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Food Network: Canada vs US?

There has been a lot of grousing about the food network on the board, not least from me. I just took a look at the website for the American network, and something struck me: it seems that the Canadian network is still introducing new *cooking* shows with real chefs, not mere personalities, whereas, from my quick perusal of the website, and the comments made here, that seems not be the case in the US. Here, we've got Heston Blumenthal's In Search of Perfection, Anthony Sedlak doing The Main (good food, but hyperkinetic editing), and Ricardo Larrivee (a Quebec guy who really knows his stuff, but would never fly in the US - his accent is too thick, his linguistic faux pas would be very odd if you are unacquainted with French, his personality too Quebecois).

Is FN Canada doing a better job?

Any thoughts on this? Am I correct, or is this a misperception on my part?

Ciao, hounds.

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  1. My guess is that your right on. If you check out most of the cable TV networks, the top (most informed and informing) shows are done in Canada. That's true from children's shows on PBS, to cooking and decorating shows pretty much across the cable TV board.

    If I could, I would try to make an argument on behalf of U.S. originated shows by citing the writer's strike as a possible detriment, but too bad... Canada's excellence originates long before the WGA started talking about a possible strike.

    Historically, Canada had a real edge financially on production costs, but now, with the crumbling dollar and (gasp!) equality between the Canadian and U.S. dollars, it will be interesting to see if the Canadian edge holds after (when/if) the WGA strike ends.

    Stay tuned!

    1. A few years ago I would've said unequivocally that it's the US FTV that's better. The Canadian one had gone way down hill and although they had more "Cooking" shows, the level of the hosts left something to be desired. Canadian Living Cooks was the worst. The one woman just couldn't string together a sentence to save her life. She was a great cook but a poor TV host. There was also another woman who had a Sara Moulton type show that had an ego like you wouldn't believe. Absolutely ruined what couldve been a good show.

      I really only watch the US FTV now so I can't tell you which is better now. Considering the new US FTV has gone so far down in the ladder.

      PBS is still the way to go but alas, they've moved the best stuff to HD from what I can see and we haven't as yet taken the plunge.


      15 Replies
      1. re: Davwud

        The Sara Moulton wannabe was Christine Cushing, and not only did she have a huge ego, she was often wrong. I suspect that her second banana was the one who did the real work on that show.

        Agreed about Canadian Living Cooks: decent food, bad presenters.

        It's just that this season, FN Canada has introduced some very good new shows that actually address real cooking, which seemed contrary to the general perception on this board. Yesterday's episode of In Search of Perfection (Heston Blumenthal) on steak and salad was fascinating. I'm going to attempt his 24 hour steak with mushroom ketchup. I salivated through the entire episode.

        1. re: hungry_pangolin

          As I said above, I haven't watched FTV Canada in a few years so I couldn't comment on the new shows.
          One other thing that really irritated me was "Chef at Home." Michael Smith is good and all and I loved "The Inn Chef" but the camera angles on C@H bugged the crap out of me.


          1. re: Davwud

            Agreed, Michael Smith is good, great approach to food. Really basic approach with a very learned understanding of technique and just generally gets it. Oh yeah and Ricardo's got chops too. But I gotta say why do they gotta bring in their kids and family all the time, it's so corny.

            But other Cancon?
            French Food Lady - sorry but you are boring and you add little interest to old standards.

            Anna the Splenda Lady - Much better focus now than old show that talked about chocolate or whatever for half an hour.

            The Heat - Just not a well-made show, sorry dude you should know better than to get hair stylin' tips from David Adjey if you're going on TV Mark MacEwen even though you seem like you have a lot to offer and seem like a staight-up guy.

            Restaurant Makeover - I just hate this show and it's stale formula and mall design. Lynn Crawford however needs her own show - most competent and entertaining woman I've seen on TV in a while.

            My main problem is what foreign shows we get in Canada, no Jacques Pepin? No Jamie Oliver? What happened to Kylie Kwong? Keep the Tyler action coming though...

            1. re: Sui_Mai

              Kylie Kwong is back with the My China series - awesome show!

              And those contrived gatherings that the hosts always cook for bug the heck out of me - especially Anna Olson's...blahhhhhh

              1. re: Sui_Mai

                Disagree about French Food at Home. I find her endearing and the recipes are basic but appreciative of good food. I've also made the galette from her show and it's one of my favourite recipes for entertaining.

                1. re: pescatarian

                  "Disagree about French Food at Home. I find her endearing and the recipes are basic but appreciative of good food."

                  Agreed, her show is on Cooking Channel now. I like it a lot.

            2. re: hungry_pangolin

              OMG I sooo want to try his pickled mushrooms nad mushroom ketchup!!

              I think we get a lot more UK shows than the US does as well. not the least on FTV.
              Makes my parents really jealous (they're Brits living in the states)

              1. re: hungry_pangolin

                Christine Cushing still has her own show "Christine Cushing Live", which I can't watch. I think the lady Dave was thinking of on "Canadian Living Cooks" was Elizabeth Baird, who likewise drove me crazy.

                However, the worst - by far, by a mile, by a universe or two - was any show featuring the execrable Ken Kostick. He had two, IIRC, "What's for Dinner?" with a nearly as annoying female host, and another whose name I can't remember where he invited guests. He makes Ms. Ray seem positively enchanting by contrast.

                1. re: KevinB

                  Ken Kostick! What a friggin' meat puppet! And his co-host was Mary Jo Eustace, now best known for having been jilted by her husband, Dean McDermott, in favour of Tori Spelling.

                  Christine Cushing Live is in reruns. No new episodes.

                  1. re: KevinB

                    Seriously, who in the world watches Christine Cushing - and for an hour?!?!

                    1. re: Sui_Mai

                      No-one - that's why it's on at 6 am re-runs.

                      And Sui_Mai - you are on a roll today!

                      1. re: Sui_Mai

                        Thank goodness they took Christine Cushing off the air. I was always astounded that she got a show in the first place. Her responses during Q&A sessions were wrong more often than right and she had such a condescending style.

                        She clearly thought a lot more of herself than the rest of us did. I kept watching thinking I must be missing something but not so much. I don't ever recall seeing anything she made that I'd want to replicate.

                        As for FNC, my frustration comes from not being able to watch shows when they're aired in the US. We always seem to be a season or two behind. Not sure if Sara Moulton is still on FN-US but I used to really enjoy her shows and would take her any day over Laura Calder who seems so pretentious (to me anyway). That said, I hear her show is now being aired in the US though and has been very well received.

                        FNC seems to air a TON of repeats as well. Surely there's room for new programming.

                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                          Cushing was one of the reasons I hated it when they replaced FN USA with FN Can. Her show was meant to replace "Cooking Live with Sara Moulton" which was quite good. For a few months (as they were gradually slipping in the CanCon and phasing out the American shows) Christine and Sara appeared in the station identification pieces together... "I'm Christine, and I'm Sara, and you're watching Food Network Canada..."

                          Then Sara disappeared from Canadian screens for good.

                      2. re: KevinB

                        mary jo is super hot and hilarious!!! What's for dinner is one of the best cooking shows ever! Even though their food sucks, Mary Jo debassing her uber gay asian cohort is SO hilarious! She's dreamy!!!

                    2. re: Davwud

                      Rest assured (sad to say) that the USA version of FTV has gone downhill in recent years of late as well. The channell was much more appealing in its earlier days, by virtue of its simplicity. It has become too slick, too merchandised, and I knew it was over when they entered the dark tunnel of "reality TV". Really a shame. It held such promise, but I guess it is a "business" and in that respect, a very successful one. But there's a lot less reason to watch these days.

                    3. Food Safari seems to be only shown in Canada, right? I know it's an Australian show but it's my favorite at the moment. They do a lot in a half hour and go to both professional and amateur cooks.

                      I've eyed Blumenthat with suspicion since the fish and chips episode where there was a huge gap between the "perfect" batter and the fish. It's not perfect if it has a big air pocket! I might as well cook the batter and fish separately and layer them.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: sharonanne

                        I haven't watched enough FN US to make a judgement but I don't think FN Canada is that fantastic - why you ask - two words: Food Jammers

                        That show is an embarrassment. I loathe it.

                        1. re: shana

                          I agree, there are lamentably few shows I tune into on FN Canada, they're either pretty good or God awful (the Food Jammer guys, unfortunately are neither entertaining, witty, or barring that much eye candy).

                          1. re: shana

                            It's true, I don't even know why they keep showing their shows.

                            But does the US get the Thirsty Traveler?
                            One of my favourites.

                            1. re: whackamole

                              We got thirsty traveler 2 years ago, I think on FN. ? Or something like it. Someone on here will know....

                              1. re: whackamole

                                TT comes on Fine Living TV in the US.

                                One show I miss on FTV Canada was The Food Hunter with Pete Luckett. I don't know why that show didn't do well. Engaging host showing the origin of great food. I loved it.


                              2. re: shana

                                Funny... I love that show... not for the food of course but for the DIY stuff that goes with it... and I don't know who pick the music on that show but it is worth watching the show just to listen to it.

                                But then I guess I am a bit of a food geek too...

                              3. re: sharonanne

                                Agreed. I think Food Safari is one of the best shows on FN Canada. Possibly the best.

                                Which doesn’t say too much I guess, since most of their programming has become godawful over the last few years. And from what I understand, FN US is even worse.

                                1. re: sharonanne

                                  I like Food Safari, too, especially it being Austrailian...makes you really listen to what's being said.

                                2. There's also Laura Calder's show, French Food at Home, which doesn't air in the US, I believe.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: xtal

                                    You are right--it doesn't. I caught it when in Toronto a couple of weeks ago, and liked it. She was making various terrines. A couple of "precious" moments but by and large a good, low key demonstration of the food and techniques.

                                    1. re: coney with everything

                                      Really? When I think of what could be done with a show on French food from a young fresh perspective I am gobsmacked by how lam-o this is. Francophiles are obsessives and perfectionists for the most part and this show is so humdrum.

                                      Like seriously - that loopy Parisian font is about as lazy-french as you can get.

                                      1. re: Sui_Mai

                                        I liked it because US FN has zero French cooking shows--it's a classic cuisine and there should be one show about it. Her show was basic enough for novices, which is the FN audience. Jacques Pepin, Julia Child levels of cooking are aspirational; I can't think of one show on US FN which could be considered "aspirational" cooking. Wolfgang Puck's and Jacques Torres' shows didn't last too long...

                                        I will say that I didn't watch the whole show, but the terrines looked fun and do-able. Maybe Rachel Ray can do a show devoted to a 30 minute terrine.

                                    2. re: xtal

                                      Something about the way Laura speaks makes it difficult for me to watch her. I don't know if she's nervous on TV, but she doesn't seem right for the role.

                                      To each their own, though. I'm sure plenty of others love her, if even if it's for her cleavage.

                                      1. re: eller

                                        I find her very knowledgable and fun. I really enjoy the show. She doesn't seem overly canned and sound-byte ready.

                                        1. re: sojo16

                                          I like her also. I also don't think it's too basic as someone mentioned earlier. I am not a basic cook, and I just find that it is simple yes, but in a way that showcases the love of good simple food.

                                          1. re: pescatarian

                                            I don't watch her too often, but I like that she dresses demurely. With her rather impressive embonpoint, if the show was being aired in the US, I'm sure the producer would want her to wear something low-cut like Giada, or something tight with lots of midriff shots, like Nigella.

                                            1. re: FrankD

                                              What? How do you not see her boobage all over the screen in those tight t-shirts she wears?

                                    3. I am in Canada and I like the some of the Canadian shows - French Food at Home, Chef at Home and Ricardo (occasionally - too much cream and butter for my taste).

