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NFNS 7/31 with spoilers

At last Whitney says her goodbyes, very pretty lady but without a TV personality.

I am liking Jeff more and more.

But do they have to do a program based on that which they have pushed on us so far? Why does Jeff have to do a sandwich show or could they change it to something else? They seem to have chosen a persona and I am not sure that pre-choosing is such a great idea.

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  1. i don't think a sandwich show is that bad an idea. but marybeth grates on me more and more each week - and i frankly didn't know that was possible.

    was glad susie did well. i still want to eat her food the most.

    thought it was interesting they killed vic vegas. since a bunch of us hated it too.

    15 Replies
    1. re: AMFM

      Mary Beth really, really drives me nuts. Her 2 minute Best Food I Ever Ate made me cringe. It seemed so very very fake. Ugh.

      Did you notice Judge Suzie's sort of head nod/nonverbal approval of the "my dad picked cherries for 12 hours" line from Contestant Susie. I read it as, "Oh wonderful! Angst! She has a 'woe is me' story!!" Ugh.

      I can't imagine watching a sandwich show.

      1. re: debbiel

        I hear you on Mary Beth. Not sure why, but she really grates on me. There seems to be a level of insincerity.

        1. re: DiningDiva

          I actually had some sympathy for Mary Beth this week...the judges basically told her that a cooking show isn't supposed to be about teaching. I would think that telling viewers that ducks shouldn't be cooked like chickens, and explaining why, would be a good thing. But oh no, there's no STORY...it's boring and "pedantic".

          Not saying I'd watch Mary Beth, but FFS--a cooking show that taught stuff about cooking would seem to be appropriate on the FOOD network.

          1. re: coney with everything

            <the judges basically told her that a cooking show isn't supposed to be about teaching. I would think that telling viewers that ducks shouldn't be cooked like chickens, and explaining why, would be a good thing. But oh no, there's no STORY...it's boring and "pedantic". > Isn't that why they got rid of Sara Moulton, David Rosengarten, et al? even Mario was actually teaching the hows and whys.... remember they are "WAAAAY more than cooking" now. (rolling eyes)

            1. re: coney with everything

              You forgot Alton Brown. Food teacher extraordinaire.

              1. re: pdxgastro

                Yes, you can teach interestingly or boringly. Mary Beth is no Alton, and I hope she is the next to leave.

                1. re: babette feasts

                  She reminds of an artificial sweetener. I am not particularly impressed with her. I like Susie and Vic. Jeff isn't real to me either. Vic needs a lot of work, and I don't know about his food chops, but I like his personality.

                  1. re: kprange

                    Regardless of who wins, Jeff will get a show because he's shown he knows how to interact with people and the camera.

                    1. re: chicgail

                      Agree, but I bet they'll tweak his Sandwich King schtick to something else, maybe a traveling show to find Best Sandwiches in America or something. I don't find him all that appealing, but just my opinion (too OTT for me).

                      1. re: pine time

                        I agree with you as well. It's Guy Fieri-kinda thing. It looks all show biz schtick to me, but apparently that kind of thing sells. And let's face it: it's the Food Network, but it's not really about food over there, it's about ratings.

                        1. re: pine time

                          jeff is so corporate chef. uggh. schmoozy, bureaucratic, annoying. . . obviously, i am not the intended audience.

            2. I didn't fall asleep like I did last week. I thought they underutilized their guest performers. I could have done without Gottfried, I find him annoying. A few weeks ago I said this show was Vic's to lose. It looks like I was right because he has lost. I don't think he has anything to offer that I wish to watch. I would like to learn how to cook Susie's food. Jeff seems to be a natural, so if it isn't sandwiches, FN will find something for him to do. So, I predict Susie will win and Jeff gets a show on the Cooking Channel.

              11 Replies
              1. re: John E.

                "So, I predict Susie will win and Jeff gets a show on the Cooking Channel."

                I think that's probably a pretty good bet, John.

                1. re: debbiel

                  I think we will see more of Susie, Vic and Jeff, regardless of who wins.

                  And to answer a previous poster's question, they're not obligated to produce the exact concept of the show pitched by the contestant.

