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Anne Burrell

I apologize to her and all if I misspelled either of her names. I'm watching an old Iron Chef America, batte between Mario Batali and Jamie Oliver (and loving it, I love them both and never saw this episode before). I remembered that I simply adored Anne B when she was Mario's sous chef, she was fast, precise, and beautiful. She stood out with her mad skills. I just don't like her persona on her show. She doesn't seem natural or, more importantly, serious. She's obviously an awesome chef, but was it FN that made her do the semi-obscene shoulder shake and all that?

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  1. Odd, she strikes me as completely natural. Definitely not very serious, but completely natural.

    5 Replies
    1. re: donovt

      I love all that Anne Burrell taught me - I say 'taught' because I haven't had TV for about a year and I don't know if she is on anymore or not. I used to love watching her as a sous chef for Batali - in fact I liked watching her skills more than Mario's.

      I tried to overlook her mannerisms because I so respected her skills. But I have to admit I did some groaning on my part.

      I feel she is quite serious - if for no other reason, when I watched her instruction for Bolognese, I knew she learned it from a skilled chef - or at least someone who knew what he wanted from the recipe/formula - and I felt she was quite serious in the way she approached it to impart to me that she was serious about this recipe.

      Viva Anne Burrell's bolognese!

      1. re: Rella

        It was just last week that I sent a recipe for Burrell's shortribs to a friend with a *demand* that she cook it right away. It was so good.

        She shot back Burrell's recipe for bolognese and *demanded* that I cook that right away.

        Turns out it was the same sauce with 2 different cuts of beef. Whatever. It was one of the most delicious things either of us had ever had in our lives.


        1. re: Rella

          I agree. She is one of the few on FN whose recipes I have actually used and who I have leaned things from.

          I agree she may have some mannerisms that turn me off, but I overlook them just like I do with people I interact with everyday. I have things that turn people off, but hopefully the people that matter to me overlook them.

          As with all things on TV, I have an ON/OFF button and if I don't like it, I turn it OFF.

          1. re: vafarmwife

            I've never watched her at all. I'm just grateful I ran across her recipe looking for something new to do with short ribs.

            Maybe that's the solution: don't watch FN, just google recipes, try 'em and decide for yourself what you want and what you want to toss. ::shrug::

          2. re: Rella

            It's not that I don't think her food is the real deal. She just strikes me as someone who is having fun and not being "serious" all the time.

        2. I think she's unacceptably obnoxious and after that sexual harassment lawsuit against her it was hard to restless her anymore.

          2 Replies
          1. re: C. Hamster

            She's incredibly obnoxious, both on air and off, especially when she does that growly thing in the back of her throat, usually when blurting out things like "Brown Food!" for no reason. Just unwatchable.

            1. re: C. Hamster

              Huh? I hadn't heard that one.

              I didn't mean to imply that she isn't serious, BTW, she clearly is, to have been chosen by Batali for ICA. Just that she doesn't appear to be serious on her show. Which is sad to me.

            2. RESPECT. Not restless.

              Damn u autocorrect,

              Chowhound sucks for an iPhone

              4 Replies
              1. re: C. Hamster

                Does the two-hour "edit" window not apply when using an iPhone? You should be able to go back and correct, no?

                1. re: acgold7

                  Nope. Edit doesn't work on iPhone.

                  1. re: donovt

                    Works on mine but I'm going through the regular website not an app

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      It's one of those things that's been "fixed", but some of us are still having the problem.

              2. I think she's wonderful. I don't always find her recipes to be something that I'd want to try, but I really enjoy watching her show us how to make them. Hands down my favorite chef on the Food Network.

                1. It is curious that many Chow posters complain that FN is all competitions, and no serious cooking shows. But when we do admit that there are cooking shows like Anne's, the focus is on the personality of the instructor. I guess there is always more incentive to write about things you don't like than then things you do.

                  1. There's a couple more posts on a similar thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810244

                    We've locked that thread to consolidate the discussion here.

                    1. TV side-kicks never make good front (wo)men.

                      it applies to TV chef as well.

                      1. I actually watched Anne Burrell's show for the first time yesterday. Yes, she has mannerisms, but I appreciate that, unlike most of the FN shows, she is making real, interesting food, and things that I would be glad to make and eat. I actually think her schtick is pretty amusing. Her explanations are accurate, unlike some of the other cooking show hosts, and I feel that she is a true chef who knows what she is doing.

                        1. Love Anne B. I have learned a lot from watching her show. I like to watch her for techniques more than specific recipes. Can't wait to see her on Next Iron Chef later this month.

