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Aarti Party

I'm never home watching TV at this time, except today. I had some work to do and put the TV on in the background. And look - there's Aarti!

I think she's doing a decent job. She has a nervous giggle once in a while and says "awesome" too much, but other than that her show was ok. I might actually go out and buy some garam masala!

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  1. I'm not a big fan, but she seems to be doing alright. The salad that she is making looks interesting. As others have said, I'd rather see her do Indian, instead of Indian twists on American classics, like the Sloppy Bombay Joes. I am annoyed at her laughing at nothing, though.

    3 Replies
    1. re: dmjordan

      I think the laughter is a nervous twitch and hopefully will go away with time.

      Unfortunately, the Food Network made it very clear that they want to appeal to the "home cook" who probably would be intimidated by a truly authentic Indian menu.

      1. re: mojoeater

        I agree on both of your points mojoeater

      2. re: dmjordan

        I too would have preferred that she do real Indian cuisine - but as others have pointed out downstream there are two shows currently on (one on FN, one on Cooking Channel) that do show more authentic Indian cooking. Sigh. I guess she is the designated person to do bastardized so-called "Indian" food for FN.

      3. I watched figuring I'd turn it off in a few minutes, but I kept it on, she did much better than I thought she might. I don't eat or cook Indian food, so I doubt I'd watch again no matter how she made it more Ameicianized. It is the spice more than the main ingrediants that i just can't seem to like. That's just me.

        Since she had to start the very next day, I was surprised she wasn't much more like what was shown during TNFNS, but of course I'm sure that the days taping went on for a very long time and was well edited. Right after her show aired up next, last years winner, now that I turned off in a few minutes.

        4 Replies
        1. re: hummingbird

          which spice? corriander seed? cumin?
          these are spices that are often used in american cuisine. curry is just a small part of the indian repertoire. if you try out the others, maybe youll even start appreciating curry

          1. re: celfie

            All of those that you mentioned, and yes curry too. I also can't do any type of hot in any cusine. I have tried, but for whatever reason I don't like the smell or taste, yes i eat pretty darn bland meals. if not i pay for it for a few days, mostly a burning from my throat to my stomach, so I've leaned to stay away.

            I'll cook with it, but the tasting does me in.

            1. re: hummingbird

              You know what hummingbird > it surprises me how the
              Indian cuisine has taken off in all country's.
              I don't purposely go into an Indian restaurant when
              I'm starving for a really good meal like many I've talked to do.
              The Indian cuisine is all over the UK and although the eateries
              are packed, I, like you, still don't fully get it.
              I mean I understand that the cuisine is very flavorful
              and it can be quite spicy. I love full of flavor food
              and a touch of spice is good but to me,
              but too much is not grand. Blows my face off then what's the point.

              I own so many Indian spices that I've gathered but
              don't know what to do with most of them. Cumin is my
              favorite spice which I've used for years and garlic-
              onions-ginger, yes used for years. I think it's the
              combination of the Autumn spice flavors mixed in with these other
              spices that confuse me.

              While I do have a Masala Dabba or Masala Dani that I created since
              I had all the basics and then some, I haven't used it.

              After my cleanse is over I plan on making something more than
              a chicken tikka or typical curry dish more along the mild side. Watching Aarti may be very helpful to me.

            2. re: celfie

              Curry is not Indian. It's actually the Brit's take on Garam Masala, which varies in the Indian kitchen from dish to dish. One size does not fit all.

          2. I caught a bit of it. She seemed a bit nervous but she was engaging!

            1. Thanks for ruining the end of the show for me, which hasn't ended yet in Canada. I can avoid the threads that refer to the NFNS, but your thread's title ruined it right away, without giving me a chance to ignore. It's a silly show, but fun to watch when you don't know who's going to win.

              8 Replies
              1. re: pescatarian

                I can't find a link to the Chowhound site spoiler policy. Some sites allow spoilers after the first US airing, and others require you to wait until after all NA airings. Can anybody (or a moderator) point to the spoiler policy?

                1. re: GraydonCarter

                  And how are we in the States supposed to know what's aired elsewhere?

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    I agree that you won't know when it's airing in other countries, but it is annoying! HEre in Canada, shows like Food Network Star, Top Chef, Top Chef Masters and Project Runway always start later than they do in the US. We have to be so careful not to read something that's a spoiler.

                    1. re: SusanB

                      So mojoeater was an Aarti Party Pooper then? ;-D>

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Hey, I'm sorry if I ruined anything for anyone. But her win was a week earlier and has been all over the internet and even commercials on Food Network. In fact, if you went to the FN website, her picture was front and center!

