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PBS the last bastion for REAL shows on cooking.

Am I the only one who thinks this? In SC I get to watch them on PBS from noon to 3 on Saturday. I the NC station noon to 3 on Sunday. I miss these types of show dearly.

Food TV has gotten to a point where it is as much about food as MTV is to music.

In full disclosure I just finished taking part in a "reality cook show" for one of the networks. I am now sitting here wondering if it will be worth watching. I would rather show people how we did it that add all the drama.

Thank you for listening to my rant.

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  1. agreed. America's Test Kitchen, Cooks Country, Pepin, Keller, and Ming trump anything on Fm for me. I tried out for the first season of MasterChef. Pretty glad i didn't make the cut there. Ironically some of the America's Test Kitchen staff were helping judge the interviews.

    1. Two years ago I moved into a home that doesn't have cable, and judging from how bad FN was getting anyway, and reading all the comments here--I haven't missed a thing. Give me PBS cooking shows any day, ESPECIALLY the older ones. You are far from being the only one, believe me!

      1. PBS's CREATE channel is even better for cooking shows. They have them scattered throughout the day and sometimes on Saturdays, they will have cooking topics all day long.

        1 Reply
        1. re: NVJims

          I think I would subscribe to PBS on the net if I could get this on demand.

        2. I guess it's gone full circle... when cable was taking off in the 90's they started with cooking shows as good as PBS... remember Biba Caggiano (TLC i think) and Milliken and Fenninger on the new Food network?
          They've all gone to the lowest common denominator and left real instructional cooking to PBS again.

          Of course in the 90's, A&E was Arts and Entertainment and had symphony concerts and museum tours if you can imagine that. TLC was the Learning Channel... all how-to. No flying saucers or ghosts anywhere then.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Dave_in_PA

            I remember those days -- my hubby and I had just moved back to the States and bought our first TV. I couldn't believe they had good stuff like concerts, etc. Bravo had good stuff, as well. Long gone.

            1. re: Dave_in_PA

              And Discovery was about science and History about history.

              PBS always has been and probably always will be a fantastic channel.


              1. re: Dave_in_PA

                I'm glad you mentioned Feniger and Milliken, I was starting to think i'd hallucinated their being on FN in the early days.

              2. This sentiment has been echoed for at least 7 years now.

                1. How many of you watch FN outside of prime time? Or CC, again outside of Prime time?

                  ATK is unique, though one might argue that Good Eats (now on CC) is in the same ball park. Still there a CH critics of Kimbal's demeanor, not to speak of their business practices.

                  Pepin is also one of a kind, though there he has his critics on this board.

                  But tell me - what have been the non-PBS real cooking shows? Especially in the past 10 years (many of us did not see FN in it's first decade).

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: paulj

                    You just named one of them - Good Eats. Each show gives precise instructions on ingredients and technique for at least one dish and usually more than one. There's also a lot of shtick, but that's in addition to the cooking instruction, not instead of it.

                    1. re: paulj

                      there are CH critics of everything.

                      1. re: linus

                        That is for sure. I don't see how anyone in their right mind can criticize Pepin. Oh, i guess you can nitpick at this or that, but he is leagues ahead of those on FN.

                    2. Agreed. I was late to the party in getting digital cable and subscribed two years ago. I was so excited to have a 24/7 food channel and while there were at least some half decent shows, French Food at Home ect, I got the impression if the channel had ever had a hayday it was certainly past. Now it's just garbage.

                      It's too bad there wasn't some sort of Tv listings schedule online somewhere that listed all food related tv on all channels each day, or something along those lines.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Jjjr

                        You would get 90% of the shows by clicking on the schedules for FN, CC, and CreateTV.

                        Beyond that there are competitions on Bravo, and that talk show Chew. Also Veme (the Spanish language PBS subchannel) also has some cooking shows in the afternoon. I also see an hour listed on the CBC afternoon sched. If you want Ramsey, and a few other things, BBC America. And Halmark channel is playing some Martha Stewart.

                        I think everything else is local. PBS stations mainly show cooking shows on Saturday afternoons, but their sched. varies all over the place.

                        1. re: Jjjr

                          If you go to: http://www.pbs.org/tv_schedules/

                          You can enter your zip code and then select which cable/satellite provider (or just over the air TV) that you use and you will get a customized TV schedule which shows the channels that are available to you.

                          1. re: pamf

                            Should have mentioned I'm Canadian. Also no clue what CC is. What I meant was a site that kept track of every single channel, for example there is the occasional cooking show through the day on basic cable, not just PBS. Was just wishful thinking anyway, I'm not really expecting something like that to happen.

                              1. re: John Francis

                                Thanks. How does one access this channel? I have digital cable (again, Canadian) and don't see it listed on any available channel here. Guessing we just dont get it here or is it only on satelitte or something?

                        2. There are threads about the latest competition on FN
                          or Bravo. Why aren't there threads discussing the recipes on the latest great cooking show on PBS? We have COTM threads, but no Cooking Show of the Month threads. Sounds like something is missing on even the best of the REAL cooking shows.

                          Do any of you fans of REAL cooking shows give feedback to your favorites? Do you look up the related web sites, and suggest further shows and themes? I suspect the popular prime time shows (cooking and otherwise) have their ardent fans. Mythbusters clearly does. Chopped had an episode featuring ingredients suggested by fans. Man v food has his groupies. Bourdain gets invites from fans in Saudi Arabia and Finland.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: paulj

                            I agree. It would be wonderful to spotlight all of these great shows and recipes, as a community. That would be chow-worthy to my mind.

                            Unfortunately I have the personal burden of having a bit of a psychology background, and it's my opinion that 'hate' is an easier emotion to display than 'love.' Don't want to get too heavy here, but that seems to be human nature, at least in some cultures. I prefer construction, rather than destruction. But forums are what they are.

                            The power of love is unmatched.

                            1. re: paulj

                              We could certainly use some topics like that here. I agree that the cooking show posts on this board are usually negative, unless it is reminiscing about some long-remembered show from the distant past.

                              I read www.televisionwithoutpity.com for the cooking show topics. People are free to snark on the hosts there (that's the without pity part), but there are also lots of dedicated fans who try the recipes and discuss them. There is a topic for the Barefoot Contessa show that has been running since 2003 and has over 22,000 posts and 2.6 million page views, and still gets new comments almost everyday.

