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Aug 12, 2009 04:27 PM

Ming Tsai and Todd English do East Meets West

Just watched this on some PBS cable channel.

Did not feel like either of them actually cared about the food.

At the end of the show Todd got the requisite plug in for his new New Orleans place "Riche."

The whole thing just felt decadent and not about the food.

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  1. Are you referring to a special, or was this an episode of "Simply Ming"? I give Ming Tsai credit for sticking with one restaurant and not spreading himself too thin. Between the two of them, I''d expect Tsai to care more about the cooking than English, whose current focus seems more on celebrity than celery.

    5 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      It was an episode of Simply Ming with Todd. They were making East Meets West items rolled up in various asian wrappers, fresh rolls, egg rolls, etc.

      They did Philly cheese steak in a egg roll wrapper. And noodles, lobster, and mint served hot in a fresh roll wrapper smothered in morels in brown butter.

      Neither really seemed to care about the food or the show for that matter. Mostly they were talking about Todd's newest endeavor "Riche" soon to be opened in New Orleans.

      Let's hope Todd gets riche enough that he won't have to do TV any more ;-).

      1. re: StriperGuy

        Personally, I am not a fan of Todd English.....the man or his restaurants. There are a lot of big egos in the celebrity chef business, but none are bigger and more pompous than Mr. English in my opinion. I cannot recall which show of his I happened catch, but it was of him traveling through Italy and driving a Ferrari.....big whoop. There's an air about him that just rubs me the wrong way and I don't see him as a regular guy who I would want to go out and have a drink with. It's always more about him than the food.

        1. re: fourunder

          Todd English's shows are some of the worse on PBS. His last show had him eating one type of soup made by a number of cultures, dumplings for example, and then going into his own kitchen and making his own renditions. After eating soup dumplings, pierogies, etc he went back and made a dumpling filled with a cube of frozen tomato soup and mozzarella. The idea was after steaming the soup and cheese would melt. It looked disgusting and the dough was so thick as to be ridiculous.

          1. re: KTinNYC

            While I agree with your overall assessment of Todd English's PBS shows, I have seen some segments from a trip to Tokyo that were truly interesting and useful. There was a restaurant that specialized in dry aged beef tongue and there was a good amount of detail about how long the tongue was aged, how it was trimmed, then salted on one side using a special grooved board before grilling. Much more informative than say a typical Bourdain piece.

          2. re: fourunder

            Totally agree. I doubt The BlueZoo at the Dolphin resort in Lake Buena Vista would survive if it was not on Disney propery.

      2. How was it decadent? That's usually a good thing in chow-speak.

        7 Replies
        1. re: PorkButt

          Decadent as in the downfall of Western civilization, not decadent as in say foie gras, or caviar.

          1. re: StriperGuy

            So did they spend their time lounging on chaises while being fed grapes by young women as Ming checked his most recent royalty check?

            The whole east-meets-west show concept of two ingredients is often forced, but it did get a publishing deal. Wait, maybe the idea of east-meets-west will be the downfall of Western Civilization as you put it!

            1. re: PorkButt

              "So did they spend their time lounging on chaises while being fed grapes by young women as Ming checked his most recent royalty check?"

              Essentially, both gave off the vibe that they would rather be doing the above then bother with this whole cooking, TV show thing.

              1. re: StriperGuy

                Todd English should stick to QVC selling awful pans to midwest housewives. I can't stand him and wish he would just go away!

                1. re: SDGourmand

                  I agree that the whole QVC thing is the perfect match. "Dreary decadent beefcake chef pitches crappy cookware to pudgy midwesterners."

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    Todd had too big flops in Manhattan with English is Italian and The Libertine. Olives is never mentioned, I have no idea who goes there.

                    1. re: KTinNYC

                      About 10 years ago, there was a highly touted agreement for a business relationship between Todd English and golfing great Greg Norman to open Norman's first venture into the restaurant business. The restaurant was Greg Norman's Australian Grille in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.....I believe the relationship soured quickly and English was out after a year......the restaurant survived and is doing well....with most accolades coming in after English's departure.