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Ann Burrell's new show on FN - June 29


This was previously mentioned on a new shows on FN thread, but seemed to get very little comment. Ann is Mario's sous chef on ICA and like Mario, has extensive experience in Italy and with Italian cooking. She is the exec at Centro Vinoteca and has had several positions in the Batali/Bastianich empire. She might have something interesting to show us - she's obviously a real chef, which puts her several steps above much of the current crop at FN.

FN seems to be relegating her to Sunday mornings, but I'm sure there will be reruns at other times. I'll DVR it anyway, as I'm not going to give up my F1 races or other Sunday morning shows (background to reading the paper)...

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  1. I am thrilled. I was hoping for this, from watching her on IC, her pasta dishes and desserts are always awesome.

    1. Thanks for the heads-up. She's definitely got some chops.

      1. Good to know. Her role on Iron Chef actually catches your eye during the show. Definitely will tune in to her. However, wish we had more variety to FN than so much Italian and Italian influenced cooking.

        1. I saw the promo for the first time last night and also thought it looked promising. As long as I don't find out that restaurant secrets have anything to do with semi-homemade secrets...

          1. Definitely giving this one a shot...Ann seems all business on ICA, but the promos look more relaxed and she has a rocker feel...I hope that translates to "relaxed" as opposed to "forced". But yeah, she has the background to really teach something, I'm looking forward to her show.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bunson

              I agree...the promos I saw showed her dancing and stuff....made me slightly less enthusiastic about it, but I still want to see the show. I became somewhat of a fan of hers from seeing her on ICA

            2. "She might have something interesting to show us"

              I'm probably "blasé" when I'm watching cooking shows, there are very few "new things" that I can use in my day-to-day cooking, especially from East/West European or North-American cooking sided shows (italian, french, dinners, BBQ, ... )

              anyway, she will make pasta a gazillion times, ossobuco, and all the italian classics, in there, I hope she will do a bit more seafood/fish recipes than normal for the american public.

              Good luck anyway.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Maximilien

                actually, Maximilien, it looks like you will get your wish - she'll be doing fish, as well as leg of lamb - i just looked at the episodes listed here:

                seems that the show is more about technique than "Italian classics". if you look at the description of the show on FN (see the link above), it doesn't even use the word "Italian"

                i'm looking forward to the show

              2. Help me out here. Her new show will the be the first time there's been a cooking show by an *actualy* CHEF since .... ?

                Really? When did Emeril or Flay or Batali have their shows, since 95? Puck was first on around that time? Dunno. So how long between the last real chef got a show and Ann's show -- anyone know?

                And doesn't that answer sadly speak volumes on what's wrong with FN? :-(((

                4 Replies
                1. re: HarryK

                  I may be wrong, but just surmising from what I've read, Scripps has seen the error of their ways and wants to go back to getting some real chefs on board. I think that they made the move towards Rachel Ray and Sandra Lee expecting that the housewife demographic would lead to big bucks, and then found that even the typical housewife was more sophisticated than that. The competition is killing them.

                  To be fair, Paula Dean is an actual restaurant chef/owner. Giada is a culinary school grad if without any actual major chef experience. But the same is true of Alton - no real experience as a chef. I don't want them to keep a chef forever. Flay has long since used up everything he could show us a dozen times over - it's all repeats, repackaged in pseudo-competitions and other made up drama. Emeril left way after his peak. The list of past chefs is long and distinguished, and that is as it should be. So bringing in Burrell is a good thing - show us what she knows really well, then bring in some others to do the same thing.

                  1. re: HarryK

                    So, if FN doesn't bring chefs in that is bad, but if they do that's bad also. I think many Chowhounds just enjoy the bashing for sport and nothing FN does in their eyes will ever be right (aside from Alton Brown, of course, because he's supposed to be oh so delightful). I am looking forward to the show and with the number of channels available, there isn't a soul in the world who is 'forced' to watch FN.

                    1. re: Janet from Richmond

                      "I think many Chowhounds just enjoy the bashing for sport and nothing FN does in their eyes will ever be right "
                      No, what TFN *used* to do was good. What they've become is a farce, which is why the bashing happens - they've made it easy to do so! Now they over-program with the same people over and over - the formula they've used for the past few years is a "bash 'em over the head with the same people and the same types of shows". That's just plain boring.

                      If they are moving back to having real chefs on the air with interesting techniques and recipes over people like over-exposed caricatures like Sandra Lee and Rachael Ray and Marc Summers, that would be wonderful! It might actually bring back the many who haven't watched in years because of the dreck that has been TFN.

                      Having read the recipes for the Pasta Bolognese and the Grilled Asparagus with Poached Egg, Parmigiano and Lemon Zest for tomorrow’s show, I’m VERY glad to see things like:

                      “Pasta water should ALWAYS be well salted. Salty as the ocean! TASTE IT! If your pasta water is under seasoned it doesn't matter how good your sauce is, your complete dish will always taste under seasoned.”

                      and “As the water evaporates you will gradually need to add more, about 2 to 3 cups at a time. Don't be shy about adding water during the cooking process, you can always cook it out. This is a game of reduce and add more water. This is where big rich flavors develop. If you try to add all the water in the beginning you will have boiled meat sauce rather than a rich, thick meaty sauce. Stir and TASTE frequently.”

                      and “To assemble the salad: Toss the arugula with half of the lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Gently toss the salad until coated with the lemon and olive oil. Add more lemon juice and oil if needed. TASTE IT! The salad should be dressed and flavorful but not soggy.”

                      Hooray – actually telling readers *why* they should salt pasta water (and how much) and to not drench salads – it might be a small thing, but it’s giving people reasons as to why to do things a certain way for the best flavors.

                      This seems to be a show worth watching, for me. If TFN steps AWAY from the over-marketing hype that has been their modus operandi for many years, that will be good. As Axalady says - stay away from changing Ann Burrell's image and dumbing her down to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Wow, what strikes me most is the suggestion that the food actually be tasted WHILE it's being prepared. I'd say that's one new and novel idea on the part of FN!