                              Both Food Network and the Cooking Channel have a lot of cooking content on during the day, but they rely too heavily on reruns. I work from home sometimes and have the channels on as background during the daytime, so I know what programming is on. I DVR my favorites (currently Anne Burrell and Laura Calder) to watch when I have time later. There are few others I like too (Chuck Hughes, David Rocco) but I've seen all the shows more than once.

                              I have made several recipes from Anne and Laura and I do post about them on TWOP, where there are some like minded folks.

                              1. re: paulj

                                "Why aren't there threads discussing the recipes on the latest great cooking show on PBS?"

                                Well, there was the COTM featuring Jacques Pepin's "Essential Pepin". Many of those recipes are features in the show, so, I can only imagine that it was better to feature the book instead of the show. And, just think of how many cookbooks get published each year compared to how many full seasons of cooking shows are completed in a year.

                                When you start factoring in things like when "French Food at Home" is initially aired in Canada versus America, it becomes that much more complicated.

                                1. re: DougRisk

                                  a Child,Actually, the Pepin COTM month was not entirely unique. We've done Julia Child, Ina Garten, Jamie Oliver and Mario Batali months as well with excellent response.. (I'm probably forgetting some too.)

                                  Admittedly we don't watch too much network TV because we'd rather watch the PBS channels and BBC Am. And, I'm in the camp that bemoans the old cooking shows on PBS. They really had a tremendous influence on the way home cooks began thinking about the way they cook and opened the door to world cuisine and technique. On the other hand, people like Laura Calder, and the Scandinavian chefs on Create give us plenty to think about now.

                              2. I love PBS cooking shows too!

                                Are you all aware that PBS launched a smallish food site last Fall? Its just http://www.pbs.org/food .

                                Not a ton of stuff there yet, but its been growing in content steadily. And they have stuff from some of the local shows, which can be very hit or miss.

                                1. Let's be fair for a minute here.

                                  First, let's be clear about something. Food Network is NOT a cooking channel. It is a food channel. So anything really goes on that platform -- be it cooking shows or otherwise.

                                  Cooking Channel, on the other hand, does bill itself as a channel about cooking, and for the most I think it succeeds -- given the parameters it must work with.

                                  One cannot fairly compare programming on CC with PBS -- because they have entirely different business models.

                                  Cooking shows on PBS occupy maybe 10% of their TV content -- usu. a 4-5 hour block on a Saturday or Sunday.

                                  Now compare that with either Food Network or Cooking Channel, where the producers have to fill in about 18 hours worth of programming EVERY SINGLE DAY (in the wee hours of the morning they usually run infomercials of some sort).

                                  Everyone here seems to laud the programming on PBS -- e.g. Pepin, Lidia's, ATK, Simpy Ming, etc.

                                  But you know what, there are some equally good shows on CC that are on par with those on PBS -- like French Food at Home, Chinese Cooking Made Easy, Chuck's Day Off, Dolce Vita, Spice Goddess, and Indian Food Made Easy.

                                  Of course on CC you're going to have drivel that we all sort of wince at (e.g. Nadia's Bitchin Kitchen), but that comes with the territory because they have to fill in about 18-20 hours of programming EVERY SINGLE DAY.

                                  The shows on PBS are usually the "pick-of-the-litter" so to speak. Because PBS only needs to fill in about 4 hours of programming for cooking shows, they can cull and choose the best and most interesting shows.

                                  If CC only had to fill in about 4 hours of programming a week (like PBS) then it could just feature shows like French Food at Home, Dolce Vita, French Food at Home, etc., and none of us would really have anything to complain about.

                                  18 Replies
                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    "If CC only had to fill in about 4 hours of programming a week (like PBS) then it could just feature shows like French Food at Home, Dolce Vita, French Food at Home, etc., and none of us would really have anything to complain about."

                                    How many reruns of Laura do you want? :)

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      Well, it depends on what she's wearing.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        Well, it depends on what she's cooking.

                                        Fixed that for you ipse.

                                    2. re: ipsedixit

                                      While its true that the main PBS stations don't program that much cooking shows, there is the Create channel which airs a lot more cooking programs.

                                      And I'm sorry, but Cooking Channel doesn't have a lineup that approaches the level of Pepin, Lidia, ATK, Ming, John Besh, Rick Bayless, Jose Andres, Sara Moulton,

                                      Even some of the local show hosts like Alpana Singh and Leslie Sbrocco are incredibly respected food and wine folks.

                                      1. re: indyumd

                                        But a number of those stars of PBS either got their start on FN or got broader exposure there, something may have been crucial lining up sponsors for the PBS shows.

                                        Besh was a Next Iron Chef competitor, and may also have been a challenger. Ming and Bayless have also been challengers. Andres was a judge. Ming had a show on FN (and also a NIC competitor). Moulton was a regular, essentially, RR before RR.

                                        Pepin and ATK are the two long term PBS 'stars'.

                                        PBS has two sources of cooking shows. Independently produced ones (e.g. ATK), and station produced ones (Pepin has long term ties with the San Francisco station; Fruge with Chicago, Ming Boston?).

                                        1. re: paulj

                                          I'm not sure why any of that matters.

                                          The point is that if you want to watch actual cooking shows, public television offers the most real cooking shows with the best chefs. And its really not close. Whether or not they are homegrown stars or not, the place you can find them right now is your local PBS station.

                                            1. re: indyumd

                                              When I first found CreateTV I often watched their full 2 hr daily lineup of cooking shows. Now I scan their offerings with the same interest as the other 2 cooking channels.

                                              At my skill level, most cooking shows, even the best on PBS are too slow paced. I get ideas from TV, but find the details online or in books. For ideas, silly restaurant finds and competition cooking shows are just as useful as formal cooking shows, and usually more entertaining.

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                CreateTV's formatting has changed. It used to be 6hr blocks repeating 4 times daily. Now it's more broken up. Some shows repeat every 2-3 hours, some once, some not at all. It's harder to follow, although on the plus side, it results in their airing a larger variety of cooking shows per week. Downside again: some are awful, e.g. The Jazzy Vegetarian. This, like Christina Cooks, is a vegan show but doesn't say so. The presenter, Laura Theodore, has poor technique. The accompanying music is both corny and weird.

                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                  speaking of bad music, Barbecue University is the worst. I think Raichlen (sic) is pretty knowledgeable, and his recipes are pretty good but the cornpone music and the grill cam are just so lame.

                                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                                    Bad music is the least of BU's worries. No doubt the guy has decent technique, but that's all there is to it. His delivery is snooze worthy. BU is the antithesis of FN's shows. Good info, terrible delivery.

