Favorite Cooking Show, /Host/Recipe from a Show


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Favorite Cooking Show, /Host/Recipe from a Show

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Dic 16, 2006, 5:51pm

What's your favorite cooking show on TV? Is it that you like the host, or the kind of food s/he cooks? Is there a recipe you got from a show that has really served you well?

Modificato: Dic 17, 2006, 12:37pm

Whoops, forgot to give my own opinion! Here it is:

"Good Eats" on the Food Network; I have such a crush on Alton Brown. He demystifies cooking by explaining the science behind it. I'm gonna make his
fish roulades one of these days...

Edited to add links.

Modificato: Gen 14, 2007, 11:53am

Does "Iron Chef" count? (The original Japanese one. — Although only one chef in the entire run prepared a menu of dishes I would eat. Another prepared one vegan dish that she called "Monk's Food." More here.)

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.

Dic 16, 2006, 8:51pm

Dic 16, 2006, 9:50pm

Ah, Miss Julia! I would evesdrop on my mom watching her show (but my mom never cooked a blessed one of her recipes, hmmm).

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.

Dic 16, 2006, 11:30pm

What about Emeril?

Dic 17, 2006, 12:48am

Rachael Ray from '30 Minute Meals': I love her recipes, they are quick and definately delicious plus she a great host as she seems to have a really 'jolly' personality.
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.

Dic 17, 2006, 12:53am

> 6

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.

Modificato: Dic 17, 2006, 1:23am

Oh, I have such a crush (totally platonic, as I reassure my wife) on Bridget from America's Test Kitchen. And, were I of another gender or disposition, Christopher Kimball might catch my affections.

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.

Dic 17, 2006, 3:43am

I used to love Yan Can Cook. He made me smile and showed me how to do a lot of things when I was first starting to cook.

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.

Dic 17, 2006, 11:06am

I enjoy Top Chef, too, MrsLee, though it's not really a "cooking show", per se. It's tough to second-guess the judges, though, (unlike, say, Project Runway, another favorite) because, of course, we can't taste the dishes! Darn.

Dic 17, 2006, 11:13am

Definitely Nigella Lawson. I love her show, and I have most of her cookbooks. I'd be hard pressed to pick a favourite recipe, though.

Dic 17, 2006, 12:13pm

Hey, speaking of crushable cooks, how about Ming Tsai of the (now-defunct?) show "East Meets West"? Man...

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...

Dic 17, 2006, 5:29pm

I hear you Ciciha, Rachael rubs me the wrong way too, and for exactly the same reason. Now, I could really like Chef Ramsey, but my ears hurt listening to him too much. I liked the days when foul language was left in foul mouths instead of being "fashionable". I liked his show where he rescued restaurants. Especially the one where an owner told him to watch his mouth or leave :)

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.

Gen 13, 2007, 3:03am

I'll chime in with the Alton Brown worship. And the absolute hatred of all thing Rachel Ray. I miss the Two Fat Ladies, Julia Child, and especially Jeff Smith (aka The Frugal Gourmet).

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.

Modificato: Apr 2, 2007, 2:59am

I haven't watched television in ages, but I like Mario Batali. Floyd on Food used to be fun.

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...

Apr 2, 2007, 8:05am

First and foreomost Julia.

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.

Apr 8, 2007, 12:37am

Count me in for Alton Brown.

"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!

Apr 10, 2007, 8:28am

Ah, Justin Wilson - "I guarontee...!" I had forgotten about him - very entertaining.
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.

Apr 12, 2007, 2:15am

Speaking of Anthony Bourdain:


HEEE-larious. Bourdain guesting on Ruhlman's blog.

Apr 18, 2007, 2:16pm

I like Michael Chiarello, because he's so sensual when he cooks. It's all about passing on the love. OF course, no one replaces Julia. Jacques Pepin is my grandmother reincarnated in the way he moves about the kitchen. She was a trained chef from the old country school, too, and had the same obvious enjoyment of her own cooking as he does.

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?

Apr 18, 2007, 7:13pm

Nigella Bites bites as far as I'm concerned. She destroys food before she cooks it. She has the delicacy of a wrestler. I do like 30 Minute Meals and have gotten tons of good recipes that my family loves. I love Paula Deen too. Most of her recipes I use for special occasions as they have so much 'butta.'