                        It's always amazed me to watch FN stars cook and never stop to taste, or even suggest it. Giada is an excellent example. She NEVER tastes her food while she's preparing it, then we get the big lip smacking performance at the end of each dish.

                        But then, that's really the difference between the shows isn't it? Some people want to watch FN for recipes, some of us want to see techniques and learn the *why* too (which is why I always loved Mario).

                        Good for Anne and good for FN! My hopes are really high about this show!

                  2. I have to say I really enjoyed watching this show! She's definitely a bit over-animated (if anyone was standing next to her in the kitchen, they'd have gotten walloped in the head with her waving arms! LOL), but I have a feeling that's her personality - BIG. Don't mind it so far. :-) Some favorite comments:

                    "Brown the crap out of that!" (referring to the pureed mirepoix - did she REALLY say that? LOL)

                    I thought I heard her say "ribbets" instead of rivets when talking about filling the poaching pot with water.

                    "It helps if you make that noise" when pouring the 3 Tbsp. of vinegar into the poaching water.

                    "When salting - WOW! That might seem a little excessivo!"

                    Saying "url" for oil.

                    "We have achieved crud-dom" when talking about the veggie/ground round fond in the bottom of the bolognese cooking pot.

                    I like that she explains WHY she's doing something. She lets the average viewer know WHY something tastes so good in a restaurant - high quality ingredients, and probably more salt than many average cooks would have ever thought (I myself was surprised at the handfuls of salt she threw into the bolognese pot).

                    I will definitely make a note to watch this show on Sunday mornings with my coffee and Sunday paper.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Darn I missed her show, but it'll run again, and I have to watch, I'm exactly like that when I cook. When you relate the process of what you're cooking to something tangible and something you actually have done or seen, the student will "get it" far faster than saying something like "knead the dough for 10 minutes until it has reached elasticity or springs back to the touch." I say "Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, the dough should be elastic and soft to the touch, like your ear lobe. Go on touch it!" That is how I learn and how I get the point across. I have a feeling she is going to be a hit and will actually be fun to watch. I also am happy to hear her say "taste it." What a concept!

                      1. re: chef chicklet

                        Wow just saw her show, WONDERFUL!

                        I love her personality, she is down to earth and funny. Great recipe for bolognese too!
                        Oh and I am huge fan of little lamps in the kitchen!!!

                    2. enjoyed it very much. she's instantly likable and is obviously a real chef.

                      1. I enjoyed her show as well. She will need to calm down those wavy arms before it gets tiresome, but for the first time in a LONG time, I actually LEARNED something on a cooking show. She knows her stuff and is a great teacher. Looking forward to her next show.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: bards4

                          I agree with the wavy arms and that I actually learned something. Will definitely tune in next week.

                          1. re: bards4

                            Her arms didn't bother me at all. I get the feeling this is just Ann. Many of my friends are animated in this way, its part of their personality, if she changed it she would not be coming across as her natural self. She is absolutely someone I not only would want to cook with, but hang with as well. I bet she is a terrific cook...I'm watching.

                            1. re: chef chicklet

                              Didn't bother me either... whether its really her or FN wants her to jazz up her personality and presentation... I am delighted to see an actual chef giving instruction in cooking technique

                          2. Great lesson, wonderful personality.

                            My only question: Have you ever used that much salt before in any recipe in all your life?

                            Perhaps the "handfuls" were very loose handfuls not holding so much - kind of the equivalent of BAM - more for show (to get across the mantra of TASTE). But if I used my large mitts as handfuls, I'd have to pass out diuretiucs to keep my guests alive... of course the food would be inedible. I understand the pasta water - but the sauce itself... well it would certainly force one to TASTE the sauce.

                            I love cruddom. It is truly a worthy new achievement - I swear there has to be some appropriate jakugo to go with this. If this isn't a pure truth, worthy of long, dedicated meditation, nothing is. (I also worship the motorcycle, thanks to Pirsig... but that's another story.)

                            I will tune in weekly to continue learning from this master.

                            16 Replies
                            1. re: applehome

                              salt that much? Yes. I taste the water, has to taste like the ocean. Mario taught me that. And yes yes, I always use more salt than the recipe calls for or let me say, people want to know about, and my dishes are always icomplimented.

                              Potatoes, eggs, tomatoes, those three especially need lots of salt to help bring out their best flavor.imho.

                              1. re: applehome

                                You know, I would be happy to try that much salt in the recipe if I actually KNEW how much salt it is. I have no idea how big Anne's hand is, so a "handful" is a meaningless measure. Putting the interwebs to use I checked out the recipe on the Food Network web site. In the list of ingredients it simply says "Kosher salt", no amount given. In the descriptive text, when salt is called for in browning the mirepoix, it simply says to "season generously with salt". Later, when describing simmering and reducing the sauce it says to "Stir and TASTE frequently. Season with salt, if needed (you probably will)."

                                I understand that seasoning is imprecise, but how about at least a range of quantities to work with. I guess there are some secrets of restaurant chefs which will stay that way.

                                1. re: kmcarr

                                  I'm the opposite. I hate it when someone tells me precisely how much of what spice to put in. Give me an idea then leave me alone. To each his own.

                                  1. re: kmcarr

                                    Does it give the pot size and how much water?If not that might be why not. I was bugged by that too,but what you have to try is to actually taste it, and when its right, the water is going to taste like sea water, you know how salty that is. Unless you might not of ever done that, could be,so I guess it would be salty, really salty to where it taste uneatable. Sorry I'm trying to be helpful here, it really isn't a secret, just add more salt taste, and when its like really salty (when you think-I'm sure I just ruined it), you have it. The pasta will take the flavor of the water on, and it really makes a difference in your dish. So then, why not just flavor the pasta when she makes it? Becuase it will toughen the pasta dough.

