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Cooking shows

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Cooking shows

by Jenise » Fri May 26, 2023 12:35 pm

I am really surprised, and quite dismayed, by the number of cooking shows that are coming out. And literally, they're not so much cooking shows, they're game shows involving food. I saw a commercial last night for one that had Crime Scene in the name and starred Curtis Stone and some comedian to make it light and funny. No interest.

One we started watching recently was Alex Guarnaschelli (she's becoming quite ubiquitous, isn't she) in something called Ciao House. A handful of chefs you've never heard of, mostly private chefs because after all they can take off whenever they want to, occupy an Italian villa and participate in team challenges. Alex and some Italian guy choose a winning team and then force the losing team to vote someone off. I have watched but not found it compelling. Then in last week's show, the final five separated into two teams of 2 and 3, and the threesome consisted of the guy Corey who's been by far the best chef since day one and two girls. That team ended up losing, so the girls voted Corey off to improve their own chances, making the outcome meaningless and I won't bother with the rest.

I watched episode one of another show a few months ago that was going to be all about strategy, like Survivor, more than it was cooking, and I didn't watch again.

Thank God there's still Top Chef wherein they actually do real cooking. If you've been watching, is there any doubt, was there ever any, especially after last night, that Buddha will win?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Cooking shows

by Karen/NoCA » Fri May 26, 2023 9:29 pm

I do not watch those cooking competitions, stopped years ago. They seemed fixed and sometimes, stupid. I pick up recipes all over the Internet, and I love cookbooks, for the stories how the author started out cooking, and progressed into greatness. I fall back onto recipes I made when kids were home, tweak them to suit my lower calorie way of lfe now, and more veggies, dried beans, rather than a lot of red meat... I do cook red meat, but in smaller batches, and add more veggies. Following Mediterrean Dish these days, she has fresh, clean reicpes, and I am loving them all, with my tweaks, of course.
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Re: Cooking shows

by Jeff Grossman » Sat May 27, 2023 3:14 am

I'm with Karen on this one. I was enthralled by the original Iron Chef but that show went off the rails soon. Chopped was an interesting idea but the game-show atmosphere overtakes the creativity (which is why I was watching). And since then, they all sound contrived.

I don't watch much TV, anyway, and I hear that Great British Hoo-Hah is more worth my time than any of the others.
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Re: Cooking shows

by Paul Winalski » Sat May 27, 2023 11:26 am

I haven't watched TV shows, period, for over 20 years. Back in the 1960s and 1970s I used to watch the French Chef and Joyce Chen Cooks on public TV. And the Galloping Gourmet. Never watched cooking shows since then, though.

-Paul W.
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Re: Cooking shows

by Jenise » Sat May 27, 2023 3:24 pm

We watch more TV than we used to due to Bob's illness. It also requires that we make safe choices--no wars, no guns, nothing fear-inducing. Food TV, in that sense, is perfect for us--I just wish the quality were better than it is. There are currently no shows that are teaching-type demonstrations that I can stomach. I still love Top Chef and we both have fun with Chopped. True, the creativity isn't at a high level, but I still enjoy thinking "what would I do with those ingredients?" and we like predicting who's going to be eliminated in each round. It's a very enjoyable shared experience. Similarly, we like MasterChef.

But everything else is just too much nonsense. The kind of cooking shows you can learn from--really not there anymore.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Cooking shows

by Tom NJ » Sat May 27, 2023 11:23 pm

I miss Keith Floyd, the PBS "Great Chefs of..." series, and especially the original Japanese "Iron Chef". It may smack of heresy, but the US version is an abomination in my eyes. That sanctimonious priss Alton Brown can take his fake vocal affectations and cheerless pronouncements and go stuff a pigeon backwards as far as I'm concerned. Sucked all the campy joy out of the original series.

