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Ask Aida--Why so quiet?


I usually lurk and enjoy reading the posts, plus I only saw the first episode of Ask Aida, but are people watching this show? I was curious to hear others' opinions since I keep missing it. There were a few initial posts after the first show but nowhere near the posts received about Big Daddy, which debuted the same weekend. Hmmm.

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  1. Haven't watched it yet. Been to consumed by the Olympics....

    1. Don't really have time to watch TV; too busy out chowhounding.

      1. I think a great many if not most posters no longer watch FN.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Withnail42

          Looking at all the recent posts (just off the top of my head) on Big Daddy's House, Anne Burrell's and Ted Allen's new shows, Drive-in, Dives and whatever, it appears that LOTS of posters are still watching FN. Even if some have given up on FN, some might be drawn back to give Aida's show a peek. I just find it odd that there is no recent chatter on Ask Aida.

          1. re: dmjordan

            Summer lull. Vacations. Yadda yadda.

          2. re: Withnail42

            "I think a great many if not most posters no longer watch FN."

            I agree, at least for myself.

            It's summer... going out and enjoying the weather while it's still good.

            The Olympics.

            Also, the only show I used watch regularly is Good Eats and it seem to be in reruns, plus FN moved the show from its 7:30 pm time slot to I don't know when.

            Finally, I'm starting to mistrust any new show on FN.

          3. I've watched it 1 1/2 times and didn't care for it at all. She made a pie last week and both the crust and finished product looked sloppy and amateurish. For the Q&A section, I thought her answers were too general and not helpful. Overall, I was very disappointed in the show and will probably not watch again.

            14 Replies
            1. re: chickster

              Have to say I agree with chickster. I'd had higher hopes, especially with the CHOW connection, but the show is very amateurish and the laptop guy is annoying.

              1. re: HillJ

                Ditto - just caught an episode of it. My sense is that it's geared to a much younger audience (I'm 41).

                1. re: MMRuth

                  There must be some rule in the food media that everything has to be geared to 20-somethings who don't know one end of a spatula from another. Or if they do, they're so proud of themselves for figuring it out that they eagerly pass on their fabulous tips to others. Dog knows there's enough of that silliness on Chow.com, so I wouldn't expect anything better from a Chow.com tie-in.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    Or, you can look at it simply as, who would stand to gain the most from an instructional cooking show? Someone who's been cooking for themselves for 40 years, or a 20-something who doesn't know the flat end from the pokey end of a spatula? We all have to start somewhere.

                    1. re: ajs228

                      aj, point taken.

                      I have two 20+ year olds who are never far from an internet connection, laptop or blog but they don't watch FN. Knowing a demographic thru & thru is important in programming of any kind. The tech guru and Aida's approach might appeal but the programming doesn't.

                      I think the show appeals to children (I have two younger kids) who are in the kitchen with mom, learning to cook and trying new foods. Let's say btwn 9-14 years of age.

                      In my day mom pulled out the cookbook, the recipe cards, etc. today many kitchens have a tv/cable set up in the kitchen. It's a family hub of food excitement. My 14 year old loved Aida.

                      Never to young or old to learn something.

                    2. re: Ruth Lafler

                      >>> There must be some rule in the food media that everything has to be geared to 20-somethings

                      Interesting. And here I was thinking this is the first 20-something food show in years. I mean Giada, Elle Kruger Rachel are in their thirties. Flay, Batali and the rest are in their 40s. Puck is in his 60s (at least?).

                      I have no idea what other food shows are geared to the 20-somethings on any channel now. Which other ones are there?

                      1. re: HarryK

                        I think she meant geared towards audiences in their 20's not the hosts.

                  2. re: HillJ


                    In fairness to Noah, the Ask Aida tech guru, his bio is not too shabby.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      My objection wasn't to him personally, fwiw, but for the show having that "role" at all - I didn't find it added much to the show. I much more enjoyed, for example, Sara Moulton fielding phone calls directly from people watching (actually called in once).

