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Batali got the boot (from FN)

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Anybody hear more about Mario Batali being let go from Food Network? I read that they canceled his shows and he in turn quit Iron Chef. Any news on what he's going to do in the celebrichef world? Moving to another network?

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  1. Heard that he is doing a show for PBS with Gwyneth Paltrow. They will be touring Spain and exploring Spanish cuisine.

    10 Replies
    1. re: gillyweed

      That sounds like the beginning to a joke... is that the beginning to a joke?

      1. re: krez

        Alas, no. She doesn't eat meat, so it's probably going to be one of those "how will Gwyneth survive in the land of meat."

        1. re: gloriousfood

          nice.... :)

          1. re: kare_raisu

            THIS RUMOR IS FALSE. He's still on Iron Chef America. Molto Mario is still being rerun.

            Here's a topic on Batali's response to the rumor:

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/439928

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              It's difficult to know what's true since the news networks are just reporting what other news outlets have said. But it sounds like FN is pulling Motlo Mario off the air and he is moving his new prodution to PBS. And he's scheduled to shoot at least two more episodes of Iron Chef. So the rumor seems to be sorta true. Although it sounds like the Post exaggerated (not a surprise).

              From FN spokesperson Carrri Welch in a UPI article, "We completely blessed his decision to go to PBS and he is still going to appear on 'Iron Chef America.'"

              From Mario Batali in a TV Guide interview, ""I’m taping two episodes of Iron Chef America in a few weeks."

              After those two episodes it'll be interesting to see what happens. But it sounds like we'll be seeing Batali on FN for some time to come since they shoot those shows well before they actually air.

        2. re: krez

          "That sounds like the beginning to a joke... is that the beginning to a joke?"

          I swear, I thought the same thing when I read that. Funny...

          1. re: flourgirl

            Me too. I think he was one of the last people with integrity on the network, and that seems to suggest he finally snapped too, so I thought it was a joke for sure.

        3. re: gillyweed

          Gwyneth Paltrow, except when pregnant, follows a macrobiotic diet. How does she get to be a on food show with Mario Batali??? That's like Ferran Adria asking Rachel Ray for recipe ideas.

          1. re: maisonbistro

            Food Network, wtf were you thinking???

            I have no idea what Paltrow has invested in this venture (other than being one of those obnoxious Hollywierd people who, once having spawned, think they have invented parenthood...). I was a vegetarian for 20 years and a vegan for part of that and even *I* find a micro biotic diet bizarre.

            I will miss Mario's passion and skill.

            FN: Kindly take notice I own a newfangled gadget called a "remote" and I don't need to view your Food Lite cast of characters.

          2. re: gillyweed

            IMO, FN is a laughable, embarassing, exceedingly commercial, food-lite network, and Batali, seemingly a very serious chef, should have been off there years ago. hopefully he'll get on some PBS station, like Jacques and Lydia.

          3. whaaaaat????? you're kidding, right? i knew they were looking for a new iron chef, but i thought they just wanted to add another one to the arsenal...

            2 Replies
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny...

              1. re: markabauman

                yikes.

                thanks for the info!

            2. I like the idea of Mario doing a show about Spain. What I don't like is the idea of him doing it with Gwyneth Paltrow. Never liked her or found her appealing in any way and about as interesting as Styrofoam...with Styrofoam being the one I would rather watch.

              http://meandmyfork.blogspot.com

              3 Replies
              1. re: Withnail42

                No matter what people think of Mario Batali and his many extremely lucrative career moves, there is just no denying that he consistently recreates regional Italian cuisine that is accessible to the masses. All of his cookbooks with the exception of The Babbo cookbook (and even that is not that difficult) are easy to use with great results. I say it's the FTV's loss. There has been new "management" there the last few years and IMO the programming has been seriously slipping. Better for Mario that he gets out now. He'll be great in Spain and Gwyneth will bring in the non-foodie viewers. Smart move for PBS.

                1. re: cecibean

                  i'm a huge batali fan, and i absolutely adore spanish cuisine & culture...but gwyneth paltrow happens to be one of my top pet peeves of all time. can someone please tell me what people find appealing about her? i don't know why she just irks me so much, but she's reason enough for me NOT to watch batali's new show. bummer.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    She annoys me because she appears souless. And utterly boring.

              2. As I replied to the other thread about Mario....his new venture is a night of corporate wonderment entitled, "Magic, Martinis and Mario." A la Toby Robbins, I presume.

                The fine living channel is reruning repeats of Molto Mario around the noon hour in the Boston area.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Gio

                  mercifully, that MMM show is not the only one in the works (yuck!)
                  I also heard about the Spain/PBS show referred to above - I doubt Paltrow is a major part of it

                  FN is out of their minds to let Batali go. Molto Mario is the best show they ever did, and he's the best Iron Chef...

                  1. re: pitu

                    Agree...FN IS out of their minds to let him go...Idiots...And Gwyneth on a food show? My God, does that girl even eat?

                    1. re: pitu

                      He was definitely the best on Iron Chef America. I still like Bobby though.

                  2. RIP... Food Network. Batali was the last serious chef I really liked in their roster. Some are just okay like Flay, Emeril & Alton and then there are the real jokes like Paula Dean, Sandra Lee, 30 minute girl & the worst of all the short girl with the big head who thinks she is Italian.

                    Bye Bye

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                      Paula Deen - now there's someone I don't get. Just what does she have to do with cooking?
                      She's going to be appearing at the State Fair here next month and they'll be charging $20 a head to see her. That's as much as they charge for the hottest chart-topping country star. WTF? I bet people will be flocking to see her, though.

                      1. re: rockycat

                        I think the thing with Paula Deen is that she is entertaining and makes food that is accessible too middle america and the home cook. I will go on later about what I see happening with FN

                        1. re: iguanachef

                          Might I amend that statement to: I think the thing with Paula Deen is that she is entertaining and makes food that is accessible to middle america and the home cook who are underweight and whose cholesterol levels are distressingly low.

                          1. re: pablissima

                            Hahaha. I enjoyed that last part.

                        2. re: rockycat

                          As a follow up to "people will be flocking to see her" -
                          She came withing 100 seats of selling out within the first 24 hours of ticket sales. Can I get the butter and mayo concessions for that show?

                          1. re: rockycat

                            Which state fair?

                          2. re: Eat_Nopal

                            I have to agree with you. Just caught this comment. I miss Emeril after the national news, shocked when they took him off beginning of Dec.. At least there was laughter and music. Sandra Lee is okey, but a little stiff-fashion gal type. Paula Dean is too loud. Her receipes are great unless you cook for just a few. The grocery bills would slay you for one receipe. The ones that bore me to death are the cleavage girls. I think when they are preparing dishes, they do not have to have the low cut garbs on. I always try to figure out are they impressing the women and men of course with their great receipes or are they showing off their figures. I think there is a time and place for the cut down tops. Anyhow, maybe I am just getting older and came from the old school. I want to see the food prepared with dignity, ha.