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: blue bike

                                        I don't mind the recipes and ideas, but I get so distracted by the way Laura Calder talks. She opens her mouth so wide! All you can see is teeth! And there's something with the way she pronounces 't's' that bothers me. I just can't watch.

                                      2. I fully agree that Food Jammers is crap... pointless crap. The inspiration of my original posting was that FN Canada was actually inroducing new *cooking* shows. I didn't mean to imply that it was as good as in The Golden Age.

                                        I'd like to know what Pete Luckett is up to these days.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                          PL has an excellent and thriving grocery chain on the east coast. hope he opens one here (TO) soon!



                                        2. With the sale of Alliance Atlantis (FN Canada parent company) to Canwest Global (soul-less Cdn media giant), I fear that the overall quality may suffer if the focus changes from the love of food to the love of money.

                                          Regardless, prepare for longer commercial breaks, endless programming promos for other channels, and super-imposed promos flying around taking up 1/3 of the screen DURING the show you are trying to watch.

                                          1. I'm not aware of the full range of FN shows from the US and I find that I don't tune in to FN Canada very often. If nothing grabbed me on the hundreds of available channels, I used to tune to Food TV. I don't do that any more because I don't find very much that I want to see. I guess that's my long winded way of saying that the Canadian Food Network is no longer worth watching either.

                                            I don't know whether you have all of the Oliver shows, or Blumenthal, or the English version of Ramsay. These have their moments.

                                            The Michael Smith shows have good content. However, his delivery isn't the greatest. I enjoyed the Inn Chef and Chef at Large. His newest show, Chef at Home, is a good idea done (IMO) poorly. Anna Olson has her moments. Ricardo is rather good, though I agree he couldn't succeed in the US and a recent show where he had little children deep frying donuts gave me pause. I quite liked Cook Like a Chef, but that's gone also.

                                            In Canada, we are gifted with never ending episodes of Restaurant Makeover, which is discussed ad nauseum in other threads. Food Jammers is a travesty. Cushing was a bitch. As far as I'm aware, we don't have Sandra Lee or Paula Deen.

                                            I think where I'm going with this stream of consciousness is that Canada is slightly different, but not necessarily better, and is heading rapidly down the same drainpipe.

                                            18 Replies
                                            1. re: embee

                                              Cook like a chef is on in the middle of the night, like 2am I think. I occasionally catch it.

                                              1. re: starlady

                                                Now they run back to back episodes from 7 to 8 am I think it's a great show for learning techniques. .

                                              2. re: embee

                                                Actually, because FN Canada has introduced a few new (actual) cooking shows, I'm not certain that it's headed down the same drainpipe. That said, I don't think that FN Can has a 'critical mass' to take it in a different direction, either. Hence my original question... I'm still uncertain.

                                                Unfortunately, we do have Paula Deen. I agree with you on the pointless crime of Food Jammers. I've already slammed Christine Cushing in previous posts as a know-nothing-know-it-all, so I won't be redundant.

                                                BTW, for those who speak French, Ricardo Larrivee's French programme is, stylistically, simpler and better than his English one on FN, though I dislike the product hawking on the French version. SRC at 11am EST.

                                                1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                  I think I like more of the shows that appear on Food Network Canada.
                                                  I like French Food at Home, Chef at Home (I know others don't, but I don't mind it), I don't mind Ricardo (he needs to make some new shows because I'm tired of watching the same ones). I use Anna Olsen's recipes often when I bake.
                                                  I did enjoy watching Christine Cushing, not sure why, but I did. It's hilarious what you say about Canadian Living because despite the good recipes occasionally, I could never get over Elizabeth's stuttering. I do use Daphna's recipes sometimes though. Food Jammers is horrible, horrible. I've never watched it for more than 5 min.
                                                  I think it's good that we get more BBC shows sooner, because I often enjoy those. I think we had Nigella way before US FN, maybe I'm wrong. I've always enjoyed Jamie.

                                                  On the US FN, I like Ina Garten, I watch Iron Chef, etc. but I can't think of much else that I like.

                                                  p.s. it's not on either FN, but there's this show called Foodies that appears on Global, I think, on the weekends. I've come across it occasionally. It is a fine example of what NOT to do with a cooking show.

                                                  1. re: pescatarian

                                                    Didn't know about Foodies. Thanks for that, pescatarian. I'll take a look to watch the mistake.

                                                    1. re: pescatarian

                                                      I can't believe you mentionned that show. Foodies is maddeningly awful. Everything about it is bad. I watch it just to get angry at it. That being said, it is on par with all of CanWest's home decorating, renovation and gardening shows.

                                                      1. re: SnackHappy

                                                        Well, I did mention it as an example of what NOT to do with a cooking show! I can't bear to watch more than 2 min at time when I've caught it in passing. I honestly don't believe that the host has actually made the food she's cooking before she makes it on air and her commentary is laughable.

                                                        1. re: pescatarian

                                                          The host was one of the judges on the Next Great Chef show, and I believe they kept saying she was a pastry chef. Not sure how much experience she's had otherwise....

                                                          1. re: anonymoose

                                                            She actually has a high culinary pedigree (was on the Team Canada several years ago in Europe when they placed) BUT I cannot abide her personality. "Foodies" seems so not credible or professional. I absolutely loved The Next Great Chef (know one personally) as it was all about cooking - zero drama. However, Lesia was an annoying judge.

                                                        2. re: pescatarian

                                                          I hope that Food TV Canada picks up more of Ramsay's shows aired on Channel 4 in the UK. I was lucky enough to catch most of 'The F Word' series he was in and got to see him mentoring various cooks of different levels in a far less gruesome competition than what 'Hell's Kitchen' was about. As well, viewers saw part of his personal life- his family and the lambs he was keeping in his back yard.

                                                          The show I detest the most, which is produced in Canada is 'Eat Shrink and Be Merry'. I recognize the niche opportunity to show viewers a more healthy way to eat but there's got to be a way to do it without those sisters. To me, they're like nails on a chalkboard in a way I can't really explain...I guess maybe they don't seem to take their role in the show seriously?

                                                          1. re: eller

                                                            Re: the sisters - that's their shtick. If you look at the cookbooks they made before their show began, you'll see cartoons and cutesy names through all of them.

                                                            I saw a commercial the other day that said FN Canada is going to be broadcasting Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Treatment. He's been in the UK food news so much lately; it will be interesting to see what his shows are like.

                                                            1. re: anonymoose

                                                              I haven't watched the shows but have all their cook books and they have a lot of good stuff for those of us who have to watch their "waste" lines.


                                                              1. re: anonymoose

                                                                I haven't seen River Cottage Treatment yet, but the River Cottage series are fantastic. Especially the first three: Escape to River Cottage, Return to River Cottage and River Cottage Forever. Treatment looks quite a bit different from his other series in that it's a reality-type show. I'm sure I'll like it though I love pretty much everything he does.

                                                              2. re: eller

                                                                LOL what ? you don't like Cheese? C'mon where's your funny bone. You think cooking healthy is a bag of fun? The info they are dishing out in their cookbook is very serious. They've done their research and it shows. The cheese is just a topping. All their nutritional information is solid. We haven't tried all the receipes in their cookbook but everything so far has been super delicious. So what's not love... lower salt and fat and calories yet retaining flavor and tastiness. Watching calories is not a barrel of laughs and at least the sisters are putting forth good ideas that make dry topics more appealing to deal with.

                                                                Maybe you could get better aquainted with them though other sources.... you might find you would like them or least the information they are putting out.

                                                            2. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                              You bring up an interesting point. What do the Quebecois people watch and can we get it in Toronto?

                                                              1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                                Paula Deen's show makes me feel sick. The burger with glazed doughnuts... no words, no words.

                                                                1. re: tjr

                                                                  They serve that burger at a baseball stadium near my house - a minor league team.

                                                            3. I don't like how shows on Food Network Canada are becoming more and more 'entertainment' like.
                                                              To clarify, any shows that do not teach you how to cook, but rather you just watch them cook, or worse, construction (I'm referring to you Restaurant Makeover... if i want construction i'll turn to HGtv thank you!), Iron Chef America (it's good for cheering on our Canadian competitors, but once again i'd like to see more teaching, although Alton does give a good run through of the theme ingredient and techniques used by chefs), Throwdown, Glutton For Punishment (I miss, the Surreal Gourmet), who the heck is this Fink Guy, Dinner Impossible, you get the idea...
                                                              bring back Molto Mario!!!
                                                              On Saturdays I really like PBS, I get my gastronomical fill with Julia Child, Lidia Bastianich, America's Test Kitchen, Rick Bayless.. which makes me wonder: why can't Foodtv CAN have such shows?

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: sugarcube

                                                                i friggin' LOVE dinner impossible...he is great!!!

                                                                1. re: chiuchiu

                                                                  What do you mean you can't learn anything from these shows? Don't be a sour square. How many "cooking shows" could you really have on food network?

                                                                  I love dinner impossible too. Have you tried to cook for a large group .. ok maybe not 200 or 1000 but a huge family. It's hard to get the timing right.

                                                                  Just get a PVR and record only cooking shows and you'll be a happy camper

                                                                  1. re: chewy_bakah

                                                                    i love Robert Irvine he is great and tight body. how he runs circle around his job is just unable. i would to attend a book signing in southern california.

                                                                2. re: sugarcube

                                                                  Food Network Canada has made a point of moving away from instructional shows and toward "food as entertainment." Why? Because that's where the money is! They figure they can get bigger ratings in prime time from shows such as Restaurant Makeover (the popularity of which astounds and depresses me) and Top Chef than from Julia, Lidia et al. And you know, they're right - they make money hand over first. Face it, the casual viewers they're after are far more interested in Ramsay's tantrums than in his braising technique.

                                                                  That said, there's still lots of good stuff on the Food Network for those who are serious about food: Heston Blumenthal, At the Table With, the Thirsty Traveller, etc.

                                                                  1. re: estragon

                                                                    They're just following what FN US has done. "Challenge" shows. "Reality" shows. It's all just fluff.


                                                                  2. re: sugarcube

                                                                    I loved Molto Mario!! I still feel like I know Mario from watching that show. The dump, stir and chat format is out, nowadays, though. And no one would put someone like Mario on the air anymore.

                                                                  3. I watch Food Network Canada less and less now (I have a DVR, so I still catch shows like In Search of Perfection, At The Table With, and other goodies), but it is so much better than the US Food Network. I have a friend that gets the US version on satellite and the programming seems like it's just Emeril Lagasse, Rachel Ray, and that ol country lady, on rotation several times a day, and those three are the most annoying TV personalities in the world to me. We get those shows too here in Canada, but thankfully not four times a day each, seems we get a little bit of everything up here, good Canadian shows, some US, and some awesome shows from the UK and even some Aussie shows.

                                                                    One thing I that is really missing on FN though, is a good Asian cooking show (no Martin Yan or Kylie Kwan was it?). Also, I miss Anthony Bourdain, he's on the Travel Channel though, but you need digital cable for that, and my DVR isn't compatible with it.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: xianzhong

                                                                      In spite of his continual disdain, Bourdain has arrived at FN-US, 10:30 EST on Tuesdays, in an unfortunate vehicle called "A Cook's Tour" which displays every unfortunate character flaw he has. He's much cooler than you are, dontcha know, and in 30 minutes takes advantage of every opportunity to demonstrate it.

                                                                      1. re: beltwaybump

                                                                        He hasn't really arrived at Food Network. That show is seven years old and Bourdain left FN in 2002 to make a new show for Discovery Travel called No Reservations.

                                                                        1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                          Jealous now -- I would love to see Cook's Tour -- can't get it on DVD, FN Canada has no plans to show it. AB before he was a chef celeb... oh yeah.

                                                                      2. re: xianzhong

                                                                        Canadian FN is on some crazy rotation too with Rachel Ray and Giada and the annoying French food lady on in the am and before dinner - but that's CanWest Global for ya - they're all about bottom line over quality.