                  1. re: debbiel

                    I think Susie and Jeff will be the last 2 with Vic in 3rd place. But I think Jeff gets the win and Susie gets the show on the Cooking Channel.

                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      I agree that Susie will get a Cooking Channel spot and that one of the guys will get the win -- Jeff will win if he doesn't make a major mistake in the final stretch. It will be Vic if Jeff messes up. I think the judges want a guy this year.

                      1. re: DiningDiva

                        I think this is more likely. I suspect that Jeff's future lies in a non-cooking show, while Susie seems more suited to a cooking show which these days is more likely to happen over on the cooking channel.

                        1. re: jgg13

                          "I think this is more likely. I suspect that Jeff's future lies in a non-cooking show" along the lines of The Ultimate Sandwich Search.

                    2. re: John E.

                      I've never seen Gilbert so restrained ,that must have pre-medicated him.

                      1. re: John E.

                        What was with the woman guest who didn't say much?They kept showing her face looking like she was thinking something negative. It was sort of ominous.

                        1. re: Shrinkrap

                          I thought that was odd as well. Wondered what that was about. Don't recall her name and did not recognize her as any sort of standout comic. Guess she did not say anything sufficiently notable to survive editing, since all we got were those looks of displeasure.

                            1. re: foodiefan6

                              I felt like she was being like her character on Parks & Recreation, very dry and half pissed all the time.

                        2. I'm beginning to think Bob Tuschman is a master velvet razor.

                          Did you see how he basically told Whitney that she is indeed a soulless zombie just like Gilbert Gottfried said only with a sticky sweet smile on his face and in such as way as to completely distance himself from the opinion?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                            His crooked smirk gives me the creeps.

                          2. When the bottom two were identified by the judges as one who could talk about food and one who was great at cooking food, I knew the better cook would be on the losing end. On-camera skills always trump cooking skills on this program!

                            10 Replies
                            1. re: foodiefan6

                              Of course, it's all about presentation. I remember once attending a quiz evening for parents at my daughters' elementary school. We had a BBC news presenter on our table and I thought we'd win easily she must have great general knowledge but she didn't know diddley squat. She was a news reader not an analyst.

                              1. re: smartie

                                Whitney, Justin B. & Penny may be great cooks, but would you watch any of them on a TV show? I'd love to have them cook for me, but as far as watching them on a weekly TV show, no thank you.

                                Great skills in one field does not necessarily correlate to great TV presence, with the prime example being star athletes trying to make the jump into broadcasting.

                                1. re: josquared

                                  I might watch Whitney if she had a show. Not everyone has to be over-the-top perky or cartoonish to relate well on camera. Look at Ina. I think Whitney, with additional development, could be of that mold.

                                  1. re: foodiefan6

                                    It's not really perkiness I want from Whitney, and definitely not cartoonishness (and that goes from almost any host) - she just comes off as wooden. There's something that Ina has that Whitney does not, though that could be a matter of simple inexperience and youth.

                                    I do agree - give Whitney a few years, and she could probably pull off a teaching-type cooking show that will would be fine with many.

                                  2. re: josquared

                                    Yes, I would watch Justin B. I would like to learn stuff, looking at - and admiring - the food and dishes created, with the info delivered in a quiet, steady way such as Justin B would have done. His recollections of childhood memories or his uncle's car accident or whatever not needed. Keep the camera on the food and on him as appropriate when he's explaining something. I am presuming that he generally cooks better than what he came up with right at the end, of course.

                                    p.s. I haven't watched this episode, and only saw (almost by accident) half of the previous one. This show has become almost unwatchable for me with the "TV-reality"/"who-cares-about-the-food-itself"/theatrics/"I-wanna-FEEEEL-with-you" sensibilities desired by TPTB. Ditto much of what is on FN. Reading this thread is really enough info for me wrt this show at this point.

                                    1. re: huiray

                                      I like to learn stuff too, and I cringe when the schmaltz and similar appear as well.

                                      However, if I had a teacher/professor of pretty much any subject, cooking or otherwise, that taught things in that same monotone drone that Justin B. sported, I'd be either falling asleep and/or having my mind wander pretty darn quickly unless my interest in said subject overrode any (lack of) presentation skills.