                                                    Sometimes when i watch the program, I have to look up the show info to confirm the show was produced after 1980.

                                                    BU reminds me of Bob Ross (the painter). One minute you think he sneaked into the studio and is up to no good, but give him a minute and you actually learn something.

                                                    1. re: nikkib99

                                                      He is snooze worthy. But i'll take that any day over the schtick you get from the likes of Emeril, Paula Dean, Rachel Ray, Guy Fieri, etc., etc., etc. etc., etc., etc, etc., etc., etc, etc., etc., etc

                                              2. re: indyumd

                                                The point is that if you want to watch actual cooking shows, public television offers the most real cooking shows with the best chefs. And its really not close. Whether or not they are homegrown stars or not, the place you can find them right now is your local PBS station.



                                                First of all, I don't believe the quality of the chefs (or cooks) on a cooking show is determinative of the show's overall quality.

                                                Ming may be a great chef (debatable), but I don't believe he is a great teacher of cooking, or cooking techniques. Same with Lidia, and to some extent Bayless.

                                                Pepin is a great chef and a great teacher, in my opinion. But he's probably the only one of the bunch.

                                                The folks on CC may not have the star quality of some of the hosts on PBS, but I would dare say that Ching He-Huang, Roger Mooking, Anjun Anan and Bal Arneson are better teachers and hosts than the more star-studded hosts on PBS.

                                                Never confuse star quality with show quality.

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  I think I've learned more from Lidia (especially technique) than any of the other Italian cooking shows, with older Mario's right up there as well. David Rocco is great eye candy and a fun show, but it barely qualifies as cooking show most of the time.

                                                  1. re: BubblyOne

                                                    I still miss Lorenza di Medici's program.

                                                  2. re: ipsedixit

                                                    ipsedixit, I completely agree.

                                                    And, there are a number of categories that a food host can fall into. I mean, Good Eats, IMO, was one of the best cooking chows ever made, yet I rarely cooked from the show. However, I learned so much.

                                                    And, I also agree with a point that paulj is attempting to make, that learning one more way to make pancakes is not all that instructive. Yet, often enough, watching something like Iron Chef America, I will see something fairly interesting.

                                                    It is one of the reasons that I got upset with the last season of Top Chef, it seemed to take a step backward in it's cooking challenges. There was less for someone like me to learn.

                                          1. I suppose nobody here tunes into the Chew (ABC, 1 pm weekdays)
                                            Yes, it can get a bit noisy at times and perhaps a bit silly, but there is a lot of decent cooking going on, with excellent demonstration and instruction.
                                            I record the shows and have them on in the kitchen as background while I am cooking. If I hear something interesting, I pay attention. I do get lots of good ideas there.

                                            12 Replies
                                            1. re: RUK

                                              I was flipping through channels and stopped on The Chew. This episode had a fashion minute about shoes during which Mario, who was cooking during this segment, proceeded to remove one of his orange crocs from his foot, present it to the camera, put the shoe back on and continue cooking, all without washing his hands. Turned me off from the show, not to mention wanting to eat at one of his restaurants. E coli, anyone?

                                              1. re: Vidute

                                                Mario's clogs and restaurants have e. coli?

                                                1. re: tommy

                                                  Step in feces. Take off shoe, feces on hand. Continue cooking without washing hands, feces in food.

                                                  I don't know about you, but I want my cooks/chefs to have clean hands when handling the food that I am going to be eating. This includes washing hands after handling raw meat, using the rest room and touching/holding dirty shoes.

                                                  1. re: Vidute

                                                    We are talking about a TV show, no? Perceived E. coli doesn't transmit through the screen.

                                                    1. re: RUK

                                                      But Vidute is imaging Mario as a line cook in one his restaurants, and waving his dirty Crocs around the kitchen. Or that his apparently lax health standards on the show carry over into his restaurants.

                                                      Some also argue that TV chefs should have impeccable health standards as an example to the rest of us. As Stan Freburg's Tweedly said: " Keep in mind the tiny tots".

                                                      Complaints like this about TV shows are not new. Isn't there a story about Julia Child dropping a chicken on the floor?

                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                        Your link said it better than I could! Thanks!

                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                          What I had heard is that she dropped a bird (turkey?) on the floor and then said, "I have another one just like it in the kitchen", referencing the idea that having gone through all that work to cook the chicken she was not now going to throw it out because it touched the floor.

                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                              Interesting stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if some contemporary, like the Galloping Gourmet, did drop something and made a glib remark about it, and then some people simply started associating it with her. Granted, this is pure supposition.

                                                2. re: RUK

                                                  The really unique thing about Chew is that it is taped live - they have to actually cook a recipe from start to finish... there are no multiple takes and switch-outs.

                                                  1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                    If by switch-outs you mean taking a finished dish to present then they do in fact do this. For the most part they seem to showcase recipes where they're actually cooking in the allotted time.

                                                    Of course Rachel Ray has been doing the real-time thing for years. Very few edits from what I understand.

                                                  2. re: RUK

                                                    I DVR The Chew everyday. There is some fluff and humor, but there are also some great, quick recipes presented - mostly in real time. I usually FF through Carla Hall cooking segments. I think she is a fun personality and host, but honestly, I don't need her teaching me how to do a "taco bar" or how to make an ice cream sandwich.

                                                  3. I think I read that someone here couldn't get PBS so just to let you know that you can watch this season's episodes of ATK for free on the ATK website. Good stuff.

                                                    1. Try Masterchef Australia. Its currently in the middle of this 4th season, but there's no drama. There's no arguing, no screaming, no fighting, no under handed scheming. Plus the participants go through master classes by visiting chefs and restaurants and having in home classes by the cooking hosts. Its a breath of fresh air for cooking shows.

                                                      1. Wow I am glad I am not the only one who feels this way. I think I got more comments on this than when I announced that I was going to cook a llama whole.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                          which PBS show gave you that llama recipe? :) Lonely Planet showed whole guinea pigs, but I don't recall whole llamas.

                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                            Just did for fun. You can google llama and Greenville and find it.

                                                        2. So, I have a short attention span when there's nothing but garbage on tv, which is most of the time, I flip channels. While channel-surfing, I came across Good Cookin' With Bruce Aidells on the Live Well Network (channel-filler for the digital age). Straight cooking, straight recipes, and tips. They also carry Rick Bayless' "Mexico, One Plate at a Time". One big issue, though, all shows are repeated ad nauseum.

