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Jun 3, 2007 07:15 PM

The Next Food Network Star

I already don't like this show. What does this have to do with getting a show on the Food Network. Totally different show than last year. Top Chef ripoff anyone? All the sterotypical personalities you find on every reality show with the artificially created drama. Been there, done that.

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  1. Total Top Chef rip. Right down to the FN exec purusing the kitchen ala Tom Collichio.....
    and the disaster continues to unfold

    16 Replies
    1. re: monavano

      And why didn't *one* chef -- judges or contestants -- realize a fondant covered cake is *not* vegetarian? Hello? And some of them are supposed to be caterers?

      Yes, I realize the cakes were done before the wedding catering, but still... *know* your ingredients! Have respect for the clients! In fact, know *more* than they do about the ingredients!

        1. re: Sharuf

          It's not vegan, but it is vegetarian. The wedding couple did not ask for vegan.

          Yes, the show is utterly foolish. Does FN really need more talent? They already hired Guy Fieri, Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh. And none of those 3 have managed to reach the level of "star" IMO. The show exists for its own (rather small) entertainment value. The end result--the winner's tv career--is hardly as important. The things they put the contestants through aren't all that useful in determining how well they'd do as hosts of food shows.

          1. re: prac

            Fondant is made with gelatin. It's not just not vegan, it's not at all vegetarian. As for the cake being made before the knowledge of the vegetarianism, I noted that in my post. It would have been an important question to ask the clients. Most people don't realize fondant is not vegetarian -- even most vegetarians. How many chowhounds didn't know this?

            To my mind it is incumbent to educate your clients with this sort of information. So many chefs put down vegetarians, but it is a choice they make. If a client didn't realize a dish contained an ingredient to which he or she is mildly allergic -- hence not a life or death issue -- wouldn't they still want to know? You become knowledgeble, you ask, and you inform. It's called respect. It's also called "wearing a diaper", i.e.,. "covering your ###", because they can sue you. It's your *job* to know.

            It is also good business, because you look more knowledgeable & caring.

            1. re: Richard 16

              I don't care what fondant is made of, it tastes awful. Sure, you can peel it back and not eat it, but why put it on a cake anyway? Might as well cover the cake with plastic.

                1. re: Richard 16

                  It wasn't a full vegetarian dinner they served meat. As for the cake, the vegetarians bothered by the gelatin in the fondant could always peel it away (it's not the best tasting thing anyway) and "let them eat cake".

                  1. re: Richard 16

                    It isn't made with gelatin, or at least shouldn't be. Fondant is sugar, sometimes corn syrup, with water.

                    So, the folks on the show got it right. Its vegetarian. In fact, it may at times even be vegan. Mojo is right though, its terrible stuff.

                    1. re: ccbweb

                      It depends on the particular fondant. Many recipes for homemade fondant call for gelatin. My husband is vegetarian but likes fondant so the two brands of pre-made fondant I've bought (Wilton and Satin Ice) do not contain gelatin and are vegetarian.

                      1. re: cheesepowder

                        A vegetarian friend of mine has some sort of artificial gelatin that she uses. I don't know what it is, as I'm an omnivore, I just recall her refief/excitement.

                        1. re: hungry_pangolin

                          It's probably agar-agar, a derivative of seaweed.

                  2. re: prac

                    Just to affirm, I've made fondant for cakes. The classic fondant method consists of confectioner's sugar, glucose, glycerin, vegetable shortening, and indeed gelatin. Gelatin comes in different forms...the most common form found and used is derived from animal connective tissues. However, gelatin can be derived from other sources as well. Easily obtainable from Asian markets (I'm Vietnamese and we use a lot of this in our desserts) or scientific laboratories (Go figure, my background is in science), is Agar. Agar is the gelatinous substance obtained from the cell walls of red algae or seaweed. Thus, this is the type used when one needs to keep with the vegetarian status.

                2. re: Richard 16

                  When they made the cake they had no idea that it was going to be USED, or who it was meant for. They were just told to decorate a wedding cake to reflect their personality... it was sprung on them at the end that it was for an actual wedding. So not being precognitive mind-readers I wouldn't have expected them to know that the couple wanted a vegetarian cake!
                  The cake the gay guy decorated was by far the prettiest IMO, but since he put two grooms on it, it never would have won the challenge (I'm sure if he'd known who it was for he would have been more conventional...)

                3. re: monavano

                  Very much a Top Chef rip off. And notice how much personality figured into the judging, a la the FN's current marketing strategy. That young woman from Texas whose potluck dish was blech and whose wedding cake looked like a cupcake my five-year-old niece would decorate (no offense to my niece) got a pass over the two who got eliminated who apparently had superior food.

                  1. re: diva360

                    Same for that disater Columbe. They know she won't win but good TV.

                    And the as for the Fat Guy either light the damn cigar or stop sucking on in and take it out of your mouth. Paging Dr. Freud...


                4. The appropriate review/acronym for this show is 'WFC'.

                  1. ISTM these contestants have been picked for drama value and because they don't have day jobs. I think real chefs and cooks are too busy running kitchens to spend the time on this show.

                    However, this show has a wonderful educational facet: Bad examples. "Kids, here's how *not* to deal with stress / delegate / plan an event / coordinate multiple people through a complex project." Tonight's episode with the wedding catering showed me ineffective leadership from Colombe, whining and alibing from Rory, and wholesale poor planning from the Orange team. (I can't point a finger at Mr. NY Cigar Guy who used chicken stock in his polenta for vegetarians, tho. I once used oyster sauce in a stir-fried broccoli dish I made for a date who was a veggie. She never knew and I was too embarassed to tell her. Good thing there was no second date.)

                    Watching this show I get the feeling I'm seeing young people who know nothing about leadership, delegation, accountability, responsibility and maturity--or is it just me? Am I merely an old fart shaking his cane and shouting, "Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!"?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: KenWritez

                      I'd say yeah, because these are not even close to 'kids'.

                      1. re: KenWritez

                        Cigar Guy is from Boston. Don't blame him on us!

                      2. All I saw was bland, boring food over and over again. Soooo many catererers in the competition with a bad catering mentality (lowest common denominator of food, so as not to offend anyone).

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Bostonbob3

                          And they went for the lowest common denominator: low cost. What happened to quality products at a reasonable price? Yuk to the food!

                          1. re: msplace

                            Not even going to watch this show, season two was the only one I watched, and that was enough garbage for me. Does anyone ever watch Guy Fieri's show today, or those two bozos from the season before.

                            There is nothing I can learn from watching FOODTV created personalties. Yes I will still watch Alton or Bobby or Mario because I can learn something from them, but after a while, even their re-runs loose their luster.

                            1. re: ChinoWayne

                              When I am up to stomaching Guy Fieri's schtick, I do get some good tips from him, like adding layers of crispy fried pepperoni to lasagna.

                              But the character he plays (I hope he's not actually like that) is very grating.

                        2. Not sure about the ripoff thing...the Next Food Network Star pre-dates Top Chef by almost a year. However, I would agree that this season's Food Network star seems (at first glance) to be a little more similar to Top Chef season 2 than previous incarnations.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Franklun

                            It's a ripoff because up until now the Food Network show had a specific format. Then Top Chef began and garnered critical and ratings success.

                            So Food Network has now reformatted their show to be a clone of Top Chef.