                          3. The idea of Marion Batali doing a show on Spain sounds intriguing and I don't know that much about G. P to comment, but seems like sort of an odd couple at the least. Actually is it my imagination or were his plates on Iron Chef becoming more Mediterranean?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: chef chicklet

                              i don't think anyone here will dis agree with me when i say she a decent looking girl but..... that is it she is a flippin fruit-loop

                              1. re: foodperv

                                I have to disagree...never really seen the attraction.

                            2. that happened a while ago.

                              I've no doubt he will land on his feet. And if he doesn't do another tv show for a while, he DOES have about 8 restaurants to run........

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ChefJune

                                In true FN fashion, I heard the Pamela Anderson is the new Iron Chef and Molto Mario is being replaced with a new show called Cleavage Cafe.

                              2. but why are they firing him???

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Monica

                                  he's not "cute", and he actually cooks instead of opening packages and taking every imaginable shortcut

                                  I agree with others that he doesn't really need the FN gig, but it's distressing in that it's just more evidence that the FN is dumbing down further every season

                                2. It would be nice if Batali, Tsai and all the other actual chefs FN has discarded over the years could get together and launch a competing cooking channel. One that is more focused on teaching people how to cook than exposing cleavage.

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: LabRat

                                    Where's Drew Nierporent when you need him? It should be an easy segue from restaurants to TV production....?

                                    1. re: LabRat

                                      and David Rosengarten, Michael LaMonaco, Sara Moulton, Curtis the vegetarian guy (Aikens?)...Even reruns of Martha Stewart and Julia Child would be an improvement.

                                      Get ATK and some of the other PBS shows that show actual cooking, add some other ethnic COOKING shows--Indian, Mediterannean, Middle Eastern, Jacques Pepin classic French..."Chowhound Trends in Food" as a news show...serious discussion of food issues like organic and industrial farming

                                      With digital cable there are a lot of channels that will need programming and an intelligent niche audience with higher than average household incomes would be very valuable to programmers

                                      1. re: coney with everything

                                        Completely agree with David Rosengarten, his Dean and Deluca cookbook became my fave after watching him for a year. Michael LaMonaco was also a great chef, he was just on Today in NY this past wekend, I miss him.

                                        1. re: 10gallonhat

                                          all great chefs who are sorely missed...except one. please, oh please, no martha. ANYONE but martha.

                                          1. re: 10gallonhat

                                            Micheal Lamonaco is on the Travel Channel's "Epicurious" show--at 9 o'clock some monings in Boston.

                                        2. re: LabRat

                                          oh, how i miss ming tsai. great cook, easy on the eyes...that was a show worth watching.

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            Ming was on Iron Chef? I thought that was Chen Kinichi.

                                            1. re: RGC1982

                                              oh, i wasn't saying he was on ic, just that i miss watching his show "east meets west." but i bet he'd be a great iron chef!

                                              btw, in case any los angeles hounds are interested, our very own jill davies - executive chef at 'josie' restaurant in santa monica - is one of the competitors to be the next iron chef.

                                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              He was a challenger and won against, I think, Morimoto. Bayless narrowly lost to Flay. Had higher marks for taste, but lost on plating. Both did SW cuisine.

                                          2. Whoa....thats a shame. I loved watching him cook on Iron Chef.

                                            1. Aren't Mario and Mark Bittman partners in a few ventures?

                                              Wouldn't be surprised to see them branch out beyond "The Best Recipes in the World."

                                              1. Just reaffirms my opinion about FN. They might as well all start cooking with a can of Campells soup as a foundation ingredient. I'll bet Mario is actually glad to be outta there. Although now that he can go to any other network and set up his own show, what's the deal with Paltrow? Surely that won't last. I mean, c'mon, Molto Mario without meat?

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Ellen

                                                  I've seen Paula, Sandra and Ray Ray use the campbells soup already...

                                                2. Mario's always been my favorite because of his cooking and his sense of humor. And while I think Gwyneth Paltrow is an annoying actress, I read that she used to live in Spain, has an adopted family there, and I'm willing to give her a chance to prove that she know how to eat, despite appearances to the contrary...

                                                  1. Maybe he quit when FN let Sandra Lee do a show with "remakes" of his food using her own special shortcuts?

                                                    Mario lived in Spain when he was a teenager and branched out with his NYC Spanish place (something and Bar Jambon). I'd gladly watch this new show. Gwynth has huge potential for some funny WTF moments, too.

                                                    10 Replies
                                                    1. re: C. Hamster

                                                      I agree that it was stupid for FN to let Mario go but don't go putting Giada in the same class as Rachel Ray and Sandra Lee. Yes she can be annoying at times but shes a trained chef not like the others that were previously mentioned.

                                                      1. re: JohnnyCab

                                                        But shes a trained chef

                                                        Anybody can pay their way through Culinary school... what has she done with it? Does she have any real kitchen experience. If she is so well trained why does she focus on such childish dishes... why did she do so poorly on Iron Chef. Any bay area sous chef without formal training puts her to shame.

                                                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                          I'm not really a Giada fan, but she did work in the kitchens at the Ritz Carlton and Spago in LA and was working as a food stylist when FN "discovered" her. The culinary school she attended was the Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, which isn't known for letting people pay their way to a degree regardless of their ability. Compared to Sandra Lee, Giada is Escoffier.

                                                          1. re: LabRat

                                                            "discovered her"?, c'mon her last name is de laurentis

                                                            1. re: budlit

                                                              What is Giada's REAL name? Her mother's maiden name is De Laurentis, so I presume she has/had a father and originally carried his name. Perhaps if I had a famous maternal grandfather, I would change my name as well. Something tells me DeLaurentis was not her baptismal last name.

                                                              1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                                                I never thought about that! Her father's last name is De Bennedetti, according to Wikipedia.

                                                                1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                                                  So she takes her Mother maiden name and works soley in LA. I sure in that town that name opened more that a few doors...and she claim that her last name was not a help.

                                                                  Might be true if DeLaurentis isn't her real last name.

                                                                2. re: budlit

                                                                  That's why "discovered" is in "quotes".

                                                            2. re: JohnnyCab

                                                              I'm having a CRS moment here...but... wasn't Rachel paired with Mario on Iron Chef? They won, in my fantasy.

                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                Yeah it was Mario and Rachael against Giada and Bobby Flay and Mario and Rachel won, even though Rachel's "drunken pasta" was criticized as being underdone ...

                                                          2. Mario and a macroneurotic? Let the hilarity ensue!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: houndgirl

                                                              macroneurotic? love it!

                                                            2. It was his shoes. Did him in.

                                                              1. Shouldn't all the FN haters, and bashers be happy Mario has been "liberated" from the evil Food Network? ; )

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: swsidejim

                                                                  No.... I have fond memories of watching Emeril, Too Hot Tamales, America's Test Kitchen and others while I was getting through college and learning to cook more grown up food for myself.... that is the Food Network I want back.... instead its going the other way.