                                      In a teaching cooking show regard, I'd much prefer Whitney - she seems to know her stuff as well as Justin B., seems much more well spoken, and her enthusiasm for cooking comes through. Not to say Justin B. isn't enthusiastic about his cooking, but I felt that his enthusiasm never translated to his speaking opportunities well, if at all.

                                      1. re: josquared

                                        My feeling with Justin B was that he was too guarded to let himself show and that gives you a wooden personality. I thought he might be a fun guy when he's hanging out w/ his friends and having a beer. I agree that Whitney does come off as more personable than Justin and at least tried to change and wasn't arrogant about it.

                                        1. re: josquared

                                          Diff'rent strokes etc.
                                          I found Justin B to be fine and personally preferable over Whitney, so far as I remember her from the earlier episodes.

                                            1. re: rozz01

                                              I think chowser put it perfectly for me - the only hint of enthusiasm I got out of Justin B. was when he expressed shock that it was him leaving. My first thought then was "where the heck was this guy during the competition?"

                                              And I'm not one who needs overbearing enthusiasm - a little dab would've gone a long way for him I do believe.

                                              But people have different preferences I agree.

                                2. Well, no surprise really - Whitney really struck me as a slightly more lively Justin B. on the female side who was more consistent with her cooking.

                                  Why did Bobby Flay have them do their "Best Thing" segments and give input immediately afterward with EVERYONE there? That would seem to give the later contestants an edge, though some didn't take it (e.g. Vic)

                                  The only way Marybeth stays longer is if she is a beneficiary of the Chris factor i.e. someone really really screws up majorly.

                                  Out of the remaining three, I say Jeff gets a show regardless of where he finishes. I think they can be flexible with his sandwich idea and do a combo him cooking up sandwiches and going out to places that make/have something to do with the history of sandwiches, but I'm still not terribly intrigued by the whole idea. I'm sure he can do something else as well depending on things.

                                  Susie probably gets a show either on FN (if she wins) or CC, unless she majorly retrogrades this week.

                                  Vic? Eh, I dunno - if he doesn't start clarifying his viewpoint this week and/or if he leaves next week, I don't know if the execs will take a chance on him. He still struggles with camera presence more often than not.

                                  1. Jeff knocked it out of the park on all counts this week. I think he's got real potential to be watchable, even by the "I hate FN" contingent on Chow. :-)

                                    Susie really did well -- would love to eat her dish from last night, and the jitters seemed to go away.

                                    Mary Beth just isn't right for this sort of show; I think, however, that if Alton ever retired, she'd be a pretty good possibility to replace him on Iron Chef as a commentator -- knowledge / teaching seem to be her comfort zone.

                                    I LOVED the comedians telling Vic to can the stupid "Vic Vegas" action figure shtick. However, neither I nor my wife nor our son believe he'll do it. He can't be consistent, and can't be himself. Whoever that self is. The "persona" of Vic Vegas is his only comfortable refuge. One wonders what he's hiding from.

                                    1. I'd never even heard of her until I saw her on the FN Newsletter in my email this morning, but Marcela Valladolid has a show on FN, apparently starting its second season, all about cooking Mexican. So how would they make Susie something different enough to warrant another show on Mexican food?
                                      But then, who would have thought they'd go for yet another show on sweets/desserts? The promo for Duff's new show doesn't exactly look like anything new, except for recycling his persona out of the bakery...

                                      24 Replies
                                      1. re: cmvan

                                        FN has also has Simply Delicioso with Ingrid Hoffmann (Miami based Latino cooking), and Viva Daisy (NY Puerto Rican Latino). Daisy was originally on PBS. PBS also shows Paties Mexican Table (CreateTV).

                                        1. re: paulj

                                          Pati's Mexican Table - Can her delivery get more Sabado Gigante??? She's like a female Jose Andres, whom I find exhausting to watch.

                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                            If you can get CreateTV you probably can also watch two hours of cooking - in Spanish - on Veme.

                                            1. re: paulj

                                              forgive me for being dense and possibly missing your point, but spanish language =/= mexican food/culture. miami-cuban, or nyc-puerto rican are very different cuisines than regional mexican, w different ingredients, cultural influences and foodways. a show on anglo-indian food in the uk, and one on italian-american food in the u.s, both in english language, will be different shows about very different foods. . .

