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Which FoodNetwork Hosts/Shows Do You Miss?

There have been countless threads already about how the network is just plain terrible, but I wanted to look back at the glory days and remember the shows that I used to actually enjoy-

-The Best Of
As a kid I thought it used to be a tad boring but now that I've grown up I realized how good it actually was... It's like a high-class normal version of Diners Drive ins and dives

-Sweet Dreams
Oh Gale Gand, come back to me. How I dearly loved your show. One day I will sneak into the FoodNetwork headquarters vault and steal all of your tapes. Alas, now you've been replaced by Anne Thornton

-Sara Moulton
Years ago i thought she was a bit uninteresting as well, but you know what? I learned a heck of a lot from her when I was a kid! Her French Apple Tart holds a special place in my heart

-From Martha's Kitchen
Pretentious? Utterly so. It was like watching the life you could only dream of having. However, she was still utterly informative and her guests were always entertaining

-Everyday Italian
I'm talking about her first few seasons where she was a bit on the shy side and taught honest to goodness humble Italian food. It's sad that I miss a show that is still relatively recent.

-How to Boil Water
Before that douche Tyler Florence and that idiotic blonde girl took over. The french chef and the hostess were extremely entertaining and hey- this show taught beginners how to cook in a non-condescending and non-prepackaged way... I'm shaking my finger at you

-Jacque Torres
Simply because he was the only one who catered towards professional amateurs who knew there way around the kitchen

Special Mentions:

-Calorie Commando
Simply because every single one of his recipe makeovers looked like a trainwreck- it was entertaining to see how bad his recipes turned out

-The old Paula Deen
As in the paula before she moved into her new house and now has to have her sons on every episode...

And if you need refreshing: a list of past and present FN programs

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  1. I miss Mario. I always liked how he knew the history of the dish he was making. It was very interesting.

    8 Replies
    1. re: kprange

      Me too. I learned so much from that show.

      I share the OP's thoughts on Sara Moulton.

      There was a show hosted by a white haired, bearded man that travelled and would cook with the chefs at local hotels and resorts. I didn't do much cooking back then but I loved watching the show

      1. re: cleobeach

        "There was a show hosted by a white haired, bearded man that travelled and would cook with the chefs at local hotels and resorts"
        Burt Wolfe?

      2. re: kprange

        Me three on Mario. And Sara Moulton. I liked all of her shows but sometimes just thoroughly enjoyed Cooking Live Primetime.

        1. re: debbiel

          All of the old seasons of Sara Moulton's "Sara's Secrets" & Mario Batali's "Molto Mario" are on Food Network's twin channel "The Cooking Channel" every morning here. Sara is on at 7 a.m., with Mario following her at 7:30. I watch them every morning.

        2. re: kprange

          Mario, loved the history too and how the guest "helped" out. Not on FT, but does anyone remember that crazy old Southern guy, that did a lot of cookin outside?

          1. re: JEN10

            "crazy old Southern guy, that did a lot of cookin outside?"
            Justin Wilson?

            1. re: Sherri

              He's the one, thanks Sherry. He was a hoot!!!

        3. Old Paula Deen
          Two Fat Ladies (I think I miss them most of all)
          Melting Pot
          All of Mario Batali's shows, even the Eats Italy one, corny as it was, but especially Molto Mario
          Sara Moulton

          5 Replies
          1. re: EWSflash

            LOVED Two Fat Ladies, reminded me of my Grandmother and her sisters.

            1. re: JEN10

              I wish I had a British grandma with a sharp wit and mad cooking skills...

            2. re: EWSflash

              Reserve Saturday evenings on Cooking Channel for the 2 ladies.

              1. re: EWSflash

                All episodes of Two Fat Ladies are available on a DVD set and it includes a special episode that is a tribute to Jennifer Patterson and her very interesting life.

                1. re: pamf

                  Thank you Pamf, I just added those to my Netflix Que.

              2. Has anyone looked up Sara's website?

                1. This predates FoodNetwork, and maybe even if I saw it now my opinion would be different, but as a teenager I adored Floyd on Fish.

                  1. I miss the David Rosengarten show, "Taste".

                    1. +1 on David Rosengarten, Sara Moulton, Mario and Jacques Torres.

                      East Meets West with Ming Tsai
                      Too Hot Tamales with Susan Feniger & Mary Sue Milliken
                      Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello

                      7 Replies
                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          I miss the Two Hots too.

                          And Ready Set Cook...

                          And the first Bobby Flay show I remember, where he cooked with that Jack guy who wore overalls...75% less Flay-douchiness.