                        1. re: mojoeater

                          It''s ok. I don't go on the FN website generally. And if I did, it would most likely be Food Network Canada and they wouldn't post anything about the new show. Nor would they talk about it on "Food Network Canada" since the broadcast these contests a few episodes behind. The season finale is this Thurs. One episode left ;) I haven't noticed anything anywhere. I avoid any threads that refer to the shows that are competitions, because I've learned my lesson before. But as soon as I saw the name of this thread in the list of current topics, I couldn't turn away fast enough. It was obvious that if a thread was named that, then she won, without reading the thread. Actually I think the mods should be more sensitive to this kind of thing. Anyways, sorry if I sounded crusty, I was having a bad day...

                          1. re: pescatarian

                            If it's any consolation, the finale was a very close competition. It honestly looked like they could have picked any of the three of them and made a decent show out of it. But nobody in the US has a clue whether or not the show/s have aired anywhere else. It's not as if they put up banner ads.

                2. re: pescatarian

                  pesc, please help me, I can't see who spoiled it for you?. The title I read at the beginning of this thread is Aarti Party. Where does it give a spoiler?

                  Pika, I was thinking the same thing. Show's air all over the world. Who knows where anyone lives or if anyone watches a particular show? Very odd.

                  SusanB, does it really ruin so much for you if you happen upon a spoiler? You're right about the shows airing in Canada come at a later time, often much later, than in the US. I don't know...

                  different strokes I suppose. I read spoilers all the time in here and couldn't care less, so the outcome is mentioned, big deal.

                  mojoe, you did nothing wrong.

                3. I caught the show by accident and I felt she was nervous but cute and did a good job of explaining the food and telling you how it tasted. ButI didn't care for the recipes at all, similar to Melissa's show, I just don't get the food combinations. They do not appeal to me for whatever reason.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Manassas64

                    I thought she came across as very likeable, but the food didn't interest me at all. I'd like to see more actual indian food. I have to say, despite what I thought I would think, I do end up interested in some of Melissa's food. I've made both her everyday cassoulet and her moroccan meatballs and liked them (especially the meatballs).

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      New to this review, my opinion is im tierd of seeing indian foods stretch across the screen all day i like arti and her show i would like to see more chinese, keep arti and indian made easy and get rid of negelica

                      1. re: PHATTY GIRL

                        Phatty, I agree about you saying get rid of Nigella.
                        Her foods to me that she presents to friends at her parties are minimal and basic at best. But if we're talking about her sweet treats, most of them appeal to me.

                        1. re: iL Divo

                          Nigella's sweets do look divine. But I agree, I watched one show recently where she browned pre-made gnocchi and seared some steaks. oh boy.

                  2. I think she did absolutely great!! She's a beautiful lady and a natural talent. Sure she was a bit nervous, and perhaps giggled a bit too much...but come on, this was her first show. I think she was pretty amazing and will be a star. I'm not sure that I would like her Sloppy Joe's, but her kale/mango salad looked great, and the dessert pops looked wonderful.

                    Congrats Aarti...I'm betting on you!

                    1. Love the graphics/set and whoever did her hair/makeup/lighting=killer.
                      Big improvement over last year's $10 dinner winner.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: BubblyOne

                        I loved her also! I thought she was engaging, talented and her food looked pretty tasty, especially the Kale salad. I never make Indian food but I may give it a try. I think she will be a star!

                        1. re: BubblyOne

                          Bubbly, either my tv is off or $10 dinner needs to fix their lighting, everything looks very yellowish, even MD

                        2. I think that she did great and wish her success with her show. Finally there is someone introducing Indian flavors on FN. Sure I'd rather see some serious Indian cooking, but FN isn't trying to attract me. Be on the lookout for the "Aarti Indian Spice Box" coming to a Kohl's near you!

                          1. My feeling was that I wanted to try the food she prepared, but I didn't feel like I wanted to cook it myself...if that makes any sense.

                            Also, she needs to do a little better job of selling the taste. When Giada takes a bite of what she cooks on her show, I feel like I'm looking at someone who's eating the best thing she's ever tasted.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Philly Ray

                              give Aarti some time to perfect her on-camera foodgasm...she doesn't have Giada's experience or Hollywood roots ;)

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                from the little I've seen of Aarti on her show and it is minimal, I find her engaging and knowledgeable, can't complain about her demeanor at all.

                            2. i'm going to have to check my dvr... i think i set it to record... hmmm! thanks for the reminder. :)

                              1. I thought she did great. And I loved the set. I want to try that kale salad and the ice cream and buy some gram masala. I think the sloppy joes would be a good way to get my husband to try some Indian spices.

                                I put her series into my series manager.

                                1. I thought she was adorable, friendly, informative. The giggling didn't bother me...it wasn't over the top. She seems to know her stuff, talking about the different flavors, spices, etc. My main complaint would be that I'm not interested in Indian versions of American recipes. I would love to learn about Indian cooking. Hopefully they will not try to dumb this down and will let her show her cooking style. I'll keep watching for now...

                                  1. I caught a bit of it. The sloppy tikka masala joes sounded nice.
                                    I went to the FN website to look up the recipe and noticed her three recipes have close to 200 reviews and a majority of them 5 stars. I feel like I've been Yelped by the "in" crowd.

