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Feb 3, 2001 06:19 PM

PLEASE explain this

  • t

Our Maryland PBS station is usually outstanding in the shows they present, and have even paid for production of some of the best PBS cooking shows on tv. In the last couple of months, there has been a Saturday afternoon block of cooking shows that, imho, are pretty odd or lame. (I'm blaming much of this on funding problems!)

My conversation with others that love good cooking shows has come up with this question: there is a show called "Dish It Up Italian Style" that originates from WLIW New York (the ONLY information you can get from their useless web page). None of us can figure out why these people have an entire cooking show. They seem to have no restaurant experience, and often (perhaps "pretend") to have no knowledge of the ingredients or methods of cooking.

WHY do these people have a cooking show???????

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  1. Unfortunately, I suspect the answer is likely to be the thing fans of public broadcasting fear most... this show exists because someone paid for it.

    WLIW is a station that I -- through the restaurant I ran -- have given thousands of dollars of suppost to over the years. I can barely watch the station these days because it seems like they are in an endless cycle of fundraising. It seems to have become the station of the endless pledge week.

    While I am sure this showwas produced because funding was available, I hope things have not sunk to such a level that this is a vanity program. The question you need to ask your local station is why they are buying it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Deven Black

      Yes, Deven, an email to my PBS station is in order. You are quite right about that. I wasn't really meaning this to be a statement about the quality of PBS cooking shows, though.

      Most people on these shows have some apparent connection with food in some way. But, there is no apparent expertise (or even knowledge!) shown by this couple, so we are just wondering why these particular people have a tv show. Thought maybe NY chowhounds might know who they are and why!!!


    2. g
      George Lynch

      Funny you bring this up. My wife and I happened to catch this very show yesterday. The restaurant they visited was Grimaldi's in DUMBO, the place that gets raves for their pizza. We watched the entire show because we have been to Grimaldi's a couple of times and enjoyed it each time. (Plus we live in Brooklyn, so there.)

      Anyway, we've seen this couple before, and we couldn't agree more with your comments. They don't seem to know anything about cooking in general, and they play a cutesie-poo kind of role as the chef of the week does his/her thing. It seems to us that all they do is distract the chef.

      In yesterday's show, there was the husband, the wife and their daughter (maybe 9 years old, around there). The wife couldn't work the pizza dough when invited because of her long nails, and the husband continually interrupted Patsy Grimaldi to make lame jokes and pronounce the food terrific. No insightful questions, no furtherance of knowledge, nothing but fluff. Maureen and I were asking each other how they got such a show. We were as fascinated with their ineptitude as we were with watching Patsy Grimaldi make a pizza.

      The only thing I can surmise is that they are Italian, they feature Italian cuisine, and they provide their own funding.

      6 Replies
      1. re: George Lynch

        It sounds like I'm the lucky one, having never seen this program, but I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in anyway.

        I work at Channel 13, WNET (the primary public television station in NYC, for you non-New Yorkers). While we have no official relationship with WLIW (yet), we -- and all Pub TV stations -- get our programming from the same sources.

        In this case, WLIW itself produces this program, and it is distributed by an organization called "American Public Television (APTV)." Like PBS, they distribute programs to public TV stations, but are MUCH smaller. Not to get too much into the details, but your station doesn't "buy" this series separately, they become a member of APTV's programming service and anything APTV distributes is available as part of the cost of membership. Many stations simply take everything they can -- WNET does not ;-).

        Unfortunately, using the resources available to me, I wasn't able to find anything more out about the couple that hosts the show. You may be right, George -- they're Italian and they're New Yorkers, so they get they're own show.

        If inquiring minds really want to know, give the customer service people at WLIW a call or email at 516-367-2100 or I'll let you know if I find anything else!

        1. re: Luke VL

          Thank you for that information.

          They managed to get some good places/chefs to participate, so we thought there had to be a reason... we were just curious if anyone had some inside info.

          1. re: Luke VL
            George Lynch

            Thank you, Luke, for your revelations. My wife and I had been wondering how shows like this get on the air.

            So now I'm contemplating a career change. I'm Irish, live in Brooklyn, would love to have a show about visting all the Irish pubs in NYC. I feel certain I can attain the same level of cutesy-poo ignorance as the Italian couple (some might say I'm already there). Where do I apply?

            1. re: George Lynch

              I'VE BEEN PROPOSING A SHOW LIKE THAT FOR YEARS!!! Except, I'm the host.

              Until then, I just practice as much as possible...

              1. re: Luke VL

                Using the below link from WLIW's website and scrolling partway down the page, you can see a little more info on this show.


              2. re: George Lynch

                Hey, you don't have to look to WLIW to find bad food shows. Take a peek at the Food Network sometime. It's a forest of nincompoop, no-budget drivel. Mediocre chefs baring their asses in public and expecting us to like the smell. (Not including Mario, of course, but Bobby Flay should be flayed--let's send him back to his last good restaurant--Miracle Grill--and chain him to the stove. And let's cut the Iron Chef show down to the 15 minutes it deserves!) And don't get me started on the Naked Chef! What an idiot! And he's not even naked, or even metaphorically so.

          2. c
            Chris Petrella

            I am sorry they removed the producers answer to your question as well as the answers defending two people who's love and devotion to God and family coupled with talent, relentless determination and hard work... has warranted them to become one of the fastest growing and popular cultural culinary programs in America.

            They are Joe & Christine Andaloro who are a family who feature the families and culture of their talented and celebrated guests. This highly successful series offers Food, Faith, Family and Fun. They produce the program themselves and no monies are given to them to acquire the program for Public Television. It is a "free offering" to all Public Television stations accross the country. This is America... where entrepeneurs and hard working talented people of any national origin are welcomed and encouraged to aspire.

            These two people are positive role models and should be applauded for their efforts and sacrifice to give us such a wholesome and informative program. If we don't like it...we can always "change the channel."


            1 Reply
            1. re: Chris Petrella

              Hey Chris, I just reread the posts and I didn't see anyone knocking either of these "...two people who's (sic) love and devotion to God and family coupled with talent, relentless determination and hard work... has warranted them to become one of the fastest growing and popular cultural culinary programs in America."

              What got knocked was their show.

              They've obviously inspired you, though. I don't think I've ever seen such an outpouring of praise for the hosts of a food show. (However, I couldn't help but note that your email address includes the title of the show. Cynic that I am, that makes me wonder if you are possibly connected with the show and therefore not entirely objective on this matter. Forgive me if I'm wrong.)

              I'm still gonna change the channel, though.