                                              1. re: soupkitten

                                                I am aware of the differences, that is why I described where each was coming from. But I don't think the differences are as stark as you do.

                                                So what kind of Mexican show would Susie do? You mention 'regional mexican'. Is that her strength? Some bloggers make is sound as though this whole Mexican angle is being forced on her by the judges.

                                                Susie is to regional Mexican as Giada is to regional Italian???????????

                                                1. re: paulj

                                                  Susie is the Mexican Giada in many ways, I think.

                                                  Now all she's gotta do is lower the neck lines, and novia's got it made in the shade... :)

                                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                    Let the makeover begin! More cleavage, whiten teeth and style hair. Just please don't have her start to pedantically pronounce ingredients with an accent!

                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                      Actually, it's funny you should say that monavano - I didnt watch the entire episode, but I caught when they were doing their "Best thing I ever Ate" bit and I thought Susie had obviously gotten a makeover AND some teeth whitening!

                                                      i think the Judges are pushing for a Susie win

                                            2. re: inaplasticcup

                                              ditto, inaplasticcup...Pati's accent is difficult to listen to

                                              For Mexican, I think the winner is Rick Bayless, even though he does have that Ned Flanders thing...

                                              1. re: coney with everything

                                                I like Rick Bayless too! (Unless he's got the kid on - she seems nice enough but hams wayyy too much for the cammie.) He's got a really enthusiastic but calm delivery.

                                                I think Jinich just tries way too hard to entertain people when she's talking. And the eyebrows going up and down constantly paired with the gratuitous gesticulation is just distracting. Funny thing is, I saw a video of her demo-ing a recipe for some product and she didn't have anywhere near as thick an accent (not that I have a problem with accents), and she wasn't anywhere near as hammy. It's hard to believe someone thought it a good idea for her to act that way when she's really not.

                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                  Ugh. Can't abide Rick Bayless. Seems so.....canned.

                                                  1. re: jmckee

                                                    Whitney let self-doubt creep in and it got the best of her. I could see her whole affect became flat. She defeated herself.
                                                    Hopefully, Whitney will watch and learn from her experience so she can gain confidence. She's really got a lot to offer.

                                                    1. re: jmckee

                                                      I thought the same thing until I saw him on Top Chef Masters. He seems more real after that. I too don't care to watch the cooking shows when the host brings their children on such as Bayless and Pepin who did entire series with their daughters or Lidia Bastianich who has her daughter on who seems clueless or her son who is so arrogant he is unlikeable. The only thing worse than watching Bastianich cook with her grandchildren is watching her cook with Elmo.

                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                        watching paula deen and her sons. the WORST THING EVER. :)

                                                        1. re: AMFM

                                                          I haven't watched enough of them with and/or without Paula for them to annoy me. When I did see them however, they seemed to know what they were doing because they have been running their mother's restaurant(s) for years.

                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                            it's just that it makes her even more herself. it's not them.

                                                            1. re: AMFM

                                                              A few years ago Regis and Kelly Ripa appeared on Letterman as Emeril Legasse and Paula Deen. Regis wasn't partucularly funny but Kelly Ripa as Paula Deen made a sandwich: a glazed doughtnut sliced in half with a couple of sticks of butter as the filling. She actually took a bite of it.

                                                    2. re: inaplasticcup

                                                      I like Bayless because his food looks good and he tells you how to prepare it, along with a little history. Also not a huge fan of the children of hosts being on shows, but I can deal.

                                                      Isn't that what cooking shows are supposed to do?

                                                      And the exaggerated accent thing makes me think of Sofia Vergara on "Modern Family"...if you see her anywhere else, the accent is much toned down.

                                              2. re: cmvan

                                                I think they are from 2 different molds. Marcela is from Tijuana and views Martha Stewart as her role model. In fact, when Martha Stewart did auditions for her Donald Trump Apprentice knock-off show, Marcela tried out and made it pretty far in the process (sorry, I don't remember if she made it onto the show or not). Susie is more in the traditional, I learned it from my mother, tias y abuelas mold, but I have a culinary degree as well.