                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                      My problem wasn't with the pasta water - as Mario always says, it should be like the sea. My problem was with the sauce itself, which she threw what looked like an equal amount of salt into. I don't believe that I've ever seen Mario do that.

                                      1. re: applehome

                                        I think that's where she used the "Wow! That might seem excessivo!" comment. I've never seen that much salt go into a pasta sauce either.

                                        1. re: applehome

                                          >>> pasta water - as Mario always says, it should be like the sea.

                                          And that's why I use sea salt in my pasta water. In fact, I don't like the taste of it anywhere else for that particular salt.

                                          1. re: applehome

                                            I make a salsa, it is a copy of one of Rubio's salsa. You would not believe me if I told you how it is exactly like their salsa, and how good it is. It has exactly 4 ingredients, 2 are sugar and salt. Whoops add one more, water... It cooks down, and I add a little water, and it cooks down, and then like magic it is the very same sauce.

                                        2. re: kmcarr

                                          The problem is you can't give a range of quantities with out knowing exactly what kind of salt someone is using. A teaspoon of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt does not equal a teaspoon of Morton's. You'd need 2x as much DC as you would table salt and about 1.5x as much if you use Morton's. And then there are all the various sizes of sea salt you could be using.

                                          Of course you could get away from this by specifying everything by weight, but most people don't have an accurate scale that provides gram readings.

                                          It's better to season and taste, season and taste, season and taste. In the beginning you always will under season and be amazed at how much salt you end up putting in. It's also amazing to taste the differences in flavor as you go. Eventually you'll get the hang of it.

                                          1. re: vanillagorilla

                                            I disagree vanilla, a range will be just fine even if that range covers 2-3 fold which would adequately cover the differences between the brands.

                                            Chef Chicklet: The pasta water I have no problem with; if I want it "salty as the ocean" I'll add 35 grams of salt for every liter of water (or 4.5 oz (weight) for every gallon) which is 3.5%, the average salinity of the ocean. As Applehome already said the real problem is having no clue how much she was salting the sauce.

                                            If the part of the mission of her show is to teach (and I have to assume it is based on the title) then something a little less vague than "a generous amount" would go a long way. At the very least they could give additional information in the recipes printed on the web site.

                                            1. re: kmcarr

                                              I understand your point with the salt, I don't use a scale or a recipe for the water, but I merely taste the water. Stick spoon in and I usually get it with the second handful. Stir the pot of water, and then I taste. I think you can make things as difficult or as easy as you want to. Tasting the water is the easiest for me, and I would do the same with the sauce. Ann is really bringing the sauce down, concentrating it, adding water coioking it down several times, surely the salt is going to need watering (as she does). Ann and I might also like salt more than most people, so imho, you can't rely on measurements every single time.

                                              Gosh you would hate my recipes. Things like "cover the top of the pan with fresh ground pepper rather trying to measure it would drive away. My rules work great for me. I've taught a few people this way, but it seems to work better with the person right there beside me, rather than working through the TV screen, especially if the person has never tasted the real deal before.

                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                I made her bolognese sauce last night and it was one of the best things I've ever tasted. I did wish the recipe had the salt measurement for the sauce. I always salt my pasta water heavily, so that wasn't a question mark for me. I'm a good (home) cook, and have made lots of pasta sauces, and I have no fear of salt (in fact, I love it). But, if I'd had a measurement for the recipe, it would have been a nice guide. The issue with this was that I salted the mirepoix and then the beef, then added the tomato paste and wine and let it reduce and simmer, per instructions. The reduction made it much saltier than when I'd first tasted each layer. After simmering, though, the flavors married, and I didn't taste the salt alone, it just intensified other flavors. I didn't measure my salt while cooking, so I can't help anyone else this time. I'm just hoping I can duplicate last night's results again, because it was out-of-this-world good. Good enough that I went and Tivo'd her show, despite the fact that her "antics" in the first episode got on my nerves a little.

                                                It's funny, on anything I've made for years, or anything I learned to make by watching my mother, I just eyeball the seasoning. I seem to only need measurements when I'm making someone else's recipe for the first time. I think I might be slightly obsessed with reproducing in "the right way" at least once before I start tweaking it.

                                                1. re: stephanieh

                                                  "The reduction made it much saltier than when I'd first tasted each layer. After simmering, though, the flavors married, and I didn't taste the salt alone, it just intensified other flavors."
                                                  Thanks for that info, stephanieh! I'm looking forward to making this sauce when it gets a bit cooler, and this information will be helpful.

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    Glad I could help! I thought of one more thing regarding the saltiness... you taste and cook and get it perfect, then you garnish with that mound of parm at the end, and guess what... yep, it's even saltier.

                                                    I think that's why I want to measure next time, not at each step, but just how much salt I use in total. This time, I took it all the way to the brink of too-saltiness. I don't think I've ever had anything too salty to eat (for me). But, there is a point where the saltiness can become a distraction. In this particular dish, at least the way I made it last night, salt was a pretty key flavor component, in a way, just as prominent as the reduced wine flavor. After I make it a few more times, I might not even feel the need to measure.

                                                    When I do make it again and measure, I'll post how much I used. But, like you, I may wait for cooler weather. I only made it this time because I get all excited with anticipation of a new recipe I want to try. Then again, it was so good, I may crave it again in a week.

                                                    1. re: stephanieh

                                                      Thanks for your comments stephanieh. I'll keep them in mind when I try this dish.

                                                      1. re: stephanieh

                                                        I definitely think I'll start off more slowly in the liberal use of salt than Chef Burrell did in the show. Her handsful of salt just seemed way too much for my taste - but then, not having tasted her bolognese, I don't really know that. :-)

                                        3. I liked this show as well. I was getting a little motion sickness though from the arm waving.

                                          Did anyone else notice complete omission of pepper in her cooking? When she opened Centro Vinoteca I read a profile of her which included the tidbit that she hates to cook with pepper. I watched to see if she would use any and I didn't see it used at all in the bolognese or the asparagus dish. As pepper is such a ubiquitous seasoning I wonder how its absence alters the flavors of her food.