                                                                  Food Network has sold out.. just like Whole Foods did.

                                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                    I guess I never thought of FN as anything other than entertainment since it is on t.v.. I never relied on them for cooking tips, I learned my skill while getting payed working on a line, and doing prep work back in the day

                                                                    I just figured since no one seems like FN(although many still seem to watch it), and people like Mario they would be happy he wasnt selling his soul to the devil anymore.

                                                                2. Frankly, I think this is another nail on the coffin of the Food Network. They seem to be making their programming decisions on sex appeal and cleavage rather than cooking expertise, technique and skill. I figure it is a matter of time before Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) gets the ax because she's an overweight 50something who doesn't cackle like Paula Deen or have 2 slacker sons. If I were Emeril I would go on a diet and get hair plugs, because even he will have to kowtow to the FTV upper management.

                                                                  This just irks me because I too loved the early days of FNTV. Miss folks like Sara Moulton, David Rosengarden, Michael Lomonoco, etc. I think we should organize a letter writing campaign to that goofy VP from the FNTV Food Star show, the one who looked like a toad and share what we think. Let's show him the power Chowhounds have to demand better programming than currently available! Apres moi, le deluge!

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                                                    I think, unfortunately, ratings count far more than anything else. If everyone complains and they still enjoy high ratings, they will continue with what sells.
                                                                    Does anyone know if FN's viewership has actually increased or decreased since it's been flashier? My guess is that it's increased.
                                                                    Flash and trash sells - just look at the top 5 movies at your local box office.

                                                                    1. re: pescatarian

                                                                      That is why I say they sold out. The desire to make more money has shadowed their original mission. Actually now that I think about... I vaguely remember that the original owners sold it to one of the big networks (NBC perhaps?)

                                                                      That would certainly explain the change in philosophy.

                                                                      1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                        Yes, this philosophy is behind most business plans.

                                                                        It's too bad there isn't someone working at FN who can work on balancing the business to make money with quality programming. You know for every 5 crappy flashy shows, give us a Tsai or Batali or Garten.

                                                                        1. re: pescatarian

                                                                          LMFAO, Pescatarian!

                                                                          The term Pescarian cracks me up, but you nailed it with your 5:1 ratio suggestion ;)

                                                                  2. One more reason not to watch FN. The only show I ever watch there nowadays was Iron Chef America, and only when Mario's on.

                                                                    I would love to see him team up with Anthony Bourdain and start another show at Travel Channel. Maybe he can do the travel together, Mario cooking and adopting regional recipes and Bourdain can do the wisecracking commentary...

                                                                    1. I wonder if this has been in the works for some time? Food Network is airing The Next Iron Chef reality show this fall - maybe they were anticipating a vacancy?

                                                                      1. Food Network's loss, Fine Living Channel's gain! I saw an episode of Molto Mario on the fine living channel. Much better for him. FN is ridiculous now with all the rack and no talent. While I find Giada blameless, the new Latino show is embarassing for me to watch. Please make real latin food, cover up, and have someone write a new script for Miss thing. Daisy scorches her with her show Daisy cooks! and does Rick Bayless. Gross. The new FN star? Dont embarrass France with your crap, please be good. So fine living, discovery home, and public television are now my destinations for food shows except I still love Iron Chef.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: sharonm

                                                                          Actually Fine Living channel is part of the Food Network empire. That and HGTV and I think DIY Network as well. It is very incestuous. If Mario got axed from FN, then he will get axed from FL as well.

                                                                        2. ABC news on the same story. Confirms that Batali is staying on IC, and also notes the change in direction at FN to purge the network of the "older" chefs:

                                                                          http://www.abcnews.go.com/Entertainme...

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: sgwood415

                                                                            God bless Anthony Bourdain:
                                                                            "This is a completely natural progression for the Food Network model. A look at the lineup shows they're looking for new personalities and have contempt for professional chefs," he said.

                                                                          2. "I’m the best Iron Chef, why would I quit?"

                                                                            Did I not mention something about possible over inflated ego above?

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Diana

                                                                              He seemed very nice and friendly when I met him, and his food is fantastic

                                                                              1. re: budlit

                                                                                I had his Olive Oil Gelato two weeks ago and it was incredible. Any guy that can make that is a friend to me.

                                                                                1. re: sgwood415

                                                                                  It should be noted that the Gelatos at OTTO are not made by Batali. They are the products of Meredith Kurtzman, his very talented pastry chef.

                                                                                  http://www.ottopizzeria.com/menu_gela...

                                                                                2. re: budlit

                                                                                  I met him at the bar at Blue Ribbon one night a few years ago and I thought he was warm and fun and down to earth. Also love his food.

                                                                                3. re: Diana

                                                                                  It's not over inflated ego if it happens to be the truth. It's factual.

                                                                                  1. re: notmartha

                                                                                    how is that a fact? Is he somehow officially rated as "the best" or do you just like him the best? I don't watch the show, so I really want to know!

                                                                                    1. re: Diana

                                                                                      it probably means that if you look at the win/loss record for all the iron chefs, his is the best.

                                                                                4. Thanks for the info. Thank goodness. I've to Tivo the new show.

                                                                                  1. I had the good fortune to meet Mario once at a food event in L.A. I was writing a food column for a local suburban newspaper at the time and introduced myself as such. He was working with some wonderful sausages and offered me some, telling me to let them lie on my tongue and just breathe over them to get the full infusion of flavors. He was a truly gracious and lovely man and was in no way condescending.
                                                                                    The Food Network has sadly become a cautionary tale of what was once a wonderful and innovative idea being over-run by the herd-like corporate mentality that currently paralyzes Scripps, the owner of the network. Has anyone noticed that HGTV -- the Food Network's sister endeavor -- is also getting stale? There are corporate mandates to appeal to the younger, hipper crowd, although as is often the case with such things, such mandates are issued by middle-aged, middle-management types who survive based on their ability to sprout corporate cliches, not on any real creative vision.
                                                                                    Mario was a bright spot on what has become an embarrasing commentary on American cooking. Personally I find Giada annoying -- has anyone noticed she really doesn't LIKE food? She actually freezes up in terror when it comes time to eat. Paula Deen has become a caricature, squealing and cackling like the little piggy she resembles more and more. Sandra Lee is, like, ewwwwww, the Valley Girl's guide to cooking. And poor Emeril, even he seems tired of his schtick. Poor man's been bammed to death. Alton tries. His goofiness gets in the way sometimes, but I'm sure the corporate types think upside-down camera angles are what The Kids are looking for these days. And Alton himself is actually rather wry -- and he knows what he's doing, which is more than can be said for Bugs Bunny's long-lost sister Rachael Ray (I keep waiting for her to say "What's up doc?") who was last seen showing how to eat green plantains (Ummmm ... you don't, Rach).
                                                                                    The TLC, the Travel Channel and Discovery are all trying their hands at cooking shows and PBS is also making a run. They must smell the blood on the water as the Food Network stumbles.
                                                                                    Anyway, I'm not sure Mario will do well with Gwennyth -- who was described by one wag as a pretentious blonde actress. I've always felt people on macrobiotic diets must not really like food, so it will be interesting to see how this works.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Fuser

                                                                                      "He was working with some wonderful sausages and offered me some, telling me to let them lie on my tongue and just breathe over them to get the full infusion of flavors."
                                                                                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                      And THAT is what learning about food should be about!