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: dave_c

                                      If you click on them, they aren't actual reviews of the recipes, though. They are people/fans expressing their joy over her winning and congratulating her, etc.

                                      1. re: Manassas64

                                        That happened with Melissa, too. All of her early recipes had 5 stars because her fans were using the stars in the recipe reviews to congratulate her on her win.

                                        I didn't see see Aarti's show. I had no intention of watching, it, actually, but I was hanging around the house anyway, so, at about 12:05 I turned to see if it was on. And then I remembered, oh, duh, it was on at noon Eastern time. I missed it by an hour.

                                        Anyway, I looked up the recipes from her first episode on the food network site and they are even worse than I feared in terms of being dumbed down/Americanized. I mean, sloppy joes? C'mon. Do we really need a recipe for that? I'm not trying to be mean, but with her giggling, juvenile "Aarti Party" title, and the sloppy joes recipe, I'm honestly wondering if they are trying to appeal to pre-teen girls. Seriously, maybe that is the demographic they are after, which isn't really a terrible idea. Hook the cooks of tomorrow. The menu for next weeks episode: I Ain’t Chicken Chicken, The Ugly Duckling Salad, and Huggy Buggy Bread Pudding. Again, it just doesn't sound like this is for adults with the rhymey-rhymey and the references to bedtime fables.

                                        I'm undecided on the kale recipe from her first episode. Adding mango to kale might be an abomination, or it might be interesting. I might actually have to try it.

                                        Did she really record this show the day after she won? She didn't really have very long to come up with her menu. I suppose I can cut her some slack on the first episode's menu... And what did they do, work all night on the set? They had to have known she was going to be their winner sooner than the night before. How could they be ready otherwise?

                                        Feeling very much like a curmudgeon/skeptic here.


                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          I think if you actually saw her first show, you would be far less negative about her than you seem to be. I think she did amazingly well, and she will indeed be a star on the Food Network. We all have to keep in mind that the FN does not necessarily promote the most sophisticated cutting edge food in the world. It seems to me that they are trying to appeal to people who cook a bit, want to be entertained, and may want to be inspired to try a few new things in the kitchen. If I'm correct, Aarti is IMHO just what they are looking for. I loved her first show, was thoroughly entertained by her, and may well try one of her recipes!

                                          1. re: josephnl

                                            Actually, I'm much less negative about her than I was in the TNFNS finale thread. If indeed the FN is trying to use Aarti Party's Huggy Buggy recipes to appeal to a pre-teen demographic, I think that is brilliant and useful. Isn't that the perfect time to introduce people to new flavors in an unintimidating way, when they are young and open to learning and to new ideas? I remember a home-ec class in the 8th grade that really made an impression on me because a classmate of mine showed us how to make won tons from her family recipe. I had never even heard of won tons before that, but, I learned to make them before I learned to make a lot of other "classic" American dishes. For years after that, won tons were what I brought as my contribution to parties and potlucks. I believe that was a formative experience. Maybe it even turned me into a Chowhound!

                                            Weirdly (for FN) they don't seem to be re-showing Aarti's first episode any time this week. Usually they repeat their shows at least a couple of times during the week, or so it seems anyway. So, if I'm going to see her show at all, I will have to wait for Episode 2. But, I'm pretty sure she's already done those same week 2 recipes on her blog, so, if I miss it, I suppose I could watch those.


                                          2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            She probably "won" a long time ago and the pilot was shot after. We're seeing it all weeks or months after. I'd guess that what she makes is dictated by food network. Despite the fact that CHers want to see real indian food, the food network crowd, Sandra Lee fans, probably wouldn't. Indian food requires so many spices--I can't imagine people who can't be bothered to make a real cake vs a doctored up store cake would want to buy that many spices and go through all that. I find Indian food to be daunting, as combining the right spices and all go. Half the time, I find I'm missing a few ingredients.

                                            1. re: chowser

                                              I am by no means an expert or even especially knowledgeable about Indian cooking, but per staff at both Williams-Sonoma and Sur la Table, as well as an Indian lady I know...authentic Indian food need not be overly complex, and most Indian home cooking is not done with terribly many spices. Both stores referred me to a book which they highly recommend called "5 Spices 50 Simple Dishes". That authentic Indian food need not be overly complex or difficult to prepare is pretty much the philosophy touted by Aarti. See:


                                              1. re: chowser

                                                Just a reminder that there are already two shows that show genuine Indian food: Food Network has recycled BBC shows called Indian Food Made Easy that specifically demonstrate food from various regions of India in the guise of showing someone in England how to cook the dishes; Spice Goddess on the new Cooking Channel is a more traditional cooking-in-the-kitchen show, and while she does sometimes change things up (e.g. vegetarian "burgers" for a kids' party), the recipes are based on real Indian cooking techniques.