                                          Here is a link to the profile:


                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: kmcarr

                                            "I tell them there’s no pepper here. I don’t cook with it. My food, I think, is big. It’s aggressive, it’s aggressively seasoned, and it’s hearty."
                                            i think it's really interesting that she describes her food as aggressive, yet she doesn't use pepper. granted, there are tons of ingredients & seasonings out there that impart aggressive, bold flavors, but it's just bizarre to me that someone who likes *big* flavors doesn't use pepper.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              Well that's very interesting and helps to explain the salad's garnish. She topped the poached egg with a grating of parm, a drizzle of "url," some salt.....and I was waiting for the grinding of fresh, black pepper which never came. I'll be watching to see if this pepper aversion continues throughout the rest of the episodes.

                                              1. re: FlyerFan

                                                I think that was edgy,not every dish needs pepper, it's a habit for some of the chefs. good for her, bold stand.

                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                  yeah, i agree that it's a habit. i certainly use it happily but have not missed it when i ate at her restaurant - never thought "this lacks pepper". if the food is seasoned well, it doesn't need it.

                                                  i do think it's brave of her to stir the pot a bit and be honest about cooking - whether pepper or salt, or language - she's working within a formula of an FN show but trying to do it her way - i mean, it would be much easier to not be controversial, wouldn't it?

                                                  1. re: nuxvomica

                                                    If anything I prefer red pepper flakes either in the sauce cooking or afterwards with Italian food.

                                                    1. re: nuxvomica

                                                      whoops I think I'm missing your what you think is controversial. \
                                                      I believe it is her style not to be so technial, and all I can think of is Alton Brown. She is laying a format and showing us her style with that format which is relaxed. She is cooking and showing us that were allowed to go outside the lines. And along with that, she is teaching her "secrets" of a restaurant chef, but giving us a recipe to deviate from.
                                                      I can see that her way would not appeal to everyone, I like it. I see the creativity in it. Now if you are more of a baker, this style might absolutely drive a person nuts. Because absolutely, one must follow the basic recipe in order for it to work.
                                                      It is the first show, I think she's going to get some feedback...

                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                        re: controversial - i meant the "this is how much salt we use in a restaurant" and pre-poached eggs - things that people may not necessarily want to hear about restaurants. personally, i don't subscribe to it but you know how they say "ignorance is bliss"... she's telling people like it is, that's always a risk

                                                    2. re: chef chicklet

                                                      it's an interesting quirk. personally, i love pepper, but i tend to hold back when cooking for others if i'm not sure they love it as much as i do. my only concern would be that i might find the salt in her dishes overwhelming if she is very heavy-handed with it. i really don't like noticeably salty food.

                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                        i don't either, hate excess salt. but from my own experience cooking - it does take a good amount of salt to season things, esp. meat and some vegetables. i think it was from Lidia's show that i learned to season every ingredient that goes in the pot. and, really, it's all about tasting - season and taste, season and taste until you are happy with it.

                                                        i thought it was a good tip that if you under-salt your pasta water, it doesn't matter how good your sauce - both need to be seasoned well.

                                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                    At first read, its bizarre to me too.
                                                    But if you think about it... why would we want to put the particular flavor of pepper into every single dish? We dont do that with any other single spice or herb.
                                                    Salt in most savory dishes is reasonable, because its a flavor enhancer on the tongue. But, oher than the reason that every chef seems to do it, why do the same with pepper?

                                                2. They air this show early in the morning and no repeats the whole rest of the day?

                                                  Then another single episode on July 6th?

                                                  I think this is gonna be a really good show and I'm sad I missed the first one...

                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: Mild Bill

                                                    Thats another of my complaints. The rest of the week is re-runs of re-runs... I mean shows that have literally been played over 2 dozen times! But they never replay the new shows during the week! Why??

                                                    1. re: Mellicita

                                                      I know! Super frustrating!!!!

                                                      18 Iron Chef repeats in a week , whatever Alton Brown is shown at 8pm with be shown 2-3 more times by 4am, whatever Paula did on Monday will be on Wednesday and Saturday. Whatever Challenge that week will be on 12 times this and next week. But bring a new show on and it's on once and gone. But three years from now they'll repeat it 25 times a week.

                                                      1. re: HarryK

                                                        add me to the frustrated list, because i missed it as well, and i always love seeing her on ICA. i was really looking forward this, and of course i didn't worry about setting the DVR because i *assumed* FN would replay it to death the way they do with every other show.

                                                        maybe it'll be available somewhere online...?

                                                        1. re: HarryK

                                                          I am still amazed that people don't have Tivo or DVR....best invention since the birth control pill. We have 4 Tivos for two people and it is very rare for either of us to watch something in real time. Dh loves it for sports...he can go play golf and come home and catch up with real time by the end of the game or match.

                                                          1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                            Plus the ease of skipping over ads... priceless!

                                                            1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                              I had mine set up fine, then a "genius" pain the ass friend of mine said I was messed up not having S-something setup and using the red wires instead of the coaxil ... I haven't been able to get things back since he was here and screwed it all up. Grrrr.

                                                      1. I caught this show by accident, and really enjoyed it -- I found her the right blend of entertaining and educational, and it made me go want to make everything that she made (I made poached eggs just after watching her show, actually).

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: JasmineG

                                                          Actually, I did the whole asparagus/poached egg/parmesan thing for dinner. It was great! I also went to the Food Network website and sent a comment that I really enjoyed the show and wished they would move it to prime time and get rid of the silly competitions and contests. Maybe if we all did that, they would get the message.

                                                        2. Allstonian and I saw this show tonight, and...honestly, if we didn't already really like Anne from her appearances on Iron Chef America, we would never watch it again. The dishes looked great -- I love grilled asparagus, with and without poached eggs on top -- but honestly, she was just getting on my damn nerves real quick, between the arm waving and the Cookie Monster voice and the bad Molly Shannon impersonation and the whole concept that BIGG!!!!!!! FLAVORZ!!!!!!!!!! equals one and a half cups of salt per serving and I swear to god, if that woman says "earl" one more time, somebody needs to lock her in the walk-in freezer for a time out.

