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Nov 21, 2007 07:54 AM

Michael Smith Cooking demonstration (moved from Ontario board)

If anyone is interested - Chef Michael Smith from Chef at Home on the Food Network is doing a cooking demonstration at Sears at the Eaton’s Centre on Friday, November 23rd at 12:30 pm.

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    1. Thanks Mark! I'm going to try to go. I think Michael Smith is great!

      19 Replies
      1. re: Yum2MyTum

        Yucck, I don't know what it is about this guy but I can't watch him - he is a total turn off for me. Sorry and I know it sounds silly but seriously he really bugs me - and not just me, my husband totally agrees. I think it has something to do with his voice and mannerisms. Call me crazy but I can't help it.

        1. re: millygirl

          I enjoyed the Inn Chef and Chef at Large but Chef at Home gives me the impression of Barney the Purple Dinosaur cooks! My parents stayed at the Inn at Bay Fortune and quite enjoyed his cooking - I have to admit, I've made more than a few recipes from his first cookbook and they are to die for. I just can't handle the narration of Chef at Home...

          1. re: millygirl

            Well, to each his/her own, millygirl. Personally, I think it's nice how much thought and care he puts into crafting every meal for his family. My boyfriend finds him creepy though.

            1. re: Yum2MyTum

              Creepy. That's the word I was looking for.

              1. re: Yum2MyTum

                Totally agree, and no disrespect intended to either Yum or Markabroad....each to his own. Cheers!

              2. re: millygirl

                Overall I like the show, but he's a little too SNAG for me. My husband is always making fun of him and his "improvisations"... "Oh, and I just happen to have here some of my very own truffled vanilla quince compote that will go perfect with this dish... "

                1. re: julesrules


                  Chef at Home is shot on a fixed set right next to his house. Of course he has everything layed out before they shoot, but he has inspired me to open many own cupboard on many occasions.

                  1. re: julesrules

                    I liked his earlier shows also. But Chef at Home is preposterous, and likely unavoidably so.

                    He's trying to communicate an important concept - you don't need a recipe to cook interesting food. You can improvise. It's a great idea - that's how I cook myself. My wife, OTOH, can't cook without a full recipe in front of her and freezes if one unimportant ingredient from the recipe is missing ("we don't have any rosemary, so I can't make this dish").

                    The problem is that the program is so scripted, prepped, and obviously "fake" that the concept falls apart. (I'll admit that I can't offer a solution, though.)

                    1. re: embee

                      Yeah, I like his cooking style, but his voice drives me. It's as if he's talking to kindergarten kids--talking down to them. I'm sure he's a nice guy who cooks really good food, but he's not television-friendly.

                      1. re: Yongeman

                        that's exactly how i feel, he comes across as very patronizing. the tone, the script, the whole way he approaches it. i much preferred him earlier, but even then i found him a bit bland in personality.

                        my mother has met him a couple times and he's a sweetheart, but his personality still doesn't feel as if after all these years he's groomed himself for television properly.

                        1. re: pinstripeprincess

                          I don't find him patronizing at all in his current show. I actually think he comes across as very endearing. He used to come across as patronizing on The Inn Chef (thanks, Magic, I couldn't remember what it was called), but not so much anymore.

                          I was thinking about it re-reading this thread and it is my opinion that he comes across as a cook's tv chef. What I mean is, as a cook, I would actually make most of his recipes, unlike most of the "eater-tainment" that fills most of the timeslots on FN.

                          1. re: pescatarian

                            I have actually been inspired by his ideas (anti-recipes) as well. But my husband imitating him in the kitchen is pretty funny :) My husband is very similar to embee's wife in the kitchen - will run out and buy the exact ingredients for every recipe. Then I get to use them up ;)

                      1. re: julesrules

                        hilarious!! That is my exact objection too... don't patronize us or ask us to suspend our disbelief... this is cooking, not Shakespeare....

                      2. re: millygirl

                        Agreed. He seems like a nice enough fellow, but he has this weird "sing-songy" cadence that he uses for every sentence he speaks on the show. After a while I can only hear the mannerism of his voice, not what he's saying. I didn't really notice it on "Chef at Large" but it is very obvious on "Chef at Home" perhaps because it is a much more scripted show, just him talking and nobody else to interact with.

                        1. re: Gary

                          I find him almost unwatchable for the same reason.

                          1. re: koknia

                            Hey, good to know I'm not alone. :)

                          2. re: Gary

                            Considering that he says he comes from the US South, perhaps we should cut him some slack on the voice ;-)

                          3. re: millygirl

                            Millygirl, that makes me laugh. I used to feel the same way. Now plug your ears because I'm about to say some nice things about him.. He crept into my heart creepily and now I find him endearing. He really is one of the few chefs on the Food Network that's working with everyday ingredients. He also encourages you to take leaps and experiment with what you have. He really needs a new hair do. The stylist that cut his hair and told him he could still keep that long look was wrong. It still looks tacky as hell. Good chef-bad hair.