Apr 18, 2007, 7:54pm

My new favorite cooking host is actually Ellie Krieger. I can't wait until she comes out with a cookbook as I've made numerous recipes from her show and thoroughly enjoyed them. One of my favorites would have to be her Turkey Meatloaf.

Maggio 21, 2007, 1:26pm

I realize this is a somewhat old message site but I like lists and just had to add my two cents worth regarding my favorite TV Chefs.
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)

Maggio 22, 2007, 8:52am

argonut-I agree with you wholeheartedly except I would add Lidia Bastianich to Mario Batali. Her food is rich, but not too difficult to do, and uses the very best fresh ingredients which is everything in Italian food. There was also a show of great chefs from around the world, with the discussion in translation, that was wonderful. I don't remember the exact name of it.

Giu 19, 2007, 7:24am

My current favorite is Alton Brown because he's funny and you always learn something. Although I'm not a fan of Rachael Ray my 16 year old nephew and all his little friends are enamoured of her and are completely transfixed whenever she comes on.

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.

Modificato: Giu 25, 2007, 4:31am

Questo messaggio è stato cancellato dall'autore.

Lug 4, 2007, 4:36pm

I have never found a cooking show that I am able to watch more than one or two episodes of. Maybe I am a curmudgeon, but I just find myself so irritated by the personalities or the borderline porno-noises they make when tasting their food. Even chefs/personalities whose cookbooks I enjoy and therefore am predisposed to like.

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.

Ago 6, 2007, 2:46pm

Good Eats, love the camera work and the cheap effects. I also like the Atlanta connections and have gone out of the way to shop at some of his special locations. I hate the new 8 Eastern time slot.

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.

Modificato: Nov 6, 2007, 9:38pm

We have a great show here in Australia called The Cook and The Chef with Maggie Beer and Simon Bryant. Both are great in the kitchen and they work well off of each other. Recipies and vodcast is available here http://www.abc.net.au/tv/cookandchef/


edit: Simon Bryant milestone is a millstone! Wrong person.

Nov 8, 2007, 12:46pm

I like Giada.

For obvious reasons.

Nov 8, 2007, 1:32pm

I enjoy Paula Deen. We traveled to Savannah last yeat and ate at her restaurany, The Lady and Sons. It was fabulous.

Modificato: Maggio 2, 2008, 6:37pm

I see nobody has written here for a while. I like the TV shows of Jamie Oliver. Both he's cookingshows and his engagement in helping youths to education as cooks and he's engagement in trying to get eatable food into English schools. http://www.jamieoliver.com/schooldinners/manifesto?phpMyAdmin=06af156b76166043e2...
He has a genuin passion for good food and health for children.

Maggio 9, 2008, 5:28am

Ainsley Harriott. Fun to watch. Good food, easy and fast without compromising on flavour.

Modificato: Maggio 28, 2008, 9:17pm

I adore Alton Brown. I like Jamie Oliver, Mario Batali, Ming Tsai and Rick Bayless.

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!


Set 9, 2008, 6:33pm

Maybe we can revive this site! Alton Brown is my HERO! He is so spunky and is always right. Every recipe I have used from his show has been wonderful. I have two of his books and would like them all, but they are really pricey. All the recipes are free from the food network. I agree re: Lynn Rosseto Casper. I have two of her cookbooks and love them. Especially one for grilling eggplant.

Modificato: Set 9, 2008, 7:25pm

Okay, call me old but there is STILL no cooking show or host who can top the best drunken bastard a TV cooking show has ever seen: GRAHAM KERR, The GALLOPING GOURMET!

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."

Set 9, 2008, 8:45pm

I'm lovin' Chef Garvin on the show Turn Up the Heat. Oooh, I'm not sure what I enjoy most...watching him cook up tasty treats or just watching him, lol. I also like Daisy Martinez and Giada. The Nealy's are fun to watch, but I can't stand the wife's voice and laugh, very irritating.

Set 10, 2008, 12:00pm

katfood - You're old! ;)

Set 10, 2008, 2:22pm

Hi! First commenter here :)

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

Set 10, 2008, 3:12pm

Ina Garten the Barefoot Contessa is my absolute favorite. I love her food and have made several of her recipes. She always makes me feel I can make any of her recipes!