                                                          I have never really understood the hate that some people have for FN personalities, because it's quite easy to turn the channel if someone annoying is on your TV, but now I kinda have a clue. I'm pulling for her, because I do like her in other contexts, and as I said the food looks great, but...jeez, dial it back about a thousand.

                                                          Oh, one more thing. You know, we KNOW the word "fond." It's okay. You can say that. You don't have to say "crud" all the time. It's fond. You know that, we know that. Stop talking down to us. kthxbai

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                            I'm with you on this one Barmy. It wasn't a trainwreck, but there's nothing to bring me back for more either. My take is that she is taking the sensabilities and techniques of Mario and trying to repackage them in a hip Guy Fieri-type style. She kind of pulls it off, but it's not really my cup of tea. Ultimately, I think her success or failure will depend on the quality and variety of the dishes that she chooses to present each week. The Bolognese and Grilled Asparagus were well within her comfort zone, which is understandable for her first show. But if she tries to stick to the same old Italian stuff we have seen Mario, Lidia and even Todd English make the same way about a thousand times before I don't think she will be around for very long. I hope she lives up to the title of the show and really mixes things up a bit.Show us all types and styles of food and how a professional chef would treat those ingredients in a restaurant setting. Show us how you bake a potato or cook a burger when you are at home. Show me how to make fresh pasta on the weekend for dinner during the week. Show me how to store it without drying up or clumping up in one huge ball. If you show me something new, I'll watch. If you just show me rehashes of stuff Mario has already done, I probably won't.

                                                            1. re: DDR4040

                                                              Well, I just had a Monday morning cup of coffee with my new friend Anne (the magic of TIVO) and I like her! She seemed real enough and comfortable about her cooking. The arms were a bit much, but the first time you meet anyone their habits are in the forefront. I figure I'll get used to it, and she may calm it down over time. She seemed a bit nervous to me with the banter, but that'll pass too. The show is called "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef", and by the way a lot of us were surprised at her use of salt in the Bolognese, the show lived up to it's name! Did I learn anything? Yes. Did I see things I already know? Yes. I'll say this, I'd much rather spend time with Anne than Nigella or Rachael or Giada or Paula. I wish her a lot of luck with the show.

                                                              1. re: DDR4040

                                                                Yeah, her recipe was exactly the same as Mario's published one, except it didn't use veal or pork or pancetta or milk or white wine. Wait a second...

                                                                Well, it was nice for me to see a simplified version of the Bolognese sauce. As a poor cook, I'd definitely give it a try. Most recipes I'd seen previously, including Lidia's and Mario's and Marcella Hazan's do not call for the caramelization of the mirepoix and extent of Maillard reaction of the meat that Anne did, so from my perspective, it wasn't a rehash or the same old stuff. I knew about the vinegar for the poached egg, but it was nice to be reminded of it. I also appreciated the use of the pasta water near the end, which I learned about from reading "Heat."

                                                                You could go here (http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/episo...) to see what's coming up.

                                                                Ann Burrell's manner of slightly off-kilter emphasis and gesturing while talking reminded my wife and me of Mia Michaels, who is one of the choreographers on So You Think You Can Dance.

                                                            2. Overall I was pleased with this. I think highly of her, like watching on IC and have eaten in her restaurant, where there is an open section and you can watch her cook. So I would say she was being basically herself, but just amped up a bit. I am hoping as she goes along, she will calm down a bit and be able to balance the over excitement, because I liked a lot of what she said.
                                                              I make both those dishes all the time, yet I still found it educational to see what she said and how she did things. Furthermore, as someone in a restaurant kitchen alot, I found it fun that she was honest about the salt use, the holding of the poached eggs. I think that people only kind of want to know that sort of thing about their restaurants, so I hope that doesn't end up shooting herself in the foot.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: dagoose

                                                                And I've never made bolognese sauce, but will after watching her do it. While I think I'm a pretty good cook, I sometimes just need to see it before I attempt something. This is just one of those time-consuming dishes, like risotto, that requires you to be present for an occasional stir or an addition of water. So I make it when I have time. And it's a bit cooler out so I'm not heating up the apartment. :-)

                                                              2. I hadn't heard of this show until I read this post last week. Why are they being so quiet about it.

                                                                I was thrilled to see someone who actually knows what they are doing and why on the food network. I was equally thrilled to see someone prepare a dish that takes more than 30 minutes.

                                                                I think they need to support it and publicize the show more and let the world know it exists.

                                                                My only negative was the arm thing. It was a bit much for me.


                                                                1. Finally had a change to watch it last night due to the beauty that is Tivo and man, that was awkward. I like Ann on ICA and was looking forward to this. Love the set, love the recipes, but the hand flaying, voice inflections and the lack of some pertinent information (if she said how long to poach the eggs I missed it as well as how long it takes to warm them back up). I did laugh at the "Thank you for coming" bowl. And I learned that when in doubt, add a handful of salt and a lot of olive oil.

                                                                  I'll give it the three show shot on my season pass as the bolognese did look great.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                    All of the pertinent information is on the FN site. I guess they figure that most people print out the recipes to follow them (I do). I've noticed other FN stars sometimes miss giving ingredient amounts/cooking times, or if they did I missed it.


                                                                  2. Now that I've finally caught one -- her second episode -- eh, all you complainers about wavying arms and all ... you're nutty! :)

                                                                    You know, some folks complain about people all being pressed out of the same mold. Then you get someone who's an individual -- Burrell, Neelys -- and it's pick on the quirks and small mannerisms and make a mountain out of an ant hill time. Phewy!