                                                                                      I'd bet that Shamdra Lee couldn't do that with canned soup or her Kwanzaa Cake. :-)

                                                                                      1. re: Fuser

                                                                                        I was macrobiotic for a few years when I was living in LA. and I love food. Just not macrobiotic food. I was doing it to try to save my soul. You know, no drinking, no smoking no fun. No way! I figured out a better way. I became an ahteist.

                                                                                      2. Here's a little blurb:
                                                                                        http://www.slashfood.com/2007/08/23/g...

                                                                                        So I guess Gwyneth is just going to sit and watch Mario eat jamon? That sounds exciting.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: houndgirl

                                                                                          This must be a sequel to The Odd Couple.

                                                                                        2. I am shocked that everyone here still actually watches the food network.

                                                                                          All things being said, I am fine with balance in programming, the food network just does not want to give us any. All the shows are the same...same style set, same format, etc etc.

                                                                                          Molto Mario, man and show will be missed. Just as I miss Taste, the old Essence of Emeril, and strangley enough that show on how to mix cocktails that used to be on Sundays at Midnight :).

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: ChrisZ

                                                                                            Isn't the Essence of Emeril in repeats on weekday afternoons? I swear my mom watches him then. You could DVR it if you're working a 9-5.

                                                                                            I don't think everything at FN stinks, just the majority of shows. They still air Sara Moulton's call in, cook along show on weekday mornings, and Nigella Feasts is on Sundays. (My mom watches both of them.) I actually watch Alton's shows and have caught Giada's Everyday Italian. Some of her recipes are approachable while they don't compromise on ingredients (but some are admittedly weird mash ups of traditional foods trying to be quick a la Racheal Ray.)

                                                                                            1. re: amyzan

                                                                                              I don't think we are watching the same Giada show. She does compromise on her ingredients all the time. She uses canned and frozen foods quite often and I have never seen her make fresh pasta. IMO, as an Italian cooking show, she should be using fresher ingredients AND show at least some of the time, how to make fresh pasta. My husband and I watch her to make fun of her and laugh at her...it's too easy sometimes. For someone who has gone to cooking school, she doesn't have ANY knife skills and can't measure worth a darn! I would never eat any of her baked goods for fear that they contain egg shells!

                                                                                              1. re: jewel4352

                                                                                                She's made fresh pasta quite a few times, I've seen at least three or four shows where she's done it. However, the name of her show is "Everyday Italian" and I don't think most people have the time or the means to make pasta at home everyday.

                                                                                          2. I hope PBS picks up the real cooking shows that FN has tossed out. Batali is one of the few left that I will actually watch, I always seem to learn something watching him.

                                                                                            PBS needs to have Batali do another studio type cooking show, pull Bourdain and Brown to PBS and they would have a huge following for those shows. I might actually donate significantly to PBS if they did that.

                                                                                            25 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: blackpointyboots

                                                                                              Brown is too annoying he is good for FN.

                                                                                              1. re: blackpointyboots

                                                                                                I hate Bourdain. Does he actually bother to cook anymore? did he EVER cook, really? All I've ever seen him do is smoke, eat, and tell us all how cool he is.

                                                                                                1. re: Diana

                                                                                                  Have you even bothered to read his book "Kitchen Confidential"? He cooked for quite a long time and worked his way up the "restaurant food chain", and was Executive Chef of Les Halles in NYC.

                                                                                                  http://www.anthonybourdain.com/copy.a...

                                                                                                  "The acclaimed memoir follows the chef from his first oyster in the Gironde to his lowly position as dishwasher in a honky-tonk fish restaurant in Provincetown, from the kitchen of the Rainbow Room atop the Rockefeller Center to drug dealers in the East Village, and from Tokyo to Paris and back to New York again."

                                                                                                  No, he's not cooking now, but that doesn't mean he didn't do so before. Try finding out about his career before you make such a blanket negative statement. He sure as hell cooked a lot more than many of the shams who pretend to cook on Food Network nowadays.

                                                                                                  1. re: Diana

                                                                                                    For whatever the reason you "hate Bourdain," he brings a lot of insight to the restaurant kitchen behind the scene scenario. He seems candid, honest and never seems to have to prove his cool, because he just is. Maybe that's why FN got rid of him, he's way too outspoken and thus too cool for them.

                                                                                                    1. re: Sarah

                                                                                                      I read an interview that he did with British press. His spin on the situation was that he quit FN because they wanted him to host grilling shows and competitions. He was not into that at all. I give him credit for that.

                                                                                                    2. re: Diana

                                                                                                      diana, do you actually bother to know what you are talking about?

                                                                                                      1. re: budlit

                                                                                                        I seriously wanted to know if he ever REALLY cooked. Now I do.

                                                                                                        I am bothering to know he rubs me the wrong way. He may be a superb chef, I've never eaten his food (has ANYONE here eaten anything he's cooked? then how can you judge beyond reading the reviews of others?)

                                                                                                        I have never seen him cook on any of his shows. All I see him do on "No Reservations" is smoke, eat, and tell us how cool he is. on line, he tells us his opinion and reminds us of how cool he is, thinking that will give him cedulity. then he usually bags on Rachel ray,

                                                                                                        Frankly, I am far from a fan of Rachel Ray, myself. The woman could probably not speak if someone chopped off her arms (I volunteer). An interesting fact is that the same procedure might actually improve her food. then again, I've never tasted HER cooking, either.

                                                                                                        Since I cannot judge either of these two's skills in the kitchen, all I am left with si what I HAVE experienced, which is the TV shows and blogs and such.

                                                                                                        Bourdain just rubs me the wrong way.

                                                                                                        But at least he DOES expose the adventure of exploring and sampling REAL food from all over the world, and that is a plus to society in general. It is a very admirable thing for him to do, and I like it.

                                                                                                        But I don't like the man himself, and remember this important fact, people: I don't have to.

                                                                                                        1. re: Diana

                                                                                                          yeeeeow, Diana, take something for that

                                                                                                          1. re: budlit

                                                                                                            Good one budlit! hahahha

                                                                                                          2. re: Diana

                                                                                                            My wife can't take Bourdain because he smokes all the time and she wonders how he can taste anything. I find him a bit arrogant but really very interesting. His latest show (about Hong Kong) was extremely well done.