                                                                        I totally agree with you - bring back Tony B and Kylie Kwong!

                                                                      3. Just my 2 cents on the best and worst shows on FN Canada.


                                                                        The Main, with Anthony Sedlak. Delicious looking food, with the general rationale of the preparation and techniques explained nicely. An engaging host. Unusual accent though. Scottish?)

                                                                        In Search Of Perfection: The best show on the FN. My main complaint is his is too time constrained to show everything properly in 30 minutes. (So I look it up on Youtube)

                                                                        Tyler's Ultimate: A somewhat humourless host, but he pulls off some nice looking dishes with good explanations.

                                                                        Iron Chef America: Just fun to watch. Alton's commentary is also quite interesting and occasionally useful.


                                                                        Rachael Ray - Annoying and fake and basically useless.

                                                                        Paula Deen - really fatty gross looking food and her accent is ridiculous.


                                                                        Laura Calder: a bit geeky and with an annoying way of speaking through her teeth. Her food is a little boring. Meh.

                                                                        Ricardo: Meh

                                                                        Michael Smith: Chef At Home. I like the content of his show, but he constantly sounds as though he's talking (condescending) to a two year old. Also has a way of oversimplifying international cuisines. "Oh, just add some 5-spice powder and soy-sauce".

                                                                        13 Replies
                                                                        1. re: pizzatheorem

                                                                          Re: Michael Smith -


                                                                          Said. In. Every. Episode.

                                                                            1. re: Sui_Mai

                                                                              Chef at Home: The Drinking Game
                                                                              1. Take a shot every time Michael Smith says "flavour."
                                                                              2. Take a shot... It doesn't matter, you'll be under the table in 5 minutes or less.

                                                                          1. re: pizzatheorem

                                                                            Just caught the Mooking guy's show (from Nyood?) and it is interesting.

                                                                            Plus how cute is he?

                                                                            1. re: Sui_Mai

                                                                              He reminds me of "Turtle" from Entourage, and not in the good way.

                                                                              1. re: Sui_Mai

                                                                                the way he constantly says "obedient ingredient" bugs me. ANd the fact that he sings his own theme song....
                                                                                I've watched the show a couple times and I have to say that the only thing I put in EVERYTHING in a meal is S&P not sechuan peppercorns or something like that.

                                                                                1. re: starlady

                                                                                  He used to go by the name of MC Mystic when he was in a group called Bass is Base. :) They had a couple hits way back in the early 90s.

                                                                              2. re: pizzatheorem

                                                                                Re: Anthony Sedlak's accent, which I don't hear., btw. He was born and raised in Canada (British Columbia).

                                                                                1. re: JamieK

                                                                                  It's not so much his accent in general as the way he pronounces certain words. I also think he uses a lot of words to try to sound hip, but it's kind of laughable (eg: "Get your gear!")

                                                                                  1. re: tjr

                                                                                    He's the only west-coast Canadian I've heard speak that way. Very odd.

                                                                                    1. re: tjr

                                                                                      I just saw his show, and he *is* revealing an accent. Sounds maybe S. African or Aussie crossed with surfer dude. I'm from Van and while we may have a wee drawl, it ain't like that.

                                                                                      Kills the show for me. His red wine flank steak recipe however, is one of my faves of all times (I got it from the newspaper though).

                                                                                  2. re: pizzatheorem

                                                                                    "her accent is ridiculous"
                                                                                    Its called Southern and many of us talk that way.

                                                                                  3. I like that they have more british shows but then it's not really to THEIR credit =/. The only Canadian only show I like is French Food at Home.

                                                                                    I hate that guy in a trailer...ugh

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: AngelSanctuary

                                                                                      Bob Blumer - he is one of my all-time least favourite hosts on TV. That show practically made me ashamed to be Canadian. What the heck was it? Certainly nothing about cooking.

                                                                                    2. Continuing with the real Chef trend is the upcoming show on Food Network Canada with Chef Roger Mooking (Nyood in Toronto), Everyday Exotic, aimed at de-Mystifying ingredients (such as Saffron etc)
                                                                                      coming this fall...

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: FrancoYYZ

                                                                                        Anyone see the commercials for The Wild Chef? It's got Martin Picard from Au Pied de Cochon and his sous chef wandering around the wilds of Quebec.... the dishes he makes look oddly interesting.

                                                                                        1. re: anonymoose

                                                                                          I saw the first episode the other day, they drive around in the woods w/ his pickup carrying a commercial grade stove, in the dead of winter. He proceeds to cook things like muskrat and civet. All delivered in a stilted Quebecois English. Definitely not US FN friendly.

                                                                                          It's a great show.....

                                                                                          Everyday Exotic meanwhile is pretty pedestrian, your typical instruction show. I would say the ingredients are exotic if you've shopped in chain supermarkets your entire life. Funny thing is he hums a lot while prepping.....

                                                                                          Chef Abroad seems to be mirroring A Cook's Tour/No Reservations, minus the ascerbic wittyness. They seem to have good fixers, interviewing a lot of interesting people.

                                                                                          1. re: aser

                                                                                            I saw it too and thought it was hilarious! Any show that can do a muskrat Chinese bbq over an open fire in the middle of winter has my attention.

                                                                                          2. re: anonymoose

                                                                                            I saw the first episode andd it was awesome. Best new show in a long time.

                                                                                        2. love theirs much better than ours. much more to choose from in my opinion and not the same old same old, watch it every time I am in canada which is very often

                                                                                          1. I like food network Canada, Food Safari is one of my fav. shows, it's amazing!!

                                                                                            Canadian shows I am not too interested in:

                                                                                            The main (it's good but too much meat for my taste, though when I catch it I'll watch it)

                                                                                            French food at home: It's ok every now and then but too slow and boring.

                                                                                            Fresh and Sugar: I honestly can't stand. Some recipes are ok but I don't think she's that great of a pastry chef and that's clear on sugar, sometimes she just throws things on the plate or doesn't seem to pair things together properly.

                                                                                            Chef at home: I like this show, but I agree with the reviewer who said he acts like he's talking to a 2 year old, I'd say someone who is getting into cooking might find his show helpful.
                                                                                            I like his other show, Chef at large and am looking forward to his new show Chef abroad.

                                                                                            Ricardo: I love him, his personality and he's just entertaining to watch. I watched almost all of his shows, I like the little trips he takes, learned quite a few things about food. It's nice to see local things and learn about Canada.

                                                                                            Love most of the british shows, they're really brilliant.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: BamiaWruz

                                                                                              I have to agree with your assessment of Anna Olsen, though in general her recipes are fine she doesn't really act like a person who's had years of experience as a pastry chef and instead acts like a semi-competent home baker (especially when she demonstrates things like piping or other similar skills).

                                                                                              And yes, I do think FN Canada is generally superior to the American version... for one I have to thank CRTC for regulating Canadian television to have to include "Canadian Content", though a lot of the good shows on the network aren't Canadian.

                                                                                            2. Personally I think Canada has a one up on Food network US, The Next food Network star tv show proves it. They are looking for people who they think can host another Paula deen type show for their mostly folksy audience. My fiance and I were positive Lisa would win NFNS because she was by a long shot the most qualified and I was looking forward to getting some of her fancy recipes and seeing something we don't see every 30 minutes on the FN. I know people complain about Paula a lot and I am not a fan but she is the most popular host on the food network. 4 ingredient recipes seem to be what American's mostly go for. Anna olson Fresh is a descent show and the recipes are good. Ricardo and The Main are also good, although Anthony Sedlac's accent is beyond strange.

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: mlukan

                                                                                                Anthony Sedlak has an accent? I don't hear it. I do like his show though. Ricardo is ok I can't watch him all the time though, same for Laura Caulder, she's OK although I have gotten some good tips from her.
                                                                                                Anna Olsen looks sooooo uncomfortable on TV, I can't watch the intro to her show where she states that she and her friends are playing Charades so she has to make soup etc.. she pauses in weird places like she's watching a teleprompter that is too slow.
                                                                                                I do have to say in the summer time I love watching Rob Rainford on Licenced to grill, he's fun and I've gotten lots of great ideas from him.

                                                                                                1. re: mlukan

                                                                                                  OMG he has the most annoying accent EVER. He cooks well enough but his accent and hand gestures annoy the hell out of me. It's "hot" not "hoat" HOT THOT THOT HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT THOT THOTasdadsda AHHAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

                                                                                                  1. re: Evilbanana11

                                                                                                    I think he and Rachel Ray share the same life coach.

                                                                                                    Just saying.

                                                                                                2. I was just in Canada and watched Food Network for a little while. I agree with you. I thought the shows were better and more interesting - they were cooking "different" things!!!! imagine that.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: kprange

                                                                                                    If you think it was good now, it was far better 4-5 years ago.

                                                                                                    Although I’ve no doubt that it’s much better than Food Network US, the rise of reality/makeover/competition shows has made Food Network Canada almost unwatchable in my opinion. I remember the days when FNC used to be about food. Shows about food are now in the margins. Used to be on 24/7 back in tha day….. now I barely watch it.

                                                                                                  2. I don't watch much tv, but when I was with friends in Ontario, Canada, last spring I saw a fair amount of the Canadian Food Channel. I especially liked Laura Calder, but there were quite a few other really intelligent and inspiring shows. I came home thinking I'd try watching our Food Network a bit, and I find it ranges from celebrity cooking to food as a spectator sport. There are exceptions, but not at times when I am free to watch tv. But then, in the U.S. we have so many channels and so little that is worth watching.

                                                                                                    1. Best shows on FN Canada:
                                                                                                      Tylers ultimate
                                                                                                      Diners Drive-ins and Dives
                                                                                                      Food Safari
                                                                                                      The F word
                                                                                                      Top Chef

                                                                                                      The Main (Host annoying as HELL)
                                                                                                      Chef at Home(Host rapes you with his eyes)
                                                                                                      Any food network challenge( So boring)

                                                                                                      I enjoy almost every show that comes out of the UK. Hosts are charismatic and the editing/music, overall production destroys most US and Canadian shows.

                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Evilbanana11

                                                                                                        I agree with you EB, I am also wondering what's up with Chef MS of Chef at home. Gad, who was the brainstormer that hired him and why? GR of the F Word, is someday soon, going to pop a vein in his head, he gets sooooooooooooooooooo angry. I hate cussing, it's awful, but love him to pieces, go figure.

                                                                                                        1. re: Evilbanana11

                                                                                                          Kudos to FN Canada for showing Top Chef at the same time Bravo is showing it down in the US. Last year I had to download it from a newsgroup. Now if only they could do the same thing with the new AB No Reservations episodes that started this week - no indication the Travel Channel Canada is picking it up any time soon - too cheap to buy first-run I guess.

                                                                                                          1. re: mramage

                                                                                                            Check the Discovery Channel on Sundays for No Reservations. But it's not running at the same time as the US broadcasts; yesterday's episode was Egypt.

                                                                                                            1. re: anonymoose

                                                                                                              Thanks, but that is from a previous season - Discovery seems to be also running behind, but then again I believe Discovery Canada and Travel Canada are owned by the same media group and just swap shows. I'll cross my fingers and hope somebody posts tonight's episode.

                                                                                                          2. re: Evilbanana11

                                                                                                            Michael Smith's eyes are pretty terrifying.

                                                                                                          3. My favourite FN Canada at the moment are Sedlak's The Main and Smith's Chef At Home.

                                                                                                            I don't understand how Sedlak is annoying or hear an accent. I find his food suggestions appealing and am charmed by the way he twirls pots and pans before setting them carefully down in alignment with his other items.