                                                Mexican is probably one of the greatest, yet most underrated, cuisines in the world. It has tremendous depth, breadth and diversity. You could probably do 10 shows on Mexican cooking and they'd all be different. The problem isn't too may latinas doing cooking shows, it's the American audience that doesn't realize there is a whole cuisine beyond tacos, burritos, enchiladas and tamales.

                                                FWIW, Martha Stewart just finished taping a series of shows in Mexico City that will focus on the variety available in Mexican cuisine these days. The food in D.F. (and Tijuana for that matter) really is world class, that's the niche Marcela's going after. Susie, not so much I think.

                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                  I still think Susie's show would still be very similar to Marcela. The FN is not very original in programming anyhow, so that isn't going to stop them. I actually prefer Susie because she seems more real.

                                                  1. re: shell22

                                                    Very true that FTV is not very original or creative in their programming, but I think the shows would be different. The women have different (wait for it) POVs ;-)

                                                  2. re: DiningDiva

                                                    Marcela was on the show. She was very mousey, annoying and inept. She was also much less 'Mexican' then. She didn't even pronounce things with any sort of accent. She seems to be making up for that now.

                                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                                      Wow great memory Withnail, that Martha show was on a long time ago.

                                                      Marcela has routinely been teaching classes in San Diego lately and I've noticed she's also starting to get more play in Tijuana as well with some of the big name chefs there.

                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                        I remember her because I found her extremely irritating on the show.

                                                2. do you guys think the show already has a "winnner" set? the last 3-5 episodes are just for show?
                                                  i just find it hard to believe they will actually award a tv show to anyone that survives the last few shows based on those results...no?

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: samtron608

                                                    Not a winner set -- the contestants do have to perform well enough in the final episodes -- but i do believe the judges have a frontrunner/runners in mind based on what they are seeing and based on the bigger picture of what they think will fit their formula and/or address a gap in their programming.

                                                    1. re: samtron608

                                                      Remember Aaron Mccargo. You could see them changing the rules as they went along in order to keep him in the running.

                                                      I'm sure they had a 'winner' in mind right from the beginning. The 'winner' starts filming the next day after the judges make their 'decision' during the final show. You just can't start taping a cooking show if you don't know who's in it and what they're going to be doing.

                                                    2. As soon as they contrasted Whitney's lack of personality with Susie's bubbly-ness, I knew Whitney was done.

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: jujuthomas

                                                        Too bad. Whitney is much more personable on the small screen than Mary Beth.

                                                        1. re: ChefJune

                                                          I definately had the feeling that it didn't matter much which one of the two went home this week; the other will be going home next week. I just don't see that either one had the potential to really get over their fundamental weaknesses.

                                                          1. re: ChefJune

                                                            its very true, ChefJune. I think the predictions above are correct, and that MaryBeth will be next to go home.

                                                            1. re: ChefJune

                                                              Yes, and a much better cook. Mary Beth rubs me the wrong way. I'm impressed with what Whitney has cooked over the weeks. Making a croquembouche w/ the spun sugar--nice. I agree that Mary Beth will be the next to go. The only question this week was who would go first.

                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                Agree MB will be next. The panel as much said she doesn't know much about cooking. I really don't want a pedantic lecture from someone who lacks cooking chops.

                                                            2. Did no one else think it was odd that it was okay for Susie to tear up about her father working in the fields but not okay for Whitney to tear up while saying she had the greatest parents ever? Another mixed message as far as I was concerned. And I thought the Vic Vegas thing was too. If he's called himself that for so long, is it really better to now be Vic Lo (was that it? sure didn't sound Italian). I feel bad for Whitney, I think she couldn't do the right thing for the judges no matter how hard she tried and I'd def. want to watch her over MB.

                                                              10 Replies
                                                              1. re: Joanie

                                                                I liked Whitney more than MB, too. I just think that Whitney's presentation came off differently than Susie's. I've said it before-- bringing in such personal matters is a tricky thing. Remember when Melissa brought up her mother's suicide? That could have gone over like a lead balloon, but she touched the panel even though they were stymied by the confession. I've also said that I would never do it, but that's me.
                                                                Whitney lost it and broke down, while Susie's emotion was passionate and moving. I totally agree wit the panel. Susie moved me, while Whitney brought me down.