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        MMR, I feel the same way and stand by my original objections to the flow of the show. I added Noah's bio out of fairness to creds earned by a professional adding more balance to my original post.

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          Ok, let's take the guy out of the equation. So, Aida is supposed to every two minutes say, speaking of butter, I recall verbatim a butter question from so-and-so from nebraska who asked. And two minutes later, flour, I recall a flour question from Timmy in Nova Scotia. Wait while this burns I have a video to show you sent in.

                          Naw ... sorry, I don't see how that would ever work. I think the Noah guy fielding things as they come us is unique and works very well with the premise.

                          1. re: HarryK

                            I guess I'm just not so into the interactive thing generally, though, as I said, the live call ins to Sara Moulton's show seemed to work well.

                            1. re: MMRuth

                              I agree - I like Aida but can do without Noah. I wonder if the FN felt she was too weak for some reason and needed a side kick. On the FN website he did a bit about composting the week's waste but it was more about Noah than composting. Couldn't take it and closed it down after a minute or two.

                              1. re: MMRuth

                                That was what originally what got me interested in TVFN, no question was too obvious or too obscure

                    2. I saw how young she was and figured I wanted to ask someone a bit older and more seasoned. Turned it off.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: melly

                        It seems to be geared towards a mainstream audience that doesn't know much about cooking (surprise, surprise)... I had high hopes as well, but probably won't be tuning in again.

                        1. re: melly

                          That's a bit unfair without giving it a watch. I do find the laptop guy kind of annoying, though.

                          1. re: ajs228

                            I agree. I haven't seen that show, but one shouldn't discount somebody automatically just because they're on the younger side. Some of the best chefs got their start at an early age and probably know more than people twice their age. Age is just a number.

                        2. I caught 5 minutes of it by accident and it wasn't bad! The laptop guy is super annoying... I think he should be made to gchat with at least two other people while taping so that his "im surfing the internet, and fielding all these questions-at the same time I pick the most representative one for Aida" gig will look more realistic.

                          Other than that she was good. Wayyyyy better than most of the other programming! Really, the fact that FN is doing a show that is not about how Cap't Crunch is made is reason enough to support it!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: AnneBird

                            AnneB, I enjoyed your point about "how Cap't Crunch is made" - so true!
                            However, (imo) it's the laptop/viewer questions that interrupt the 30 min format. By the time two or three questions are dealt with there is no time for Aida to prepare a complete recipe flawlessly.

                            Squeezing in helpful tips, which is the whole point of the show, is awkward visually. Btwn commercial breaks and viewer questions, how many mins. are actually left watching Aida?

                          2. I watched and afterwards thought eh...nah, nothing earth shattering or new. She is quick and witty and will probably appeal to a certain dempraphic.
                            But for me, I felt she is just another slotted fn celebrity. I would think she needs to step up her game and maybe tone down the sarcasm and over confident attitude. I rate it a 3 with 10 the highest. Will I watch it? nope.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: chef chicklet

                              I also agree with Chef Chicklet. And for some reason, I was annoyed by her superfluous use of the word "off", i.e. poach "off" eggs....

                              1. re: Marge

                                The "off" reference is actually used in professional kitchens fairly regularly.

                                1. re: jlbwendt

                                  Really, in reference to poaching eggs? Whatever....in any event, her show is far from a day in the life of a professional kitchen, and I found the phrase, which I never heard before, distracting.

                                  1. re: Marge

                                    In reference to a lot of things....cook off, poach off, grill off, sear off, fry off...as in: "Hey, would you sear off those 500 portions of salmon for me?"

                                    I don't doubt it could be annoying, but it's nothing new.

                                  2. re: jlbwendt

                                    But she is not talking to the kitchen, that is the annoying part, she is trying to be informative, cute or whatever, it comes off as bratty.

                                2. re: chef chicklet

                                  It is a cute concept for a show but I think Aida needs a little more on-camera training, especially in her intonation and phrasing. The good news is that you can improve quickly once you're comfortable on the air. I'll check back in a few more episodes.