Set 11, 2008, 2:13pm

Delirium - I've never known a chef who wasn't opinionated! It comes with the passion for food.

Modificato: Set 11, 2008, 2:25pm

Madhur Jaffrey

Ainsley Harriott

Very different cooks, very different food. Both excellent, and if I can't watch them on TV any more, I can still read and cook from their books.

Ah for the days when I could watch BBC!

Set 16, 2008, 7:05pm

I love watching Gary Rhodes (that man melts butter in and over EVERYTHING, his cooking makes me drool) and Rick Stein (his enthusiasm is infectious, and I adore his little Jack Russell). I love what Jamie Oliver is doing (promoting cooking and eating) but I can take or leave his cooking. Gordon Ramsey is too shouty and his food doesn't excite me, and as for Anthony Worral Thompson...don't get me started.

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...

Set 21, 2008, 6:27pm

#44 I was thinking you must be a Brit! I've seen Nigella Lawson, though and I totally agree with you. I also can take or leave Jamie Oliver's recipes. I kind of like Gordon Ramsey, though, where he goes into failing restaurants and helps them pare down there menu's and get back on their feet. I think Hell's Kitchen was a fun competition to watch, but I do wince once in awhile when he starts shouting and using obscenities.

Set 21, 2008, 6:57pm

>45 Karbie:: Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares! Some of the kitchens are shocking - he really gives it to them!

Set 22, 2008, 4:25pm

I liked the one where the chef fed him a rancid scallop and Ramsey was retching in the back lot. :) I never seem to be able to sit in front of my TV when it's on, then, when I find it, it's the same one I've seen two times before! I'm not a very diligent TV watcher.

Set 29, 2008, 4:55pm

My vote goes to Jacques Pepin. His Fast Food My Way on PBS has some really terrific stuff that's easy to do and tastes good, too. You can sometimes catch it on reruns.

Feb 1, 2009, 4:11am

Oh I really miss BBC-food. The station has disapeared from my parabolantenna.

Feb 6, 2009, 9:05pm

Katfood - I remember the Galloping Gourmet too. Of course I was way to young to cook then, but I vaguely remember a lot of wine. . . Dark Shadows was on then too (but I wasn't supposed to watch it.) And Julia of course. Maybe someone should start an 'Old Cooking Shows' channel. I mean there is one for classic movies. We can have Yan Can Cook, the Frugal Gourmet, The French Chef, the Galloping Gourmet (I suppose his more recent show would also qualify, I don't remember the name.) Or maybe they could just try running these old shows instead of the same old competions . . . I mean if you have seen it once do you really want to see it 3 or 4 times??

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.

Gen 25, 2012, 4:29pm

For me, The French Chef with Julia Child was a great introduction to cooking shows. My college-age son introduced me to a new show that is very popular with his age group: Chopped (a cooking competition show, but I learned a lot when I watched a sample episode with my son). Here's a link:


Gen 27, 2012, 2:31pm

Its amazing how much the state of food tv has changed since this thread was started. I can't stand the Food Network anymore, but I don't know if that is just me being snobby. I'll watch one of the competition shows every now and then when I want some mild entertainment, but I just can't get into any of the "cooking shows." I'd much rather sit and read a cookbook.

Gen 27, 2012, 3:13pm

I love reading through a cookbook and imagining how different recipes taste. I'm also a sucker for almost any cooking show. I grew up with The Galloping Gourmet, and loved The Frugal Gourmet. Other faves include Emeril, The Take-Home Chef (Curtis Stone), Giada de Laurentiis, The Iron Chef competition. To many others to mention. I don't always stay with a series long, but some are just good entertainment. I had the opportunity ot eat at Emeril's restaurant in New Orleans a few years ago and don't think I'll ever forget the experience. Unfortunately I missed him being there by a couple of days, but the food was incredible! My son introduced me to Giada....need we say anymore? And then I introduced him to Curtis Stone...Need we say anymore? :) Interestingly enough, my son has cookbooks by both of them. I haven't had TV in about 2 years, and I must say that the cooking shows are something I miss.