                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                  Absolutely on the difference between the two ladies' emotions. Remember, on "Baking with Julia", Julia Child actually choked up when she tasted Nancy Silverton's brioche tart dessert because it was so beautifully done.

                                                                2. re: Joanie

                                                                  FN execs contradicting them selves?...that's more or less par for the course.

                                                                  They know who they want and how this things should play out. Whitney is clearly talented and could overshadow whomever they pre-selected. They were getting rid of her regardless so it really didn't matter their reason.

                                                                  1. re: Withnail42

                                                                    At what point did these 'FN execs' decide on who they want? Since you are in the know, can you drop a hint as to who this chosen one is?

                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                      Maybe the FN site will mess up like last year and add the winner before the final show.

                                                                      1. re: BubblyOne

                                                                        The taping that we are currently watching probably was completed 3 months or more ago. Then they edited the show, and taped the initial episodes for the winner's show. So at least some of the editing was done with knowledge of the eventual winner, and intentionally include the highlights of that person's performance. The web pages announcing the winner, with winner interviews and exit interviews of the runnerups have probably already been produced. Posting them early wouldn't require an executive decision.

                                                                        But this quite different from saying that the winner was chosen early on in the show, or even before it. If 'the execs' are confident about a particular person, they can offer a show, or at least a pilot, without going through the competition rigmarole.

                                                                        NFNS is more valuable to FN execs as a revenue generator itself, than as a source of new talent. And I think that is true of most posters on this thread. There's a lot more interest in the competition than in the winner.

                                                                    2. re: Withnail42

                                                                      so they got rid of someone so talented that she could overshadow their chosen one? That makes absolutely no sense.

                                                                      1. re: Withnail42

                                                                        Well. No. She couldn't. The above comment was correct: She comes out really flat and lifeless when called on to perform. Here's a comparison from my old days in theater: In auditions, you prefer somebody who gives you "too much" to somebody who doesn't give you enough. You can tone the first down, but you'll never bring the second up to the proper level.

                                                                        And as for "they know who they want", that sounds a tad paranoid.

                                                                        1. re: jmckee

                                                                          Agree- I think the judges take one performance at a time. Time and time again, they are clearly surprised by what they're given from the contestants. I think many times they "pull" for certain contestants, particularly the ones that have an ethnic look and background. But, I do not think they sacrifice talent to make a round peg fit in a square hole.

                                                                    3. I haven't read all the posts, so forgive if there's any repetition here...
                                                                      Whitney imploded. I knew she was going when she questioned her narrative after Marybeth's performance. I think that if you have confidence and maturity, you don't care if you are covering the same talking points on crepes. It's the delivery. But Whitney didn't realize that she could have said the same thing verbatim, but better.
                                                                      Who cares if anyone thinks she's "copying". How much can you say about a crepe? She lacked confidence and insight. I also thought she got too emotional and brought the mood down with her crying. Tearing up a tad is OK in my book, but when you do the "ugly cry" with quivering lip, you've rained on my parade!
                                                                      Jeff is on fire, but I think I'd poke my eyeballs out if I had to listen to a grown man say "sammwich". Jeff, if you're reading this... THERE IS NO "M" IN SANDWICH. You are 2 steps away from saying sammich (which I say to my DH in privacy on occasion) and sammy.
                                                                      You're welcome.
                                                                      Vic has a good personality and is likeable. He doesn't have Jeff's confidence, but I think he's very teachable. I question his discernment, however, with serving a gargantuan piece of prime rib. He simply did not know how to put a plate presentation together in an elegant manner.
                                                                      Susie's cooking is my favorite. She has a great personality and her food looked drool-worthy. She hit all the right notes, and I'd watch her to learn from her abuela!
                                                                      Marybeth may be a food writer, but she doesn't know a lot about cooking. I don't look at her as an authority, and I do not find her personality welcoming or warm. Rather, I find Marybeth to be forced and disingenuous, particularly her "best thing" presentation. She may be a very nice person in real life, but the camera does not like her and vice versa.
                                                                      I hope Susie wins, but let's face it, Jeff has a show ;')

                                                                      Oh, Gilbert Godfrey's duck line went right over MB's head.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: monavano

                                                                        100% agree about Mary Beth. Just don't find her genuine, and I've not seen any dish that would make me want to watch her show.