                                                          1. I agree that Food Network is now more about food entertainment than cooking. It's kinda sad because back in the day it was somewhat educational and exposed me to different foods I wouldn't have otherwise tried. These days though cooking has taken a backseat to reality shows, shows about guys walking around stuffing their mouths with food (I'm looking at you Guy Fieri), and cooking competitions (although I do love Chopped and Iron Chef).

                                                            It's not all bad though because they've shifted the cooking shows to FN's sister channel, Cooking Channel, and I think CC does a much better job of covering diverse cuisines than FN ever did. PBS cooking shows are still good but you can't really compare it to FN/CC. PBS has the luxury of hand picking a few quality shows to produce. It's a lot harder to consistently put out quality programming if you're broadcasting 24/7 hence the large # of subpar shows on FN.

                                                            11 Replies
                                                            1. re: Chi_Guy

                                                              What cable channel is CC on in the Philly metro area? FN has become about 80% entertainment dribble in our area. Some of it is on par with Jerry Springer. Don't even turn it on anymore. Would rather weed the garden.

                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                On Philly Comcast The Cooking Channel is on 122 and in HD on 1281 (If you have "digital" cable).

                                                                1. re: DougRisk

                                                                  Thanks for the reply. I am actually just across the river in NJ. and I thought we got the same line up as Philly but I just checked and we don't get those channels. EEERRRR!

                                                              2. re: Chi_Guy

                                                                Food Network Monday
                                                                12pm 11c Paula's Best Dishes
                                                                12:30pm 11:30c Barefoot Contessa
                                                                1pm 12c Sandra's Money Saving Meals
                                                                1:30pm 12:30c Ten Dollar Dinners
                                                                2pm 1c Secrets of a Restaurant Chef
                                                                2:30pm 1:30c 30 Minute Meals
                                                                3pm 2c Giada at Home
                                                                3:30pm 2:30c Giada at Home
                                                                What shows are on PBS today?

                                                                1. re: dondcook

                                                                  I could be wrong but the afternoon is about the only time FN has instructional shows anymore. Even the weekends seem to be nothing but entertainment stuff.

                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                    "I could be wrong but the afternoon is about the only time FN has instructional shows anymore"

                                                                    The schedule is easily accessible on the website. Your statement doesn't seem accurate.

                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                        Depending on the definition of "afternoon" I would tend to agree. The primetime hours, the last 4 or so hours of programming, tend to be travel and competition shows. The rest of the day, up through 7 pm or so eastern, seems to be instructional.

                                                                        I'm amazed that people don't DVR though. It seems that more people than I'd ever imagine are still slaves to schedules. I can't imagine that, especially if I'm looking for instructional TV.

                                                                  2. re: dondcook

                                                                    Mondays and Fridays on PBS Create:
                                                                    12 am, 2:30am Cook's Country
                                                                    12:30 am Tommy Tang's Easy Thai Cooking
                                                                    1am Pati's Mexican Kitchen
                                                                    2am, 5:30am Lidia's Italy in America
                                                                    3am Barbecue U
                                                                    3:30am Joanne Weir
                                                                    7am, 1pm New Scandinavian Cooking
                                                                    7:30 am, 1:30pm Chef John Besh's New Orleans
                                                                    8am, 2pm Ciao Italia
                                                                    8:30am, 2:30pm Rachel Allen
                                                                    6:30 pm, 9:30 pm Joanne Weir Cooking Confidence
                                                                    7pm Simply Ming
                                                                    7:30pm Hubert Keller's Secrets of a Chef'
                                                                    8pm, 11:30pm Lidia's Italy in America
                                                                    8:30pm Cook's Country
                                                                    9pm BBQ U

                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                      I understand that your comment was not about Tommy Thang and his show, but I really want to say this:

                                                                      He seemed like a good guy and fairly knowledgeable, but I was so disappointed in that show.

                                                                      While the "travel" parts of the show attempted to highlight the regionalism of Thailand, the show was at least a partial failure in demonstrating great Thai food.

                                                                      For instance, he would often cook with Olive Oil. For me, this was just weird.

                                                                      Personally, I would love to see someone do for Thai Food what "Luke Nguyen" has done for Vietnamese food.

                                                                      I know that there is David Thompson, but I am not that familiar with his TV appearances since I believe that most of them have been on Australian TV.

                                                                      Another side note: I think Rachel Allen is a delightful host.

                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                        greygarious, thanks for the info about PBS Create it is curious that they don't have cooking shows on during prime time weekdays on my network.
                                                                        8:00 PM On Canvas TVG
                                                                        8:30 PM Exploring the Art TVG
                                                                        9:00 PM Austin City Limits TVPG
                                                                        10:00 PM Infinity Hall Live TVPG
                                                                        11:00 PM Rosendo's Travelscope
                                                                        They do have them on the weekend.

                                                                  3. And don't forget, PBS has relatively few commercials, so there's less review of what's happened so far after the break.

                                                                    1. On another thread acgold used an industry term of cooking shows 'dump and stir'. I did a search on that term, and came up with this article by M Ruhlman

                                                                      on Ming 'revising the dump and stir format'

                                                                      I've watched a couple of episodes on this new series, including the one with J Pepin as guest. There's more informal discussion, and at least the appearance of cooking on the fly. 'What's in the pantry ... I like this ... lets do such and such'. There's probably more planning and structure than we see, but the attempt is to show decisions that cooks make at the last minute.

                                                                      But despite this innovation, it really didn't capture my attention. In a sense I watched it because I've enjoyed their shows in the past, but there wasn't anything really new.

                                                                      I suspect that the days of cooking shows as serious instruction are numbered, despite efforts on PBS. Most recipes can be demoed in 10 minutes or less, just like most recipes can fit on one page. A cooking show forces you to watch 2 or 3 of those, even if you are interested in only one. A video clip, on the other hand, puts me in control. I can pick what I want. I can fast forward, and repeat portions.

                                                                      TV shows of 30 -60 minutes are better at telling an entertaining story, or a series of stories. They are not optimal for instruction.

                                                                      1. Its been along time since I've added a new cooking show to my dvr's Series Recording list, but I just added OWN's 'Ambush Cook' because I made Chef Kristina Kuzmic's recipe for Goat Cheese Bruschetta and it was THE BEST Bruschetta I've ever tasted! *see photo

                                                                        I served the Bruschetta as an appetizer before dinner, and during dinner someone asked if there was any Bruschetta left. I brought the appetizer platter to the dining table, and by dinner's end every bit of that Bruschetta was gone!