                                3. I agree with Chef Chicklet.

                                  The show has some basic advice, and Aida is a pretty girl, but there is nothing special or new for the majority of chowhounders to learn from her show. Unless you are a completely inexperienced cook, the tips are really boring and the recipes are nothing special. None of the dishes leave your mouth watering and make you eager to try the recipes.

                                  1. Her Banana Cream Pie just plain did not look good. On the other hand, she looked great- I'd watch her over many of the other food network hacks just for the eye candy factor.

                                    Also, in looking at her bio, it seems that she has a connection to chow.com...

                                    1. well, while on the subject of FN...anybody notice the affirmative action deal going on w/ the network?

                                      anyways, nothing on the network outside of iron chef (sometimes) and alton brown stuff has any type of substance...kinda like marshmellows....

                                      1. Haven't watched it.

                                        I lost interest in Aida's chow postings when she didn't seem to know the difference between a strata and a trifle ( http://www.chow.com/recipes/10714 ). Turns out she *does* know, but decided to "market" a trifle by calling it a strata. Food Network has enough culinary dumbing down - it doesn't need any more.


                                        1. Today's Ask Aida started out with sweet potatoe fries and fried fish fillets preparation while Noah opened an email from a TX viewer asking what to do with 8 quarts of used cooking oil. While Aida's at the stove frying away, Noah calls the TX viewer to have this question answered "on air." The audio was a bit muffled but I could swear the gal from TX asked if she should toss the oil down the sink, while Aida suggested the oil be recycled at the local eco-fuel station....at that point I changed the channel.

                                          Sorry, even my 10 year old knows how to properly handle used oil. Done watching AA.

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            I watched it too, but I thought the exact opposite! I thought it was awesome and totally unlike a FN thing to do to let Aida respond so candidly to the whole "what do I do with the 8 GALLONS of oil" other than "thrown it down the drain"?!

                                            HillJ, I was also shocked that someone was that...un-educated? Ugh. Aida got herself a few points in my book for handling it so well! I can think of a few things to call someone who thinks its "cute" that she didn't know how to get rid of that much oil!

                                            1. re: AnneBird

                                              you know i cook fairly often and bake all the time but i NEVER fry anything so disposing of oil would be a question for me and i post here often. i mean i wouldn't think to toss it down the drain but really i don't think asking in general what to do is that weird. if you learn to cook in a health conscious world you often just don't fry things. it may make the show "not for you" but i think a place to ask basic to moderate cooking questions is great. most of the world - and most of food network viewers - are not hard core foodies.

                                              1. re: AMFM

                                                AMFM, I'm still not sure who FN viewers are but they must run the gamut based on the number of CH FN discussions.

                                              2. re: AnneBird

                                                AnneB, I guess part of the reason I didn't find it "awesome" was because the caller was from TX and Aida referred to what Californians "might do" with 8 quarts of oil...if Aida wasn't sure what to do in TX, I think it was a guess at best. With households tuning in I think FN should have fact-checked possible replies. If Aida is approaching questions by callers/emails without knowing in advance of taping what those questions are she's taking a chance..while focusing on recipes...while talking to a camera.

                                                The focus of this part of the show was frying fish & potatoes. A viewer question about how to dispose of old cooking oil was a good tie-in and valid question. I thought Aida, FN professional answering the question, didn't have a clue.

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  oh ok - i thought you thought it was a dumb question, not a dumb answer. it seems a valid question to me too. and to the above response - that's fair about food network viewers. but i know a TON who aren't foodies (i mean people who don't even cook at all) and i know that most of the world isn't a foodie the way many CHers are and FN is growing in viewership. I don't want to imply that no foodies watch the network - just that that may not be who their target demographic really is.