                                                                                                            Michael Smith, well maybe I'm new just started watching but I learned two new things from watching his show today and am grateful. Anyone who cooks seriously knows you don't have to follow a recipe (unless you're baking) but I love the way he simplifies it and makes it seem easy to understand. And he's cooking at home, so what's wrong with mentions of his wife or sone?

                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: JamieK

                                                                                                              I used to find Michael Smith a little annoying in that he used to talk to the audience like everyone was a 3-year-old. But, I think he lost that somewhere along the way, (experience in front of the camera usually helps), and now find I enjoy his show ALOT.

                                                                                                              There was an AMAZING show on, I think last week, from Alton Brown called Feasting on Waves...it was like a 5 hour marathon or something, and my husband and I just sat there and watched it all...it was fabulous. Kind of like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives show, but with Alton Brown, and in the Caribbean....anyway, I'm sure many booked their vacations after watching that. And looking outside the window, I'm ready to book mine.

                                                                                                              1. re: Raquel

                                                                                                                I also enjoyed the feasting on Waves Marathon. Alton is the best. I'm dying for a johnny cake. It's nice to see whats beyond the resort buffets.

                                                                                                                1. re: Raquel

                                                                                                                  The early The Inn Chef shows are dreadful. MS seems so uncomfortable and yes, condescending.


                                                                                                                2. re: JamieK

                                                                                                                  I like Michael Smith's show too. I'm not a big fan of Sedlak, though I don't mind the show itself.

                                                                                                                  1. re: JamieK

                                                                                                                    I like watching Michael Smith too -- he does tend to throw in those tips here and there that I don't seem to hear from other chefs.

                                                                                                                    Heston Blumenthal's show is awesome. Wonderfully informative.

                                                                                                                    Sedlak is alright -- food is interesting, but his hyperness sort of tires me out.

                                                                                                                    The other show I quite liked was Good Deal with Dave Lieberman, where they focused on good meals made on the cheap. Me and my bank account appreciate this consideration very much.

                                                                                                                    1. re: mogo

                                                                                                                      Dave Lieberman is super cute, and makes wholesome, nutritious food. I loved that promo when it refered to him as "extra virgin".

                                                                                                                      1. re: mogo

                                                                                                                        Totally agree. I've met Michael Smith and he is actually very interesting and engaging.

                                                                                                                        LOVE any show by Heston (and have his wonderful books - favourite is Fat Duck).

                                                                                                                        I liked Good Deal, too.

                                                                                                                        Cook Like a Chef was my very favourite several years ago. All about technique and skill - it was informative. Loved it.

                                                                                                                    2. Is there a reason why FTV CA can't develop some more Canadian cerntric programing?? Things like a Canadian version of DD&D or a show where a chef/host travels the country highlighting regional fare??


                                                                                                                      16 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                        Davwud - that would be the ultimate. Imagine watching traditional cooking methods by West Coast Native Communities, periogi making in Manitoba, a stop off in markham to see that guy in Pac Mall who makes that dragon's hair candy, sugaring off in Quebec and off to NFLD for a little flipper pie... and that's just for starters. I love the food in this country!

                                                                                                                        I remember watching some tv show like cooking with grandma or something where a guy travelled around to spend an afternoon with different ethnic grandmas to learn the secrets of their cooking... it would be like that concept, just better executed & higher production values.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Apple

                                                                                                                          You could do a half hour show on a certain type of food. Take poutine. Go to a great place in Quebec somewhere. Have the show focus on getting the right type of curd. Getting the gravy just right. Making fries from scratch. Or how about mussels?? Show how their cultivated. Show how their farmed. Show how to prepare them.
                                                                                                                          Show foods unique to Canada and start to celebrate our culinary history. Instead of rehashing old shows or focusing on a different part of the globe.


                                                                                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                            Remember the Great Canadian Food Show? Remember Chef at Large? Of course they didn't cover everything, but those shows did exist.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Blueicus

                                                                                                                              We loved C@L. I don't remember the GCFS.

                                                                                                                              Another show that we really liked was The Food Hunter with Pete Luckett. It wasn't on long from what I can tell.


                                                                                                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                The Great Canadian Food Show - one of the cheesiest shows ever on television with Carlo Rota - sometimes it was so painful to watch but just like a car wreck you couldn't turn away.

                                                                                                                                I think the "low cost" cooking show format has mostly run its course - regardless of the personality hosting the show. Personally I find the travelogue shows - such as Jose Andres, Mark Bittman, much more informative and entertaining.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Pizza Lover

                                                                                                                                  It was like a car wreck you couldn't look away from, of course I was a teenager back then and I thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread (or whatever was popular back in those days).

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Blueicus

                                                                                                                                    I think it's now "The coolest thing since vinyl records" but I'm not sure.

                                                                                                                                    Now I remember the GCFS and it was dreadful. I couldn't stand CR.
                                                                                                                                    However, I think the format could work with a better host. Carlo is an actor, not a foodie.


                                                                                                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                      GCFS may be cheesy to the max, but there were at least five seasons of it and the reruns continue to this day on the CBC.

                                                                                                                                      Carlo Rota certainly does have some food cred, as he pretty well grew up in the business and his father was a very good chef (Dante Rota, ex original Windsor Arms/Noodles in Toronto).

                                                                                                                                      I ran into him several times at a Toronto supermarket when he was living here. He's certainly much more entertaining in Little Mosque on the Prairie than as host of GCFS. Indeed, he was more entertaining waiting in the checkout line at Loblaws.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: embee

                                                                                                                                        Perhaps we agree that he was simply miscast as the host there.


                                                                                                                                        1. re: embee

                                                                                                                                          embee - being on the CBC says it all (not to mention having to fill the airwaves with cheap $$$ Canadian content )

                                                                                                                                            1. re: embee

                                                                                                                                              okay - since we are reviving old canadian cooking shows - I actually really liked the urban peasant. I don't know why - maybe because James Barber is so grandfatherly...

                                                                                                                                              When I watch 24 now and see Carlo Rota - it makes me think back about his old days on Canadian tv. how far he has climbed from the depths of the CBC to pinnacle of Fox Television network ! ;)

                                                                                                                          2. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                            In one word: MONEY.

                                                                                                                            As in, Food Network Canada doesn't have the same type of budget as their U.S. counterparts. Not that they are doing anything spectacular with their dough.

                                                                                                                            If you think of it in terms of percentages, we are roughly 10% of the U.S.'s market. So, if Food TV U.S. has a budget of $100,000 to make a decent show, Canada only has $10,000. Now think how slick that will look....

                                                                                                                            But it would be nice.

                                                                                                                            I see they've resurrected the 'family restaurant' theme, this time Chinese instead of the Greek family. Seems like a one-trick pony to me, unless anyone really likes it? They should have kept the Greek family - at least they had some action with breaking plates!

                                                                                                                            1. re: Raquel

                                                                                                                              Actually, I find the new Family Restaurant to be hilarious. Much better than the Greek family. The mom especially is a real piece of work. Maybe it helps I understand Cantonese and Mandarin too...

                                                                                                                              The hard working eldest son, the slacking ricer younger bro, the daughter dating a non-Chinese, it hits all the stereotypes of a Chinese Canadian family. The loud mom wearing the pants in the relationship....loving it, haha.

                                                                                                                              The slow-mo shots of Roger Mooking (Everyday Exotic) sprinkling things onto the plate bugs the hell out of me for some reason. His plating is really bad.

                                                                                                                              1. re: aser

                                                                                                                                Ah, that must be the secret ingredients then; being Greek, (and having grown up and owned restaurants all my life) I related better to the Greek family! Actually, many of those stereotypes ring true to both cultures, and I'm sure to many others. It just seems kinda the same to me, that's all. The daughter in the Greek family was also dating a non-Greek, the Mom was working a restaurant on her own, the son was in charge of one and said he worked the hardest etc. etc. I guess they're going through the ethnic groups of Canada....maybe next we'll have an East Indian restaurant family!

                                                                                                                                1. re: Raquel

                                                                                                                                  I enjoy both family's but I will say that this new season with the Quon's is a lot funnier though and has more high paced entertainment. I do relate to the children in this family because my siblings and I communicate to each other like they do but the parents aren't like mine, but do remind me of other Asian parents I've known. I'm surprised to say this but damn, that mother of theirs is a lot more annoying than mine, haha.

                                                                                                                          3. @LaLa, I'm sorry for offending you about the accent. Paula's accent is about as strange as a Cockney accent to me. It's that unusual. I guess it's easier to point out differences than similarities. Sorry for that.

                                                                                                                            Anyway, I thought I'd update my stance on FN Canada.

                                                                                                                            On a scale of 1-3, 3 being the highest, I downgrade Sedlak to a 2. He seems to lack something. Maybe I've gotten better as a cook, and his recipes seem more banal or perhaps it's with him I don't know. I put Michael Smith at a 2 as well. He's got a generally good show, but his personality is still lacking.

                                                                                                                            The new show by Roger Mooking is abyssmal IMO. It's supposed to be Asian inspired but instead, he chooses an "obedient ingredient" annoyingly referenced throughout the show and creates, I don't know what, but it doesn't look appetizing. 1/3

                                                                                                                            On a high note, they're currently showing a program called "Cook Like A Chef" which is intensely useful--they show high profile chefs cooking interesting dishes while explaining everything clearly. It's a bit older but better than any other program on the FN since "In Search Of Perfection" disappeared. 3/3

                                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: pizzatheorem

                                                                                                                              I've always thought Cook Like A Chef was an extremely pretentious show, even if sometimes informative. "Yes Chef, Yes Chef"... man, they weren't working in a restaurant... they were prepping a couple of plates of food for a show.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Blueicus

                                                                                                                                Oh, I so disagree. For pure instruction, this is the best show on Food Network. These guys explain every detail, warn of pitfalls, tell you why things need to be done in a certain order, tell you how to check for intermediate doneness, etc. After I watch one of these shows, I feel that I've actually learned something, and got some great ideas to modify to my own ingredients (use veal shank instead of lamb, for example).

                                                                                                                                The camerawork is great - they really get close so you can see exactly what's being done. The "yes chef" from the assistants gets boring, but that's how these guys are addressed in their regular kitchens, and I bet it feels completely normal to the staff.

                                                                                                                                Finally, it has the best music on any FN show, Canada or US.

                                                                                                                                1. re: KevinB

                                                                                                                                  I agree with you. I found the "yes chef" routine embarrassing in the context of a scripted, taped program on a quiet set with a few assistants, but I thought the instructional content and the other production values were great.

                                                                                                                                  I suspect it wasn't too successful, though. This type of cooking show format has never been repeated. The guy who created it is now doing a BBQ show featuring Matt Dunigan. I suppose this show is also innovative in its own way, but I can't stand to watch it.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: embee

                                                                                                                                    I read that they sold that show to a number of foreign markets even those that don't generally have a lot of interest in other cuisines, e.g. Italy. It was a well-made show. (The bowing and scraping "yes chef" crap was pretty lame.)

                                                                                                                                    Chris Knight I think his name was. That's a shame that he's reduced to that Matt Dunnigan show. Have never been able to stomach more than a couple minutes of it so not having seen the credits didn't realize it was him. One of the chief flaws of Cdn FN is it's filled, in primetime anyway, with all these objectionable, uncompelling, often loud, unappealing male chefs, many of whom don't even have good food knowledge. A little gender balance couldn't hurt.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                      Oh man, I can't stand that Road Grill show either... the host's loud and somewhat obnoxious.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: KevinB

                                                                                                                                    Yes, chef is irritating, but I learned alot!

                                                                                                                                    Cook like a chef is where Rob Rainford got his start. And not only is he great, he easy on the eyes.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Apple

                                                                                                                                      Nice looking, but way too perky. Can't watch even though I know he's a great bbq-er.