Not that I really have an opinion....
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Re: Cooking showsse

by Barb Downunder » Sun May 28, 2023 4:47 am

Ah Keith Floyd, gosh that was a long time ago, I must see if I’ve got the DVDs somewhere.
There are some awful cooking shows and heaps of mediocre shows and a few good ones.
A little bit parochial but the two I am partial to are MasterChef Australia because we do it better than anyone else (Although after 14 seasons I’m a touch jaded) and another local The CookUp with the host Adam Liaw (the winner of MC season 2) and 2 guests each cooking a dish to a theme. The guests are generally very interesting people and might be chefs, comedians etc
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Re: Cooking shows

by Jenise » Sun May 28, 2023 1:40 pm

Speaking of Keith Floyd, some years back I was able to catch some of his shows when it was re-broadcast on PBS. In one, on a trip to Egypt, he made a dish similar to paella in structure but with Middle Eastern seasonings and a final step of stirring in slices of fresh mango. I was enchanted! There was no recipe provided or available on the internet, but I was able to follow what he did and guess at the rest pretty well and I posted the recipe I wrote here. Shortly after I did that, a Brit named Ian I believe living in Bergerac, France, happened to see that episode and, googling for that very recipe, he found mine and came here to discuss it. Which Bill Spohn saw and guess what: several years prior Bill and his wife had stayed in Bergerac at the small Inn or Bed & Breakfast Ian and his wife owned.

Talk about a small world.

I should dig up that recipe and make it again. It was fabulous.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Cooking shows

by Jenise » Sun May 28, 2023 1:41 pm

Tom NJ wrote:I miss Keith Floyd, the PBS "Great Chefs of..." series, and especially the original Japanese "Iron Chef". It may smack of heresy, but the US version is an abomination in my eyes. That sanctimonious priss Alton Brown can take his fake vocal affectations and cheerless pronouncements and go stuff a pigeon backwards as far as I'm concerned. Sucked all the campy joy out of the original series.

Not that I really have an opinion....


You're probably aware that Morimoto has just launched a sushi contest cooking show on the Roku channel.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Cooking shows

by Tom NJ » Sun May 28, 2023 1:48 pm

Jenise wrote:You're probably aware that Morimoto has just launched a sushi contest cooking show on the Roku channel.


No, I wasn't! However, like you I also can't stand the vast majority of cooking contest fiascos. I think I'll give his a pass too, then.
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Re: Cooking shows

by Jenise » Sun May 28, 2023 1:48 pm

My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Cooking shows

by Barb Downunder » Mon May 29, 2023 5:09 am

Good grief, this device just started typing weird stuff here,, Which turned out to be dialogue from the TV. Ecause I had the microphone on :roll:

There is a heap of Floyd on YouTube
I remember when he came to Oz they decided to do a take in the.hotel room. Needless to say he set off the alarm in his hotel room ……..
Anyway, just FYI here is the recipe Floyd published

RICE WITH PRAWNS AND CHICKPEAS

* at least 20 large raw prawns, shell on
* groundnut oil
* 1 onion, finely chopped
* 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 1½ tsp ground cardamom
* 6 small red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
* 2-3 cups short grain rice such as Arborio, rinsed and drained
* 4 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
* about 1 litre/1¾ pints chicken stock
* 300 g/11 oz cooked chickpeas
* juice of 2 lemons
* 1 bunch of fresh dill or coriander, coarsely chopped
* sea salt and black pepper

METHOD
Remove the head and shell from each prawn and cut down the back so that they will open up like butterflies when cooked. With the point of the knife, remove the thin black intestinal vein that runs down the back of the prawns. Set the prawns aside.
Heat some groundnut oil in a large shallow pan - a paella pan would be ideal - and fry the onion and garlic until golden. Add the cumin, cardamom and chillies. Next stir in the rice until it is well mixed with the onion, oil, garlic and spices. Then stir in the chopped tomatoes and add enough chicken stock to cover. Give all the ingredients a final stir and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Stir in the chickpeas and keep warm.

FLOYD AROUND THE MED
by Keith Floyd

https://app.ckbk.com/recipe/floy40872c0 ... -chickpeas
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Re: Cooking shows

by Jenise » Mon May 29, 2023 12:39 pm

Ah, so there's the original recipe. But no mangoes, which really MADE the dish as far as I was concerned. Still, all versions of the paella technique and that's fine.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Cooking shows

by Bill Spohn » Wed May 31, 2023 3:23 pm

I watched Graham Kerr (and still have all his books), Julia Child, Jeff Smith (prior to the allegations against him), occasionally Jacques Pepin, and started watching Good Eats from the start (1999). I loved Bourdain.

I watched one or two shows of people like Rachel Ray and Guy Fieri and wrote them off as a waste of time after a couple of shows, the culinary equivalents of trained bears riding unicycles (although at least Fieri could cook, I just didn't like him or maybe it was his persona).

