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Chuck’s Day Off v. Alex’s Day Off

Is anyone else liking the show Chuck’s Day Off on the Cooking Channel? I had never seen it before until this channel started up. I really like this show, mostly for his enthusiasm, but he’s making some cool stuff too. This guy is really fun to watch and he doesn’t seem to be a fake either. What comes across to me is a genuine passion and love for cooking, his restaurant, his staff and customers. I also like the concept that it’s his day off and he’s kicking it in his own restaurant cooking for staff and friends. I’m assuming his restaurant is somewhere in Canada? His show is on quite a bit, and I’ve seen a few reruns, but I’m seeing a lot of new stuff too. His show is fast paced, and the background music is not bad either. It's fun to watch.

I’ve also seen Alex’s Day Off a few times (admittedly not many) but the few times I’ve given it a chance it seems slow, uninteresting, and Alex seems awkward on the camera. She is also cooking from her home (or a set) and that seems boorish compared to Chuck. I suppose I need to give Alex more of a shot, but I’m really liking Chuck at the moment. He's blowing Alex away in this concept.

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  1. I've seen parts of two Chuck shows, and I've seen Alex a couple of times. I like both of the shows but haven't seen enough to make a solid judgement. Chuck is definitely fun and full of energy and I do feel that I'll learn something and will get some inspiration.

    I like Alex's show, too. Her style is definitely more low-key, but she doesn't dumb-down her food like so many other FN hosts, and she's a good teacher. Again, it makes me want to watch more and actually cook something!

    1. I really enjoy Chuck's Day Off as well (we've been getting it on the Canadian Food Network for a couple of years now). His restaurant is indeed in Canada - it's called Garde Manger and it's in Old Montreal. It's a lot of fun and the food is pretty good.

      I'm not familiar with Alex's Day Off - it doesn't look like we get that show here.

      1. I think he's great. Don't know who Alex is, but Chuck has a strong relaxed tv presence with good info and real cooking going on, and not so much *yummo* (<--watching people cook is more fun than watching people eat)

        I don't love the pace and staccato camera work so much, but whatevs.

        It strikes me that this guy is doing fast easy meals without making a big deal out of Fast! Easy! AND he's using fresh ingredients. Which probably means we have the Film Board of Canada to thank for funding a program that doesn't require soup can sponsorship.
        THX Canada!

        1. Alex's Day Off is a production of the Food Network and reflects it's standards. Alex is also one of FN's omnipresent personalities she appears in numerous shows. Therefore she has to conform to the narrow mold that FN has set for it's 'stars.'

          Chuck's Day Off is not an FN production. His show is free form FN's constraints. Nor is someone who has to tow the FN line.

          1. Hi, are you me? This is the exact post I would have made had you not done it first!

            Admittedly, I've caught one episode of Chuck's, but it was enough to pique my interest. He did jerk chicken with unpeeled ginger (I really liked that, for some reason), dumplings, and creamed corn (I've never cared for creamed corn, but his looked pretty tasty).

            I liked his style, and how... un-Food Network the production felt. I feel like Giada/Paula/The Neelys et al have this schmaltzy kind of a schtick going now. (One that Giada didn't have years ago, in my opinion.) Chuck's felt more... organic, for lack of a far better words. It didn't feel overly done, I guess is what I'm trying to say. He didn't sit there and go, "Mmmmmmmm, daaahroooooooool, yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum" over every dish, he just MADE it and allowed the audience to carry on with the oohing and ahhhing. It was really refreshing. He was candid without trying too hard.

            Alex is a snore, and she seems a bit stuck on herself. That's probably harsh; she does seem like a nice enough person, but that's hardly the point. And you're right, she doesn't belong on a camera. I've also seen her on Chopped and The Best Thing I Ever Ate, where she talked about a whole roasted chicken. I haven't liked her very much on any show I've seen. Well, she was okay on a dessert episode where she did something with strawberries and peaches. (See, I can't even recall exactly what she did and I have a pretty good memory - very telling!) I just wonder why FN finds her so amazing, why I should care enough to watch her on every other show they offer.

            1. Bumping this because I think Chucks Day Off is a real gem and he deserves more exposure. So straight forward, cooking in an actual restaurant kitchen. I am not a fan of mushrooms, but he made a dish the other day with 6 or 7 different varieties that was full of color and it made me want to try it. Probably still tastes like dirt, but I would have given it a shot.

              He has doen two other things one simple the other not so much that I want to try. The simple one is making a sauce from the browned on bits after pan frying some pork chops with shallots, a bit of white wine and butter. The other is cooking a rib roast encased in salt. Looked so tender and tasty.

              Go Chuck.

              1. When Cooking Channel kicked off in my area Chuck's Day Off was my favorite. I find him so joyful about restaurant work. Have to admire that. Love the concept, love the menus, love Chuck!

                I'm also enjoying Aussie Bill and Italy's David Rocco; although I've been brought up to speed that neither is new to the field, they were both new to my food tv experience.

                As a matter of fact, watching all three of these guys cook makes me very happy. I don't watch the Food Network anymore.

                2 Replies
                1. re: HillJ

                  I love "his kitchen". Wondered if it was his home at first!

                  1. re: Shrinkrap

                    I don't know much about Chuck's back story except was he mentions. Only reference I recall about "home" is that he enjoys cooking @ the restaurant and take away when he's off and relaxing @ home. He has mentioned that his Mom makes the desserts for the restaurant. But if the show expands maybe we'll learn more. Such a charming guy.

                2. i like his show alot. i think he makes alot of interesting stuff that you dont really see on other shows around the food network and cooking channel.

                  the one complaint i had is he always seems SUPER rushed.

                  1. Haven't watched much (if any) of Alex' Day Off, but Chuck's Day Off has become a favorite (or should that be favourite) one to watch. Love the way it comes together, and I really do like his enthusiasm.