                                                                                                                                  3. re: Blueicus

                                                                                                                                    I don't see why you feel the show is pretentious because of that. That's just the way cooks talk in a professional kitchen. Would like the assistants to say, "okay dude, sure dude" instead?

                                                                                                                                    I for one don't enjoy the show as much because of the overuse of the slow-mo close ups and semi-softcore pornographic filming style.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: xianzhong

                                                                                                                                      Puhleeze... the show didn't take place in a hotel or restaurant/pseudo-restaurant kitchen like in the F Word, it was a sound stage where they were prepping a few plates of food for the camera.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Blueicus

                                                                                                                                        If I were to do that show with my chef and I was assisting him, I'd still address him like I'd normally would while working at the restaurant, which would mean I would say, "yes chef!". I don't understand why' you would expect that to change with anyone else that cooks in the industry just because it's on TV. Still working, still cooking food, just a new setting. I would just treat the show as if I was doing a private catered dinner or something. There's nothing wrong with professionalism.

                                                                                                                                        Though I personally dislike titles and would prefer not to be addressed as chef if and when I ever become one.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: xianzhong

                                                                                                                                          It is the same as in any work situation. If your boss tells you to do something, you say "Yes, Sir" ......if you are smart.

                                                                                                                                  4. re: pizzatheorem

                                                                                                                                    "Cook Like A Chef" is horrible; it just aged badly.

                                                                                                                                  5. Worst show is Food Jammers, by far... What a horrible idea that was.. The Asian guy in it was an actor on Trailer Park Boys, though

                                                                                                                                    I don't like "The Main" guy at all either

                                                                                                                                    Overall though, I get both Food Network US and Food Network Canada....and Canada is much, much better. Food Network US is nothing but Rachel Ray and Giada lately

                                                                                                                                    If I hear the words "Yumm-O" or "Eee Vee Ohh Ohh" once more, I will put my fist through my HDTV

                                                                                                                                    1. While clicking a link for a recipe I ended up on Canada Food Network and I loved it.
                                                                                                                                      It seemed so much "realer" than ours and I loved the recipes and chefs. It's bookmarked for me now. I rarely to never use Food Network anymore, it's just getting silly and too light for me.

                                                                                                                                      1. David Rocco's Dolce Vita is back, and David is even more handsome as a dad. I really like this show and have missed it for the past couple years. I could do without seeing so much of Nina, his wife, but David is very nice indeed.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: sojo16

                                                                                                                                          But he isn't much of a cook. And I hate how he tries to pretend he's not Cdn hoping to break into that much larger US market. Before he had the Cdn show he had a PBS show and he pretended to come from Seattle. Turned out he'd lived there a year or something as a teenager. The only reference to being Cdn in his Italian show was to mention how stupid Cdn farmers were for giving his family their zucchini flowers. Nice. Now that he wants to mimic Jamie Oliver and do an Ontario school kids thing, he'll no doubt become Mr Canuck. . .lol . . .Given that his show benefits from Cdn financing and tax credits he should rethink his schtick.

                                                                                                                                          Actually, I think the wife is the best part of the show. Didn't she create the show? The show has its charm. It's just too bad he weren't a better cook. "Croquet" for "croquette" was pretty funny though.

                                                                                                                                        2. FN Canada seems to have more variation in it's programing. They don't use the same five or six people over and over again in different formats of the same shows. They also assume that it's viewers have half an ounce or so of brain power and are not complete morons as the US network does.

                                                                                                                                          24 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                            I'm US citizen and no moron here................?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                              I think that Withnail42 is saying that the US network assumes that the viewers are morons - not that the viewers actually are.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: pescatarian

                                                                                                                                                Yes I agree - he's writing about the FN's assumptions about their audience.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: pescatarian

                                                                                                                                                  it's a naive assumption though. I'm fortunate to have met many of the tv food network stars through the years. always walk right up and talk to them and my love or passion for baking and cooking is obvious. call me dumb but I'd think it's something they may pass along to the execs there. could be wrong.

                                                                                                                                                  but with the next food network star about to premier, it's just we common folks who'd all love to view people struggling with their meals or moreover, be on that stage, I know I would love to be standing up there, tears and all..........

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                                I wouldn't say they credit their audience with much brain power. It's practically an endless loop of the most condescending host on earth - Michael Smith, that Guy Fieri guy, and shows about how to make cheese doodles and candy. And as mentioned above, during prime time there are virtually no shows by women. Does American FN have more gender equality during prime time? I seem to hear of more women hosts. But maybe they're all on during the day on USFN too.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                  During prime time here the shows are mostly from the US. Tonight it's Good Eats and Iron Chef. At other than prime time there are Anna Olson, Laura Calder and Christine Cushing. I'm not overly fond of any of them but they are women.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sharonanne

                                                                                                                                                    Yes it's prime time programming I have the issue with. And a lot of it IS USFN but what Cdn content there is evenings is the men. Not good modelling for young women who'd like a career in food. I have no idea how or why M Smith enjoys the domination of that network that he does.

                                                                                                                                                    Anna Olson's show Sugar was good if you're into baking. I learnt a lot from it. And while I didn't like LCaulder's show at first, I came to like it a lot. She actually makes the brioche dough instead of telling you to go find some frozen or from your local bakery. Also they lost the "nauseacam" so popular on MSmith's show after the first season. (The same people seemed to work on her show as his.) You should give it another try. The new Olson show isn't the greatest . . . lame food.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                      Is it better to have crappy American shows with men as the host or shows with crappy women hosts. I think not. How is showing a lousy female host good modelling?? Unless you want to produce more lousy female hosts.


                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                        Who said anything about crappy women hosts? And anyway, why shouldn't both genders get a kick at the can? Lots of those hosts we consider crappy aren't considered so by others. If you don't think it's important for women to get the same opportunities and rewards as men, where do you draw the line? How about certain races? Should they be kept out too since you've already decided they're going to be "crappy"? So in your world (mainly) white men should be privileged here . . . and get to line their pockets. Way to go!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                          My point is, why not get better hosts period. Women or men. A good host is a good host IMO and a bad one is bad. I don't care what gender/race they are.
                                                                                                                                                          Why can't we aspire to a better show or host or even a better FTV.
                                                                                                                                                          That's all I'm saying.


                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                            and my point remains that more women deserve a place in prime time . . . not simply "women or men which ever's the best" etc., b/c there's always going to be that old chestnut of: --- while they'd love to hire more ___ fill in the blank ____, there just weren't any ______ who were "as good". Whether they improve the quality of their programming or not isn't the issue - as much as we would all love to see them do so.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                              And I just see how it's helpful to hire someone simply because they're a woman.


                                                                                                                                                          2. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                            Yikes. Talk about missing the intended point.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                          I agree, people seem to be slagging Laura Caulder's show, but I think she actually has some good recipes and it's really about the food.
                                                                                                                                                          I also agree that Sugar was a better show, great for bakers and that her new show is lame. I have tried to watch it a couple times. I think she's trying to be too slick in this one and the recipes are usually boring. I also tried a recipe from it for ricotta gnocchi and it was just so-so.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pescatarian

                                                                                                                                                            Yes she does make it about the food. And her recipes always work. Also, I enjoy how she explains something of the food culture instead of just making another get-dinner-on-the-table-quickly recipe. I think you're right abt the AO show trying to be slick. There's that format around where every episode has to be built around an event and I guess she's jumping on that bandwagon. There's nothing very fresh about those dishes she churns out. Countryside's nice though.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                              Actually, I love Laura Calder. I find her genuine (unlike Giada), and she really does know what she's talking about (unlike Christine Cushing, who no longer has a going concern on FN, I believe). To be slightly piggish, I think that Ms Calder's pretty sexy, too.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                                                                                                                                While Laura Calder is likable (and a darn good writer) her show is really getting long in the tooth - she's basically been rehashing the same recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                And poor Christine Cushing - where's the love for her on this board?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Pizza Lover

                                                                                                                                                                  She has plenty of love......for herself.


                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pizza Lover

                                                                                                                                                                    CC is annoying and pretentious and targets a very unhip Rosedale-ish demo. No fun.

                                                                                                                                                                    I've dissed Calder before, but she does have a passion for French food and quality in general, and what's not to like about that? Good techniques too.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sui_Mai

                                                                                                                                                                      Does Laura Calder have more than 1 type of outfit. Wears the same thing every episode.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mlukan

                                                                                                                                                                        LOL - although she has expanded her wardrobe in Season 3 and looks much sharper for it. And I do agree with Sui Mai - Calder clearly has a point of view on what she does and likes and that's good to see these days.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mlukan

                                                                                                                                                                          I know whatcha mean. I think Giada sasses up her cleave much better.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Sui_Mai

                                                                                                                                                                          I think it partly that she is improving a lot. I used to hate her (Calder) and hate, hate, hate her forced smile.

                                                                                                                                                                          She seems to have managed to get more genuine and less forced recently and is actually pleasant to watch. More of her dry wit is coming across as well. Also, it certainly helps that she seems genuinely interested in the food she cooks and in educating her audience without being patronizing and belittling (like M Smith).

                                                                                                                                                        3. Anyone catch premiere episode of Big Chef takes on Little Chef? Heston Blumenthal tries to revive Britain's Little Chef restaurant chain. I loved the first episode and hope they'll actually allow us to watch the entire series.

                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Restaurant Dish

                                                                                                                                                            I saw it and I'm with you. I hope we see the rest of the series. I feel very sorry for Heston. You have the boss saying he immediately bonded with Heston, won't give him information and wants cuisine that's more out there. On the other hand the customers won't even try smoked salmon in their scrambled eggs. Then there's the manager who thinks Little Chef is fine just as it is, thank you, ignoring the empty tables.

                                                                                                                                                            I am impressed at how cool Heston is, especially when he was hung up on.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sharonanne

                                                                                                                                                              Great, glad I'm not alone in this. And yes, his calmness struck me also. He's quite the opposite of Gordon Ramsay's style - not that all Brit chefs are the same, but just saying.

                                                                                                                                                              The boss seems like a typical corporate guy. If he didn't want a little 'out there', then why did he hire Heston Blumenthal of all people! If there is one criticism I do have of Heston, it's that he maybe didn't realize how old school the customers really are at Little Chef and by trying to give them lamb tongue in their hot pot might be a little too adventurous. My hunch is that he'll go the Jamie Oliver route and try to ease them in with more 'safe' dishes with a bit of a twist.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Restaurant Dish

                                                                                                                                                                I''m hooked on BCLC too. Heston B's "Perfection" show didn't grab me but this one has. And I love the actor who narrates, Gina McKee, so that is a bonus.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                  I love Heston every which way.

                                                                                                                                                                  I loved his Perfection series – nice to see someone admit to trying to perfect duck skin for 5 months and still fail at doing it to his satisfaction.

                                                                                                                                                                  Little Chef just seems to cement for me how genuine, likable, remarkably grounded, and sensible Heston truly is.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Caught David Rocco's Dolce Vita last night on Food TV Canada. Not sure if this is a new series of his? Looks like.

                                                                                                                                                            Is it just me or is he trying really, really, hard to look/be hip? I really love what he cooks, love the way the show is shot, but I just can't get over his hipster look. Anyone? Or am I alone in this? Last night's major annoyance for me was him wearing his ski touque in the house while he was cooking. Unless you're cooking outside in a Quebec sugar shack, there's really no reason for this.

                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Restaurant Dish

                                                                                                                                                              Rocco's new look is lumberjack goes on an Italian adventure - and what's with the way he cooks these days? Sitting down, cutting on coffee tables - it's absurd.

                                                                                                                                                              And while we're on the subject of Rocco - why the heck does he get Government of Canada tax credits for a show filmed entirely in Italy? Some post production work in Canada does not impress me.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pizza Lover

                                                                                                                                                                Interesting take. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but you described it perfectly. I guess you're not a fan. Yes his cooking 'style' has become a bit bizarre these days but I do really like what he cooks - it's rustic Italian at its best.

