Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Mar 11, 2009 10:31 AM

Great comments by Bourdain on various TV food shows

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. i just came on to post the same thing. very interesting. i liked it.

    1. He must have just taken his meds. He seemed much more courteous than I had thought he would be.

      Another Sandra Lee reference to the Kwanza cake. Yikes!!! The stuff of FTV legend.


      27 Replies
      1. re: Davwud

        Another Sandra Lee reference to the Kwanza cake. Yikes!!! The stuff of FTV legend.

        Yep, and the video is still on their Web site. with this line underneath it: “Semi-Homemade makes a most amazingly beautiful cake for Kwanza.“ Proof Food Network has no shame showing the rape of a perfectly innocent angel food cake like that.

        1. re: pisang goreng

          okay. i've never seen this one so i guess i will have to look... she creeps me out though. :)

          1. re: AMFM

            I read a great blog about it. It points out all the things wrong with the cake. Also the Star of David cake. The star of David on the Star of David cake has 7 points. It's unbelievable.


            1. re: Davwud

              I don't have cable, never seen most of these shows, but I just HAD to check out that Kwanzaa cake after reading these comment. OMG, words simply do not suffice. Why on earth does this woman hate food so? And why would a network give her any exposure whatsoever? Holy truffled foie gras, Batman! This is unreal!

              Davwud, what is your blog? I'd love to read what you had to say. Oh, and btw, marshmallows in a Jewish holiday cake? Marshmallows are one of those food items that are almost always not available in a kosher version (except around Passover or in Israel). WTF?

              1. re: rockycat

                My blog is

                I didn't write about it. I read someone elses blog.


          2. re: pisang goreng

            Sooo. Much like passing a car wreck, I had to go look, it is just in my nature. Now I have lost my appetite for dinner. The Kwanzaa Cake video is the saddest, lowest, most pathetic piece of video I think I have ever seen. It was just so very sad to watch, on so many levels. (Question...Aren't her "acorns" actually Cornnuts? I haven't seen those for years - or maybe I just haven't looked for them.)

            The Bourdain comments, however, were on the mark and as usual, quite humorous. He is such my favorite. And yes, the prozac seems to be kicking in... he was quite generous with the kind words. I'm actually a fan when he is at his very snarkiest best...

            1. re: pisang goreng

              AUGGGHHH! I just saw the video for the first time!


              This recipe is not "semi-homemade", it's complete crap! Awfulness on every level! Store-bought frosting, store-bought pie filling? Was the cake store-bought as well? The cake looks like elephant dung! And what's up with those 6" Halloween-colored tapers? And that random collection of choclate chips and nuts that look like road gravel? There's no art, no attractive proportion to any of this at all!

              Now I want to heal the wound in my soul by curling up with Nigella Lawson on a sunny beach.

              Come to think of it, I want to curl up with Nigella Lawson anyway.

                1. re: KenWritez

                  LOL! Ahhhh, I always get a kick out of people getting their first glimpse of the infamous Kwanzaa Cake!

                  The horror expressed by everyone brings me back to the not-so-long-ago time when I first viewed the monstrosity that Dr. Shamdra begat. Memmm-ries, and good times.......

                  I'm really surprised that villagers haven't stormed the Food Network Castle to drag the hideous blue mutant from its lair to light those inch-wide tapers to bring the misbegotten beast to a melted, destroyed mess...ANYTHING to put us all out of our misery and prevent Dr. Shamdra from ever subjecting us to such deformed grotesqueness!

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    OMG, I've never seen that before. The horror! The horror! That hideous pie filling, the corn-nuts, the phallic candle display. Where to begin? This woman should be shot for perpetrating this nausea-fest on the American pubic. For shame!!!

                    1. re: roxlet

                      So you're saying you didn't like it??


                    2. re: LindaWhit

                      If Sandra Lee's mission is to show the harried home cook shortcuts to providing good food for her family in a short time, I have no problem with that. Lots of FN cooks do that. But the Kwanzaa cake isn't good food, it's a candle-lit turd on a cake plate, looking like it was thrown together at the last second.