                          1. re: coney with everything

                            I miss the early Flay show with that beautiful woman--Jackie Maloof(??) cooking out doors with the beautiful people enjoying it all :)

                            1. re: Trumpetguy

                              Ahh yes.."Grillin and Chillin'."

                              Jack and Bobby . " Now Bobby..." he'd admonish in that Southern drawl.

                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            East Meets West is still on around here -- on PBS during the Saturday-morning last-bastion-of-decent-cooking-shows block. If that ever disappears, I don't know what I'll do.

                            1. re: Whats_For_Dinner

                              One Ming's shows is a regular on CreateTV, at the start of the daily 2 hr block of cooking shows.

                          3. I REALLY miss "Good Eats!" They don't even show reruns. And I miss Sara Moulton and Mario. I do often catch "Two Fat Ladies" on the Cooking Channel.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: NYCkaren

                              GE is showing every weekday morning, 11 am. You probably mean it does not currently have a prime time slot. They do rotate the prime time offerings, especially the ones that are on reruns. But that applies to CreateTV as well (though Lydia seems to have a permanent spot).

                              1. re: paulj

                                Ah. I'm not usually home at 11 a.m. and I don't have DVR, TiVO etc.

                            2. Oh, I loved David Rosengarten. I really learned a lot from him. What happened to him? I know he has other stuff going on now, but at the time, did he quit or was his contract not renewed? I was really bummed. And the Two Hot Tamales - loved them. I really enjoyed Ready - Set - Cook. Was it the precursor to all the "timed" cooking shows? It seems that way to me, but maybe it was just a Food Network retread.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Whinerdiner

                                I had forgotten about Ready Set Cook. Such a silly but fun one.

                                1. re: Whinerdiner

                                  David was great, Sara was fun and knowledgeable, and I actually liked Essence of Emeril back before he went all prime time on us. I was also a fan of Jamie Oliver, The Fat Ladies, and just sitting at staring at Nigella Lawson. ;o) Oh, and if we're mentioning pre-FoodTV...I still wish I could find copies of some of the old Great Chefs series. Those were awesome!

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      Now that IS awesome...Thank you!

                                    2. re: LiveRock

                                      Yes, I liked Emeril way back when. I'd get a kick out of watching him get tipsy by the show's end. He got sweater and the BAM'S got louder. And The Naked Chef was fun. I remember his bachelor kitchen, back when his now wife was a girlfriend who stopped by on occasion.

                                      As for Nigella - my husband still has a crush on her.

                                      1. re: Whinerdiner

                                        Any opinions on Emeril's current shows on Cooking Channel? one with a title like Fresh Food Fast, and another that visits 'classic' restaurants in various cities?

                                        1. re: paulj

                                          "Fresh Food Fast" seems not bad. The recipes are things I would make. I wouldn't bother to watch the other one. I skip all the shows that visit restaurants in various cities.

                                  1. Two Hot Tamales for sure!

                                    Sara Moulton for sure - and all of her guests

                                    I just miss the days when they had actual chefs cooking actual food. I haven't watched the network in years now, it is kind of sad.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: thimes

                                      Me too. I learned so much in those early years of FN, and now, like you said, it's just really sad.

                                      There is little talent left and the shows are embarrassingly bad. Anne Burrell is the only thing left. I used to spend hours watching FN, and I don't watch it at all anymore. Anne is the only show on FN I tape, otherwise I never turn it on.

                                      1. re: FoodChic

                                        Now that I think about it, I have to say that I rarely watch any of their shows anymore. I to used to watch it or have it on all the time. Oh well, life moves on.

                                    2. Hulu has become my source for real cooking shows now (I dont have the cooking channel) and my favorite show is now AvecEric, hosted by Eric Ripert. It's part behind the scenes of high-end restaurants and part cooking show hosted by himself and it just reminds me of the good old days when Food Network actually taught you something. For instance, he mentioned that whisking butter into a reduction will make it cloudy and that swirling it instead will give it a mirror-like finish. I haven't learned something so useful in years!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: fattychalupa

                                        I'll have to look for that on Hulu. It is on Saturday at like 1pm here and needless to say I'm never home then to watch it.

                                        I had the fortune to take a cooking class/demonstration with him several years ago now and he made this wonderful sauce that was finished with swirling butter to get that mirror-like finish. If I remember correctly it was essentially 50% Port and 50% sherry vinegar that was reduced to about 1/2 (or a little more I think) and then finished with swirling butter until it was mirror like. It is a wonderful sauce. I think he described it as "esoteric", I loved that description, since without the butter it just doesn't "work" taste wise.