                          She also finally has a cookbook out, it will be released this week.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: pamf

                            I love Ann Burrell ... I think she's a hoot. Her show has been cycled out of the Food Network rotation, so my 30 minutes of fun every afternoon are gone (for now). I think she's funny, and I love her "thank you for coming" bowl, and her mantra "brown food tastes good". Alhough she's a little heavy-handed with the salt (I KNOW its a restaurant technique, and her show was called Secrets of a Restaurant Chef) I think she's obviously having fun in the kitchen, Her recipes really do work, and I hope they bring this show back. I'm glad to hear she has a cookbook coming out . I will definitely look for it.

                            1. re: Cheflambo

                              Sorry to see that they have removed her from the weekday schedule. Looks like she is still on Saturdays though. Good thing I a have a few favorite shows saved on the DVR.

                          2. I just can't get over the tasting and putting the spoon back in to stir thing that she keeps doing.

                            She tastes, adds more seasoning (usually salt) then uses the same spoon to stir. OK, I know that I am not eating the food and I should ignore it, but I can't. It is gross to me.

                            She did the same thing on that show .The worst Cooks.. I always wondered why she was teaching bad cooks bad manners and bad hygiene..

                            15 Replies
                            1. re: Robinez

                              How many tasting spoons do you typically use while preparing a meal?

                              1. re: paulj

                                Depends. I certainly do not put my saliva on a spoon and then put it back into food that I will be serving. I wouldn't like it if someone did that to me.

                                She did this twice with a cold cucumber salad on her own show. Once may have been an oops..twice in one demonstration tells me that more than likely folks that eat her food get spit. Or the flu.

                              2. re: Robinez

                                Speaking of which:

                                On one of the foodnetwork shows, I saw a 'notable' chef on a European trip looking for great chocolate, stick the finger into a vat of (liquified) chocolate and put the finger into the mouth. Now, I confess I don't know if this chef stuck the same finger back into the vat or not for another tasting, or if it is just my nightmare.

                                I do wonder if boiling temperature will kill the germs from a tasting spoon :-))

                                If nothing else, the salt used would no doubt do the trick -- and doesn't rinsing something in salt water kill off the bugs. Are bugs germs, I wonder.

                                Just musing.

                                1. re: Rella

                                  The usual food service guidelines are:
                                  - heat the food to 165F to kill all germs
                                  - hold it at 140F or above

                                  1. re: paulj

                                    My service guidlines are ; I do not add my saliva to any dish that I prepare for someone else.

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      For some reason, knowing that someone elses saliva is holding at 140f doesn't make me feel any better about the fact that it got there in the first palce :-)

                                      1. re: Robinez

                                        How much saliva could there possibly be?

                                    2. re: Rella

                                      Am I the only one that isn't grossed out by the thought of somebody else touching my food without gloves or tasting with the same spoon more than once? Gods above, do people even kiss any more, or do they kiss with a piece of Handi-Wrap between them? If you're allergic to latex, will eating food that somebody with latex gloves on cause a reaction?

                                      A finger or spoon in a vat more than once isn't something I'm willing to dwell on. Just please wash your hands after going to the bathroom or blowing your nose or taking the trash out. That's all I ask. I was at a new friend's house and dipped a chip into salsa, ate half, and turned it around to reload. I said "Pardon my double-dipping". She laughed and said "I ALWAYS double dip". It was music to my ears. I hadn't even HEARD of the horrors of double-dipping until I saw that Seinfeld episode. Thank heavens I saw it on the first run.

                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                          Absolutely not! Count me in as someone willing to take LIfe with some actual risks and some abandon.

                                          1. re: EWSflash

                                            So funny. I recently asked my wife if dipping and turning voided the double dipping rule. The dip and turn as I called it. She told me YES it's double dipping, don't do it!! It was more of a Larry David thing but to tell you the truth double dipping never really grossed me out. I'm more grossed out by a gloved worker taking money and making a sandwich at the local sub joint without washing or replacing gloves. Gloves are more show than substance in many instances.

                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                              I'd so much rather that someone work with clean, bare hands than with gloves. I doubt they wash with them on and I'm dubious if they change them often enough. Plus I think it's dangerous to wear plastic gloves and work with high heat. If it melts, good luck peeling it off your skin.

                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                Yes, saw this glove/money show Saturday.

                                                Years ago, I don't know if it is a law now, but in CA, one could not handle food 'and' money at the cash register. I use to mention this when it happened, but now it is the norm. Just don't want to go out to eat ... I'll make my own rules at my place of business (home).

                                              2. re: EWSflash

                                                Life's too short to go around worrying about such trivial stuff like that if you ask me.

                                            2. re: Robinez

                                              That bugs me too.

                                              I like her, like her show, but I wish she'd stop with the taste and stir. ugh

                                            3. I like her show, and I have found her recipes to be solid. It bothers me a bit that she doesn't use pepper at all. I have read that she doesn't like it, so she doesn't use it, but it seems like such a basic flavor component that its odd she doesn't use it at all in her cooking.