                                                I like and watch both shows; I saw Aarti's first show and, while I wish her well and might look up a recipe of hers on the website, I don't really enjoy someone just standing there and showing you how to cook something. In spite of this I do watch the Spice Goddess because I am learning about and cooking a lot more Indian style food as I limit/eliminate CAFO meat from my diet/budget. The techniques are not that difficult and the payoff is incredible: potato raijta, for example--no traditional potato salad can compete with this, and yet it is easy and doesn't have that many ingredients. When I made it last month for an all-Indian dinner party, I was afraid there would be none left for me by the time it came around the table!

                                                1. re: kleine mocha

                                                  In Canada there is also South Asian Veggie Table, which usually (but not always) has authentic Indian recipes.


                                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                I still haven't seen it the show, and I haven't looked at the recipes, so here's my completely uninformed take:
                                                I've actually had mango and kale. And liked it. :)

                                                The names of the dishes for the next episode highlight for me much of what I despise about the food network. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. And it's why, even if I was in the least bit telegenic and had the least bit of interest in having a food show, I'd never want to go this route. They seem to make everyone look dumber. I mean, they're making a grown woman say, "Now we're going to make one of my favorites...Huggy Buggy Bread Pudding!" Ugh!

                                                On her coming up with the menu: I suspect she has nothing or little to do with that. I think these NFNS folks are probably highly produced to become the packaged stars the network desires. It's my hunch that they have little input on the recipes they are making. And I'm not sure they began filming the day after the finale. I think they just said she'd begin working. It might have taken a few days of practice off camera to be able to say Huggy Buggy without hurling.

                                                1. re: debbiel

                                                  Hmmmm...now I'm more tempted than ever to try that mango and kale recipe! The problem is, I'm the only fan of mango and of kale in my house! Kale enters my home via CSA box, but I will have to find a way to smuggle mango in. ;-).

                                                  But, I don't think you can blame (or give credit to, depending on your perspective) TFN for Aarti's recipes or their names. "Huggy Buggy Bread Pudding" is a recipe Aarti did for her Aarti Paarti blog before TNFNS. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYsNvl... as is the "I ain't chicken chicken" http://www.aartipaarti.com/2009/10/15...

                                                  No, the titles of these recipes, and even the name of her show except for the spelling, rest squarely on Aarti's shoulders as far as I can tell.


                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                    Oh goodness. I knew Aarti Party was her fault, but didn't realize she was responsible for Huggy Buggy. Seems then that she was truly destined to be TNFNS.

                                          3. Horrible name for a show.

                                            1. Check out the ratings on FN for her raw kale salad. Sure, a few are 5-star pats on the back for the show instead of the food, but the vast majority are kale-haters raving over how good and unique the salad tasted.

                                              It's been a looong time since I got any cooking inspiration from FN, but I will make that kale salad.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: rouxmaker

                                                Let us know how it goes. :). I'm curious about the addtion of mango.


                                                1. re: rouxmaker

                                                  judging by the sheer volume of comments on the recipes, she's already got a lot of viewers who like her enough to try them. 265 on the Sloppy Bombay Joes? 180 on the Kale Salad? wow.

                                                2. I liked the show - she has a nice joyfulness about her. As far as cooking authentic Indian food, I'm okay with learning how to use Indian spices in American recipes.
                                                  I use cookbooks and the internet to find Indian recipes - so Aarti's show is a nice supplement to that.

                                                  Aarti's frozen pops looked delicious! And the kale-mango salad is one I will definitely try.

                                                  1. Here in Canada, we don't have her show yet, but it'll probably show up and I'll definitely check it out. She was definitely my favourite on Next Food Network Star. Her food looked amazing and I like her personality.

                                                    1. I think she's the most unique voice that the super Wasp food network has... but whats up with that weird staged flower in her hair? Plus... the food is actually something better than a new way to make a sloppy joe... she totally gets points

                                                      1. I just caught part of the show and it was much better than I expected. Her presentation is much more down to earth. It seemed like on the Network Star show she was "on" in trying to win and it came off as fake but she didn't on the show. It's not Indian food, she's never presented it as such, but it looked like good real food, not assembling processed food stuff. She threw in little tidbits about what "real" Indian food is, eg. as she was making a salad, she said it's not typical Indian food but there is the raita and then talked about it. As Food Network shows go, I think it's a nice addition. I wouldn't tune in to watch it but if it were on when I was channel surfing, I'd probably stop and catch part of it--which is the highest compliment I'd pay to most Food Network shows.

                                                          1. re: celfie

                                                            OK. That bed scene was a bit much for me, but now I want to make the kale salad all the more.

                                                            1. re: mojoeater

                                                              I found it cringe-inducing. The coyness, giggling and definitely that bed scene were off-putting. To me it seems adolescent in tone. (...and it's from episode 12, so she has certainly established these tics as her modus operandi) The food/salad? Not that novel or attractive.

                                                              BTW, Aarti, that way of cutting the kale is called a chiffonade.