                                                                        I heard about Ambush Cook from a friend who raves about Kuzmic's Pistachio Crusted Talapia recipe.

                                                                        ATK will always be my idea of a perfect cooking show; easy demonstrations, a little scientific explanation, and great tried and true recipes. And if I'm doing a cooking day on the weekend, a recipe from ATK or CI is usually my go-to.

                                                                        But this weekend I'm making Ambush Cook's Spicy Peanut Butter Chicken.

                                                                        1. Tonight I watch about an hour of cooking on Create (ATK and Essential Pepin) and an hour on FN, Chopped.

                                                                          Pepin was about bread baking. While he showed some tricks in forming loaves, he relied on a mixer and food processor for the kneading.

                                                                          ATK was about steak frites. Chopped appetizer round included frozen french fries and cubed steak, so 3 of the competitors took the steak frites route. Overall I saw more cooking on Chopped, and got a better sense of the ways are chef thinks under pressure, than I did with either of the PBS shows.

                                                                          If you need recipes, then the dump-and-stir (real cooking) shows on PBS can be great. But I have most techniques down. What I need is inspiration, and ideas for thinking out side the box. I also learn from the judge's comments. For recipe details I can go online or looking in my books.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. You are so right. PBS is by and far the best source for serious cooking shows featuring bonafide chefs. Food Network, on the other hand, has devolved into a dumbed-down, low brow venue for shows that have nothing to do with cooking. When FN was first launched, shows like the Two Hot Tamales, Molto Mario and Sara Multon catered to serius cooks and imparted valuable culinary information. Fast forward 15+ years and Food Network is but a shadow of its former self. Gone are the serious cooking shows having been replaced with the likes of Semi-Homemade, Trisha Yearwood and that god-awful Pioneer Womin show. Even The Cooking Channel has succumbed to moronic productions like Bitchin' Kitchen and The Culinary Adventures of Baron Ambrosia. Food Network is less about cooking and more about mass appeal and ratings. For quality cooking shows, stick with PBS.

                                                                            1. I think that most cooking channel and food TV Chefs/Host are as useless as "teats on tripe" My Opinion.

                                                                              1. I love it . PBS/ Saturday 8:00 AM,Jacques Pepin - 2:30 Pm ending with the New Scandinavian Chef. One of my favorite of shows . San Francisco PBS. I remember when I first subscibed to the Food Channel for 10 cents a month ( 1991 ) on cable. Don't understand it now.

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: emglow101

                                                                                  I find instructional cooking shows both informative & entertaining. I feel the same about some of the programming on the History & Discovery channels. From there its swings to movies. All the reality stuff, whether cooking or otherwise does nothing for me. In many cases I find them down right annoying.

                                                                                  My wife and daughters like them so I built a large addition with a bar, large flat screen and very powerful custom surround sound system to get away from it. Being my volume button is 10 times more powerful than theirs they don't mess with me.

                                                                                  1. re: emglow101

                                                                                    I love "New Scandinavian Cooking"- I want to move to Norway every time I watch that show. Not only is the countryside beautiful, they make everything from scratch, and everything is cooked in the natural surroundings.

                                                                                    1. re: Tudor_rose

                                                                                      Settings is pretty, but cooking outdoors does not help with the instructional part of the show. Others have that kind of thing, such as Tommy Tsang (Thai), and Ming on his FN show. There are other shows with real outdoor cooking, such as FN chuck wagon documentaries, BBC No Kitchen, and FN Extreme Chef.

                                                                                      I watched New Scandinavian until I started to see repeats. I can't think of anything, ingredients, methods or recipes, that I was inspired to try on my own. On the other hand Baron Ambrosia inspired me to try Flying Jacob! :) Also there was little on the NSC shows to connect me with my Scandinavia heritage. I will though admit that they have a couple of the prettiest TV cooks. :)

                                                                                  2. Just about every cooking show on PBS is so dull and flaccid these days, it makes me almost want to vote for Romney, just so that he cuts funding for Big Bird and hopefully the rest of the drivel on PBS.

                                                                                    Give me a double-shot of Paula Deen, please.

                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                      It's not all that dull. Think of that long thread debating whether hosts should include their relatives as guests! Admittedly I can't think of any show that inspires a weekly recap like the Bravo competitions, or the FN 'next' shows.

                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                        Most PBS cooking shows make staring at 404 Error screen on my computer seem like pornography.

                                                                                      2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                        "Give me a double-shot of Paula Deen, please"

                                                                                        You are very lucky to be so easily excitable. LOL!!

                                                                                        I will have to agree though she seems down to earth and comes across as genuinely enthusiastic about cooking. Great contrast to that ever present sh*t eating grin/ fake smile on Giada's face that mimic's a politician in heat during an election year.

                                                                                        As for Emeril, he comes across as a well below average IQ "elixir salesman" who hasn't a clue what he's selling.

                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                          Here's the thing, it's like pauj said upthread (see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8556...), I watch cooking shows for inspiration, not to figure out the basic techniques. I know those already.

                                                                                          I want to be entertained and inspired, not to be lectured.

                                                                                          Say what you want about Paula, but she is entertaining and quite evocative -- which is more than you can say for about 95% of all shows on TV.

                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                            I'm sorry, I don't get Paula Deen. Her 'y'all' every five seconds, and nasal & loud voice get on my nerves. I also think it's super annoying that she has used FN to get her sons jobs, even though there are probably a lot more qualified chefs out there that earned their dues to get on television. Reminds me of Sandra Lee (not what you know, but who you know). I was watching her short son (I forget his name) make some stew, and he didn't even clean the veggies. He said, 'dirt is good' - we should eat more of it. OMG!! That was it for me.

                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit


                                                                                              I suppose get inspiration from very odd places :) Sometimes it is from something that they are cooking, or an ingredient they are using, or the way they put together a plate, or simply something they said. Even if the dish they are preparing is not too appealing to me. Paul Deen or Rachel Ray or whoever- can mention something about using chard instead of ____ for filling ____, and I think..."hey, I should do that tonight instead of ___"...

                                                                                              Well worth watching then.

                                                                                              I don't really *care* for all the hosts personalities or appearances, but I don't get the disgust factor either. I stand in line behind people in the grocery store that look weirder than most FN stars, I still stand in line for the checker to get me through. BFD.

                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                Growing up my parents watched TV a few times a year when a major news event was taking place. We spent most evenings doing homework, reading the paper and discussing both short term & long term domestic and global issues. I have evolved somewhat but I am not the type to sit down every night after dinner and veg out watching reality TV.

