Favorite Cooking Show, /Host/Recipe from a Show
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The "Two Fat Ladies" were a riot.
For those of us old enough, can't forget Julia Child on PBS.
But as I think you're actually framing the question overall, I'm gonna have to go with "Good Eats", too.
I forgot the Two Fat Ladies! But didn't their painted fingernails throw you? I always wondered how clean their hands were... with those painted fingernails. And didn't they keep their fancy rings on? But they were really funny.
Wish I knew how to make hot links like y'all have done.
My second favourite would probably be Giada De Laurentiis from 'Everyday Italian'. Her recipes are sometimes are not very easy to prepare (I make a total mess in kitchen!!) but the end result is pretty good :) and plus I love pasta.
A good example of what I dislike about a lot of today's "cooking" shows. They're not about technique. They're about showmanship and schtick.
I really like Alton Brown's show for content, but the maddening sound effects and dizzying camera work make me ill and I wish there was a filmstrip version for preternaturally curmudgeonly young people such as myself.
Edited to note that both these shows DO have technique in them, though Mr. Brown could do with rather a lot less schtick, lilithcat.
Right now I can't miss Top Chef. I hate all the interpersonal drama, but I love the challenges, I'm always thinking, what would I do? Wish they showed more of how to do things, but on the website it covers it all and you can read great blogs from the judges.
In defense of Alton Brown's schtickiness, did you know in his previous life he was a cinematographer and video director?
Alton fans, what did you think of his show on the Turkey Derrick? I watched it all the way through before realizing he wasn't pulling my leg.
(I hope my attempt at making a hot link succeeds)
I want to like Rachael, I've tried to like Rachael, but she's just too perky for me...
Lilithcat, I agree it isn't a proper cooking show, it's just I've been cooking so long and seen so many shows, that at least this has something new to offer. I think I would watch Iron Chef too, except my cable doesn't carry it.
Does anyone else think "Nigella Bites" is a show bordering on food pornography? My partner and I are comfortable gay men, yet even we couldn't help but notice Nigella's ample bosom in every frame. That being said, I love her casual cooking technique - it doesn't make me feel bad that I can't julienne a potato to save my life.
I used to quite like the "Great Chefs" series. That woman's voice was soooo soothing.
I saw Rachel Ray once but I have to say she seemed like an idiot. For one thing, her pronunciation of foreign kitchen terms/ingredients is grating. I thought Emeril was bad that way (he was). In my one sample of her wares, Rachel Ray took it to a whole new level. And, really, how much longer DOES it take to say "Extra Virgin Olive Oil"?
My business partner is a total Alton Brown junkie. I've only seen him once. I thought he was funny but that was about it.
You know which broadcast food person I love? Lynne Rossetto Casper. I haven't liked her cookbooks all that well, but her show is wonderful. And wouldn't it be great if Jane and Michael Stern had a show of their own? But I guess then they wouldn't have time to do all that travelling...
But now, I love Mario Batali for his lack of nonsense (bam/pow/ tada/emeril stuff), and his clear explanations and interesting recipes.
I also enjoy Daisy Martinez for simple, easy dishes. (I'm prejudiced because her pot roast is just like mine).
I loved Top Chef, but I would have liked more about the choices, menus, and cooking techniques, and less about their personal squabbles.
I never got a chance to see Jeff Smith, but I love his books and find his recipes really doable, and delicious.
"Alton fans, what did you think of his show on the Turkey Derrick? I watched it all the way through before realizing he wasn't pulling my leg."
Ditto! What a show!
I like the challenge shows: the best wedding cake, best spun sugar, etc.
And I miss Justin, the creole cooking chef!
Julia has to be my all time favorite. She was so human. I loved that she was comfortable airing her mistakes (like the time that the chicken flew out of her hands and across the kitchen).
I will admit that I like the drama of kitchen stadium (and Alton) as well as watching Ina Garten. She is so "Hampton's". (Ace of cakes is up there for shear entertainment value as well.) I learn the most, though, from Mario B. these days.
HEEE-larious. Bourdain guesting on Ruhlman's blog.
I've received entertainment from the evolution of Martha Stewart in the kitchen. At first, her food was all about presentation and appearance. Her recipes tasted bad. Then, she became interested in ethnic cuisines and, it would seem, developed some taste buds. Now, her recipes are actually good to eat. I enjoy her stiff, non-telegenic, scolding personality as an antidote to the phonies like Rachel Ray, whose voice grates on me.
Anyone notice the new issue of Living has Martha back on the cover?
My list, in descending order would look something like this:
- Mario Batali (I loved his early shows which included scenes from Italy and his orange Crocs),
- Jacque Pepin (great technique, great food, great with Julia…and even his daughter)
- Julia Child (what can one say about the goddess of the genre),
- Jeff Smith (his personal issues aside…his casual approach to the different cuisines of the world was enlightening),
- Anthony Bourdain (his shows may not be “how to” and his ego is a bit much, but I love what he does…the previously mentioned Blog was hilarious, as is much of his writing),
- Two Fat Ladies (were also wonderful…)
- Martin Yan…Can Cook (refreshing take on Asian foods make him delightful)
I am torn by two others, each of whom aggravate me in a variety of ways (mannerisms, folksy sayings and play to the cameras), but I must admit I have to give them credit for inspiring me
- Justin Wilson (the god father of Cajun TV cooking…I Garontee it!)