                                                                    I'm just sooo happy to see a new and real chef on there, that Anne could samba, run around with alumunium foil on her head and toss knives into the ceiling for all I care. It's such a welcome pleasure to see and hear how to make genuine cooking from a pro!

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: HarryK

                                                                      Harry - I watched the 2nd ep as well - she wasn't anywhere near as over-the-top as she was in Ep. 1. Although seeing her samba, with aluminum foil on her head while juggling knives could be interesting. ;-)

                                                                      But I do have to say that her saying "erl" for oil is starting to bug me.

                                                                      1. re: HarryK

                                                                        I was VERY happy with the 2nd episode. It made me want to rush out and buy a leg of lamb!

                                                                        I could never bring myself to use that much salt, but I can deal with that! :)

                                                                        1. re: HarryK

                                                                          Yeah, she was far, far more subdued on this show, and that made it much easier to watch. She still has affectations that bug me, though. She can stop saying "earl," like, yesterday. It's not cute, it's not folksy, it's a dumb affectation that makes her sound like a moron. However, she only launched into Cookie Monster voice once, so that was good.

                                                                          Man, that crisp topping looked revolting. Why take nice crunchy things like oats and almonds and then proceed to pulse them all into one indistinguishable mass? Those finished crisps looked like they were topped with baked vomit.

                                                                          1. re: HarryK

                                                                            OH MAN do I wish they had a chef run around with aluminum foil on their heads and toss knives into the ceiling!

                                                                            1. re: Icantread

                                                                              Alton's friend on the Good Eats pot roast episode had this thing about foil!

                                                                          2. I missed the first show but caught and thoroughly enjoyed the second...
                                                                            The leg of lamb episode...

                                                                            If they'd give her the hour that she so blatantly deserves she could slow it down a bit and bring the whole thing into a rare & special focus...

                                                                            Her skills, comfort, personality, food passion, experience, teaching, & humor are just what the doctor ordered...

                                                                            Other than when I simply look down, I can't remember when I've seen such sweet confident knifework...

                                                                            Since I started listening for it, I've always had an aversion to all the TV cooks who add
                                                                            'a little bit' of salt, or of this or that...
                                                                            "a little bit", "a little bit"----- drives me crazy...

                                                                            I laughed outloud when she applied "big salt" to the lamb!

                                                                            But she needs a full hour to slow the pace...
                                                                            She is cool---- and cool shouldn't be rushed...
                                                                            That tweak, and I think we'll have a classic on our hands...

                                                                            Smack that lamb-roast!

                                                                            ---- and thanks for informatively tieing it up properly, not in 7 individually tied loops like Thumbs Lagasse do it...

                                                                            1. I watched her 2nd show this morning and enjoyed it. After reading through this thread a big take away for me is that Ann's show may specifically be for more experienced cooks while some other FN shows are most definitely for less experienced cooks. This many be FN trying to find some balance in their lineup. Ann moves very quickly (I loved her energy though) and skips over some of the little details to focus on things those of us who don't cook in restaurants might not know. For example, had we watched Rachel, Giada, or even Alton open up a boneless leg of lamb, a good 2 or 3 minutes of the show would have been dedicated to the technique. Ann blew right through that part of the prep and instead focused on really massaging the herbs and garlic into the lamb and on her specific tying technique. She also didn't spend much time on how she cleaned or chopped her vegetables, focusing instead on why she put a whole bottle of wine into her vegetables and how to use the lamb bones as a rack (fascinating). Overall she seems to really be focusing on things you wouldn't learn in another show and because of that I learned new things today.

                                                                              I do think novice cooks may have a hard time following the show because it moves so fast. They may also run into some safety issues that Ann, as a seasoned cook, doesn't necessarily worry about. I cringed the whole time she was running the garlic over the mandolin without a finger guard, and I'm not sure putting raw lamb hands into the big vat of salt was wholly sanitary, but I've been doing this cooking thing for a while so I know how to address both of those in my own kitchen.

                                                                              I will watch her show again and try her recipes, and hope that this is the beginning of FN expanding their offerings to include seasoned chefs.

                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                              1. re: everydayfoodie

                                                                                I too noticed the "sanitation" issues, specifically the lamby hand going into the salt and the fact that she did not change or clean her cutting board between the lamb prep and the veg prep. Of course she then plops the whole, raw lamb roast on top of the veg for cooking so does it matter that she prepped the veg on the same cutting board as the lamb? Personally neither of these would have stopped me from eating a big plate of that lamb and veg (and possibly seconds) but I would bet that had a health inspector witnessed her doing that in the kitchen of Centro Vinoteca she would have been written up. Perhaps this was one secret of a restaurant chef which should have stayed secret.

                                                                                1. re: applehome

                                                                                  Well, I missed the post that you're replying to applehome, but one thing I did notice that was that the small dish of salt she was using was obviously poured from another container. I thought the same thing - lamby hands in the salt - but if she's poured the salt from a larger container (i.e. box of salt) into a smaller mise en place dish, with the specific idea that only that salt is going to be used for the lamb and/or vegetables roasting underneath the lamb - I have absolutely no issue with it.

                                                                                  I agree with MildBill and everydayfoodie - expand her show to an hour so she can give more details as to how/why she does things. Adding a whole bottle of wine to develop "big flavors"; the method in which she was tying up the roast - that was helpful to me. I'm all thumbs when it comes to that (I definitely don't do it often enough) so watching her definitely helped.

                                                                                  Make it an hour - make it even more informative!

                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                    I think it either needs to be an hour of just focus on one dish per episode. So much of her show is technique-based and harder to just fly through.

                                                                                    1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                      I don't know if it needs to be just one dish depending on the detail given, but I guess that also depends on what she's cooking and what the viewer is comfortable making already.

                                                                                      I liked the bolognese *and* the asparagus/poached egg starter and did feel I got a lot from the first show. The peach crisp in this lamb episode, however, could have been left out without any great loss (IMO). But that's because I think I make a very good peach crisp (and a good leg of lamb as well) as I've made both of them quite often.