                                                                                                I enjoy good movies, instructional TV, Hist/Discov & an occasional sitcom. I can take Paula and a few of the others who blend instructional & entertainment but I just can't sit through hours of prime time reality stuff whether it be cooking / dancing / singing / survivor or what ever the latest craze at the moment is.

                                                                                                I will say these types of shows as well as ESPN have been very effective in one regard: *****Distracting people from very real snowballing problems that will be changing our standard of living in this country in a way most people couldn't imagine and a whole lot sooner than economists had previously predicted*****

                                                                                                Sorry for the rant. I have young children and worry terribly about the future that awaits them when I see brilliant young engineering graduates waiting tables.

                                                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                  And why is hanging out on this website any better?

                                                                                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                    Because unlike prime time Food Network, one can actually learn something on this site as well as many other sites.

                                                                                          2. I remember getting up very early on Saturday's just to watch PBS, cooking and gardening shows, I enjoyed them so much and really am sorry that we don't have more actual cooking shows. No others compare

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: dolly52

                                                                                              I associate PBS cooking shows with Saturday afternoon. That's still true with my local stations, though Create gives them anytime. Other than Jeff Smith's shows, many of those older PBS shows or hosts are still available, both reruns of Julia, and newer shows from Jacques and Yan.

                                                                                              Saturday and Sunday mornings are still cooking show times on FN and CC. In fact all mornings are mostly instructional.

                                                                                              1. re: dolly52

                                                                                                Could not agree more.Paula Deen, Rachel,,,, really. it's like the Home Depot of cooking. Thank god for the New Scandanavian chef.

                                                                                              2. Food Network started a baby station they called The Cooking Channel. And up until about 8 months ago, it was just that - all cooking shows, all the time.

                                                                                                Unfortunately, over the last 8 months, FN has, in their infinite (infintisimal?) wisdom decided to start showing more "faux reality cooking" programming on it. Now there's a bunch of Iron Chef shows and shows about people traveling around eating food instead of actually making it. It's basically turning into Food Network 2.0 at this point. Super lame. WHY do we keep getting these dumb shows about mystery boxes or cupcake making competitions?

                                                                                                I have DirecTV, so I don't have the Create channel, to my knowledge (which makes me sad - I loved the Hubert Keller show). Cooking Channel exposed me to some interesting things (Laura Calder's French Food at Home - which no longer appears to be in production as I've seen every one that's broadcast anymore; Luke's Vietnam, which was informative for someone who's never attempted that style of cooking; even Kelsey's Essentials would occasionally have something I could draw inspiration from....before the concept of the show was changed to "let's spend half the show watching Kelsey attempt to flirt with Bobby Flay and call his addition of potato chips to hamburgers amazing"). The Easy Entertaining w/ Chiarello shows were awesome, but those are apparently no longer being done, etc.

                                                                                                But hey, at least I'll know when to be thoroughly impressed when I find myself at a cake-making rave and see a baker cover up a mistake with fondant - I'll just listen for the ominous music.

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Quintious

                                                                                                  The travel food shows have been on Cooking Channel for a long time, ones like Eat Street, Unique Eats, Unique Sweets. Eden Eats is a relatively new one. CC was never 'all cooking shows, all the time'.

                                                                                                  Some of the initial cooking shows were borrowed from FN Canada (Mooking, Calder, Hughes). CC did try a few inhouse instructional shows, such as RR's Week, Emerils Fresh, Bobbys Brunch.

                                                                                                  Yes, prime time does have Iron Chef America reruns and recaps, but only after they ran through the Japanese series a couple of times. Good Eats is playing a lot on CC. 2 Fat Ladies is no longer playing Saturday evenings, but those have always been reruns.

                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                    It's possible that I simply didn't notice the reality shows as much back then, as they weren't so prominent. Now, however, every time I scan the channel guides, it seems there's a reality-type show on instead of something that actually deals with cooking.

                                                                                                    I almost never see Spice Goddess on there anymore, Sara Moulton's show is apparently off, I never got into "Good Deal with Dave Lieberman", but I don't recall the last time I saw that on queue, no more Julia Child on there, the Easy Asian Cooking thing is seemingly all reruns, no more Batali shows, etc.

                                                                                                    1. re: Quintious

                                                                                                      I just saw the Spice Goddess on the daytime listings. The Julia shows must have been during daytimes when I didn't watch. Easy Asian turned into San Francisco something, and used to be on Saturdays evenings. Multo Mario is still on the daytime listing. I don't recall seeing Sara on CC, but FN must have a good stock of her shows in the library.

                                                                                                      Anything new is going go into reruns pretty quickly, considering that a season is 6-12 episodes.

                                                                                                      Looks like Symons Suppers are the current new(ish) cooking show.

                                                                                                      CreateTV isn't any better when it comes to reruns.

                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                        Sara went to PBS after she left FN. She has a show called "Weeknight Dinners" (or close to that). As with all PBS shows, your local channel may or may not offer it.

                                                                                                        I don't think I have seen *any* of her FN shows on reruns. It must be a contractual thing.

                                                                                                        I remember hearing, several years ago when a lot of the original FN stars left the network, that FN had asked for a bigger piece of their earnings. The established personalities didn't agree, so FN has been getting new folks, like from Next Food Network Star, who are willing to accept those terms.

                                                                                                        1. re: pamf

                                                                                                          From what I read, the initial FN contracts were generous by TV industry standards. One would have to be privy to private negotiations or industry rumors to know whether people like Mario and Emeril left because of less favorable contracts or some other details. People like that have multiple projects. Mario had his Spain roadtrip show, and now the Chew. My gut sense is that FN has been more effective at retaining their 'stars' than most other cable networks.

                                                                                                          The initial 'next' shows may have been driven by the need to fill some gaps, but they quickly proved to be money makers on their own. The shows are produced more for the audience that they draw than for the 'stars' they might produce. Threads here are an indication of that interest, even among people who supposedly are more interested in cooking than personalities.

                                                                                                          There are other ways of finding 'stars' than 'Next' shows. Paula Dean was found by a FN host turned producer. Cookbook authors have always been a potential; now it's food bloggers. Complicating the picture is that fact that many shows are dreamed up and produced by independent production outfits, who might also produce shows for other networks.

                                                                                                          Even PBS shows come from different stations or producers. Julia from Boston, Jacques from San Francisco.