                                                                                                                                                                As for the tax credit, well, it IS Canada and budgets are low so most of the Cdn made shows get the credit. I do think they stipulate that a chunk of post-production must be done in Ontario by Cdn citizen but they also have provisions with international productions too. I can't say I'm too bothered by this, at least it's going towards a food program which I enjoy. Instead of my other tax dollars which I have no idea where they go actually.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Pizza Lover

                                                                                                                                                                  I have an issue with the tax credits too PL. My above post sounded like a bit more of a put-down than I intended but I stand by my comments on his whole "Canadian identity" ambivalence - when he's benefiting from tax credits and everything else the country has to offer. I'm hardly a raving nationalist but geezh, does he have to pretend NOT to be Cdn while bellying up to the trough? Have you noticed if it's a co-production? It's possible there's Italian money/incentives invested too. And as you allude to with "some" Cdn post work . . . post production's become a pretty moveable feast in the past 7-8 yrs. They wouldn't even necessarily have had to do it ALL in one place. As you point out, it's filmed entirely in Italy . . . how does it benefit Canadian taxpayers?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                                    As with anything in life, there are ways around the "rules". But just so we're clear, here are the guidelines:

                                                                                                                                                                    Who Is Eligible?
                                                                                                                                                                    A qualifying production company is a Canadian corporation which is Canadian-controlled, has a permanent establishment in Ontario, and files an Ontario corporate tax return. In addition, the individual producer of the production must have been an Ontario resident for tax purposes at the end of both of the two calendar years prior to commencement of principal photography.

                                                                                                                                                                    What Types of Production Are Eligible?
                                                                                                                                                                    An eligible Ontario production is a production which:

                                                                                                                                                                    *has 6 Canadian content points (unless it is an official treaty co-production)
                                                                                                                                                                    is predominantly shot and posted in Ontario (Note: There are exceptions for documentaries,interprovincial co-productions and international treaty co-productions)

                                                                                                                                                                    *spends at least 75% of its total final costs on Ontario expenditures
                                                                                                                                                                    if for television, is suitable for a minimum 30 minute time slot (except children’s programming)

                                                                                                                                                                    *has an agreement with an Ontario-based distributor or a Canadian broadcaster to be shown in Ontario within 2 years of completion (broadcast must occur between 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., except for children’s programming)

                                                                                                                                                                    *is not in an excluded genre (such as news or current affairs, talk shows, game shows, sports shows, awards shows, fundraising shows, reality television)
                                                                                                                                                                    What Expenditures Are Eligible?

                                                                                                                                                                    Eligible Ontario labour expenditures consist of:

                                                                                                                                                                    *Salaries and wages paid to Ontario residents;
                                                                                                                                                                    Remuneration paid to:
                                                                                                                                                                    a) corporations that are personal service companies subject to tax in Ontario for the services of an Ontario resident,
                                                                                                                                                                    b) sole proprietors or freelancers subject to tax in Ontario,
                                                                                                                                                                    c) partnerships, for the services of a partner subject to tax in Ontario, and
                                                                                                                                                                    d) taxable Canadian corporations with a permanent establishment in Ontario for the services of their employee(s) who are Ontario residents; and
                                                                                                                                                                    Reimbursements by a wholly-owned production company to its parent company for labour expenditures, as above, that were paid by the parent company on behalf of the production company.
                                                                                                                                                                    Ontario residents are individuals who were resident in Ontario for tax purposes at the end of the calendar year prior to commencement of principal photography. The labour expenditures of a corporation for the purposes of the OFTTC must be reasonable and must be included in the cost of the production.

                                                                                                                                                                    Labour expenditures must not only be incurred but must also be paid in the taxation year (or within 60 days after the end of the taxation year) for which they are being claimed.

                                                                                                                                                                    Eligible labour expenditures include those incurred from the production commencement time (PCT) until the end of post-production. Productions can claim eligible labour expenditures possibly as early as two years prior to the commencement of principal photography. This may include labour expenditures for script development.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Restaurant Dish

                                                                                                                                                                      thanks - I used to work in the industry and have laboured over their application on many occasions. Seeing it here kind of gives me a cold chill . . . lol . . . I wasn't really questioning the legality of that show getting it. But you're right: you and many people enjoy it so that's how taxpayers benefit. And frankly, I like the travelogue aspect of it when I do watch it. There's no question it's a well-made series (IMO).

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Restaurant Dish

                                                                                                                                                                  Yes it's a new show or season of the old one maybe. I see him all the time in the Yorkville area and that's how he's always turned out so it doesn't seem to be abt the show's wardrobe dept.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                                    I LOVE David Rocco's Dolce Vita. Love everything about the show, and the earlier seasons made me laugh a lot, love the plots and story line.

                                                                                                                                                                    I want to visit Italy!

                                                                                                                                                                3. is there a chef called Christine Cushing? Or did I make that name up? I seem to remember something similar.
                                                                                                                                                                  whatever show she has bugs me sort of no end.
                                                                                                                                                                  ordinarily, I really enjoy the Canada version of Food channel.
                                                                                                                                                                  was there this weekend and will be in Canada 4 more times before the
                                                                                                                                                                  end of the month. I look forward to finding the food network channel.
                                                                                                                                                                  lots of shows I'm not familiar with so I'm quite intrigued.
                                                                                                                                                                  I don't like the constant repeats, if I watch sugar at a certain
                                                                                                                                                                  time of day, I'm most assured same show will be on later too.
                                                                                                                                                                  meaning same episode.
                                                                                                                                                                  but that lady chef is very nervous on her show and it's hard to watch.
                                                                                                                                                                  anyone know the name of it that I'm speaking of?
                                                                                                                                                                  I love restaurant makeover too.Love chef Lynne with
                                                                                                                                                                  her tattooed palms.

                                                                                                                                                                  19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                    Yes there was a Christine Cushing on Food tv but you must have seen reruns at some freakish time of the day - early morning maybe? . . . lol . . . Anyway, that show lasted maybe 3 seasons; I think it was cancelled 2003/4. It was a similar format to Sara Moulten's now defunct Cooking Live but Sara was much more knowledgeable. The Sugar episodes are old now too and is only on (when they run it at all) in the daytime. Yes there are a lot of repeats to include the western time zones, since most of these specialty channels aren't really "networks" as they call themselves.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                                      Now 'that' was a show....Sara Moulton's Cooking Live. Excellent format, excellent knowledge, and excellent guests. Why can't FOOD TV both U.S. & Canada be like that again?!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Restaurant Dish

                                                                                                                                                                        I loved that show too. It must have been grueling to do every day and live no less during the dinner hour. Once I discovered what a gold mine it was (after about 2 episodes!), I never missed one even if it meant watching the repeat at night. I really respected her saying she didn't know the answer when asked something by a caller. CC used to just give any answer when she didn't know something ... problematic. Did you see that article abt the dumbing down of the Food network in the New Yorker a few years ago? Sara's was one of the shows they mentioned that was banished in favour dumbed down tv. Sad.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes I did see that article, and it truly is sad what Food Network has become. But I have to think that somehow the numbers support it. Which baffles me because I have yet to hear anyone say they love watching Food Network. Sure there are shows we all love, but to watch it all the time? Those days are gone. I used to be able to say that but not anymore. As long as they keep getting decent enough number of viewers, they'll keep showing crap, but I'm sure having been in the business you already know this and thus why you are so frustrated by it also! But then again, I think most of TV has gone to shit lately, not just Food TV. But that's another story....

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                                        I swear I saw an ad for a new Christine Cushing show. I wasn't that fond of her so I didn't rewind or check the schedule for it but i have seen it more than once.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sharonanne

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes I saw that ad too. t looks like very very basic cooking - showing people who don't know how to do simple things . . . a couple of guest civilians each episode maybe? That sort of stuff just frustrates me so I tend to avoid it.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                                            There's a big reason why Christine Cushing isn't on Food Network Canada, and that reason is Christine Cushing. Have heard that the ego has landed there, even though she talks a good talk about how humble she is etc. etc. Until she figures out how to play the corporate game, she won't be on there again as far as I know.

                                                                                                                                                                            Having watched one episode of 'Fearless in the Kitchen' I can't see her TV career going anywhere else either. She'd better keep getting those corporate and food board gigs.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Restaurant Dish

                                                                                                                                                                              "the ego has landed" . . . too funny. I didn't realize she'd burned her bridges at FN Cda. It makes sense given how they DO tend to hold onto their favourites forever.

                                                                                                                                                                              I saw a couple of her bottled sauces in Whole Foods - they cost the earth for, what looks like, pretty pedestrian tomato sauces. Further to your incredulity as to who the FN's demographic is - who's buying these sauces?!?!?!

                                                                                                                                                                              I read (maybe it was in that Michael Pollan NYT's Aug. article, but can't be sure), that the US FN has been going after male viewers the past few years, with great success and that was the reason for so many of the silly macho shows and competitions. Forget what age group. Yeah, I long for the golden age of Food TV too . . . sigh.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Restaurant Dish

                                                                                                                                                                                I think o just had a memory breakthrough.
                                                                                                                                                                                On CC's show she had on Debbie Travis who did her family
                                                                                                                                                                                hot pot. Ultra condescending toward the guest
                                                                                                                                                                                was CC. And her hot pot looked wonderful as I recall
                                                                                                                                                                                CC didn't seem very impressed

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                  Don't remember seeing that exact episode, but yep, seems pretty accurate!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Restaurant Dish

                                                                                                                                                                                    And really unknowledgeable too. Every time she had on someone from the UK she'd say something about how the food's got a lot better lately. Well, they started having their food "renaissance" in the 80s just like we did. Not to mention their good food writers of the 60s and 70s (E David, Grigson et al). I always felt a bit embarrassed for the guests that all she did was spout stereotypes and knew nothing about the food. Could she not have done a tiny bit of research? Maybe watch a couple of Nigella's shows before having her as a guest? The mind boggled.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                          Christine Cushing has a new show on W Network - Fearless in the kitchen. Her personality is as annoying as ever.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: blue bike

                                                                                                                                                                            People always get on CC. I don't know, I never found her to be that bad. I wouldn't go so far as to say she's my top FN personality (not even close), but I don’t know, I don't see what's so horrendous or obnoxious about her. And her food's good enough I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                            Her new show isn't exactly reinventing the wheel, I will say that. If I were to start up a new vehicle for myself, if I were her, I think I'd have developed something a bit different. But hey, that's just me.

                                                                                                                                                                            Overall though, I don't find her to be that bad.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                              Here's my personal favourite about her that tells me so much about her personality.

                                                                                                                                                                              Her old show had a "Highlight of the Night" at the end of the show. One show had a guy open a champagne bottle with a sword. The HON was her doing the pan flip sauteing mushrooms. How egotistical do you have to be??


                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                                                Haha, I always thought that was more slightly lame than egotistical. But hey, what can you do..... :)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                                  Can't it just be lame AND egotistical? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Blueicus

                                                                                                                                                                                    I also seem to remember a chef lady with very wirey
                                                                                                                                                                                    hair that I wanted to jump in the TV and fix in the worst way.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Bad bad bad hair. Last name maybe Weire?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Restaurant Dish

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes that's her. She made not much of an impression on me. so I didn't want to watch regularly.

                                                                                                                                                                        3. Since some one mentioned the lack of Asian cooking shows, whatever happened to Ming Tsai? I found his show quite watchable.

                                                                                                                                                                          And for nostalgia freaks with plenty of time on their hands, one of the non-food networks (Omni? Sun TV?) is playing reruns of "Wok With Yan". It's hilarious to look at his wardrobe (did people really wear plaid pants?), listen to his schtick, and check out the audience, who seemed to have been bused in from a seniors home.