                                                                                                            I honestly don't see why it's relevant whether he actually cooks now or not. His credentials should speak for themselves. I've never been to Les Halles but it certainly has a good reputation, for whatever that brings to the table. Even if he is just a foodie with a personality his apparent respect for cuisine and especially local food is all I need to know. He may look a bit like he could be the Howard Stern of food, but he's not.

                                                                                                            1. re: Diana

                                                                                                              I find Bourdain somewhat obnoxious, especially when he spends part of an episode of No Reservations on ego stroking and other personality entertainment, rather than the food and culture of a place. BUT, he's still far more entertaining and educational than anything but Alton Brown's Good Eats, albeit in an entirely different format and really with a different subject as well.

                                                                                                              He has cooked on several epsidoes of NR, too. The ones that come to mind are the cassoulet he made on the recent episode in Cleveland and when he made food for his crew during their forced hotel stay in Beirut. His food looked fantastic both times. Yeah, you'd have to know him to eat his food these days, but that doesn't mean he doesn't actually cook. I'm sure he's busy as hell, but arguing that he doesn't cook anymore and therefore his viewpoint is irrelevant or invalid, well, that argument doesn't fly. I don't always like the guy on his show, but I respect him.

                                                                                                              1. re: Diana

                                                                                                                "Bourdain just rubs me the wrong way."

                                                                                                                Exactly--same here! And I've read his first book, used to watch his shows, etc.

                                                                                                                Just don't like the man. Last time I checked, that was still allowed in this country.

                                                                                                                1. re: gloriousfood

                                                                                                                  I don't think anyone's disputing that. What people were addressing on was the comment "Does he actually bother to cook anymore? did he EVER cook, really?" when, with just a *little* research, the OP could have figured that out for herself.

                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                    I actually was just really asking the question, Linda. Have you eaten his food? Is it yummy?
                                                                                                                    Boy, did I find out. the answer. I suppose his ardent fans are rather loyal. This is a good thing, to have loyal fans to look out for one.

                                                                                                                    I mean, some people like Sweet Lady Jane, too. She cooks.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Diana

                                                                                                                      Diana, perhaps you *were* just asking the question. What obviously rubbed some of us the wrong way was the WAY you asked the question - by initially stating that you hate Bourdain, and then condescendingly asking if he "bothered" to cook anymore, or if he EVER cooked. Hence the reaction you got.

                                                                                                                      And no, I have not been fortunate enough to have dined at Les Halles when he was Executive Chef there. However, I'm a fan because of his writing and the way he tells it like it is, and the fact that he brings different cultures' foods to the American public. Yes, there's a lot of things he dares to eat that I probably never would, but I do enjoy the fact that he's exposing the public to what else is out there in the world vs. Americans staying insulated in their own little Mickey D's/Applebee's/TGIF's, etc. chain restaurant world.

                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                        I agree, it's important someone get people exploring dynamic food around the world., and I'm glad he is one of the TV people that decided to do it. Sort of like Michael Jackson the Beer Hunter, except Jackson was the sweetest guy. Of course Bourdain might reach more people and do even MORE of a service of bringing good food to the masses if he had a less negative image. Not that he'd ever DO that...but you gotta admit, you catch more flies with honey...than foul language, smoing, and being snyde about your contemporaries in a public forum.

                                                                                                                        A person's personality does not always parallel the weight of their contributions to the world. I have to admit, Anthony B is one of a great cadre of food explorers.

                                                                                                                        Seriously, perhaps he should do a show on National Geographic or something.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Diana

                                                                                                                          You're asking for a leopard to change his spots. He is what he is. There are enough of us out there that love Bourdain as he is, saying what he says, trying to jerk the American public out of the food apathy that some are sinking into (or have already sunk into). Considering he's well respected in his own world of American chefs as well as food writers, I'd say he's going to be around for awhile. So it's more of a "if you don't like him, don't watch him" situation.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Diana

                                                                                                                            Tony is doing exactly what he wanted to do, where he wants to do it. When Scripps Howard took over TVFN and the new management asked him to do more cooking and less exotic traveling, he explained that the world needed more exposure to each other's foods and cultures, and less exposure to self-promoting chefs. So they parted ways and he ended up on the Travel Channel.

                                                                                                                            Personally, I respect that. That's especially true when you look at what those guys ended up doing to TVFN. Giada, Rachael, Sandra... Look at who's gone: Rosengarten, Bourdain, Battali... I mean - anyone that has some sort of functioning integrity meter can tell you what's what.

                                                                                                                            Everybody has their own style, and snarky certainly describes Tony's. But compared to bubbly or giddy or drunk (yes, I love you JC), snarky is often preferable.

                                                                                                                            Tony can, indeed, cook and manage a kitchen - I've eaten at Les Halles several times over the years. But that's not what he's doing now. He's writing and starring in a food/travel show. But if you doubt his ability to still turn out something incredible, watch the Cleveland show and check out the cassoulet he makes in Ruhlman's house. If you doubt his reverence for the food and techniques he finds in his travels, watch the Hong Kong show and the noodle maker segment.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Diana

                                                                                                                          Don't cave, Diana. Never cave. Cheers to you!

                                                                                                                          1. re: Diana

                                                                                                                            Anthony Bourdain is a mediocre chef...he says it himself in his book KC. He is very judgemental about others chefs, referring to Todd English as an asshole in his book KC while stating he has never actually met Todd English. Anthony Bourdain creates great kitchen literature. He has become a celebrity. I am grateful that he wants to expose Americans to other food cultures.

                                                                                                                            1. re: vinoepasta

                                                                                                                              A more balanced opinion. An increasingly rare thing here, it seems, but that could just be my perception, of course.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Diana

                                                                                                                    Oh my goodness. Diana!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Diana

                                                                                                                      haha, i so agree with you. He tries too hard to look 'cool'. My husband and I no longer watch his show. He DID cook but i don't know if he still does as he is too busy smoking and drinking and acting cool.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Diana

                                                                                                                        Are you kidding? He's my idol. He makes a great living doing what most people I know would love to do. He's smart, funny and he most certainly knows how to cook. I wish I was Anthony Bourdain.

                                                                                                                      2. re: blackpointyboots

                                                                                                                        what non-rerun food shows are on PBS these days? Do they produce anything original? just wonderin. (no access to PBS)

                                                                                                                      3. I guess we won't know more until Batali makes a statement, but something about the OP's facts seems incomplete.
                                                                                                                        Scripps wouldn't spend their nickles to recut the shows originally shown on FN and now reshowing on FL during the day. This tells me they have the rights to them, not Batali. I don't believe any NEW Molto Mario episodes have been taped for several years, likewise the other FL daytime re-runs.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: DiveFan

                                                                                                                          The facts in my post come directly from the media reports. I'm not sure how much the reporters are editorializing, but the facts seem to be fairly consistent across them all. The only part that seems to be a bit unclear is his status on Iron Chef America. Sounds like he may shoot some more episodes of that, however it's not clear if that's just to finish the next season of shooting. Here are some links to the stories, including the original NY Post story that started the hub-bub on the internet, and NYP's follow-up article.