                      "Sandra, thirty seconds until tape rolls!"
                      "Omigod, I've timed the rundown, we're four minutes short!"
                      "Sh*t! I'll tell her. Sandra, we're four minutes short, can you whip up something holiday-related to fill time?"
                      "You guys are killing me! Yeah, I'll do a Kwanzaa cake or something. Tell Sanjay to prep an angel food cake, I need some canned frosting and pie filling, and I need Kwanzaa colored candles."

                      There is nothing good about that cake, other than it is edible. I think even she realizes what a POS it is, as her manner during the prep is grim and terse. (For her, anyway.) So why does she let FN offer the recipe and video? Or does she have no say in that?

                      1. re: KenWritez

                        Based on reviews I've read, it's not edible either.


                        1. re: Davwud

                          Not surprising. There's not one thing on that plate that's edible. Well, except for maybe the store bought angel cake (prior to violation) followed by the candles. And then the 'acorns' (what is with her calling corn nuts 'acorns'?).

                          Moreover, that doesn't even fit the fantasy of 'semi' homemade. The only thing 'homey' about that is the vengeful nature in which it had to have been imagined, Only a grudge (or complete madness) could influence those choices.

                          Also, I agree with Ken about shortcuts, but where are the shortcuts in buying crap and mixing it with other crap? I mean, frosting alone can be the easiest thing if one likes buttercream. But now I'm looking for realism and sensibility in these choices, when I've just seen what she does. Next think you know, I'll be fact-checking Heroes.

                          1. re: Lizard

                            I showed it to Mrs. Sippi last night and she got a kick out of it. We then went to You Tube and looked up a bunch of stuff. It's brutal. Creamy Roquefort potato chips were dreadful and her Christmas tree with the wine glasses and stuff hanging from it.
                            Some one added comments like on Pop Up Video that were really good.

                            We didn't watch it but there was one entitled "Sandra Lee Annihilates Asian Food" and another "Sandra Lee Rapes Thanksgiving."

                            We were almost in tears.


                            1. re: Davwud

                              I like the one where she cooks on the beach. Best cleavage I've seen in awhile.

                              1. re: billieboy

                                I'll have to look that one up.


                      2. re: LindaWhit

                        I just watched the video. Didn't think it could be as bad as everyone's saying, but it was. I've never seen her before. She is soooo blond and pretty skinny and very suburban. And that kitchen! She obviously doesn't like food and is only pretending that the cake tastes good. She probably doesn't like Kwanzaa. For all I know she doesn't like black people or any people. Did you see the way she stuck the knife into the cake before stabbing in the candles? She seemed positively hostile. Wow.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          Oh, but the best part is reading the comments of people who actually *made* the thing!

                          1. re: momjamin

                            Which stuns me worse than a stun gun ever could. That people actually attempted to MAKE this horrific mess just boggles the mind!

                      3. re: pisang goreng

                        AB is correct; that cake is a war crime on TV. Disgusting, ugly *and* inappropriate; a triple threat.

                      4. re: Davwud

                        I thought the same thing about his courtesy; he almost seemed unable to say something negative, at least without backing it up with a positive spin.

                        1. re: Davwud

                          Oh the horror! I just watched the Kwanzaa cake video. That's just gross. What does any of it have to do with Kwanzaa.

                          Did anyone else notice she's not speaking in her usual weird sing-song voice in this video? That usually turns me off as much as her cooking.

                          1. re: LJBTampa

                            I am not familiar with the correct symbolism for Kwanza, but that cake looks like a large turd with peanuts. The official description of the episode on the web page is: "Semi-Homemade makes a most amazingly beautiful cake for Kwanza."

                            However, it's a cult favorite. It's our version of Rocky Horror Picture Show, and everyone gets to come as their favorite TABLE SCAPE.

                            1. re: LJBTampa

                              Thank you for pointing out the delivery!

                              Nnext, I'm going to show you MY llllllucious lllllllatest cocktail- you're going to llllllove it."

                              Sounds like a singsongy bossy schoolteacher crossed with somebody of my acquaintance that I simply cannot stand, maybe that's part of the aversion. I was also taught by nuns.