- Emeril Lagasse (too much of a showman, but…)
And at the bottom of my list (the first is at the bottom…for me at least)
- Rachel Ray (too much spunk…to quote Lou Grant, plus she can’t really cook)
- Giada de Laurentiis (too cute, too much skin, too much in so many ways…)
- Nigella Lawson (good food but I can’t take her style)
Of the oldies I loved the Two Fat Ladies though I understand the dark haired one has passed away. I too was astounded at how she could manipulate anything in the kitchen with those fingernails. I once met Justin Wilson and he was even more of a hoot and a little more bawdy in person than the censors would allow on television. Of course the Frugal Gourmet was a big favorite, but I suppose he will be banished forever even in re-runs.
I would be tempted to watch any show featuring Bourdain, but other than his guest-judge appearances on Top Chef (which I do watch, but it's not the kind of cooking show that I think the question is directed at) I've never been able to catch any of his shows. He improves anything he is part of.
I grew up memorizing Justin Wilson comedy albums, so his shows were doubly pleasurable. At 1/16 Cajun, I often quote one of his punchlines: "Run chillun. See that big animule over dar! Dat's a Cajun and he eats everything."
I can no longer separate Julia Child from Dan Ackroyd.
OTOH, while I dislike Giada de Laurentiis's show, Everyday Italian : 125 simple and delicious recipes has been our family's consensus favorite cookbook. Simple and delicious.
edit: Simon Bryant milestone is a millstone! Wrong person.
He has a genuin passion for good food and health for children.
I adored - and miss - David Rosengarten and, of course, Julia.
I like TV chefs to educate me, to teach. I do not want them to be idiotic clowns who disrespect both the food they prepare and their viewers. My husband (the chef) and I share our loathing for all things Emeril and Rachael. We hated the Two Hot Tamales because they absolutely butchered Mexican recipes (we have never forgiven them teaching folks to make chiles rellenos by whacking the top and bottom off the roasted poblanos and rolling them around the filling like they were manicotti).
Oh, and I am thoroughly addicted to Ace of Cakes. Thank goodness for digital DVD!
BTW -- Here is a small passage I wrote in my first novel, Sculptured Nails and NAPPY HAIR; about a girl named Crimsonne -- who was in her new, Spanish Harlem apartment's kitchen (hope you like it):
Within the small but various pockets of intrigue hidden throughout her apartment, it was in the kitchen that Crimsonne felt the most enraptured. While standing on the only triangle of linoleum in a fifty-mile radius, Ms. Marketing Director would open the fridge, pull out a bottle of Wincarnis (a cheap, English aperitif); opt for the thrift store flute glass, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (what else?) and Voilá! Entrez Mademoiselle Julia Child!
“Simon di touches les oreilles: it seems zat I have knocked over zee mixture. Where iz zee vermouth?”
Julia was free to concoct and spill all sorts of experimental recipes in her fully automatic, easy-to-clean, white, mica kitchen. But when it was all said and done, the accomplished, exasperated and somewhat tipsy Ms. Child could usually be found dining by streetlight on the Hispanic Riviera with Sigñor Ronald McDonald."
I'm jumping in the Alton Brown bandwagon. I confess I have a crush on him. Seriously, the guy's a genius. Sure, too "shticky" but it's sooo entertaining! It's TV, after all.
Another favorite is Anthony Bourdain, just because he's badass. He's also very open with info on his background, and he's humble, like he could eat with a homeless person on the street or a king and queen and just be himself...
And the Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten. She's lovely. I love the fact that she makes a mess sometimes, and just says oops and cleans it up and doesn't make a big deal out of it. She's genuine.
And the Neelys. I haven't really watched their cooking show, but I've seen a few episodes of Road Tasted with the Neelys. She's hilarious! I do miss the previous version of that show with Paula Deen's sons, though. They're cute as hell.
Of the other Food Network "chefs", well, I really, really dislike Rachael. I'm sorry, but she grates on my nerves. Same with Emeril, and Paula Deen (well, I do think she's funny sometimes, and she's lovely, but really, her food makes me want to puke :( it seems so inedible!), and Mario Batali, which gives me the impression of being too conceited. Same goes for Giada. What's up with her overpronouncing Italian names and correcting everyone and always stressing "oh I'm Italian so... this and that" with that horrible smile of hers? Argh! Same for Bobby Flay, strikes me as very conceited. Ohh and while Sandra Lee seems like a really nice lady, her food also gives me the creeps. :S
Sorry for the long rant. I came as too opinionated, didn't I? :S
Keith Floyd and the Two Fat Ladies are brilliant but I can't say I ever noticed the food - I was transfixed by their presenting.
Delia Smith leaves me cold and Nigella Lawson should stick to puddings (anyone that sticks Jamaica Ginger Cake in a turkey isn't a savoury person)!
You might be able to tell that I'm a Brit...
What no one has mentioned Bobby Flay? Thank goodness, he has no personality at all, can't stand watching him.
I also am all for Alton (we have all of his DVDs) and Mario B, and Ace of Cakes, but really is it a cooking show?
What no one mentioned Andrew Zimmern and Bizarre Foods (or as the guy on E!'s Talk Soup calls it - Bald man eating animal junk)? Being from and living in MN I really enjoyed the Bizzard Foods MN episode.
We love Diners Drive-ins and Dives with Guy Ferri him in our household. No delicate little bites for him! I really haven't had a chance to see his actual cooking show though.
Ok, I guess I can't pick a favorite one.