                                                                      2. Does anyone know what or who MB writes or works for for in the DC area?
                                                                        I'm in the DC area and get the WaPo and Washingtonian. Never heard of her. I also follow the City Paper and Northern VA magazine.

                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                                          Early on, didn't they say she's a blogger? So essentially a self-described food expert?

                                                                          1. re: pine time

                                                                            I was a food blogger for 2 years and am active in the local food board scene and have never heard of her.
                                                                            A food blogger does not a food writer make ;-)
                                                                            Then again, if she's a food blogger, it must be focused on eating, not cooking. Her skills are marginal. I thought she screwed the pooch with the grilled chicken. It was boring and poorly executed.
                                                                            Now if we could combine Jeff's personality with Penny's cooking chops, we'd have TNFNS!

                                                                            1. re: monavano

                                                                              Here you all go Mary Beth's blog (which is also attached to a web page)

                                                                              http://www.marybethalbright.com/blog/

                                                                              I'll add that the blog appears to have started in May 2011, suspiciously close to the beginning of the show, no? It also says she was the food critic for DC Magazine for 4 years.

                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                Thanks! The DC magazine appears to be an online publication.

                                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                                  I found her blog kind of annoying. Like this quote "in a blackberry sauce I developed for duck thighs. I figured out how to cook something new by applying my food knowledge, and it worked fabulously"

                                                                                  what on earth was that supposed to mean, other than, "I'm awesome and I just knew what to do". I mean, she could have said "I treated it like chicken because" or "I *didn't treat it like chicken because". But "my food knowledge"??

                                                                                  1. re: DGresh

                                                                                    Didn't she at least in part figure out how to cook something new by having a lengthy conversation with the butcher?

                                                                                    1. re: DGresh

                                                                                      Yeah, I got a chuckle out of the "I developed for duck thighs" line too ;-)

                                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                        A testament to the unrealness that so many have identified on this thread...

                                                                                  2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                    I love it when people describe themselves in third person for paragraphs so they can try to divorce themselves from all the full of themselfness of the crap they're saying.

                                                                                    But it is a well done site. Pictures are pretty.

                                                                                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                      MB's site? I linked into it and didn't see any photos (which I think is a big plus for food blogs).

                                                                            2. Did anyone else find Jeff's pronunciation of "suet" to be odd?
                                                                              Genuine?
                                                                              Contrived?
                                                                              Does anyone here fry in suet? Talk about unhealthy!! He managed to sell it though.

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: monavano

                                                                                I did -- su ETT. As my old chorus director would say, "Please -- acCENT on the proper sylLAHble."

                                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                                  yes the way he said it it sounded almost like he "fried it in sweat". Yum.

                                                                                  1. re: DGresh

                                                                                    It did sound like sweat. I was wondering why the judges didn't say anything about the odd pronunciation.
                                                                                    I'd say...ah, do you mean SUEet?

                                                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                                                      the comedian's did. they kinda called him on it. laughing at the sounds like sweat thing.

                                                                                      1. re: AMFM

                                                                                        Loved Gilbert Godfrey's line "finally, a duck I like".

                                                                                2. "It did sound like sweat. I was wondering why the judges didn't say anything about the odd pronunciation."

                                                                                  Wait---are you saying that the on-screen talent on FN has weird word pronunciations at times????? GTFO!

                                                                                  LOL and Pahn-cheeta FTW!

                                                                                  The editing for this episode I found downright awful as was the complete waste of time and psuedo-talent of the comedians.

                                                                                  I guess Tushman pretty much summed thing up fro me when on the panel during the final judges review:
                                                                                  "We can teach you how to cook and give you lines to read on camera, but what we can't give you is personality."

                                                                                  Ah, I get it. They want another Guy Ferry or Ray Ray. Nothing more nothing less. Perky, in your face and hyped up like a Chihuahua on a 3 day bender of Red Bull and Starbucks triple espressos. I think we all knew that, I was just a little baffled to see FN producers come right out and say it as, last time I looked, "food" was still half of the channel's name.