                                                                                                                          http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Entertai...

                                                                                                                          http://www.abcnews.go.com/Entertainme...

                                                                                                                          http://www.nypost.com/seven/09062007/...

                                                                                                                          http://www.nypost.com/seven/09052007/...

                                                                                                                          1. re: sgwood415

                                                                                                                            The ABC News article specifically states "The Food Network will stop airing reruns of "Molto Mario," - this is technically incorrect, since the shows have been only airing on Fine Living in recent months. If the FN PR guy or 'industry insider' meant all of Scripps networks, then that's something different.
                                                                                                                            BTW the current FL schedule for October 31 http://www.fineliving.com/fine/progra... shows MM airing.
                                                                                                                            OTOH it's a damn shame about losing him as an Iron Chef.

                                                                                                                        2. I paraphrase Anthony Bourdain who said that Food TV is as much about food these days as MTV is about music.

                                                                                                                          I'm down to watching Alton Brown (although the last episode of Feasting on Asphalt fell flat) and the odd episode of Iron Chef. Now that Mario's gone, I can see that going to hell in a hand basket. I do miss the Japanese Iron Chef.

                                                                                                                          Can you see Sandra Lee on Iron Chef? Tonight’s secret ingredient, Velveeta and Boones Farms!

                                                                                                                          A la gag me.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: bkhuna

                                                                                                                            "Sandra Lee on Iron Chef"
                                                                                                                            (shudder)
                                                                                                                            Hopefully not a quote from Nostradamus or the original Book of Revelation....

                                                                                                                          2. A quote from HL Mencken seems appropriate in describing what has been happening to The Food Network over the past years: "No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people."

                                                                                                                            I rarely watch it any more, except for some of Alton Brown's shows, Mario, and an ocasional Iron Chef or maybe Bobby Flay once in a while. I also find Giada OK for the most part. Just my own opinions.

                                                                                                                            As cable TV has grown a lot of its content has been dumbed down to attract more general and larger audiences where that seems to management to be the approach to take. It's a shame, but it's true. Interestingly, though, most of the best TV drama programing this year is on cable (Damages, The Closer, Saving Grace) and many of the series that are on HBO or Showtime (The Sopranos being a prime example).

                                                                                                                            I think these networks pick their audience and, if they're good, will program right into the middle of their target. The only logical conclusion I can come to is that there are a lot more 'regular' folks watching FoodTV than real foodies. I was hoping that The Fine Living Channel would fill the void, but it really hasn't done it for me either.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                              FYI The Fine Living Channel is also a Scripps venture, it is a sister network to the Food Network. I've never seen it because we don't get it where I live, but as I stated earlier, coming from Scripps, I don't expect too much.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Fuser

                                                                                                                                I know it's the same company (ie- Michael Chiarello and Gorodn Elliot seem to be on both) but Fine Living appears to be aimed at a higher demographic so I thought there might be hope for better quality programming.

                                                                                                                            2. This is too depressing for words. I've not only noticed the increase in mindless cleavage in recent years and the exodus of most of the real chefs, but I've also noticed that the cooking and recipes are being further and further dumbed down, especially on Paula Deen's show, where she used to make most stuff from scratch and now uses cans o'soup. Gott in Himmel- did anybody see the episode where she tore up a couple dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts, added sweetened condensed milk and a can of fruit salad and called it bread pudding???? That was the beginning of the end, I think
                                                                                                                              They all also appear to use the same acting coach for everybody, with their weird increasing similarity to Sandra Lee's bossy-schoolteacher-turned-robot delivery (today's cocktail- rum and melted ice cream!). Nigella Lawson is an annoying greaseball, I don't care how well-placed she is in Britain. One of the increasingly few people left that I like is Alton Brown, and he's not really a chef. At least not a professional one, I know he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America.
                                                                                                                              So Mario gets mad and leaves (can't blame him). PBS is looking better and better, and I have to find outif we get Fine Living here.

                                                                                                                              But Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow? The mind boggles. She must be bankrolling it is all I can think, and Batali, for all his wonderfulness (I really adore him) has always been an enormous brownnoser of famous people, but surely this is just a publicity stunt, with him knowing that GP is considered by many to be a prissy, overentitled princess. Who the hell knows what she's seeing in this. Maybe Mario wants to lose some weight by going macrobiotic temporarily and make money at the same time.

                                                                                                                              Can anybody with any inside info on the upcoming show please post and tell me why? And how? I'm too curious.

                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                I think FN is now going for the more typical single male dorm/frat crowd

                                                                                                                                Before I get attacked: yes, I KNOW some young single men are WONDERFUL cooks and could care less about boobies. However, a large group of them are guys who always let mom cook who spend a large amount of time seeking for ways to see naked ladies. This is why Hooters is so popular. Hooters will soon have a cooking show on FN, I'm reasonably certain. Also the girls of Coyote Ugly.

                                                                                                                                Thus, recipes get "semi home made" across the board, and the cleavage bombles about. Pretty soon, it's going to look like "Girls Gone Wild" with ovens. When the Girls Next Door get a FN cooking show, I'm giving up.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Diana

                                                                                                                                  Men 18-34 make up one of the biggest demographics in television (the executives would lose their jobs if they didn't go after them). It makes (business) sense that FN would try to appeal to them. But their target is even more broad than that.

                                                                                                                                2. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                  Actually Alton graduated from New England Culinary Institute right here in beautiful Montpelier, Vermont. There are certain episodes in which you can see him wearing his NECI cap.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: rcianci

                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the correction.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                    The odd pairing might work if Gwyneth Paltrow's contribution focuses on her legitimate insider knowledge of Spain and Spanish culture. She was an exchange student with a Spanish family in high school. Paltrow has been rather public about her continuing close relationship with her Spanish family and Spain.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                      Oooh, that explains a lot, thanks for that info.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                        It's still a gimmick. If she weren't who she was, she would not be on the show. My husband has been going to Spain every summer for the past 20 years, knows the language and culture inside out, and while not a foodie, has probably had more meals there than Gwynnie. But he's not a famous Hollywood celeb.

                                                                                                                                        You know what though, I'll still give this show a chance because of Mario and because it sounds intriguing.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: gloriousfood

                                                                                                                                          Paltrow will provide wooden questions, commentary and lack-luster commentary while Mario will wax enthusiastic and passionate about food. I see a match made in Hades, although Mario is too charming and accommodating to make that obvious.

                                                                                                                                          Paltrow is to food what Neil Armstrong is to figure skating.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: MysticYoYo

                                                                                                                                            Love that Neil Armstrong analogy--LOL!

                                                                                                                                            And what will Bittman do besides being Mario's lackey?

