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May 31, 2010 11:00 AM

New Cooking Channel Reactions??

I know it's a holiday so most US residents are probably not yet catching the newly converted Cooking Channel on cable (was Fine Living). If you have seen some of the shows, what's your take?

I was stuck waiting for some people before going out this morning and caught a couple of the shows. Nothing horrible, nothing remarkable so far. Interesting to see shows I'm not familiar with. The first two were apparently Canadian in origin, so they could be from Food Network Canada and some of you may be familiar with them: Chuck's Day Off and Everyday Exotic.

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  1. I watched some of Chinese Food Made Easy and French Food at Home and liked them both. Although the camera work on French Food at Home drove me nuts. Narrow depth of field and the camera randomly going out of focus doesn't do anything for me.

    8 Replies
    1. re: driggity

      We've had 3 seasons of French Food at Home in Canada and I call the camera work on that show ADHDtv. It can be totally distracting.

      1. re: Pizza Lover

        French Food at Home recently won a James Beard Award for best cooking show (or something like that). Took me a while to get into it, but now I like it - most times I watch it I come away with some great ideas.

        Everyday Exotic I find a bit silly. Food looks OK, and Roger Mooking does great food at Nyood, but I don't like him as a presenter. The "obedient ingredient" term is just stupid.

        1. re: Dan G

          Roger Mooking used to be in a R&B band and he'll never. let us. forget it.

          1. re: stet

            I saw Everyday Exotic show yesterday for the first time and loved it. I thought his presentation was very up beat and cheery and his knife skills wowed me. He explains the why of what he's doing, as a good teacher should without over explaining. Don't think the title speaks to what the show is all about, but i'll watch it again till I get bored with it.

            I also saw David Rocco's show, "Dolce Vita" and recognized him from his old show, "Avventura." Liked him then and still do.

        2. re: Pizza Lover

          Are you speaking of the show with Laura Calder? Now I'll pay attention to the camera work.

        3. re: driggity

          actually i caught a few minutes of Chinese Food Made Easy yesterday, and the camera work on THAT drove me nuts. i didn't think the show was very good anyway so i lost interest pretty quickly, but even if i had liked it i wouldn't have been able to continue watching - all those extended closeups of food being stirred in pots and skillets were making me dizzy!

          1. re: driggity

            Not sure I know what you mean being out of focus, do you mean like the Nigella show and how they never show her walking in to the kitchen unless she's out of focus? That drives me bats, we all know she is an ample woman, why try to hide it from afar? Sorry didn't mean to get off on Nigella. About her though in general, I love her gusto for eating. Especially at the midnight snap moment when she dives into the frig with glee, then chomps down on what ever is in there that strikes her fancy, like yesterday she'd fried up the pork fat from the chops she'd made earlier then at midnight, went for the frig and grabbed the ultra uber crunchy segments of deep fried pork fat.......................blech........

          2. I've been unable to find it on my listings. We have Cablevision in Connecticut and from what I've read, I don't believe they will be carrying the channel. Not really surprised though, Cablevision has proven itself to be pretty lame....oh well...I was looking forward to it...

            3 Replies
            1. re: sibeats

              I don't know if this is the case everywhere but with DirecTV the Cooking Channel replaced Fine Living Network. So if you get FLN you might want to check that channel and see it is now the Cooking Channel.

              1. re: driggity

                Sadly Cablevsion has a different lineup than cooking channel for us...

                1. re: driggity

                  Yea you're right, with the foodnetwork being on 231 on direct tv, the cooking channel is on 232, so very convenient for this foodie.

              2. I took a moment to scan through the program guide earlier today, and noticed that the programs today are new to U.S. television. The rest of the week's programing however, is chock full of Mario, Giada, Tyler, Emeril Live, & other TVFN older shows. YAWN.........

                17 Replies
                1. re: Herm

                  But add to what you think of as the dull older shows (personally I'm happy to re-view Sara's Secrets) some gems from the past like Galloping Gourmet and Julia Child and Company. I like the smattering of this and that approach.

                  No competition shows. No reality shows. Now that's refreshing.

                  1. re: MplsM ary

                    GG and JC were PBS shows. Could it be that the Cooking Channel is only drawing from FN's archives? I can't think of a case where an original PBS cooking show has aired on FN, and vv. Daisy Martinez has done some FN shows, but I don't think her original series has been shown there.

                    1. re: paulj

                      When it was newer and focused on cooking shows exclusively, back in the mid 90s, Food Network showed vintage Julia Child shows. Cooking Channel is showing them now, as MplsM ary posted.