                                                                                                2. I absolutely loathe Guy Fieri. The man makes me cringe, and I have trouble staring at him, but I love the show "Diners, Dives and Drive-in's" because I get lots of cooking ideas and inspiration from it. Some of these mom & pop restaurants have really great recipes and home cooked menus. However, he makes me sick. I guess I watch in interest and disgust at the same time. Does anyone have a similar issue with a show? They love the content, but hate the host.

                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Tudor_rose

                                                                                                    Emeril Live used to be that way for me (well, maybe not the same - I don't know that anybody grates on me more than Guy Fieri and his attempts to be a "foodertainer" - anybody who spends more time frosting his hair than cooking is a moron). Emeril, he's a good cook, but he is about the single least interesting person alive to me. Anybody remember back when Food Network was first getting started and he had that show right after Curtis Aikens (biiiiig happy black guy, was pushing the local ingredient trend. Great show)? No music for Emeril, no description of what was going on behind the scenes with the food, nothing? Man, what a snoozefest - half the show was dead air. Trying to turn the guy who brought us THAT into a "Tonight Show-esque" host and attempting to give him a personality wasn't any better. Another example would be anything with Rocco DiSpirito (he used to do a cooking show with Cat Cora that was downright painful to watch him on). The new Food Network "chef" with the spikey hair...Ann Burrell, I think her name is? Good dishes, can't stand her Guy Fieri Wannabe Foodetertainer personality. ANYTHING with Bobby Flay grates me. He makes some good dishes in his barbecue shows, but man, what a douchenozzle. Steven Raichlan is another one - decent creations, but he gets on my nerves, especially given how frequently he's wrong about something.

                                                                                                    On that same vein (re: Emeril's early days)....someone needs to bring back Curtis Aikens.

                                                                                                    Anyhow, there *are*, however, a number of shows where I love the host but hate the content. The Michael Symon shows come immediately to mind; he's being held back I think. Ask Aida is another. Post-Good Eats Alton Brown. Giada just needs to smile, silently stand there and not cook. Ever. Maybe she can jump on a trampoline. I actually find "Nadia G" kind of amusing, though her dishes are too remedial for me. 2 Fat Ladies is another. Any Mario Batali show. Etc.

                                                                                                    1. re: Quintious

                                                                                                      I like Michael Symon. He's also on "The Chew" which I don't like because of Dr. Oz's daughter. At least he's a trained chef and he cooks really well IMO. I miss the "Two Fat Ladies" - they had Julia Child appeal to them.

                                                                                                    2. re: Tudor_rose

                                                                                                      You're right, love the show but I think Guy Fieri is the ugliest lesbian I have ever seen.

                                                                                                      1. re: Tudor_rose

                                                                                                        he gives me the iby jibby's, I don't watch him or his hair.

                                                                                                        1. re: Tudor_rose

                                                                                                          It's the stupid hair,and wearing the sunglasses on his head backwards that I can't stand. Love the content . = Ratings

                                                                                                        2. Just when you thought the Food Network couldn't stoop any lower, there are two new shows premiering this month - "Sandra Lee Lounges, Taverns, and Bars" (or something like that name) where she goes around doing what she loves to do best, get drunk, and offer stupid advice. Then another show, "Health Inspector." Don't even ask, ewwwww!

                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Tudor_rose

                                                                                                            Are you going to watch Chuck Hughes's new show?

                                                                                                            Sandra's new show is on Cooking Channel

                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                              Sandra also has a new show on FN premiering Sunday. "Restaurant Remakes".


                                                                                                              I have the new Chuck Hughes set-up to record this evening. I really like his show, however, the CC has rerun the episodes so many times I have no interest anymore. I also really liked his short series about touring in Mexico.

                                                                                                              1. re: pamf

                                                                                                                You've got to be kidding me!!! Now, I really know PBS is the last bastion of Cooking sanity.

                                                                                                                1. re: pamf

                                                                                                                  Phew, thank god that there's this show about restaurant remodels, menu alterations, and makeovers coming on the air. It's filling such a HUGE void that is not being represented at all in the food niche.

                                                                                                                  I mean, other than Kitchen Nightmares. And Restaurant Impossible. And 24 hour Restaurant. And Restaurant Makeover. And Restaurant Stakeout. And 3 Days to Open w/ Bobby Flay. And Mystery Diners.

                                                                                                                  TOTALLY unique concept here!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Quintious

                                                                                                                    No, it's not about restaurant remodels, she is going to attempt to remake their recipes using her own semi-ho techniques.

                                                                                                                    1. re: pamf

                                                                                                                      Sandra Lee is going to remake restaurant recipes? Which restaurants? McDonalds & Burger King?

                                                                                                                      I like the concept of trying to remake popular restaurant dishes in a homemade fashion, but she'll just ruin it with her canned cake frosting and boxes of prepared preservatives and chemicals.

                                                                                                                2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                  When CC was added to my cable line up about a year ago, I was so happy to have decent cooking shows. Within a few months, I could tell they were going downhill - it was more like Food Network 2.0.

                                                                                                                  It was a slow direction downhill - they added Alton and Iron Chef - decent shows but what's the point? We need something new. Then Paula's brood moved in and then came Giada.

                                                                                                                  At least Create TV is available.

                                                                                                                  1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                    what's latest great recipe that you got from a CreateTV show?

                                                                                                                    While I welcomed CC, I had no illusions that it would provide a lot of new great cooking shows. I knew as a startup is had to start with FN reruns, borrowed shows from BBC and FN Canada, and a few new ones. As it turned out it was the Canadian shows which were most interesting (chuck, laura, mooking).

                                                                                                                    Plus I was familiar with other channels in that part of the 'spectrum' (the 200s on my carrier). They have few originals, mostly reruns from the 30s (Discovery, HIstory, Learning).

                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                      "what's latest great recipe that you got from a CreateTV show?"

                                                                                                                      Where do I begin? It's more than just recipes, it's also about technique. Watching Essential Pepin not only showed great recipes, but he actually teaches in a way that's easy to follow. I like the fact that with one staple item, he shows you several ways to use them.

                                                                                                                      And I appreciate that he does not cook in a wasteful manner. How many times on these cooking shows do they use a tiny bit of something and you're stuck with 5 egg whites? Or buy a whole chicken, carve out certain pieces and toss the rest in the freezer only to be forgotten later.

                                                                                                                      Not many people are experienced in cooking and it helps when you can watch someone create multiple meals out of a staple item. "Enough of this save your chicken bones to make stock" message.