                                                                                      But I see what she's doing - making a show about a FULL meal. Sometimes with a dessert, sometimes not. Next week is roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, and a beet salad; then striped bass with al dente veggies and a Meyer lemon tart; and finally, grilled pork chops with polenta (or grits for you <g>) and sauteed greens.

                                                                                      So sometimes we get a dessert when it's a one-dish meal, like the lamb, and sometimes not when she has other dishes to make.

                                                                                      I still would like an hour-long show to focus on everything in these episodes instead of the half hour. Just that more detail could be helpful to all who watch.

                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                        >>> I still would like an hour-long show to focus on everything in these episodes instead of the half hour. Just that more detail could be helpful to all who watch.

                                                                                        What do you think this is? PBS? :-)

                                                                                        1. re: HarryK

                                                                                          What do you think this is? PBS? :-)
                                                                                          :::::rubbing the red mark on my forehead from slapping it::::::

                                                                                          Duh. ;-)

                                                                                  2. re: kmcarr

                                                                                    I wouldn't worry too much about contaminating the salt container with raw meat. Salt will kill just about about any pathogen very well. That's why salt cured meat is edible even raw. I can't think of anything that could live in a salt container.

                                                                                  3. re: everydayfoodie

                                                                                    I'm a middle of the road cook (I'm much better at eating than cooking, but enjoy watching expert chefs for entertainment even if it's something I'd never attempt myself) and her bolognese was very doable(and is on my to-try list).....the lamb (for me) not so much, but I did get good ideas. I do think she is geared towards the expert cook and those who are working their way up.

                                                                                    And I think most tv personalities (just like each of us) have their annoying quirks...some quirks just bother each of us more than others...human nature and all of that.

                                                                                    1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                      Janet, funny, i was just thinking that i am not an expert cook by any stretch of imagination but i am an expert eater, lol, when i got to your post. this show is making me more interested in cooking. even that lamb dish looked doable for someone like me - not a ton of experience cooking elaborate meals (who has the time?!) but it didn't seem that much work and the results were pretty spectacular. she already got me to poach eggs - so easy and somehow it always seemed like a lot of skill was involved... i know that once it gets colder, i'll be definitely trying the bolognese. who knows, next i might try the lamb if i'm feeding a group of people... she doesn't have a ton of time in the current format to get into details but the recipes on FN's website have all the info needed, including cooking time. i'd love to see a longer show or just focus on one dish but with more details.

                                                                                  4. Did not even realize there was such a thing - cannot wait to see it in Canada! We'll probably get it here in about 2012.

                                                                                    1. A Reuters article about 'Chef Burrell shares restaurant secrets in TV show'


                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                        Thanks for the article Paulj. I chuckled at her statement about bacon - 'bacon always makes it better.' I couldn't agree more - no wonder I like her so much!!

                                                                                      2. I watched the second episode and I have to say that it was fairly interesting. I agree with others who've mentioned the annoyance of the "url", but I can live with that. What annoys me quite a bit more is the continued use of the FoodTV formula of doing "the taste" at the end of the dish. Why?!? Just once I would like to see a FoodTV chef taste the dish and say "well... I guess I oversalted it just a bit..." or "hmm, maybe you shouldn't actually make it quite this way". Otherwise, it's pointless. Does any viewer really expect a cook to make something on their own show that they believe is anything less than stellar? Ann Burrell does the taste just as poorly as the worst of the FoodTV chefs, jumping back and moaning even before the food could have possibly had a chance to actually hit her tongue. This really ruins the end of the show for me...

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                          I agree the tasting bit at the end of the show was way overdone. You're right, she didn't even have time to swallow the food before she jumped back and proclaimed it yummy. Ah well. I guess if FN was offering me a show and potential for millions of $$ I'd do a bit of lip smacking at the end of my show too.

                                                                                          The ceremonial "tasting" has got to be one of the most ridiculous things ever. I remember Bill Maher doing a bit on it in his New Rules segment last year. "New Rule: The women of the Food Network have to stop faking orgasms when they taste their food. Half of that programming consists of cute, spunky women putting things in their mouth and giving us their "Oh" face..."

                                                                                          And, the dishes are NEVER over salted because the recipes are tested time and time and time again so that they are perfect.

                                                                                          I remember FN did a behind the scenes look at some of their shows a season or two ago. I particularly remember the Giada episode because absolutely nothing was left to chance. NOTHING. She had someone who shopped for the most perfect beautiful produce, and someone to pick out the dishes and pots she'd use. Video of her preparing the recipe are shot. Then the video is reviewed and if something isn't right, the video is re shot. EVERYTHING was so heavily choreographed it was easy to understand why she had such a hard time getting used to live TV.

                                                                                          My take is that the majority of shows on FN are not cooking shows, they're recipe shows.

                                                                                          I have learned cooking techniques from Anne in both episodes of her show. I liked the idea of cooking the lamb on top of the bones, and turning the roast over mid-cooking. New ideas that will add a ton of flavor to the dish. This is the first time I've seen these suggestions. I cook lamb often and I definitely plan to try them.

                                                                                          I have to admit to being a tad bit disappointed when she brought out the rosemary and garlic as I'm always looking for new flavors to add to lamb, but she was cooking a classic dish.

                                                                                          Her recipe for lamb shanks looks like a winner: http://www.nysun.com/food-drink/recip...

                                                                                          Also, she is far from the first FN chef to perform a sanitation faux pas. There have been lots of threads about that in the past.

                                                                                          1. re: Axalady

                                                                                            I loved the cooking it on top of the bones idea! She is great at giving new techniques.

                                                                                        2. I can't decide whether I like her or not. I do think she uses WAY too much salt. And some of her mannerisms are annoying. But she does give useful information. I'll watch again.