                                                                                                                                    2. They're replaying an episode of Iron Chef w/ Batali as I type!!! At least he'll receve some royalties.

                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Wes Mantooth

                                                                                                                                        The Parm-Regg episode?
                                                                                                                                        That was a new one according to my tv listings?
                                                                                                                                        Do you think that was his last taped episode?
                                                                                                                                        The food prepared from both chefs was incredible to see.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: rcburli

                                                                                                                                          OMG... my mouth was watering watching that. Especially the spinach pasta that he served out of the hollowed Parm-Regg round!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: heathermb

                                                                                                                                            mmmmmmmm!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Diana

                                                                                                                                              Yeah, did you see that? It looked so interesting, Alton came over like an excited little kid and had to watch it being prepared.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: aurora50

                                                                                                                                                The restaurant Musha in Santa Monica serves a dish in a hollowed out parm...but I forget what's inside.

                                                                                                                                      2. Batali seems to be working with Mark Bittman on his series "The Best Recipes in the World", airing on PBS. I really like America's Test Kitchen (we're visiting in Boston the end of this month and are taking a tour of the kitchens in Brookline), and have subscribed to Cooks Illustrated and the old, defunct Cooks Magazine for years. Nice to see things without commercials or advertising, and ATK has provided great advice on what tools and equipment work best and are most cost-effective.

                                                                                                                                        Most of the PBS food shows like Bittman, ATK, Nick Stellino, Daisy Cooks!, Chef's Story, Lidia Bastianich, etc., seem to be broadcast on the PBS digital substations (Create and PBS HD). All in all, a great reason to buy a digital HDTV set with an HD tuner and Tivo!

                                                                                                                                        1. The ultimate truth is that any network would let that talentless bucket of goo Paula Deen scream, "Y'all", at the beginning and the end of every SINGLE sentence, while she adds canned soup to a dish; AND THEN HIRE HER WITLESS TALENTLESS SONS is truly in a serious and rapid downward spiral.

                                                                                                                                          19 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: jungleboy

                                                                                                                                            I like Paula Deen. Her sons are a different story.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: jungleboy

                                                                                                                                              I was born in Georgia. Lived there for some time. No one I knew ever said "Y'all" that often. We did probably eat that much butter.

                                                                                                                                              One thing a lot of yankees never get is thet "Y'all" is plural. I've even heard southerners mis-use it as some sort of singular noun. Those people are nitwits.

                                                                                                                                              I think Paula Deens sons are arund to make the rest of us feel better about ourselves. Compare thier show with Alton Brown's "riding on asphalt."

                                                                                                                                              One person I do miss is the lady on the "Food Finds" show. Sandra Pikney? I can only see her really early once a week. I have no real clue why I like her...she offers little-I don't think she even cooks. Perhaps it is because she just hosted, and never pretended to be anything but a host. I don't think she ever WENT to any of the places on the show. But she did a good job, and the show was one of the first FN shows that searched out good food in the US and told you how to have it shipped.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Diana

                                                                                                                                                My cousins in Savannah all say "Y'all" :)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Diana

                                                                                                                                                  According Jeff Foxworthy,

                                                                                                                                                  Remember, "y'all" is singular, "all y'all" is plural, and "all y'all's" is plural possessive.!

                                                                                                                                                  But accoding to Wikipedia, its second person plural.

                                                                                                                                                  Y'all got me confused.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                    properly, wouldn't that be " y'all have got me confused" ?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: toodie jane

                                                                                                                                                      yes, toodie jane. y'all is not singular. sorry, jeff foxworthy. "all y'all" is just emphatically plural -- as in "each and every" one of you. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Diana

                                                                                                                                                    "Food Finds"--wow, I had forgotten all about that show, which I enjoyed. It stood out among all the cooking shows by adding another perspective to the industry. I liked its focus on the foodie entrepreneurs. Sandra Pikney seemed very sweet and likable. I also liked that show where Mark and Jill (I can't remember their last names and think I've given their correct first names) traveled around the country highlighting different inns, restaurants, etc. They worked well together.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gloriousfood

                                                                                                                                                      the show was "best of" with jill cordes & mark silverstein. that WAS good...as was food finds.

                                                                                                                                                      links/listings for both shows still exist on the fn web site, but episodes for "best of" haven't aired in ages.

                                                                                                                                                      http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_be
                                                                                                                                                      http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_fi

                                                                                                                                                      i also really liked 'recipe for success,' but i couldn't stand the original host, marly hall. [her replacement, eric mclendon, was a definite improvement.] something about her was just so incredibly irritating. of course i still forced myself to watch it, because as a fledgling food entrepreneur myself, i love hearing those success stories :)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                        Best Of was way too East Coast centric with overkill on their hometowns (Twin Cities (Jill) and Phili (Marc) plus Alaska (where Jill's relatives were))... bizarre.

                                                                                                                                                        Best Of would have a few San Francisco spots, no?????

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                          Actually, NoeMan, you've made a good point for having multiple hosts in cities across the country. I don't think 'Best Of' was too east coast centric, hey, they did one segment in Crawford, Nebraska! They found Arturo's Puffy Taco in Whittier. :-) They visited the Crab House at Pier 39 in SF :-\. Oh, well.
                                                                                                                                                          Scripps has the contacts but they would probably come up with another babe-of-the-week show like this: http://www.yourlatv.com

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DiveFan

                                                                                                                                                            'puffy tacos?" In Nebraska? This old Sonoran desert rat nearly faints. But then I recover enough to ask- what are they like? Are they good? Are they like Taco Bell (may they rot in hell for bastardizing Mexican food the way they have)?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                              I think you're confused. The Crawford, Nebraska location was IIRC the Ranch House and was featured for steaks.
                                                                                                                                                              Arturo's is in Whittier, California. These folded tacos are different due to the fried, very puffy corn tortilla. Sorry, I can't remember details of the filling. This style of taco is mainly a Texas thang and may have been inspired by traditional gorditas from Mexico. Or not.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                Nebraska: more Jill's of relatives--they went to the Corn Palace and the place that serves huge burgers--visiting her uncle.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                              Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                              The show I didn't miss was "How to Boil Water" or something like that. Was Tyler Florence the "star"? Anyway, there was always a woman on the show who played the incredulous, dumb, "Oh my god, you mean that's how I open the pasta box" role? Oy.

                                                                                                                                                              I also remember "Recipe for Success." Marly seemed to think she was doing investigative reporting. Good show though.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gloriousfood

                                                                                                                                                                I think Tyler Florence was fourth "star" on that show. It has always been the "chef and clueless person" format with Emeril Lagasse being the first chef back in 93.

                                                                                                                                                            3. re: gloriousfood

                                                                                                                                                              i just saw sandra pinkney on the "retirement living" network, she hosts a show called "daily cafe", as a member of the regular cast.

                                                                                                                                                              see, e.g., http://www.rl.tv/OurShows/DailyCafe/E...