                                              1. I find Anne's demeanor to be a tad... odd. Her speech... I can't put my finger on it. Weird cadence and accent.
                                                Then again, she's mad talented! and I learn a lot from her.
                                                I hope the stories of her awful persona (harassment?) are untrue.

                                                1. She does have some annoying mannerisms but I always learn something from her shows, which is more than I can say for most of the FN shows.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: MARISKANY

                                                    Mannerisms... thank you. I couldn't think of the word but that's it. I learn from her too.

                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                      Her mannerisms border on bizarre. Sometimes she uses a voice that is very muppet-like. The content of her show is head and shoulders above anything else on FN. Despite the mannerisms, she seems very likable as well.

                                                      1. re: donovt

                                                        I was just wondering about the programs she was on as a sous chef for Batali if she was moving her arms about at such speed, or was she too busy cutting and stirring to do so. I can't recall that she did, but she was always working at a high rate of speed, and the speed of her program slows her down so she needs to work off some energy.

                                                        1. re: Rella

                                                          Not that I saw, she was always flying around getting stuff prepared and cooked.

                                                        2. re: donovt

                                                          I think her weird mannerisms are her way of being more "charismatic" and T.V friendly. That and she might be like that in real life.

                                                    2. I have mixed feelings. Her personality, look, and mannerisms annoy me.

                                                      However, she does one thing that I wish all TV cooks would do. She makes real recipes that showcase particualr techniques. She teaches her audience how to cook, not just how to make a particular recipe with 100 ingredients.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Avalondaughter

                                                        While I did not have her as an instructor, some of my class mates at ICE did and thought the world of her as a Chef. She did have her moments,I understand and demanded a skill level that most of the other instructors and Chefs did not and was supposedly quite vocal if one did not live up to her expectations. I believe her show mirrors her skill as an seasoned instructor and Chef, if not your usual polished media personality.

                                                      2. One quibble about her cooking... she uses way, way, way too much salt and never any pepper. I don't get it.

                                                        20 Replies
                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                            Anne Burrell's salt use comes up almost daily in our thoughts and conversation when we say, "Have you added salt yet?" She has made her point.

                                                            Throwing a handful (or close to it) of salt into a pot? Not for me.

                                                            Although I have wondered (not speaking of her usage of salt) why so many of the chefs will handle something either sticky, meaty, etc. without washing their hands, stick their hands into the salt bowl. Sometimes I don't think it is a camera trick while they take time out and wash their gooey hands. Do they change that bowl regularly - ewwhh!

                                                            How many of us do actually use a bowl of salt when we cook? I use a small mason jar on the stove for salt. I open the lid, and dip into it with my spoon, for pete's sake!

                                                            1. re: Rella

                                                              Restaurant chefs normally dump the salt at the end of the night; salt is cheap and it does get contaminated with foreign food objects. If chefs all stopped cooking to wash their hands every time they handled food, customers would never get to eat.

                                                              I have a small prep bowl of salt next to my stove, as well as for pepper, and I use my fingers to season. Years ago, I decided that it was faster to use a handful of salt than spooning it out. I've never worked in the professional kitchen that had a spoon in the salt bowl. It would slow things down to a crawl.

                                                              Many restaurant kitchens have small prep sinks near the line (cooking area) where chefs can wash their hands periodically through service. They also use side towels, for wiping sticky hands, as well as for handling hot pans.

                                                              As far as Anne is concerned, I have seen her stir and taste, but never use the spoon more than once, no double-dipping for her. She normally throws the used spoon into the sink or sets it down on the counter. Restaurant kitchens often have a container of tasting spoons on the line, and the cooks were latex gloves when handling raw meats or seafood, or, and I know you wouldn't approve of this, but chefs tend to dip a finger or two in the sauce to taste for seasoning. God gave us hands for a reason. This finger technique is by no means approved by culinary schools, the health department, most really professional chefs, but it happens. And it's quick.

                                                              I enjoy her show, her obvious skill level, her humor, including that growly noise, and her "brown food."

                                                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                Isn't raw meat handled at a different station than uncooked foods and final assembly - with different salt bowls?

                                                                At home it is harder to avoid handling the pepper grinder with dirty hands than to avoid dipping wet fingers in the salt jar. I can turn a steak with one hand while I sprinkle salt with the other, but I need both hands to grind pepper.

                                                                How often do you cleanse the outside of your kitchen pepper grinder?

                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                  When you're on the line, about to, say, grill a rib eye, you take it out of the low boy (under counter frig), season it and throw it on the grill. Yours hands, not anyone else's.