                                                          2. Happened upon her show this afternoon. I don't watch TNFNS, so I knew nothing about her. I thought she was sweet and charming, and I plan to make the roast chicken breasts with orange/cardamom compound butter smeared under the skin. Her lemon/pistachio salad dressing looked good, too.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                              What is an accountability group? Is that like AA? I am supposed to join something else now?

                                                              1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                Don't have a clue, and I don't want to know. Sounded very "'60's."

                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                  That was *exactly* what went through my head.

                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                    Something started by "Werner Airhead" and his "Id Est Eine Berliner" group I believe...

                                                                2. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                  An accountability group is a motivational group for those looking to advance their careers and want feedback from others about their efforts.

                                                                  1. re: SmartCookie

                                                                    So by comparison, everybody else in her group must feel like slouches.

                                                              2. Finally got to see the 2nd episode of her show. I thought it was 'meh'. I think she was *less* exuberant than during the competition. She was tamer and that made her less special.

                                                                She may well become a star (and not just a contest winner). I can't judge because I don't like the 'stars' that everyone else seems to like. For example, I wanted Reggie to win, not Guy. And here is Guy with lots of shows on FN.

                                                                Like Chowser, I won't tune in especially but I'd watch it if I came across it.

                                                                For what it's worth, I hope they give Herb and Tom their own shows too.

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                  Tom is getting a prime time show. Haven't heard about Herb.

                                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                                    With shows like Zimmern's and Man vs. Food, do we need another "over the top" food show?

                                                                    1. re: dave_c

                                                                      No... other than i'm still waiting for the American version of "Come Dine With Me"

                                                                      1. re: dave_c

                                                                        No, we don't need another OTT (over the top) show, we just need it to be INTERESTING.

                                                                        1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                          Came across a blog (didn't copy the url) by a contract crew member that worked on the new show. That episode/segment was about deep frying unique items - Cheetohs, Sushi, Blood Sausage, and Bagel with lox.

                                                                          Seems like a waste of talent to do stuff like that, but maybe FN decided that their chefs with curly hair, mustaches and graduated from CCA do road shows about food.

                                                                          1. re: dave_c

                                                                            I wonder if they'll mention the newest treat to be found at the Texas State Fair this year ... Deep Fried Beer!

                                                                    1. re: spicesonline

                                                                      check your local Food Network listings. cable companies and regions differ.

                                                                    2. I suspect her show won't be that popular. While Indian cuisine is enjoying a surge on the east and west coasts. I doubt that the cuisine will take hold in "fly over country" even though the coasts are where trends start. I will admit, I am biased. I don't care for Indian Cuisine.

                                                                      I'm kind of surprised to hear that her dishes have been "Indian inspired" as opposed to full on Indian Cuisine (mentioned by an earlier posting).

                                                                      The first show is often a little bumpy. Melissa d'Arabian, doesn't seem to have done that well.

                                                                      Even Guy Fieri, who seems to have become a super star wasn't that successful at his first show, Guy's Big Bite. He has certainly made up for it with Diners, Drive ins and Dives and all the commercials and that contest show he hosts.

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                        We've had 3 Indian restaurants here in our Indiana town for over 20 years. They are very popular.

                                                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                                                          Don't know about the places in your town, but most of the Indian food here at most places I've tried in Indianapolis is pretty Americanized.

                                                                          (p.s. your profile indicates you are in Missouri, though?)

                                                                        2. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                          I live in a charming little southern town, and we love the indian restaurants we're lucky enough to have here (and the szechuan, middle eastern, thai, etc.). I'm from a city, and I can safely say from now living here that it is a bad idea to write off non-city dwellers as people who can't deal with anything but TGIFs.

                                                                          1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                            Hank, I think your bias against Indian is flavoring your thoughts here :)

                                                                            Indian food is as popular in England as Mexican is in the US...if the English can love it, properly presented I think Americans can too.

                                                                            Aarti's food is kind of Indian on training wheels...El Paso Mexican as opposed to Rick Bayless Mexican.

                                                                            1. re: coney with everything

                                                                              I once read that Tandoori Chicken is the most popular pizza flavor (or should I say flavour) in England. Sort of a head-scratching fact on these shores, but just goes to prove Coney's point about the popularity of Indian food with the English.

                                                                              1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                Well, even if the show and Aarti are not successful, it won't mean that Americans don't like Indian Cuisine. I suspect any new show on Food Network probably has a less than 50% shot at being successful.

                                                                                I certainly haven't liked the Indian food, I have tried and am not adventurous enough to keep looking for something in that cuisine that I do like.

                                                                                I do think the show has bigger odds to overcome than a show featuring multiple cuisines.

                                                                            2. Aarti, we will see. The concept has merit, as many of us Baby Boomers continue on the down side of the hill, we will be looking for bolder flavor stimulation. The two runner's up were great personalities but FN already has a Big Chef/ Big Flavor show and 2 Mexican Lite and Easy shows. The networks demographic is the Home Cook but must they assume that HC's don't know that U15 and Colossal shrimp are the same thing. Alton Brown RULES and I wish they would produce new shows with Mario Batali, both men are entertaining but, most importantly, Informative.