                                                                                                                                                            4. re: Diana

                                                                                                                                                              FYI to diana and gloriousfood,
                                                                                                                                                              Food Finds, The Best Of, and other former FN shows are airing WeekDays on the Fine Living Channel (owned by the same company as FN). For schedule click EXPAND ALL and see above post.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DiveFan

                                                                                                                                                                I don't get the Fine Living channel :(

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Diana

                                                                                                                                                                I forgot about her! And please, help me remember another woman chef I'm recalling. She had a show about 15 years ago, I believe she was Cajun? Pretty. Soft-spoken, dark hair? Please someone. I want to say her name was Paula too?

                                                                                                                                                            5. Ok, in all this love for Batali, and I find his shows good too, we must remember one show.

                                                                                                                                                              Eating Italy..or something like that.

                                                                                                                                                              Remember "Rudes"? Who also popped up as the mad french chef on Good Eats? Was that not the most fake, contrived "Friendship" on TV? I loathed that show, especally whenever Rudy came on and mugged like a moron for the camera.

                                                                                                                                                              Couldn't they have just sent Mario around Italy on his own?

                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Diana

                                                                                                                                                                That was Steve Rooney. He was the executive chef for "Means Street Productions", the company that produces "Good Eats" for at least a few seasons.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LabRat

                                                                                                                                                                  I hated him at the time. The comedic timing was terrible and the situations embarrassingly contrived, I just wanted him to get out of the way and let Mario do his thing. But he was a regular Olivier compared to the shmucks on FN now.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                    You got THAT right!

                                                                                                                                                              2. He did do a show with Mark Bittman for Create TV from Italy.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Batali was on Martha today, explained the obvious concept that the food network was going in a different direction that didn't totally fit him. He was polite about it, but obviously another nail in FN's coffin..

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rozz01

                                                                                                                                                                    Batali has his own empire to run, and, as it was said in "Heat", FN is, much to my dismay, getting away from being a network about cooking, and just another medium for "reality" (I hate that term, and the shows it describes) TV....no chefs stirring the pots behind a stove, instead we get "hosts" and mediocre chefs who think they have a shot at becoming a "celebu-chef", with their own line of cookware, book signings, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                    I have a couple of Paula Deen cookbooks (don't ask why) and the recipies are like reading a Bisquik box, only less meticulous.
                                                                                                                                                                    Once Alton leaves, it's over. Jumped the shark.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MsDiPesto

                                                                                                                                                                      They jumped the shark a few years ago. This is just the post mortem.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Yeah, FN is getting pretty unwatchable, and Mario was one of the few bright lights in the dark vacuum that is the program line-up of FN. But hey, every high concept network eventually dumbs down (compare A&E which became the Dog the Bounty Hunter channel for a while, I think it might be the Law and Order channel now), so this is no big surprise, just a sad ending.

                                                                                                                                                                    And yes, Alton Brown will probably be replaced by Fabio or the equivalent. "I will use my pecs to rip open this package of Giovotto pasta. Giovotto! Pasta like maman used to make, in your supermarket! Now I will flex my bicep as I pick up the pot full of water from the sink..."

                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Pincus

                                                                                                                                                                      I like it, wanna write a treatment and pitch it to the FN execs? Make it dance babe!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                                                                        I smell an Emmy cooking from the spin-off police cooking drama!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Maria and Emeril? Looks like there's a real shakeup at the FN

                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TasteTV

                                                                                                                                                                        "Maria and Emeril? Looks like there's a real shakeup at the FN"

                                                                                                                                                                        If Mario is now Maria, there have been far more changes at FN than any of us realized.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LabRat

                                                                                                                                                                          "If Mario is now Maria, there have been far more changes at FN than any of us realized".
                                                                                                                                                                          **** shudder ***** LOL

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: aurora50

                                                                                                                                                                            Always loved a woman that could cook...

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rozz01

                                                                                                                                                                              ...and with lovely orange clogs, no less.
                                                                                                                                                                              ; )

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LabRat

                                                                                                                                                                            HAHAHAHA! Love it!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. man lots of bullets flying around here.....
                                                                                                                                                                          yes i will miss mario but as much as who don't like this cook or that cook each has something to offer, even the so called DUMBED DOWN shows too
                                                                                                                                                                          if any of these people that some of us here are complaining about (and hey I agree too i have my likes and dislikes ) convert a few people from just opening a can of soup to taking that simple can and adding this or that to it than even the DUMBED DOWN shows have down their job

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: foodperv

                                                                                                                                                                            I think It's a different point... Many hounds spent years discussing and supporting TVFN to friends, family and coworkers. To see it regress to a channel where Sandra Lee use jarred cheez whiz to sauce frozen ravioli, it's just sorta frustrating... Changes is far from easy and not always good.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Jfood really likes MB and will watch re-runs as often as he can sneak them in. What does bother him on the show are the three guests, one of which reminds jfood of the yutz in the front row in school (with the Horshack EW! EW!) as he raises his hand to ask the most inane question, "Now Mario why are you placing the pasta in the water?"

                                                                                                                                                                            Keep him, Ming bring back Lomonica and Moulton. And BTW can we have some cooking shows in Prime Time. Many CH do work during the day.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Please excuse my sloppy typing. It's difficult to see the keyboard with all the blood oozing from my computer. Amazing how this started off as Batali leaving FN and took on a whole life of its own. Yes FN is taking a different direction; all networks do after as many years. I used to watch it religiously, but that dwindled over the years, not because my favorite chefs left, but because I lost interest in what they were doing. They became caricatures of themselves. I used to love "Emeril Live" for ideas, and would always find something from his show to do. I can't remember the last time I saw it, and once I saw Deen got her own live show, knew his days were numbered. That doesn't mean FN is getting rid of him; with all he has going he may want to leave. As far as Deen goes, she's a character with her own restaurant. Hey that seemed to qualify everyone else in FN's early years. However, for the record, whenever I hear her voice or laugh, it makes me want to tear my head off and throw it at the TV. So I just don't watch her. I don't think Sandra Lee tried to pass herself off as a chef; from what I've seen she just takes things that would be a chore to do from scratch, and shows acceptable shortcuts. Not everyone enjoys spending a lot of time in the kitchen just to say look what I did from scratch (I love it, myself, but I'm wierd). Giada does what she does, and she seems to do it well, even if she is uncomfortable in front of a camera. I have noticed that when her ratings drop, so does her neckline (hey, what can I say. I'm a guy). It has nothing to do with her competency in the kitchen. Unlike many here, I don't hate Bourdain (he's not even on FN - so who cares); I rarely watch his show, but he seems fairly likeable. I'm just uncomfortable with a heroin addict making my dinner. So what if he doesn't cook anymore. Lots of chefs who graduate academy's and worked or had restaurants lose interest. It's a tough life, I know many people who've done it and had the same. Rachel Ray's just annoying.
                                                                                                                                                                              That's all just my opinion, I agree. But I also agree with many here who say if FN keeps on its present course I'll probably tune it out altogether (I still love "Good Eats", but my interest in that is even waning). I do find it interesting, however, that one of the best food shows I ever saw was not on Food Network, it was on the History Channel. How FN missed "American Eats" is inexcusable.