                    2. re: MplsM ary

                      All networks today are really pinching pennies and quality new production is rare. Young hosts with little or no TV track record to drive up compensation are cheap. Nevertheless, if the production values are decent I have no objection.
                      It's a good sign that CC execs are allowed to pay for external (non-Scripps owned) content. PBS, BBC and others get a few nickels, CC viewers see some classics that are 'new' to some of us.
                      BTW the show 'Indian Food Made Easy' last aired on the extinct AZN network a couple of years ago. Also looking forward to the Two Fat Ladies!
                      Hopefully viewership will grow and with the right mix of advertising, more new production will follow.

                      1. re: DiveFan

                        Have already watched a couple of the Two Fat Ladies. Love those gals. Love them. They are adorable.

                        I have often times wondered where they get/got people to fill these cooking slots with this unfamous brand of cooking, ie. Ask Aida or Sunny Anderson or the lady that now hosts the "challenge" shows and has her "5 ingredients or less" show [and] did the Chefs vs City challenge with Kelsey or whatever her name was from the Next Food Network Star ***that didn't win***. How or why is she on that show? Adam Gertler also didn't win TNFNS but he's on several shows I notice too. Why have the execs not found a real different person to put on the network, one that carries interest at least. Sorry, I'm off topic here, back to basics and this thread.........ooops :+(

                        Anyway, I like your commentary on how these shows work, thanks for the info.

                        1. re: iL Divo

                          Mollenkamp (Ask Aida) comes from She was a founding editor.

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            who knew LindaWhit? certainly not I............gad, how far back does Chow go? I thought I'd been on here a long time, maybe not so long {?}

                            1. re: iL Divo

                              CHOW started in 2005, I believe; I forget when they acquired Chowhound - 2007 or 2008? And I recall a thread started when Aida got her TFN show that she was originally someone from CHOW.

                            2. re: LindaWhit

                              And she brings nothing worthwhile to the table.

                              1. re: pikawicca

                                Altho I wasn't a fan of Ask Aida on FN, the Food Crafters program on the CC has turned me onto several new food companies and food gifting orders. I'm glad someone's out there having a ball doing the leg work.

                                Yes, Aida is a CH and has posted a number of recipes on CHOW.

                        2. re: MplsM ary

                          Why I already love the Cooking Channel, three words: Two Fat Ladies! Saw two back-to-back episodes last night and they were both as fresh as new paint. So useful, so funny, so charming.

                          1. re: annabana

                            Me too- nobody's aired the ladies in years and I think I could watch the whole series several times in a row without getting tired of it. Also, FN used to be good. I look forward to seeing the old stuff again if that's what they're running.

                            1. re: annabana

                              Do you remember from years ago their Bubble&Squeak show? I loved it and love making their B&S even more. Thanks for reminding me.............
                              Sad that the silly ''over the top'' Jennifer Paterson is gone. Her humor was raw and lovely. They're so slopping those gals, love them.

                            2. re: MplsM ary

                              yep, the "challenge" shows on tvfoodnetwork drive me bats as well as ''unwrapped'' and others.

                              1. re: iL Divo

                                I can't stand nor could I care less if they can take blueberries and cabbage an mgd 64 and make a dish out of it! Who would eat that gunk anyway? I wish they'd stop that, it is exactly why I don't watch "Chopped". To boot the judges try to out do one another with their foodie knowledge. Its hilarious in one respect to see them all eat trout with rutabaga foam and claim its a great pairing. Seriously.

                                Ted used to be nice. Oh the pit falls of stardom.

                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                  that's funny. I love chopped just for the shear amusement of watching the contestants faces when they open their baskets. and where do they come up with these ingredients or more importantly, like you say, "why". who'd eat that cr@p anyway. my husband can't stand watching Geof Zakarian, he's so into himself it seems, but for me, I find him deliciously lovely to stare at. plus, I love Alex Guarn, I think she's beautiful, my husband, not so much...........

                            3. re: Herm

                              agree, I don't need more of GDL or TF or EL or MB. I feel as though it's temporary filler until something better comes along like maybe "new to everyone shows", not just the repeats from years gone by or obvious fillers.

                            4. I've been enjoying the shows I've seen so far. Interesting to see how paneer can be made at home.

                              1. I really liked the Drink Up show on tequila. Foodography on ice cream was a snooze.

                                One thing I did notice was a LOT of commercials

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                  Althought the commercials time slot is short compared to FN

                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                    yah huh? there're like infomercials during the middle of shows, like again, fillers, but right in the middle of shows....................odd..........guess it's gotta pay for itself tho right?