                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Chef Jimmy J

                                                                                I don't think they're aiming their programming at boomers. The focus group that gave feedback about the three finalists' demos didn't appear to have anyone over 30 in it, so they clearly weren't looking for input from older viewers.

                                                                                I find it really frustrating that they choose home cooks to produce shows when there are so many talented and entertaining chefs out there with lots to offer. I want to learn something when I tune in as well as be entertained. Aarti is pleasant and fun, but I guess I don't feel that she has that much to teach me.

                                                                                1. re: bear

                                                                                  I've posted this before in other places, but some of the people who appear on Throwdown are downright charming, lovable and personable. Why can they not find more people like this?

                                                                                  1. re: Manassas64

                                                                                    Manassas,Throwdown is in my top fav 's, Just an observation, why would they open the show with Bobby describing and showing the challenger, THEN going through the whole Cloak and Dagger/ Impossible Missions Force senario? DUH! I don't think challengers with Secret Recipes/ Ingredient's should be on the show, there is nothing to learn from them. Beside does anyone really believe that a Mom in Pa is going to take a secret recipe for Chocolate Cake in Boston relocate Her family and open a Bakery in the same general area as the people with the cake recipe?! JJ

                                                                                    1. re: Chef Jimmy J

                                                                                      "I don't think challengers with Secret Recipes/ Ingredient's should be on the show, there is nothing to learn from them."

                                                                                      This show is first and foremost entertainment. It's not formulated as a "how to cook" show. And one does get to see a bit of Bobby coming up with his recipe and his attempts to refine that recipe (along with the person preparing their dish - perhaps with a bit of secret ingredient time thrown in). So there is some cooking. But mostly just the fun of seeing if Bobby can pull it off. And I get almost a bigger kick out of the throw down challengers when they are obviously not pleased with being sandbagged and they are a bit on the "surly" side.

                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                        Bobby says that the point of the show is to really showcase these people who have an amazing product. I've noticed that they have changed the opening this season so it's more hi tech and less cloak and dagger.

                                                                                        Honestly, I never liked Bobby Flay before this show. I thought he was pompous and an a$$ but this show brings out or shows a totally different side of him and I am a big fan now.

                                                                                        1. re: Manassas64

                                                                                          That show isn't bad. I personally like Bobby Flay. He seems like a real nice guy. I'm not that wild about his specialty cuisine. You can only eat so much chili powder or have so many diced jalapenos.

                                                                                          1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                            I still don't like Bobby Flay in general. I find him somewhat obnoxious, grating/supercilious in tone.

                                                                                            I also still remember his getting up on the counter and standing on his chopping board in his shoes on that original Iron Chef episode where he was the challenger. It was horrifying.

                                                                                  2. re: bear

                                                                                    I don't think I would use the composition of those focus groups as an indicator of the target audience. I would guess that was probably a "what look do we want on the tnfns finale" decision than it was an attempt to get and then use substantive feedback.

                                                                                    1. re: bear

                                                                                      Greetings Bear, admitedly I was a little vague, I didn't mean to imply that Boomers are the targeted audience, just that as one of the largest demographics with time and disposable income to eat out and having eaten very well in a post great depression era, are now searching out new and exciting cuisines. So it's fun to see something other than Hamburgers Quick, Spagetti Cheap and Salad with whatever as an Entree. Although Food Bloggers and Stay Home Mom's may be cute (no offense intended to Mom's or anyone) I and the regular viewers I talk to simply prefer to watch the Chef's and Artisan's. We totally agree here. My apologies. JJ

                                                                                  3. I saw a couple episodes over the weekend on my dvr, and I enjoyed it. I agree that the title, opening graphis and recipe names are pretty goofy, but I like how she describes the spices she's adding to the food, and I like her ideas.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                      I watched a few episodes of TNFNS and figured she was the winner pretty much from the start. I do think it's a pity she isn't going to do more straight up indian food but I guess Food network figured her food would have more appeal if was indian fusion.

                                                                                      If you want to see a video of soemone cooking vegetarian ndian dishes you should check out manjula. She's got the charisma of a turnip but she's a great cook. All of her recipes come with a video of her cooking them. http://www.manjulaskitchen.com/

                                                                                      1. re: msjess

                                                                                        Love Manjula... never thought anyone could teack me to make my own Malai Kofta!!

                                                                                    2. Just read on FN site that she has been renewed, start taping next month and the new shows will air in December. The article is on the opening page of FN. I don't know how many episodes were taped for what is being shown now, but it does mention that they'll be taping 13 new shows which is usually a season on many PBS shows. I stand corrected, I'm watching PBS now and a commercial of Lidia just came on stating her new 26 episode series will be coming on soon.

