customer as well as as an employee. In fact, I could say that I've been "privileged" to taste more of Emeril's food than most people.

Some of his recipes are good, and some things are even terrific. I happen to like his homemade worcestershire sauce, his fried oysters and a number of other items. I think his signature banana cream pie is awful, but other people seem to love it, so I'm the oddball.

But, the restaurants he has opened in the last few years, particularly the ones opened in the last year, suffer great execution problems in the kitchen. Inconsistency is rampant and I have heard and read a veritable plethora of complaints about the food, many of them justified, and about the service, which is generally horrible. There is speculation that his restaurant here may close, as it is not nearly as busy as had been predicted.

Or maybe he'll keep it open and operate at a loss, because doing so will keep his presence here, which does in fact help him to sell more books and merchandise. And therein lies my full impression of the man who is Emeril. He was once a serious chef who cared about running restaurants and making good food. Now he is a media entity and a corporation, interested only in selling products.

Sorry, I know that sounds horrible and jaded of me, but that's how I feel.

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...  Best moment in cooking is a tie: chopping dual between Jacque and Martin Yan or Jacque deboning a chicken in about 2 minutes in his first solo PBS series.

I also Love, Love, Love Julia Child, but she's not on the food network anymore. My favorite moment was an interview I saw of her when the interviewer asked what food she didn't like. After a moment, because she couldn't think of anything she said (not verbatim), "Rocket. I don't understand it. And Cilantro. If I find Rocket on my plate, I want to throw it to the floor and stomp on it." The next day I saw her PBS program and her guest chef was Alice Waters, who lovingly prepared her " Beet, Blood Orange, Walnut, and Rocket Salad." It was a riot watching Julia take a bite and say "mmmm, very good."


Emma Peel

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...  Best moment in cooking is a tie: chopping dual between Jacque and Martin Yan or Jacque deboning a chicken in about 2 minutes in his first solo PBS series.

I also Love, Love, Love Julia Child, but she's not on the food network anymore. My favorite moment was an interview I saw of her when the interviewer asked what food she didn't like. After a moment, because she couldn't think of anything she said (not verbatim), "Rocket. I don't understand it. And Cilantro. If I find Rocket on my plate, I want to throw it to the floor and stomp on it." The next day I saw her PBS program and her guest chef was Alice Waters, who lovingly prepared her " Beet, Blood Orange, Walnut, and Rocket Salad." It was a riot watching Julia take a bite and say "mmmm, very good."

That is hilarious!!! I'm going to cook breakfast and now I'm gonna be cracking up cause I have this vision in my head! God, the kids are gonna think I've lost my mind.

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I've been watching cooking shows all my life, unfortunately, none of them actually taught me to cook! I learned recipes and could reproduce some of them but really, cooking classes taught me to cook. Maybe I loved watching the shows because they showed stuff I could never get at home. Paula Dean's stuff, I could get. Anything else...fugggeddabbboutit. I know this is "FoodTV Chefs" but I will expand a wee bit.

Jaques Pepin: LOVE, the show with his daughter though was awful. She seemed pretty useless.

Galloping Gourmet, always good for a laugh!

Jeff Smith "The Frugal Gourmet": Loved him, coveted his pepper mill/grinder. Still haven't purchased one So sorry about the personal life though.

Of course Julia, her show with Jaques was wonderful...two old comrades.

If Yan Can Cook...You Can too!!!!

Of the current FoodTV stable, I have my phases. I used to not care for Emrile much but sometimes I watch if he has interesting dishes going. Yes, he is WAAAAY over the top and annoying but there is something I can gleen from him sometimes. His 1/2 hour show is better except sometimes he looks like he is in a bad mood.

Rachel Ray: A year ago I loved her. She's been getting on my nerves though. I do agree that she has done a great job of encouraging people to actually cook at home and that it isn't hard to do. I've tried a number of her ideas and they have been good: steak bites with bloody mary dipping sauce has been requested by my husband for a BBQ we are doing in a couple weeks.

Sandra Lee: Don't want to give her much attention here but we do watch her for the 'train wreck' factor. Puh-leez...my husband calls her Betty Crock-O-Sh*t. LOL

Flay is OK, pompous. Giada is OK.

I like Tyler Florence!!!! He is good, has done well saving the cursed How To Boil Water show (third iteration people!) 911 is good too. And yes, say it with me ladies...he's kinda cute too.

Iron Chef: Japan and America, very entertaining! Like Mario: very knowledgable and would love to go to HIS Italy.

Alton is my current favorite, even my husband will sit through his show and has read the book (one complaint, the book is basically a transcription of the shows!)

Ina Garten is another current favorite. She and hubby are so cute.

OK there are more but for what it is worth, these are some of my opinions.

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CTZNCane,

A bit taken aback by your enthusiasm for Emeril but hey your opinion is valid as mine.  I will disagree that Emril will have the same influence as Julia.  As I've said, I don't think he show imparts much knowledge or is very entertaining but it must be to someone.  It continues to hold primetime.  I can speak to a number of dining experiences at Emerils establishments in New Orleans and Vagas.  Lets just say I won't be a repeat customer even on another persons dime. 