                                                                                                                                                                          And Anthony Sedlack - isn't his show based in Montreal? I'm not surprised he picked up a bit of a lilt. And I like Chuck's Day Off - his cooking is pretty simple, but he's just so enthusiastic, I find I like him. And I like Ricardo too, although my kids insist he's gay.

                                                                                                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: FrankD

                                                                                                                                                                            Simply Ming.

                                                                                                                                                                            Saturday mornings on PBS out of Buffalo.



                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: FrankD

                                                                                                                                                                              What is that weird accent of anthony sedlak's? is he doing a bit of english? he's mentioned cooking there . . . he kind of over-enunciates everything. Often i have to turn it off b/c it's sucks the life out of everything.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: FrankD

                                                                                                                                                                                wow, you mentioned many I've not heard of. Ming Tsai, I never did like. Don't know why, he just got on my nerves. Not saying he can't cook, I'm sure he does a brilliant job just not watchable to me. I love Martin Yan, and yes, Yan Can Cook

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: FrankD

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm pretty sure the Sedlack show is Vancouver-based. (I don't think "Here on the Main" is referring to St. Laurent). His voice is very different, can't place the accent - must be a hybrid. Definitely nothing to do with French Canada though.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Good chef though, just not lovin' the soundtrack piping in all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Ricardo is just great. Best show on Food. Love the parts with suplliers/producers etc. He is pretty damn charming too.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sui_Mai

                                                                                                                                                                                    Apparently he has been travelling back and forth to Toronto to tape The Main. He is part of a new venture (exec chef) in Vancouver called The Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe that is set to open at the end of Nov after the usual city hall related delays.

                                                                                                                                                                                    From Sedlak's (no C) bio on Food Network Canada -- that accent you hear is apparently pure Vangcooverite, though he was born in Prince George (northern BC):

                                                                                                                                                                                    Chef Anthony Sedlak grew up in North Vancouver, British Columbia. At the age of 13 he obtained his first job as a busboy at Lupins Café, one of the restaurants atop Grouse Mountain, in exchange for a snowboard pass to the resort. Very quickly Anthony discovered his love for food and started working as a line cook. At 15, Anthony became the youngest cook at on the mountain to be proficient on all stations in the restaurant. Next he enjoyed great success at the resort’s flagship dining room, The Observatory, working his way up from 2nd cook to 1st cook and then Chef de Partie, all the while completing the Culinary Arts Program at Carson Graham Secondary School in North Vancouver. Later, he completed his BC Chefs’ Apprenticeship through Vancouver Community College.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                      That's funny about the accent. I'm grew up in West Van (right next to North Van) and thought I detected the Deep Cove dude (small subculture of mountain bikers and boarders in N. Van) in there (but mixed with a little warbling Dutchman or something).
                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm familair with the Vangroovy twang (some people still think I'm American or something) and his thing is a whole other thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyway, I can handle the accent (barely) if he just would chill on the song!
                                                                                                                                                                                      Love the recipes - Especially red wine marinated flank steak - turns out beautiful every time.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Sui_Mai

                                                                                                                                                                                      Agree Sui Mai re the music . . . not only is it extremely repetitive - hence annoying - it's plagiarized. The show never gave the author credit or anything. They just lifted it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sui_Mai

                                                                                                                                                                                        You're right - as an ex-Montrealer, whenever I hear "the Main", I think about St. Laurent. You mean there's another one somewhere else?!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: FrankD

                                                                                                                                                                                          No, they use the phrase "the Main" to refer to the course he's cooking. I don't like the concept much, too try-to-be hip.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Sui_Mai

                                                                                                                                                                                            Now I'm curious and may actually tune in to see what y'all are talking about. Deffo interested in checking out his new resto venture too when it finally opens.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                              I always thought the tune was just riffing on Franz Ferdinand-like groove.

                                                                                                                                                                                              As to the accent: definitely Vancourite, but something else. I was under the impression that he had worked in the UK for a stint, which would explain the slightly higher 'o' sound.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Sui_Mai

                                                                                                                                                                                          Just finishing watching Michael Smith do his strawberry magarita pie with cilantro whipped cream, < major yuk.

                                                                                                                                                                                          But now I'm watching "Richardo and friends" we'll see what he whips up today.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I've got to admit. I love the Canadian shows. My favourite is Riccardo and Friends. As previously posted, his "road trips" are a highlight of the show. And I like that he uses local and organic foods. A recent show had a chocolate cake that did not turn out the way he wanted. Rather than hide the result, he showed the cake and explained what had gone wrong. I also watch Chef at Home and like that he cooks for his son Gabe (the camera work and Michael Smith's delivery are drawbacks I find). Another favourite is Road Grill. I could watch Matt Dunigan and his pecs all day. Laura Calder, with her habit of talking through her teeth, really annoys me. And I can't stand Christine Cushing. As for US shows, if I hear Guy Fieri say the words "bad boy" one more time, I'm going to scream.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Foodtv Canada just changed their website and it sucks badly. You can no longer just call up the recipes from the episode. You have locate the episode, read the little blurb saying what the host made and then scroll through all of his or her recipes (multiple seasons) for . . . each . . . individual . . . one. Someone got paid to make this "Improvement"????? For those shows that have menus (Ricardo, Laura, the tall guy), it really sucks if you want to match the dishes or garnishes from that particular menu/show. Speaking of Ricardo, the little blurb under his current episode is hilarious since they refer to him as "Georges" twice . . . groan . . . it's just all so lame.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I think simply some shows here in Canada would never fly in the US, and vice versa, and for good reasons. The top 2 which come to mind are anything Anna Olson would never work there for one reason: she is BORING. "Semi-Homemade" with Sandra Lee wouldn't work in Canada, and shouldn't work anywhere, because she advocates processed food rather than local fresh ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I am from the US and now live in Canada, so I get to see both Food Networks often and am able to compare very well what is current in both countries.

                                                                                                                                                                                            What I like in Canada and wish the US would adopt:
                                                                                                                                                                                            1) French Food at Home. Love Laura Calder and her 2 cookbooks, which I use both of quite often. I think the US would embrace her well.
                                                                                                                                                                                            2) Michael Smith programs. Yes he talks to us like we are children, but he's watchable and also again, I use his cookbooks with success.
                                                                                                                                                                                            3)The Main. Anthony Sedlak aside (what is up with his weird way of pronouncing things? I've heard others also remark on this...my husband and I mimic him often, try saying "olive oil" the way he does!) Yet again, I've made some of his stuff and it has worked well.

                                                                                                                                                                                            WHat I'd like from the US here in Canada:
                                                                                                                                                                                            1) The next Iron Chef competitions. It's real professional chefery at its best.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2) Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" it is here on Travel, but not Food TV, what is THAT all about? He's very entertaining, and also I'm a sucker for cooking/travel shows.

                                                                                                                                                                                            3) Michael Ciariello (SP) I love the fresh Napa approach and his style.

                                                                                                                                                                                            What I want to keep in both countries:

                                                                                                                                                                                            1) Barefoot Contessa. Ina Garten rules, despite her weird friends and all her nonesense about "Jeffrey" 95% of what I make from cookbooks are her recipes, and she has about a 95% success rate with me in terms of how terrific her recipes turn out for me- being able to see the execution of her dishes on her show is a big plus. She is on twice a day in the States, sadly here in Canada i only get her one measly time per week.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2) Top Chef: I couldn't be more addicted, great program.

                                                                                                                                                                                            3) Anything Jamie Oliver. I don't make his food, but he's interesting to watch.

                                                                                                                                                                                            4) Hell's Kitchen, pure trash TV but still fun.

                                                                                                                                                                                            5) Tyler Florence: He is a tad dull, but good food, what he makes is often useful to me, and he taught me how to properly stuff shiu mai.
                                                                                                                                                                                            What needs to go in BOTH countries:

                                                                                                                                                                                            1) Rachel Ray. What an insipid idiot. Just please go away and never return.
                                                                                                                                                                                            2) Paula Deen: she is sort of cute, but her food? "Cookie Dough truffles"???? Please be kidding.
                                                                                                                                                                                            3) Semi Homemade, see above, Sandra Lee is a jerk and her show is embarrassing.
                                                                                                                                                                                            4) Anna Olson, again, above. No one makes me want to lie down and nap more than her.
                                                                                                                                                                                            5) Unwrapped, just a time waster.
                                                                                                                                                                                            6) ANY show involving Guy Fieri. I want to reach into the TV and smack his stupid face and scream everytime he says something is "Money." Although I do agree a Canadian version of Diners Drive Ins and Dives would be great, just with anyone else hosting.
                                                                                                                                                                                            7) Ace of Cakes. Bores me to death.
                                                                                                                                                                                            8) Restaurant makeover. The most godawful FoodTV show of all. and it never isn't on! Lynn Crawford? What a total bitch.
                                                                                                                                                                                            9) Food Detectives: I love Ted Allen, but he ought to be doing something much better where he actually cooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: emmajack

                                                                                                                                                                                              Ooops, forgot to mention Giada and Bobby Flay. I loved the US "Giada's Travels" but what I dislike is the fact that she went to the Cordon Bleu, yet she advocates things like store bought cake mix to fool her friends! She's more than just a nice rack, and too good for the junk she churns out on her shows.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Really like Bobby Flay, Throwdowns are fun to watch, and I love how much he really loses. I'm not entirely convinced, however, that the people he challenges are really all that surprised when he pops up.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: emmajack

                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree with most of what you said, but have to disagree about Anna Olson. She may be a tad boring and I'm not crazy about her new show, but in Sugar, she provided a lot of great recipes that work well. And I love Ace of Cakes! Oh, and I'm not a huge fan of Rachel Ray, but I also find her harmless and can understand why the average M-F cook finds her useful to watch. I think insipid idiot is a bit much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pescatarian

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Totally agree about Rachel, she is what she says she is. Not inspiring, but useful for the average Joe. At least she takes white-bread suburban cooking up a notch by providing some international flavour and a bit of background about the dishes she's riffing off of. Just like Oprah did with under-educated daytime tv watchers by introducing them to books. At least it's something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't care if I sound patronizing - it is true, and food and reading are near and dear to my life so I have strong opinions about them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: emmajack

                                                                                                                                                                                                  just because she went to Le Cordon Bleu doesn't mean she can bake or can't recommend some short cuts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I fondly remember on the first season of Top Chef when the contestants were asked to do a wedding cake and all the chefs agreed to use packaged cake mix because none of them were bakers and weren't willing to risk having the cake collapse after being put together. I was thinking I would've done the same thing, especially after seeing my old French exec chef bake a lopsided wedding cake for our sous chef's wedding reception, lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: emmajack

                                                                                                                                                                                                  ooh I love your full report on these two rivals.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm gonna read and then report on what you brought up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think the two Country's show are starting to meld, cooking show-wise....
                                                                                                                                                                                                  With the inclusion of the new Cooking Network, I see
                                                                                                                                                                                                  many many familiar faces and shows from Canada coming
                                                                                                                                                                                                  to the US soon. I'm happy about that since love those Canadian food shows.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love the French cooking show with that lovely lady on it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love her foods and the way she prepares, love to watch her.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Already commented on Michael Smith, want to go to Halifax or
                                                                                                                                                                                                  wherever his restaurant is, but watching him, those eyes, sorta hard.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love the next Iron Chef competition. Why did John Besh NOT win?
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Must go to Lola's and see how good a chef Micheal Simon is.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  ^^^Bet incredible.......Eaten at August in New Orleans, it's magic on a plate.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Love Anthony Bourdain but will ask him please not to cuss if we get a chance to talk, not really, but I will be thinking it. He must be a master chef, his love of all crazy kinds of foods is addicting.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Love Michael Chirarell, love him love him love him. Watching Master Tops Chefs though, his ego got me a little besmirched I will say, I hope he's calmed down by now and put his feet firmly back on the ground.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tyler Florence, just not into him or his food.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Love Jamie and Gordon and Top Chef yes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Love Brian Boitana, just cause he is so perky and cute.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love love him, hope his show stays.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now about which ones can go away:
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Love Paula but went to her Lady and Son's, NOT AT ALL what I thought it'd be.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Love [now, before not so much] Giada, think she's beautiful, but uses a lot of cake/brownie mixes. Plus, I've done a few of her recipes that didn't turn out at all, that said, our daughters favorite stew is Giada lamb stew that she swears by and makes often as a take along to someones party to add to the buffet, so?
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Love Alex Guarnaschelli thinks she's beautiful. Love her show from home.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Love Chopped, hate repeats and get disappointed when I see one I've already viewed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  RR is tired of the routine of her show[s] and it shows.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sandra is an amateur cook at best and many of her things don't work, I've tried.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anna Olson is cute but that show is just redone and redone.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've been to 16 of Guy Fieri's Diner/Dives and it's more about the mission of getting there then the food served for me. I love to be able to say, "I've been there." Or "we've been there", as husband is often times with me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ace of Cakes go away, and take with you Unwrapped, Food Detectives and all CHALLENGES, Big Daddy's Big Kitchen or whatever it's called, uf da.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Personally love Restaurant Makeovers but I'd love to own one myself so maybe that's why.