                            2. re: Davwud

                              I . . . JUST . . .SAW . . .IT . . .

                              I am speechless

                            3. AB is my favorite tv food personality. It's his opinion and if you don't like it.... tough tiddly winks. I respect a guy that started his culinary career scrubbing pots.

                              1. I thought it was hilarious. Tony is so on point. And he always balances his wit with genuine respect for his fellow chefs.

                                1. Loved the comment about Toby Young. And no one, I mean NO ONE says "snarky" like AB.

                                  13 Replies
                                  1. re: PattiCakes

                                    And the one about Mark Bittman for "Spain: On the Road Again"???

                                    "And Mark Bittman, I don't think he adds value to anyone's TV show. He doesn't come off well on TV. Let's put it that way. I saw him make paella once on a TV show; he's been dead to me ever since. "


                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      I had the same reaction to Spain: On the Road Again as AB. I wanted to love this show and it just fell flat. I also couldn't stand Bittman. He's like that annoying friend that you feel obligated to invite to parties.

                                      1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

                                        Same here re: the show. I tried three episodes, I think, and nothing was overly good about it. Gwynnie could have been left out, as could have Bittman. As could have the loudly dubbed driving music.

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          Yes, the show was a real bore, and the soundtrack incredibly annoying.

                                          Also annoying: Michael Stipe from REM is on one episode, they are in a restaurant trying dishes which the owner is explaining, and Michael Stipe sits there texting on his cell phone while on camera.

                                          1. re: poptart

                                            Funny, I didn't notice Stipe texting. I must have been paying more attention to the food. For example, I got the idea of drizzling molasses over pineapple from that episode.

                                            While a lot of people have complained about that show, focusing on the music, the personalities, the talking, and pacing, I have found it to be one of the more useful show when it comes to cooking ideas and inspirations.

                                            Tony, while interesting, has rarely inspired me to cook or try some new ingredient or recipe. For example, the only segment that I recall clearly from Tony's last Spain episode, involved melting chocolate ballons in the sun.

                                            For all it's faults, I picked up as much of a sense of what it is like to travel and eat in Spain from 'On the Road Again', as I have from Rick Steves' programs. In fact the two often complement each other.

                                            1. re: paulj

                                              Things I did like about the show: being able to see the places in Spain they visited, and Mario's very contagious enthusiasm about everything and explanations. In one episodeI saw, they visit an older couple's home and watch the woman make a (chicken?) dish, translating her explanations on how she cooked it before and after having a modern kitchen.

                                              THat said, I do wish the music wasn't constantly running( and the same songs over and over...). It just isn't necessary, plus I enjoy hearing the environmental sounds of the places they visit as every city has its own "sound". Plus, I didn't get that much out of the hosts other than Mario. Nothing against them, I just felt that Batali offered the most content and asked good questions wherever they were eating. Much like Rick Steves does on his shows :-).

                                            2. re: poptart

                                              I saw part of this episode today (on CreateTV), and saw Stipe using his phone. I didn't have sound on, so can't say for sure what he said afterwards. I suspect he was doing a web search, because I recall someone mentioning that Bittman has just published a review of the restaurant they were at.

                                              Bittman on Inopia

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                Well, if doing a web search then that's more relevant. I must have missed that and am so used to seeing people at a cafe sitting across from each other while texting OTHERs, I just assumed he was doing the same !
                                                Thanks for the clarification. :-)

                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                          Tony's just jealous that Mark didn't include him in his 'Takes on the Greatest Chefs' series. I suspect that is where Tony saw Mark make paella - when he took on Jose Andres.

                                          Don't judge Bittman by just his Road Again performance.

                                          1. re: paulj

                                            If anything, Bittman's more tolerable on the Spain series, which is to say he's insufferably irritating on every other show I've seen him on.

                                            1. re: ferret

                                              Wonder why he doesn't irritate me.

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                He's like an unfunny Larry David.

                                              2. re: ferret

                                                I didn't mind him on The Best Recipes in the World series -- what few of those I caught. But his manner does tend to grate, and the 5 minutes I saw of the Spain series were enough to turn me off watching him. Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."