    Taken aback?  That's surprising as he is the most recoginzed celebrity food wise.  Enthusiastic?  Yes, because I think he has meant that much to the American food scene.  As to not imparting much knowledge?  Julia tried to demystify French food and French cooking and make it approachable to the American home cook.  Does Emeril simpllify things and break them down to an easy to understand format?  Dislike the phrase or like it, but he's on the money with 'it ain't rocket science."  Virtually all great dishes are built from a strong basic foundation.  To say that he does not impart much knowledge because he makes it simple, in my mind, is totally bizarre. 

    To each his own as to how entertaining you find his show.  One hell of a lot of people must find him entertaining though.  Yes, some of his phrases may seem to get old to some peolple and I've certainly found some tiring at times, but hey, they are a part of his identity.  Forget foodies, go to the general public.  Ask them to identify "bam""?  That level of name recognition and association associated with the likes of CocaCola - "the real thing" and FedEx - "absolutely, positively....".  That kind of identity is power and toss out what you or I think, it took a lot of people and entertainment power to get that kind of recognition.

    I've eaten at 2 of his restaurants.  NOLA in New Orleans and THe FIsh House in Vegas.  The food was excellent and the service was over the top, second to none.  I can certainly understand one having a bad experience at a restaurant.  Even a second bad experience.  When I hear 'numerous' though I become a bit suspicious.  I truly find that hard to believe unless someone has unrealistic expectations or a horrible demeanor towards a restaurants staff.  Then again, what would possess someone after even 2 bad experiences to go back and try for the trifecta?

CTZN Cane,

let say you and I differ and feel free to be "suspecious" about my numerous experices at his restaurants. I prefer to judge on food/services/cost vs. the stardom of the restaurant's name sake. Let me also say that I stand by my feelings that Julia occupies a different place in american food culture than Emril does. It is hard to judge what he will do in the future but if he continues in his current trajectory, I can't really foresee that he will be but a shadow of what Julia is/was.

Soup

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I also Love, Love, Love Julia Child, but she's not on the food network anymore.

I remember seeing her as a guest a couple of times, but she has never been on food network. She is still seen on PBS. Our local PBS reruns Cooking with Master Chefs or Baking with Julia every evening followed by Jacque and Julia.


Edited by kjente2 (log)

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I remember seeing her as a guest a couple of times, but she has never been on food network.  ...

For a brief time about two years ago, the Food Network ran her original black and white shows for about 6 months or a little longer. They ran two 30 min. segments back to back for a glorious hour of Julia daily. You may have missed it. Yes, I enjoy her on PBS. When she was a guest of Emeril's on FN, that was a fun show, because he deferred to her, like a scared little boy.


Edited by emmapeel (log)

Emma Peel

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Alton Brown: I'm a nerd, so Good Eats instantly appealed to me -- but now, I find myself far less pleased with him. It started when I got his book ("I'm just here for the food"), but found very few recipes that I actually wanted to cook -- and it also contains outlandish ideas such as cutting a hole in your Weber grill and running a hairdryer through it...

I love his enthusiasm for educating the audience, and am particularly fond of the parallel he draws between cooking and navigation: A recipe just tells you to take the second left, turn right at the light, etc., but if the road is blocked (ie., you're missing a recipe component), you are completely lost. The way Alton does it, he includes so much information, that you actually know the entire landscape, which enables you to get to where you want to be (or very close), no matter what path you take...

His shtick gets in the way of things, I think (the Scrap Iron Chef was entirely pointless, and offered me practically nothing, as far as actual knowledge that I could use to cook anything). And even though I'm a nerd at heart, I find that a lot of his science details have no practical value.

In one show, he demonstrated how to cook pizza, by loading the oven with a bunch of bricks, running the oven through the cleaning cycle, and then moving the super-hot bricks into the garage, where he'd build a little, temporary pizza oven with them! (The "good" news was that it would stay hot enough to cook TWO pizzas). WTF? Was this a joke? Was he on crank? "Hello, this week on New Yankee Workshop, we'll learn how to cut down a tree ... with a herring!"

But I can't hate Alton though -- he did include a Python spam reference at some point...

Rachel Ray: Good, in very moderate doses, cause her "bubbly" personality gets pretty irritating. Her 30-min meals aren't very realistic, methinks -- I'd like to see something realistic, like at least 60-min meals... The show she does with celebrities is unbelievably horrible -- her fawning over Tony freakin' Danza was so bad it was good. When she got to meet an actual celebrity like Morgan Freeman, she was just constantly palpitating, squealing, and in constant risk of falling of her chair from full-body spasms.

Emeril: Really, guys, his solo show isn't that bad. The live show -- now, I can understand the hatred everyone's got for him, but his clichéd catchphrases aren't really that much worse than Alton's general wackiness, or Rachel Ray's "bubbliness."