                                                                                                                                                                                                4. Heston's Fests is an amazing show. I have seen the Medieval Feast and the Tudor Feast and they are mind blowing.


                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: blue bike

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Victorian "Alice in Wonderland" is also amazing. The Mock-turtle soup made by dunking a replica gold pocket watch into hot water to make the broth . . . . wow. . . such whimsy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: blue bike

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Loving these too. You'll be equally blown away by the Victorian Alice too when they repeat them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. ok, finally saw everyday exotic and gotta say that mooking trys waay too hard to have a signasture saying i mean "obedient ingredient" is soo stupid especially when he goes out of his way to put it in almost every sentence, i don't mind sedlak but "that the ticket" really?sorry you're about 10 years late on that one, and saying "gear", i'm sure he learned that when he lived in england although there it is used as slang for drugs, not cooking ingredients, i don't hear any accent at all, he was born and bred in north van, giada is a toothy annoying wench and yes lynn crawford is a total bitch as well, i don't mind anna olson , although probably because i think shes hot

                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: vandan

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dude, the people that say "gear" are exactly the people who were raised in (certain parts of) North Van.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm with you on the Mooking thing, I can't believe he hasn't toned it down yet. It's bordering on self-parody, or at least Food Network parody. Given that he's the chef at a place as hip as Nyood, you'd think he'd define his audience a little better, I don't think cutesy dumbing down is what the cosmopolitan downtown set really appreciates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sui_Mai

                                                                                                                                                                                                          So agree, Sui Mai. He's just trying sooo hard. And fitting in his music at every chance has become too overly opportunistic to bear anymore. He was on Q (CBC) saying how he was trying to get on Oprah. (Clearly inspired by that musician from Montreal who cadged an invite to the Oprah show.) The problem is, is that it makes the audience feel like a stepping stone to bigger and better things. Good luck with that Mooking. He's not exactly charismatic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          As for Sedlak, it's not that he has an accent, it's that he over-enunciates and sounds pretentious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                                                                            youve got it. Its not an accent, its over enunciation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            I met him and when I spoke to him I thought "wheres your accent???"... his voice was SO different.. and I guess its because he was just talking to me like a normal person.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Sui_Mai

                                                                                                                                                                                                            really? i have never ever heard anyone here use the word gear, or maybe i just haven't met anyone from those parts of deepest, darkest north van

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: vandan

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think "gear" is also used for clothes in the UK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Has anyone watched Bitchin Kitchen on Food Network Canada? The host is Nadia G and it is one of the oddest shows I've seen on the Food Network. I think Nadia G is a comedian and her whole show seems kind of shticky.


                                                                                                                                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: wontonfm

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Completely agree. I can't figure out what it is with the way she moves and talks, but it reminds me of those video game cgi scenes. I could only get through 5mins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AndrewK512

                                                                                                                                                                                                              from what I've read on here and on FN.ca, people either love her or they hate her.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Personally.. I have watched the show several times.. and cant remember a single recipe from it. Thats not why I watch FN.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              I do think it can be mildly entertaining.. sometimes I feel annoyed.. sometimes I like the randomness of it. I much prefer the parts with HER rather than her male side kicks.. they.. really annoy me..

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hungryabbey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think it'd be a great cooking show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                On MTV.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: wontonfm

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I look at it as if Lady Gaga, Pink, Kesha, or Amy Winehouse did a cooking show.... what's really cheesy is her fake NY accent with Quebec French undertones!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              For the Americans who've never seen it, the episodes are on YouTube...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TexSquared

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I actually get a big kick out of her. I find the show VERY entertaining. But as far as a focus on food show, it's pretty lousy. It's more about her and the zaniness that ensues than about actual food. I do like watching it but honestly, I can't recall any of the food I've seen on it. I mean, you barely even see food! It's all about her. So if you're ok with being entertained, sure. But if you're looking for a show where food is the star I'd watch something else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Can't stand watching her for more than 2 min.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I found the show entertaining for about two episodes and then couldn't stomach it any more. The schtick wears out quickly and there's no substance to the actual cooking part.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I must say the more I've watched this show the more I've grown to really like it. I realize this will be a very unpopular thing to say, but there you go. I think it's really different and entertaining, and kinda funny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: wontonfm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry.... been away for a long time. Bitchin' Kitchen is unwatchable for anyone who knows the slightest bit about food. It strikes me (though, I'm willing to be corrected on this) that her accent is manufactured.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      well, going to YEG tomorrow and I will try to catch it sometime during the 3 days I'm there. I have not seen it and have no idea who this person is. I just tried to view it on youtube but that says I need to update my adobe something or other, so, until husband is home, I won't download anything, just spent a jillion dollars on getting rid of 740 viruses. :+(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Well I think "The Heat" is a good canadian production. But then again we had "made to Order" which was more of sitcom than a cooking show! with obviously scripted dialog and no substance at all. Just style which I guess does reflect the cook's cuisine. I love "The Wild Chef" but again maybe if I am unaware you don't get Food Network in High Def. I saw the Food TV in US in High def and it put a smile of my face.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. any one tell me the name of the American show that features the lady with the spice store? wondering if that is a real store that I can go in to or is that's her "shtick"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        it's a real store or stores I should say.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        found the info, would love to pop in, love odd and unusual spices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I see there will be a new Canadian show called "Chef *Off".
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        May be lame , we'll see when it appears end of August.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Enjoed watching Dolce Vita today. "Trouble with Peppe" episode.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'll be making the ricotta gnocchi with the pesto, looked extraordinary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          These reality/competition shows on the FN make me sick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My friend said to me the other day, "Remember when the Food Network used to be about food??" I said, in all honesty.... "No."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Love Dolce Vita. One of the few good shows left on FN.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I hate that show Chef*Off, it airs in Canada now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BamiaWruz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I must have it confused with another new show coming to tvfoodnetwork.ca cause I watched the very end of it to today in Edmonton, Canada. Not anything I look forward to seeing another time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Food Network Canada definitely jumped the shark this year. Almost every show is now completely unwatchable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AndrewK512

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Food Network USA is no better. A sad shadow of what it once was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                precisely why I'm enjoying the old shows from yesteryear. Those 2 Fat lady's are maybe not the best cooks or didn't draw the biggest fan base but they're terrific.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OMG I LOVED 2 fat ladies. That just brought back gushing memories of 10 years ago. I remember one episode where one lady mentioned, "be sure your eggs are at room temperature."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The other one piped up "why did you say that"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  First lady, "b/c our viewers overseas keep theirs in a fridge.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Back to the other "oh, that's disgusting"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I howled when she said that. Such evil food and sooooo much fun to watch!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: livetocook

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love their bubbles and squeak show.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I also love just viewing Clarisa's pudgy cute little fingers delve through all things they tough. With Jennifer being gone, I wonder what Clarisa is doing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Clarissa wrote an autobiography... Spilling The Beans, I think it was titled, about four years ago. She still writes, I believe... can't remember for which publication... something Tory-ish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In the depths of bitter winter, I once made their Asturian bean soup (had tonnes of swine in it), from their meal for the Cambridge eight. Unbelievably delicious! Very fortifying against the cold, as well. Other dishes were less successful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My favourite line (cooking coq au vin for the Gurkhas) is... Jennifer (to the camera): There's a lot of goodness in an old cock.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As to comparing US vs Canada, I have been very disappointed in recent developments in the Canadia network. Bitchin' Kitchen is an embarassment beyond description, but good things like Anthony Sedlak, Laura Calder, and Ricardo Larrivee seem not to be in production anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I just spent the last three weeks in Toronto, and found the Food Network, Canada to be really interesting. I liked 'The Main' a lot, and a show with Anna Olson (I think) was very good too. These chefs seemed to offer cooking with no gimicks, which was refreshing. They don't have as much infomercial time on, and have actual programming on at 6am. There was also a show that was all about re-vamping a restaurant - where a chef revamps the menu, and a designer redoes the restaurant, and I thought that was interesting, too. I saw a few different things with David Adjey - i liked him a lot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The makeover show is called, surprisingly, "Restaurant Makeover". I've worked in marketing and I think the show's premise is a complete fantasy (although it was doubtless inspired by Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares" in the UK). The chef and designer come in, don't do any kind of research of the local market, trends, etc., and just change everything willy-nilly. It's not that the chefs are no good, or that the designers don't do a pretty job, but they don't make any effort to find out if what they want/think is in sync with the neighbourhood. Height of arrogance, if you ask me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The results, as has been noted in other threads, are mixed. In my small town, they've done three locations. One is thriving, although I think that the farm across the street turned into a subdivision of 500 homes in the past two years helps a lot, one went through their re-do, and was subsequently acquired by another owner and the food changed from Italian to Greek, and one - which had been there the longest of the three, and had a great location in the centre of town - is now completely gone, its windows papered over, sign down, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: FrankD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think for the most part, Restaurant Makeover is a death sentence for any restaurant. Ya, some survive but most are probably just trying to spruce up a dwindling business. And that fails.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you're going on a show like Restaurant Makeover, then that means that the restaurant is already in trouble and not long for this world. Even if RM did not intervene, probably most if not all of those restaurants would have gone under anyways.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's the same thing you see with Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares- most of the makeovers ended up closing because the restaurant is already in serious trouble when Ramsay comes in. I'm not sure how thorough Ramsay really was, but you could argue that he did try to survey the locals about the restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Or, look at Bill Rancic's We Mean Business reality show which was a business intervention for different types of businesses- pizza, gift shop, etc.. Again, most of those businesses ended up going under because they were already in serious trouble before the show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hobbess

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What I want to know is what's up with this Cupcake Wars program?? I so don't care. I have been losing interest in FN since they started doing all these competitions and continualy airing programs about junk food and cake decorating. Is this going on in the US as well? The one program I do get some enjoyment out of is Dinner Party Wars and that is Canadian. It's a cute witty program. I hope they make more!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: EmJayC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cupcake Wars is an import from the US Food Network. As are the Challenges show, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, the Next Food Network Star, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: EmJayC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've stopped watching FNC now that it's unofficially the "Food Game Show Network". They even cancelled Good Eats :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TexSquared

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Has GE been scrapped in the US. It's still a good show but I think it's maybe run it's course. It's possible the over exposure of Alton hurt as well.