                                                                                          1. I just looked at her recipes for the show that airs tomorrow on the Web site. Her mashed potatoes have two pounds of potatoes, a stick of butter and a cup and a half of cream. Yikes! Apparently the No. 1 secret of a restaurant chef is to load every serving with enough fat and salt to choke a horse. Still, I will watch her. She seems like a genuine character. I liked when she said in last week's episode that there's just a lot of waste with artichokes. "Accept it and move on."

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: NYCkaren

                                                                                              >> "Apparently the No. 1 secret of a restaurant chef is to load every serving with enough fat and salt to choke a horse." <<

                                                                                              isn't this a generally accepted fact about restaurant food, though? i remember hearing bourdain talk about how much butter and sugar there is even in restaurant vegetables, hence why they taste so good.

                                                                                              1. re: beelzebozo

                                                                                                I agree. I'm glad to find out restaurants' dirty secret is they use a lot of butter. I'd be more mortified if she said "now add a cup of partially hydrogenated corn oil". At least what she's making is real.

                                                                                                There are cooking shows that show people how to make foods low cal, low carb, and low fat. I don't watch those. I watch the ones that show me how to make something yummy. Then, if I want to alter something a little at home to make it just a little more healthy, I have that option.

                                                                                                1. re: stephanieh

                                                                                                  exactly, i watch more for inspiration than to follow exactly. i'm not a creamy mashed potatoes person so i usually make more rustic crushed potatoes but i did like the-cook-your-potatoes-with-garlic tip and definitely will try it next time. and the chicken looked so scrumptious.

                                                                                                  did anyone notice how gentle with salt she was when seasoning the salad?

                                                                                                  1. re: nuxvomica

                                                                                                    Yeah. I already do chicken almost exactly like this anyway - but I'm roasting me some beets soon and I'm definitely putting a couple of cloves of garlic in my next mashed.

                                                                                            2. I like this woman, she reminds me of the people I have worked with in several kitchens, her show is informative and accurate and a good watch!

                                                                                              1. I send in a big tablespoon upside down to separate the skin from the meat...
                                                                                                Hands and fingers often rip the skin...

                                                                                                Then I scoop the seasoning paste onto the tablespoon and send it back in--- pushing the skin from the outside to distribute the herby goodness...

                                                                                                Quick and easy...

                                                                                                1. I was looking for a place to blog my opinion because I am very offended by Anne Burrel's (secrets of a restaurant chef) sanitary practices. While sometimes FN chefs may do some eyebrow raising sanitary no nos, she is egregious with hers. I simply cannot watch her. One day after much anticipation to watch her show, I tuned in to see her seasoning raw meat, taking the same hand and puting it in a dish of salt, thus contaminating it for her later dishes (which she used again) Not washing her hands, then cutting bread, simply wiping the cutting board after the raw meat dripping and putting raw veggies to chop, all without washing her hands! She is gross. I hate to be mean, but she really infuriated me. She had a lot more offenses on that episode, I just don't remember (probably tried to block out of my memory). She double dips, and is just all around disgusting with those habits, and seems to think nothing of it. I'm sorry, she needs a good talking to, I cannot watch her. Does anybody else see this about her or am I crazy? Food network, please school this woman, she is very offensively unsanitary in the kitchen!!!

                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: ladyluvsfood

                                                                                                    My favourite Anne Burrel moment is when she cracked an egg and went to throw the shells in her garbage bowl, but accidentally threw them into the sugar pot and just pretended nothing happened.

                                                                                                    1. re: ladyluvsfood

                                                                                                      I have to say that on the epidoses I have seen, she seems to be very viligent about cross contamination and hand washing. I have seen the hand in the salt, but it really didn't make me notice. Now I will be watching for it.

                                                                                                      1. re: ladyluvsfood

                                                                                                        You might have been watching her earlier episodes. Her comments about cross contamination and frequent handwashing with soap on the current 2010 shows seem reflect these comments have been heard.

                                                                                                        1. re: ladyluvsfood

                                                                                                          You know that salt is antiseptic, right?

                                                                                                          1. re: jlbwendt

                                                                                                            I suspected the same thing and Googled around a bit. It does appear that salt kills bacteria, but I can't find a decisive reference stating how quickly that would occur. Also, on the show Anne Burrell rarely--if ever?--uses the salt in the bowl in raw applications. I'm pretty sure that's kosher salt, not really ideal for finishing any dish as far as I know. Given both of these I would say that cross contamination via the salt is not a big concern.

                                                                                                          2. re: ladyluvsfood

                                                                                                            The grunting, the use of words like crap and crud and scum, and the repetitious snorting of every fragrant item, I have a REAL hard time---- although I agree she makes good stuff...

                                                                                                            This past Saturday she crushed 3 cloves of garlic and snorted each one separately before tossing them into the pot...
                                                                                                            I know her nose got wet!

                                                                                                            I just wish she'd tone it down...
                                                                                                            Everything she says and does, she says and does 37 times in each episode...
                                                                                                            She has personality and she's talented---- just dial it down some...

                                                                                                          3. I enjoy her shows, she demonstrates excellent cooking techniques, makes her recipes look easy to do and explains everything very well. She's also on every afternoon during the week, I wish FN would have more like her. BTW - I like her do!

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: cstr

                                                                                                              I also enjoy the shows quite a bit, although I still feel that she over-salts everything. I've been quite a bit more aggressive with salt since I started watching her show and for the first time ever I produced a dish that was way too salty to eat. Looks like I need to find a bit of balance--somewhere between her exuberance and the restrained salt levels you see if you read Cook's Illustrated (I made a potato salad this weekend using one of the Cook's recipes and it called for 1/4 tsp of salt for 3 lbs of potatoes!)

                                                                                                            2. I just wish she'd wear clothes that fit her.

                                                                                                              1. Oh yeah, she 'double dips'. She current show with Irvine isn't too bad if you can stomach Irvine. It was funny to watch her go after one of the contestants for 'double dipping'. LOL

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                  current show? I thought Bobby Flay was cohost on this year's Worst Cooks.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                    That was last season :) And yes, I watched it on the FN website, and the double dipping part was pretty funny!