Sara Moulton: Me like. Straight-forward, no-nonsense, no "hilarious" gimmicks, catchphrases or grating attempts to be cute. Just cooking.

Bobby Flay: Seems too full of himself. I know, I've never met him, so that may not be true in real life -- but as a TV viewer, he just comes across as slightly arrogant and cocky.

Tyler Florence: Very good stuff. His 911 and Ultimate are two of my favorite shows. The woman from How to Boil Water is horrible. The 911 show is the closest to a practical show, of anything on FoodTV: It's done in someone's kitchen, using their ingredients, their equipment, trying to make a recipe that they selected. No specialized, fancy-pants gear, no assistants to prep things for you, and no slopping things around and making a mess because you don't have to clean up after yourself. Realism.

Giada: She's pleasing to the eye and everything, but I dunno, she just smiles way too frequently. Makes her seem kinda insincere. And she's way too hot for a chef. I'm weird that way, I can't concentrate on two things at the same time: I saw a news show once, where the news was read by a stripper -- I found the story extremely interesting, but my focus hopped back and forth between the story and uh, look: boobies! Me man, me do one thing, one time (*grunt*).

Mario Batali: Just great. But haven't watched him as much as some of the others.

One show I wish I could find again, is an English show by a guy named Keith Floyd. He'd do shows on locations throughout the world: Floyd on Spain, Floyd on France etc. He'd just stop in a field, steal some local veggies and cook a local specialty, and make lunch for some farm workers -- totally irreverent and off the hook. Sometimes his dishes would not turn out and he'd just kick the kettle over and declare that it was a bunch of crap. He'd normally be three sheets to the wind also.

One episode he did (that I sadly never saw), Floyd on Australia, they hadn't gotten around to doing a proper barbeque, and the weather had turned bad towards the end of their stay. So in desperation, he did it in his hotel room (the camera work was like the early Naked Chef episodes), and set the fire alarm off. Floyd just said "sod it" and continued. The fire brigade broke into the room and pinned the crew up against the wall, lots of shouting and distress. In the end, they managed to convince them that they were a real TV crew, and ended up serving the firemen food. Sounded awesome.

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My 2 cents on this thread, from the shows I've watched more than once or twice...

Alton: Sometimes gets on my nerves, but overall my favorite as I've actually picked up some useful tips and tricks from him. Made his yummy steamed vegetable dumplings repeatedly and for that recipe alone I love him!

Rachel Ray: A friend of mine swears by her recipes, but I can't stand her. She's way too "peppy" for me and the one time I tried one of her recipes that sounded decent, it came out awful. I've been wary ever since.

Paula: I'll drool vicariously over that heart-attack-on-a-plate stuff, but you'll never see me cooking anything like that in my kitchen. I don't need to put back the 60 pounds I lost learning to cook healthy, no thanks!

Sandra Lee: Ugh ugh ugh! How does crap like that make it on the air and call itself cooking?!

Giada: Her recipes seem okay if incredibly simple (granted, Italian is what I largely cook at home, so nothing she does is any kind of revelation to me). Something about her just rubs me the wrong way, though. Is it that forced smile, or the odd way she has to try to pronunciate everything so very "Italian"?

Sara: Only caught one or two episodes but she seemed to at least know what she was doing and have good advice on food handling and preparation. Not a lot of "flash", just solid advice.


sockii

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| South Jersey Foodie |

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Paula Deen was here in Houston last week for a book signing and my mother and aunt wanted me to get books signed so I went. It was in the Highland Village Williams Sonoma store (very high-end Houston shopping area). The scene was amazing. It looked like the people lining up to see the pope. Moms with strollers, grandmas with umbrellas for shade, hundreds of people lined up. I said forget about it and left! Over the weekend as I was shopping for household goods at Wally World, I heard her voice over the PA system telling me how to cook an egg in the middle of a piece of bread in a skillet.... :blink: .

I have to tell you though, everything I have made from her cookbooks is delicious. I really don't know why the above posts make it seem like her cooking is all about fried lard etc... her vegetable beef soup is the best I have ever had. Her baked spaghetti recipe is fabulous.

Rachel Ray - I like some of the ideas on her 30 minute show, but like some of you Northerners who complain about "hillbilly" Paula (when actually, she is cannot be a hillbilly as she is from the coastal plains of Georgia) Rachel's voice and honking accent hurts my ears. I cannot watch her in any of the other shows as she makes me tired.

Emeril - I like a little Emeril every now and then. He comes on at 7 in my area and I am usually cooking and have him on in the background. Have gotten some great music from seeing bands on his show.

Ina - love, love, love her show and her cooking style. I made her spanokopita for a party this weekend and they were delicious.

Everyday Italian - can take or leave.

How to Boil Water - have never made it through an entire show. My husband asked me "Is that blond lady the Vanna?" :biggrin:

Sandra Lee - how did she even get on TV? I hate her worse than Martha Stewart.

I like Good Eats if it is something I am interested in.


Edited by Lone Star (log)

If you can't act fit to eat like folks, you can just set here and eat in the kitchen - Calpurnia

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