                                                                                  Good luck with that FN.

                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                                                    You make it sounds as if this was the first time they've stated that they're more interested in personality. That's been said over and over, for as long as I have been watching; the screen tests have always been as or more important than what you cook.

                                                                                    Which is as it should be. If they just wanted cooking and teaching chops, they could go to CIA and hire the instructors. They're looking for people to captivate viewers on a TV network. Very different thing. You need personality to keep most people watching.

                                                                                    1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                                                      And 'star' is part of this show's name!

                                                                                      Who is your favorite TV cook without personality? :)

                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                        She does have a personality but it's polar opposite to Guy and Giada: Ellie Krieger. Very calm and cooks healthy food.

                                                                                        1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                          Love Ellie. She's pleasant and real. No Yummo!! No Sammy.
                                                                                          You know, grown up speak '-)

                                                                                      2. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                                                        Wait---are you saying that the on-screen talent on FN has weird word pronunciations at times????? GTFO!
                                                                                        ******
                                                                                        Giada was on the Today Show and Kathy Lee teased Giada for not calling endive "ahndeeve" and Giada shot her a look that would kill!!
                                                                                        This, from a woman who breaks into an Italian accent every time she pronounced a food word!
                                                                                        You are so right about the high energy that the judges want to see.

                                                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                                                          But wait...isn't Italian Giada's first language?

                                                                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                            I think they moved to America when she was around 6. She doesn't have an accent unless she's pronouncing food words.
                                                                                            It's her thing, I guess.

                                                                                            1. re: monavano

                                                                                              many people who move to a country as children may continue to speak their 1st language at home, and their parents may never achieve full fluency in the 2nd language-- just sayin.' i don't think it's a valid assumption that everyone in her family suddenly ceased to speak italian, particularly wrt food and food-related terms that are tied in to ethnic and cultural identity.

                                                                                              1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                I never assumed and did not imply that Giada did not grow up in an Italian speaking home.
                                                                                                My paternal grandparents spoke Polish, never learned English and seemed to manage fine as they had 6 kids that could bridge the language gap.
                                                                                                Frankly, I never really got to know them because of that.

                                                                                      3. I think it's very interesting that Penny will be back for the Iron Chef challenge. It's such a shame that she couldn't dial back on the catty behavior because I think she can really cook.
                                                                                        The tension between Penny and MB is going to be a car wreck you just won't be able to turn away from.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                                                          Yeah. Of all the eliminees (I just made up that word), they chose her. It's not like she was the last one to be eliminated. That was ON PURPOSE.

                                                                                        2. But wait...isn't Italian Giada's first language?
                                                                                          >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

                                                                                          Sadly my reply was not to throw that lovely gilded hair FN star under the bus, but to just point out that her pronunciations are inconsistant and noticable. On tape, and from year to year and episode to episode.

                                                                                          e.g.: Spah-geeeti.

                                                                                          We get it. Or perhaps geeeet it. LOL.

                                                                                          Inconsistant rules lead to an inconsistant outcome.

                                                                                          I like the FN . I'm NOT sure what it wants to be anymore tho.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                                                            " like the FN . I'm NOT sure what it wants to be anymore tho"

                                                                                            Neither are they, that's part of the problem ;-)

                                                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                              I think they know what they want to be... A cash-cow. Nothing more... Nothing Less

                                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                Yes sonny, when I was your age Food Network had real cooking shows. Emeril, Mario and Sarah, 12 hrs a day. None of this semi-home made stuff, with store bought angle food cakes and canned peas. The chefs showed us how to pick our own vegetables and milk our own cows. Even the competitions were realistic, with real home pantries and fridges stocked with moldy cheese.

                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                  did they have competitions to save money in your day dad?

                                                                                            2. I want to say - the dark haired girl on the panel - was she a comedian? She was very quiet, almost disconcertingly so.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: kprange

                                                                                                She's from a very very funny show called Parks and Rec. Her character on the show is very taciturn, and I guess she was keeping somewhat in character.

                                                                                                1. re: karenfinan

                                                                                                  It didn't fit in well with the others on the panel - to me.