                                                                  If you're asking if different stations prepare different foods, yes, in most kitchens, depending on how large the staff is. So the saucier finishes and sauces dishes, the grillardin cooks meat and fish, the poissonnier cooks fish, the entremetier prepares vegetables, eggs and other dishes with out meat or fish. All stations have their mise en place set up; that includes seasoning. There's less contamination than one would think, but it's more about skill level as to what position you have on the line.

                                                                  However, I have seen meat handled and seasoned, sauces finished, veg seasoned, all from the same salt container and same hands. I like to think that since the food is cooked or at least heated to above 165° the possibility of contamination is null.

                                                                  I routinely wash the exterior of my pepper grinder, especially if my hands were food dipped prior to using it; happens. I bet the pepper mill is often forgotten, I've seen some pretty grubby mills.

                                                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                    plus salt is not a bacteria friendly material.

                                                                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                      "However, I have seen meat handled and seasoned, sauces finished, veg seasoned, all from the same salt container and same hands."

                                                                      Mind sharing where you cook? I would imagine you would not have an issue telling us that if what you claim is acceptable to you or anyone else.

                                                                      1. re: Fowler

                                                                        I believe bushwickgirl is retired and is speaking in the past tense about her restaurant chef experiences.

                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                          That is true (retired after 25 years in the restaurant business) and it was reasonably acceptable to me.

                                                                    2. re: paulj

                                                                      When it looks dirty, and always before I use it to grind pepper on a roast or something similar. If DH is home, we have one of us handling the meat or other bolus of food while the other adds the ingredients. That's just perfect. :-)

                                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                                        "bolus of food"

                                                                        Love it. I always thought a bolus was chewed food. Can I steal it?

                                                                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                          Of course! To me a bolus is a large dose of medication given in a short time, like an IV med turned up as fast as it will go in. but the analogy works. - I started using it when I heard a medical student at a birthday party say he wanted a bolus of cake.

                                                                    3. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                      I enjoy her show, her obvious skill level, her humor, including that growly noise, and her "brown food."
                                                                      I agree completely - she is a teacher. I get how her manner may be off-putting at times but look past this and you shall be rewarded - she offers a lot of technique.

                                                                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                        "and I know you wouldn't approve of this, but chefs tend to dip a finger or two in the sauce to taste for seasoning. God gave us hands for a reason. This finger technique is by no means approved by culinary schools, the health department, most really professional chefs, but it happens. And it's quick."

                                                                        You are right, I don't approve of it. Nor would I approve of sticking a latex glove into the sauce to taste.

                                                                        "God gave us hands for a reason"
                                                                        but I haven't seen a list yet :-))

                                                                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                          "no double-dipping for her"

                                                                          With all due respect, I saw her double dip with my own eyes. I can even tell you what she was preparing. Cucumber Salad. I also remember my friend and I folding laundry, watching the show on a Sat and both of us looking at each other and saying at the same time "did you just see that"?

                                                                          She also double dipped in an episode of worst cooks. There was a thread about it on one of the show sites.

                                                                          1. re: Robinez

                                                                            Well, I obviously missed that episode. Double dipping is not indicative of what goes on in restaurant kitchens, and besides, maybe she was the only one who ate the cucumber salad after the taping. ;-)

                                                                            1. re: Robinez

                                                                              What you need to do is scan through her videos on FN or Youtube and post a link to an example of her double dipping. On Youtube you can include the time in the link. I couldn't find a cucumber salad, but I looked at several other salads, and did not find such an example. She does use her fingers a lot while preparing salads, and for plating them.

                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                "What you need to do is scan through her videos on FN or Youtube and post a link to an example of her double dipping."

                                                                                With all due respect, I need to do no such thing. I don't think that I should have to prove myself or my statement to anyone. I have always been respectful of the folks here and to suggest, for some reason, that my word isn't good enough is insulting.

                                                                                Sincerely, Robin

                                                                      2. She was in KC this weekend promoting her new cookbook and did an interview on a TV show I produce. I didn't know what to expect exactly ... she was engaging, polite and gracious.

                                                                        1. I had the pleasure of attending a live appearance Anne Burrell did at last year's Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Chicago. She was friendly, engaging, silly and we all left the room totally in love. She was supposed to be talking about commercial kitchen design, but we had so much fun hearing her talk about her roots in Buffalo, her education, experiences and embarrassments, that we never stopped asking her questions long enough for her to get to the subject at hand.
                                                                          She really is much more relaxed and 'real' in front of a live audience than she is in front of the camera. There were maybe 70 people in the room, so it was an intimate and casual atmosphere. I have great admiration for her as a cook and as a woman who made her life into something she can really be proud of.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                            Now I'm going to have to keep an eye out for a local appearance.

                                                                          2. i like watching anne use her skills in the kitchen and on iron chef, i just dont like it once she opens her mouth to talk