                                                  1. re: AMFM

                                                    Sorry for the confusing post! I thought it was great of FN to tie the question about disposal to the frying fish and potatoes show. I wasn't paying very close attention, but I thought the caller said her father had a fish fry every weekend. If thats right and they are getting rid of 8 gallons of oil a week, then that's alot of oi!

                                                    Oil is a huge problem for municipalities and their sewage systems. Not to mention that oil contaminated water is really bad for the environment which I think Aida touched upon with the whole "I go to the beach!" comment.

                                                    Totally valid question! I'm glad it was answered in national TV!

                                                    1. re: AnneBird

                                                      Ok, so I missed the episode, and I have no idea what I would do with that much oil. What is the proper way to dispose of it?

                                                      1. re: ajs228

                                                        If I had stored up that much cooking oil, I would call my local or nearest waste management company and ask for their advice.

                                                        In my town you are told to keep cooled cooking oil in a recycle bag and throw it out with the regular garbage pickups. Our waste mgnt. company does not recommend storing oil.

                                                        However, there are dozens of online suggestions for reusing used cooking oil for making homemade soap, garden uses, etc.

                                                        1. re: ajs228

                                                          I hate to say "it depends", but, it really does depend on how much oil you have and where you live. If its a small amount it is generally ok to place the oil inside a non-breakable container then straight into the trash. If its a larger amount, then you can either take it to the city dump or (like Aida said) find a biofuel collection facility.

                                                          I live in northern Virginia and I take my oil to a Household Hazardous Material Facility. I just keep it in one large glass jar then haul it over with my batteries, old paint cans, empty cleaning chemical containers, etc.

                                                          Like my little sister used to say: "It's bad for the fishies"

                                              3. I apologize in advance if this was already posted, but wasn't this the same concept as that guy on Next FN Star? I don't remember his name, but he was the 'funny' one.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: kellithina

                                                  kellithina, in a past post I read a number of remarks comparing the FN Star contestants approach to an original cooking show idea with the concept being used on the Ask Aida show but no one on CH seemed to know by confirmed information if there was a deliberate concept correlation. Interesting timing tho.

                                                2. I finally watched it yesterday. She made "weeknight meals." She made two of them: chicken, mango, and cashews over jasmine rice, and turkey cutlets with avocado sauce with lemon orzo. Apparently, in her universe a meal doesn't include vegetables!

                                                  She seasons without tasting and uses a lot (pours it out of a container) of kosher salt. So that strange Chow obsession continues. At least she wasn't baking.

                                                  There were some really strange editing cuts that made me conclude that she had screwed something up. She started out peeling the mango with a vegetable peeler, answered some question about the pit, and presto there were the cheeks all cut off on her cutting board.

                                                  1. I've seen 4 episodes and think it's worthwhile. It's not as in depth as Good Eats, but not everyone wants to be a food scientist. Some people just want a few good recipes. I agree that the Noah questions/videos can interrupt the flow. It would be better to have them displayed on a split screen deal. (And it really doesn't take a tech "guru" to click and open an email).

                                                    I've seen quite a few comments complaing about shows on the FN being too simple. I guess that's why the call it the FOOD Network and not the Classically Trained French Chefs Resource Center Network. Not every show has to include fusion recipes and reduction techniques.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: JohnE O

                                                      'Not every show has to include fusion recipes and reduction techniques.'.

                                                      True, but it would be nice if some of them did.

                                                    2. On the heels of Ask Aida's interactive show, I'm a bit surprised I haven't seen anyone mention the launch of a new, interactive Food Network site.

                                                      Nearly every food host has a v-log on their home page and viewers will sit through several commericals in order to see an entire segment. It's a production change for an already commercially successful and highly sponsored company.

                                                      1. it didn't ever catch my attention, so no,no intention of going there

                                                        1. I caught it for the first time today. It didn't seem especially difficult, but at least she has a nice personality. The basic shows (RR, Guy, and Sandra Lee) make me want to hurl.

                                                          I agree, the tech guy adds nothing.

                                                          1. still not been interested in viewing her show. just no interest. is it even still on?