Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I’ve mentioned this before, but I really enjoy watching cooking shows. A lot. I watch them the way some guys watch football games.

“No!!! That’s not a half cup of wine! You IDIOT!!”

So, here is my review of some of the more popular cooking shows that are on these days.

Secrets of a Restaurant Chef (Anne Burrell)
This is a new favorite of mine. Watching her deft and quick movements, you can tell that this woman has spent a lot of time in professional kitchens and has paid her dues. She also does this cute growly voice that’s pretty entertaining. It’s also really amazing to see the incredible amount of salt she uses. Apparently, that’s her secret.

Down Home with the Neely’s
Too folksy for me. Also, I’m not fond of any cooking show where there’s more than one person cooking because then it becomes more about them rather than the food. Here’s an example of their banter:
Oooo! Gimme some sugar!
I hear that!
Mmm-hmmm . . .

Throwdown with Bobby Flay
That guy is just way too arrogant and full of himself.

America’s Test Kitchen
They test a recipe dozens of times to find the absolute best way to prepare it. I’ve learned a lot from this show. Their marinara sauce is to die for. But sometimes they go over the top with preparation methods. Like I’m ever going to make an entire charcoal fire just to grill a fish fillet for two minutes. Rub a lamp.

30 Minute Meals (Rachel Ray)
Thirty minutes of slop-and-glop. And shamelessly promoting her goofy orange cookware.

Everyday Italian (Giada de Laurentiis)
It’s all about the cleavage with this woman. That’s fine if you’re into that sort of thing but her dainty moves make it all too apparent that she really hasn’t spent much time getting greasy in a kitchen.

Paula’s Home Cooking (Paula Deen)
What’s not to like about Paula? The woman also keeps it “real” by shamelessly using everyday ingredients that normal folks really use. Canned mushroom soup and mayonnaise often make their appearances. I’m waiting for her to make duck al orange using Tang Instant Breakfast Drink.
And is her son, Bobby, like, EVER going to come out of the closet?

At Home with Jaime Oliver
He’s a little hyper-active but the boy can definitely slam some tasty food. I want to make everything he does.

Nigella Feasts (Nigella Lawson)
Wow. What more can I say about my Nigella? She says up front that she’s not a cook but, oh my goodness, all her recipes are sooooo tasty appealing. The only cookbooks I own are hers and Julia Child’s.
What more would anyone need?

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At 4:48 PM , Blogger Speck said...

Anne Burrell = Salt
Ya gotta have salt to bring out the taste in food. Low salt/no salt is for the birds.

Love Rachel Ray's curves and appetite, but her orange cookware is fugly.

Giada de Laurentiis - I can't stand to watch her, even in quickie promos. There's something weirdly off-putting about her mouth or teeth. I keep staring at her mouth rather than listening to what she says or watching what she cooks. I did actually watch one whole show where she did nothing but make two mugs of hot chocolate. Girlfriend, four words: Nestle's Hot Cocoa Mix.

My favorite show is Goods Eats with Alton Brown. The Bill-Nye-The-Science-Guy antics get a little tiring but I love that he explains the "Why" of cooking. For example, he 'splains the differing actions of glutton in cake flour, bread flour, all-purpose, and self-rising, and why if you use the wrong type of flour the baked goods are a big FAIL. I need to know that sort of stuff, the geek that I am.

At 10:26 AM , Blogger Lorraine said...

I would pretty much agree with most of those assessments. Although I am not a Rachael Hater.

I love Alton Brown and Nigella and would like, someday, to smack Bobby Flay in the face.


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