                        2. It's funny reading about all the people who liked the earlier shows but don't like him now.
                          I really disliked him on his first show. I can't remember the name, but it was in a professional kitchen setting and he ended every show by referring to himself as "Chef Michael Smith". In fact, I recall he took every opportunity to mention that he is a chef, not just a cook.
                          However, since them, I have found him increasingly likeable. I don't think Chef at Home is exactly realistic (nor are any others on the network), however, if I'm flipping channels I often find I stop on this show. I don't find him annoying anymore. He seems more down to earth to me. I think he provides good organizational tips and for people that are regular cooks, like myself, I can watch his show and get an idea that I store away and that might pop up at a later date when I'm making something similar.
                          To each his or her own, I guess.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: pescatarian

                            I completely agree with pescatarian. I actually find him MORE likeable now, as opposed to The Inn Chef. Listen, obviously there are the mannerisms and staged qualities that make him and the show a clear and easy target – which I think people are justified to jump on. That said, for me it’s all about the food and atmosphere created on his show that make me like it more that Inn Chef. The food on Chef at Home seems wonderful and comforting, which is what I personally often look for in food, and I guess in food television too. His earlier series, Inn Chef, was very good and I liked it a lot but to me you can’t compare the accessibility and comfort Chef At Home’s food and vibe. I think it’s a vast improvement and I do enjoy it a lot. Of course it doesn’t blind me from an awareness that a lot of the so-called improvisation is carefully crafted and supported by a production crew, assistants, research people, editing, a budget most of us could never possibly have, and so on. But hey, as long as you know and accept that I think it is an enjoyable show. I like it.

                            1. re: magic

                              Actually, I don't dislike him. I've also found his cookbooks to contain interesting, good tasting, recipes. And I like the idea that Chef at Home is trying to communicate (not sure whether I was clear about this). But I think the program is at war with itself.

                              It would take a helluva good performer to make it look extemporaneous and he doesn't do it very well. I can't watch it, but I can cook like this already. If it gives someone the confidence to get cooking, then it's a worthwhile show. It sure beats Rachael Ray.

                              1. re: embee

                                I don't watch him to gain confidence in cooking. I'm a very confident (and pretty damn good!) cook. He's just one of the more competent chefs on FNC, in my opinion, and as a confident cook, every once in awhile his show can provide a little inspiration. I agree that it definitely beats Rachael Ray.

                          2. Like the food he makes, like the practical tips he incorporates into each show, but whoever described him as "sing-songy" was spot on. Although I think I'm still at the stage where I can laugh at his ridiculous on-screen persona rather than getting angry/annoyed by it.

                            14 Replies
                            1. re: egon61

                              Personally I'd take Michael Smith over most of the hosts on Food Network USA shows. Would you rather watch Bobby Flay cooking at home?

                              1. re: climacus

                                haha, I was agreeing with your sentiment until the second half of your statement. I happen to be one of the few that I know that I know that enjoys Bobby Flay's personality - and cooking.

                                This thread is likely to be moved to the media board with this type of discussion though.

                                1. re: pescatarian

                                  I think Bobby Flay is quite entertaining too! We really enjoy his throwdown series. Hated the first one where he was at the grill, flanked by a couple of bimbos. At least in throwdown he appears humble and comes across as a nice guy. Funny though, it really goes to show - to each his own. Interesting thread. I'll bet Mark had no idea it would generate this discussion.

                                  1. re: millygirl

                                    I agree that Bobby has been more likeable since his first show (I think you mean the one where it was inside and it was set-up to look like he was having the coolest party ever (not) with that silly female commentator). I like the other grilling show and throwdown - and I think he's a solid competitor on Iron Chef. I've heard great things about his restaurants also, so I think he has the skill/business sense to back up the bravado. A little bravado here and there is a good thing to me ;-)

                                    1. re: pescatarian

                                      There was even a show before that, Grillin and Chillin. I think that is how it was spelled. I liked it. That one with the woman commentator, Jacquie Malouf or whatever, was a horrible show. I like most of his shows, I must say. Not super crazy about Throwdown, but it's not bad.

                                      1. re: magic

                                        That was the one Grillin' and chillin.... with the scary hawaiin shirts :)

                                        1. re: magic

                                          That's the one I was talkin about - Grillin and Chillin - awful

                                          1. re: pescatarian

                                            Yeah, Grillin and Chillin was him and Jack McDavid on two grills outside. The one with the girl, the coolest party with friends thing, was the show after Grillin and Chillin.

                                            Grillin and Chillin I liked, although I don't remember Hawaiian shirts - just overalls. The one with all the "friends" in the studio was godawful.

                                            1. re: magic

                                              oh, you have a good memory, I was blending the two, because Jacquie Malouf was in both - both were bad

                                              1. re: pescatarian

                                                Was Malouf in Grillin and Chillin? I don't recall that. I could be wrong.

                                                In any case, I liked G+C. That second show was such a dud though.

                                                1. re: magic

                                                  I seem to remember her hanging out there chatting with them and (playing?) dumb. Maybe I'm wrong.

                                                  1. re: pescatarian

                                                    Wrong about her playing?? dumb? Sorry couldn't resist. I think I'm spending way too much time on CH :)

                                                    1. re: millygirl

                                                      lol, no, I was right about her playing dumb. Perhaps I'm wrong about her being on Grillin and Chillin. Or at least my memory is wrong.

                                                      1. re: pescatarian

                                                        So markabroad, I'm was the demo?