                                                                                      I have only watched the first episode. It appears to be getting good feedback.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: hummingbird

                                                                                        The winner of TNFNS get a contract for 6 shows. If they're a success they get renewed

                                                                                      2. I do wish it was more straight up Indian cooking. I really don't want to make indian-ized burgers, or whatever.

                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                          agreed LM. I like to learn about the food of a certain country or culture. I want to see real Indian dishes but yeah this is entertainment TV to the masses. It is what it is.

                                                                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                            I saw the episode today (9/19) and it seems she is feeling more comfortable in her role, but holy jesus, a curry with cut up hotdogs in it? Who let here do that recipe? Really gross.

                                                                                            1. re: SmartCookie

                                                                                              I'll take one for the team and make it tomorrow. Hey as a treat my mom used to cut up hot dogs in our top Ramen, As a kid I loved it.

                                                                                              1. re: chris2269

                                                                                                HA! Now that you mention it, when I was a kid, a distance relative made some kind of hot dogs in "from scratch" beans that I adored and always requested when coming to visit. What she must have imagined cooking at our house was like, I don't know...


                                                                                              2. re: SmartCookie

                                                                                                I agree...looked pretty gross. I liked the first episode, hoped it would get more authentic, but the episodes since have been less indian, more mashup. At this point I just watch the first few minutes to see what she is making and then delete the show off my DVR. Too bad...if she cooked food like she cooked on TNFNS I would watch.

                                                                                            2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                              I feel the same way, LM. So far I haven't really seen anything that makes me harken back to my youth, when I would visit my father's relatives and eat amazing Indian food.

                                                                                              On the other hand, we watched a Giada episode this weekend and in it, Giada claimed that the abominable spice we call "Curry Powder" in the US is used a lot in Indian cooking. Um, no. There are a lot of powder mixtures used in the making of curry, but "curry powder" is not something I have ever seen, smelled, used, or tasted in Indian cuisine. Thank God for that...

                                                                                              The point being... baby steps. If we still have people like Giada thinking that kind of thing, then a show like Aarti Party is perhaps all that Food Network's audience can take just yet.

                                                                                              1. re: TAsunder

                                                                                                Amazing, isn't it? I know a guy who hadn't eaten a shrimp in his whole life at the age of 38. My (now) husband and I went out with him for happy hour, and without thinking about it twice, husband ordered calamari for us all to share. Friend was shocked - "what IS this stuff!??" But aside from this guy, I can't imagine any other people I've come across being that afraid of trying something new.

                                                                                                I like Aarti, and think she's charming, but I sure do wish she'd teach me (I haven't a drop of Indian blood in me) something I don't know about Indian cooking.

                                                                                            3. You know.. I do think the lentil dahl looked pretty tasty though...

                                                                                              1. Has this been canceled? I haven't seen it on or listed since September. She is still on the FN website, but last show was listed as sometime in Sept.

                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                  I heard that it was renewed. My guess is that she ran through her six episodes and now there's going to be a window of down time while the next batch of episodes are in production.


                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                    that's good. I actually liked her recipes.

                                                                                                    1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                      That's great! Some of the dishes she prepared during TNFNS looked appealing, though I've never seen her show. Which ones did you try?


                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                        We tried the roasted chicken with the cardamom and orange zest butter. I saved the 2 shows i saw on the DVR so i can refer back to it.

                                                                                                        1. re: treb

                                                                                                          It is cancelled now. She got 2 seasons and that was it.

                                                                                                          1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                            FN lists 3 'seasons'; it appears the last episode first aired last fall

                                                                                                            is her blog

                                                                                                            1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                              According to this link (and I have no idea whether it's a credible source or not), Aarti and Melissa D are working on a show together. http://wannabetvchef.com/?p=9213


                                                                                                      1. So I guess it appears I was correct about the show not making it. It did, however make it 3 seasons. That is pretty good considering the cuisine represents maybe 10 - 20% of the market...maybe. That is fighting an uphill battle to get enough ratings to stay on.

                                                                                                        I really haven't been terribly impressed with the food network stars. I think the show sorta stands on its own as a competitive show and Americans love a competition. I haven't liked most of the winners although Guy Fieri and Michael Simon have succeeded very well. Most have not done so well. Nobody is gonna miss "the sandwich king" (oh brother) or that Jeffrey that cooks crepes on the weekend with his children. Melissa D'Arabian is still hanging on but barely.

                                                                                                        21 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                                          Do you mean Michael Symon (not Simon)? While he is frequently on the food network, he is NOT a food network star winner. He's an actual chef. A James Beard award winning chef. Now that I'm not a vegetarian, I hope to make it to one of his restaurants some day.

                                                                                                          1. re: debbiel


                                                                                                            And...Guy Fieri is an obnoxious frat boy. Homophobic too.

                                                                                                              1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                Homophobic? Really? What has he done or said to give that impression?

                                                                                                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                  It's been talked about. Just google it.

                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                    I just did. Thanks. He's always been a little 'over-the -top'and annoying for me as is. I watch just to get ideas for new dishes I could make.

                                                                                                              2. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                He was a Next Iron Chef winner.