I also enjoyed the series Marco Pierre White did, the Chopping Block, although it was harder to find. He was sort of like Fieri, a jerk, but with more talent.
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Re: Cooking shows

by Jenise » Wed May 31, 2023 3:57 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:I watched Graham Kerr....


Loved Graham Kerr too. He's in what I think is a care home down in Stanwood (Camano Island) now. I've oft wondered if he takes visitors. Julia was enjoyable for who she was, I hated Jeff Smith (even before the allegations), liked Jacques and loved Bourdain. We're not far apart. Rachel--ditto.

But I'll defend Guy. I don't like his shows--he's a bit of a clown but jerk? Heck no--he was one of the heroes of the restaurant industry during Covid, using his considerable power to influence and his own money to help keep everyone--restaurant owners and their workers alike--afloat. He did more than just about anyone.

Never saw any Marco PW but am aware of his reputation. Outstanding chef, but a hard ass.

Problem is the shows you/we are talking about in this subthread are all about real chefs cooking live on the air. I would love if the airwaves were full of more of that for us to shoot at, but they're not. And that's the whole problem. It's just game shows using food instead of decks of cards or mystery guests.
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Re: Cooking shows

by Bill Spohn » Wed May 31, 2023 6:18 pm

Should I have better characterized Fieri as a clown? I can go with that.

As for Marco, he brought Gordon Ramsay to tears if you count that one way or the other (I think that Gordon had it easier under Albert Roux.

. If you want to watch a sample of his shows, see

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzLwH6j ... NScjcoQPq4
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: Cooking shows

by Jeff Grossman » Thu Jun 01, 2023 12:05 am

Bill Spohn wrote:I watched Graham Kerr (and still have all his books), Julia Child, Jeff Smith (prior to the allegations against him), occasionally Jacques Pepin, and started watching Good Eats from the start (1999). I loved Bourdain.

Growing up I watched Graham Kerr all the time. Only occasionally saw Julia, never saw Pepin (though I love him now).

Never understood the Frugal Gourmet... there was nothing frugal about him.

Yan Can Cook, anyone? :mrgreen:

But I do fondly remember Taste with David Rosengarten.
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Re: Cooking shows

by Jenise » Thu Jun 01, 2023 10:39 am

Bill Spohn wrote:
If you want to watch a sample of his shows, see

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzLwH6j ... NScjcoQPq4


Wow, that's relatively recent, and shot in America! I had no idea that show ever existed.
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Re: Cooking shows

by Jenise » Thu Jun 01, 2023 10:50 am

Jeff Grossman wrote:
Never understood the Frugal Gourmet... there was nothing frugal about him.

Yan Can Cook, anyone? :mrgreen:

But I do fondly remember Taste with David Rosengarten.


Re Jeff Smith, I was just never liked him much, and wasn't sold on his authority or experise. He filled the air with words and then his assistant (Craig?) did all or most of the cooking. I never came away from an episode thinking Wow, I want to eat/make that.

Yan was adorable, but I didn't watch often. And David Rosengarten was wonderful. I always wanted to eat his food! I enjoyed Rick Bayless and Ming Tsai's programs too. And out of Canada, one of Bill's favorites: Laura Calder.

But almost no one's really cooking on camera these days.

And tonight's the finale of Top Chef! Am I the only one watching?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Cooking shows

by Paul Winalski » Thu Jun 01, 2023 11:42 am

My mother watched the original The French Chef religiously. Those shows were produced on a shoestring budget and pretty much had to be done in one take. Things could and did go wrong on set. One of the things my mother appreciated most was Julia's tips and tricks for repairs. Your cake comes out of the oven uneven? Cut it on a slant and turn the top side around. Folks notice if a frosted layer cake is tilted on top, but they tend not to notice if the frosting layer inside is tilted.

I enjoyed Graham Kerr and the lighthearted approach he took on his show. I liked the show enough that I bought The Graham Kerr Cookbook when it came out. I was a little surprised that it was a deadly serious cookbook.

Joyce Chen's shows were my path into the wonderful world of cooking.

-Paul W.
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Re: Cooking shows

by Larry Greenly » Thu Jun 01, 2023 4:03 pm

I watched them all and have at least one cookbook from each. Ming Tsai was even a cook in Santa Fe for a while. Yan was amazingly fast with knives. I remember him cutting up a chicken in 30 seconds.

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