                                                                                                                What's with this 'actual chef' stuff? Does that make someone special, or a better TV personality? How many of the Next FN Star winners or near winners have owned or been chief cook and bottle washer in a restaurant?

                                                                                                                The Hearty Boys have a catering company
                                                                                                                Guy has managed and owned restaurants
                                                                                                                Amy Finley was a professional food writer
                                                                                                                Jeff Mauro's restaurant jobs have included "line cook, caterer and chef instructor."

                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                  I think Debbie's point was that Symon did not make it to the FN air via the NFNS process, as Hank's post seemed to imply. Symon has been a staple talent for them since practically the beginning, on various shows, including (if memory serves) Chef Du Jour, Melting Pot, My Country, My Kitchen and the like (if not those exact shows, shows very much like them). He's an FN old-timer, so to speak, not one of the new crop of talentless, attention-whore rookies, closer to a Bobby or Mario than a Gaifyeddy.

                                                                                                                2. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                  Michael Symon won Next Iron Chef, not Food Network Star.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                    Yes, that *was* debbiesI's point.

                                                                                                                3. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                                                  The NFNS winners have done better than the American Idol winners, at least. This is what i hear, i'm not a fan of either show.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                                                    Sometimes I just think FN is simply trying to sponge up people's recipes (and Aarti had quite an inventory from her blog). If she can't maintain an audience or produce content after they've used up her existing recipes, well they cut her loose. Too bad. I thought her recipes were interesting, though I found her personality grating.

                                                                                                                    ETA: I wonder if this is the show they mean. It seems to me it's mostly Melissa's deal... http://thealternativepress.com/articl...


                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                      Yes, Aarti is part of the "drop 5 pounds" show.

                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                        I think they are just desperately searching for new shows and concepts. Even the best shows get old.

                                                                                                                        They are also in search of new audiences. They seem to be trying to find some minority chefs to attract those audiences.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                                                          let me tell you how i really feel!! :-)
                                                                                                                          if FN would quit with their formula of talking about family, talking about yourself, all the stuff they push on the contestants on NFNS, and dumbing everything down to college dorm dining hall fare, maybe they will capture and retain some interest.
                                                                                                                          i hated what they did to aarti. what was it that they had her do on her very first episode? some weird american/indian fusion thing. it was demeaning to her and disgusting to even think of eating it.

                                                                                                                            1. re: pamf

                                                                                                                              did you watch that?
                                                                                                                              for me, it was really painful to watch.
                                                                                                                              her recipes seemed to improve over time, but by then, i had lost interest.
                                                                                                                              maybe it is a good thing that ethnic cooks don't win the contests. i can't imagine what the FN producers would do to other cultures and their cuisine.

                                                                                                                        2. re: The Dairy Queen


                                                                                                                          Here Aarti is being billed as " restaurant correspondent on Drop 5 lbs With Good Housekeeping."

                                                                                                                          her 'healthy restaurant eating guide'.

                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                            Well... she could certainly afford to drop 5 pounds. In fact.... If she lost the flower on the side of her head, that alone would be 5 pounds.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                                                              Is there a rule of thumb that TV always adds 5lbs to your appearance?

                                                                                                                      2. This show isn't one I watch. Today I saw it on the guide and like the idea of what she was serving. It's beef curry vindaloo plus whole wheat griddle bread and cucumber and golden raisin raita with yogurt mint dressing. I liked how she made each of the dishes and feel as though I may attempt it > after my cleanse.

                                                                                                                        My question is if anyone knows if I can substitute the beef cubes for lamb cubes. I bought a boneless leg of lamb yesterday and have had it at a wedding reception cooked in a teriyaki glaze that was fabulous. But wondering if I did this vindaloo with lamb if it would cut some of the gaminess. Thanks for help.

                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                          I see no reason why a lamb curry vindaloo wouldn't be delicious...but, I don't see how lamb would be less gamely than beef.

                                                                                                                          1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                            Lamb vindaloo is pretty common on Indian menus

                                                                                                                          2. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                            I think I'd ask that question over on the Home Cooking board Il Divo. :)

                                                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                              I would expect lamb to have a stronger flavor than beef; and mutton to have an even stronger flavor. (I like both, but with lamb over mutton) I'm wondering why you think that doing the dish with lamb would cut some of the gaminess? What do you mean by "gaminess" in your case?

                                                                                                                              1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                maybe she means vindaloo with lamb would be less gamey than other lamb dishes, idk.

                                                                                                                                1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                  mmm, Troy,...why do you assume "il divo" is a "she"? Men often cook at home (me, for example)...and "il divo" is the masculine for "diva", meaning, I think, a divine male (performer, usually)! Forgive me...I'm just being snarky!!

                                                                                                                                  I think you may be correct in your thinking that he might be suggesting that a vindaloo preparation might reduce the gaminess of lamb.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                    I don't know. Il Divo often refers to "my husband" so i assumed she, but Il divo could be a man. Not that it matters.