                                                                                                                      Also, I'm over the olive oil incantations. Not everything needs to be cooked in olive oil and we learn why. And no, butter is not a food group. If the only way to get flavor is by tossing in butter, something is definitely wrong.

                                                                                                                      I noticed CC was more like the Canadian food channel, but at least it had some great content. I liked Chuck and Laura; Mooking, not to much.

                                                                                                                      1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                        DH and I watched Pepin on Create last night...he was doing an all vegetable show. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, looked amazing and easily doable.

                                                                                                                        Cauliflower gratin is gonna happen chez moi.

                                                                                                                        FN seems to be running interminable "Wars" of some sort and I can't say I've seen much that makes me want to go out and buy ingredients.

                                                                                                                        1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                          I don't get cooking in olive oil all the time too, especially extra virgin, as that burns. You really need to be careful with the flame and cook time to use EVOO. I use grapeseed for just about everything (and its less expensive too). I wish they would use other alternative oils like coconut oil (instead of butter this and butter that) too.

                                                                                                                          That being said, I do like Anne Burrell's cooking show "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef" and I have used her ideas and recipes quite a bit. She's taught me a lot, but yes, she always uses olive oil, and five egg yolks (save the egg whites!!). I am able to retain bones and other things for stock, but not everyone makes homemade stock.

                                                                                                                          Paula Deen, Rachel Ray, Giada, & Sandra Dee drive me nuts. Ina Garten is good, at least she's not annoying, and I love her house (it's like architectural digest and cooking in one program). Melissa D'Arabian is okay, but I wish they would give her another show besides $10 dinners. Often times, the ingredients she uses are way more expensive than what she claims they are, and the use of the words, "cheap" and "save a few bucks" make me cringe. If anything, I don't mind inexpensive ingredients, but do you have to call everything "cheap" all the time. It sounds like a roadside diner.

                                                                                                                          I like Laura Calder (French Food at Home) too. I wish they had her on more often.

                                                                                                                3. So I checked 2 random 24 hour periods for Cooking Channel. It looks as though it's actual cooking shows from 4:30 am to 2:30 pm both days - so 10 hours (41.66%). And I'm taking a very liberal definition of the term "cooking show" when I give them that block. I'm willing to believe that this is just their typical block for cooking shows.

                                                                                                                  Which means that there are 14 hours (or 58.33%) worth of non-cooking shows. Most of which is stupid "foodertainment" crap (a whoooole lot of Iron Chef, Sweet/Unique Eats, FoodTravel shows, et al). There are a couple hours per night of infomercials.

                                                                                                                  Now, I don't know what the programme schedule looked like a year ago, but I absolutely, positively, 100% guarantee that it wasn't less than 42% or even less than 75% cooking shows. It's obvious where their parent company (Food Network) is taking it - yet another dumb ass channel full of "food-ish" type shows that don't belong. How much you wanna bet that, should we revisit this topic in 365 days, that it will be less than 33%?

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Quintious

                                                                                                                    Tomorrow's (Wed) lineup, by my count is 20 hrs of show (ignore the infomecials)

                                                                                                                    13 hrs of instruction (65%)
                                                                                                                    4.5 hrs of food tour
                                                                                                                    2.5 hrs of competition (ICA, Throwdown)

                                                                                                                    Some shows are borderline instruction/tour such as Saad's United Tastes, Nguyen's Vietnam,
                                                                                                                    Rocco's Italian.

                                                                                                                    Create for the same day has 11 hrs of food, counting repeats
                                                                                                                    6 instructional, 4 tour, 1 competition.

                                                                                                                  2. Guess the source of a recipe that uses:

                                                                                                                    1 c heavy cream
                                                                                                                    1 package instant vanilla pudding
                                                                                                                    1 c milk
                                                                                                                    1 sponge cake (8 oz)
                                                                                                                    2 T apricote preserves

                                                                                                                    whip the cream
                                                                                                                    mix the pudding with the milk according to instructions; fold in the whipped cream
                                                                                                                    cut cake in half horizontally
                                                                                                                    layer with jam and 'frosting'.

                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                      I would say Sandra Lee, but this sounds too sophisticated for her. Maybe this is Sandra Lee at XMAS - other times, hostess cupcakes will do.

                                                                                                                      Apricot preserves...nothing but the best for NY elite. The rest of you can use orange marmalade or grape jelly.

                                                                                                                      1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                        It preceeds Sandra by a number of years. It's from a 1991 book, The Short Cut Cook,
                                                                                                                        "The idea,... is to take stuff from the supermarket and give it your own signature. . . . The point is not to buy prepared food. What you do is buy partially prepared food and finish it yourself to make it your own food with your own taste."

                                                                                                                        The author calls this cake Gateau Claudine

                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                          So you're saying she also copied the premise of this book for her show, Semi Homemade.

                                                                                                                          At least she keeps with the spirit of Sandra Lee.

                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                            He did that show using canned food too, but he still has more ability in his little finger than 3/4 of whats out there.

                                                                                                                      2. I would love to know the REAL reason they keep loser hosts like Sandra Lee, Guy Fieri, Giada and Rachel Ray. How can these people get ratings??? Oh, and I know people love Paula Deen, but I can't stand her, but I'm not including her in the above list because I know she has fans.

                                                                                                                        17 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Tudor_rose

                                                                                                                          You don't understand why Food Network keeps these hosts? Or, you don't understand how they get ratings?

                                                                                                                          The first question is because they get boffo ratings. The second question is because you're probably in the minority of Food Network viewers. And you're not better than everyone else because you're in the minority -- just different.

                                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                            I don't understand how they get ratings. I don't find it entertaining to watch some greasy slob shove food in his greasy disgusting face, and scream at the camera. I'm speaking of Guy Fieri here. As for Sandra Lee, I hear nothing but disgust over her, even from other food network chefs. I don't get it. Oh well.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Tudor_rose

                                                                                                                              Your cable company can tell which channel your cable box is tuned to. There are companies that analyse that kind of information, so the networks, and their advertisers, can plan accordingly. Advertising rates depend on audience numbers, even their demographic mix.

                                                                                                                              One such company

                                                                                                                              1. re: Tudor_rose

                                                                                                                                You don't get it because it's too recondite for you to grasp.

                                                                                                                                It's the same reason PSY gets a billion hits on YouTube and Yo-Yo-Ma, well, doesn't.

                                                                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                  What the heck is PSY? It must be too recondite for me as well.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                      You need to correct the link

                                                                                                                                      CC blog's Korean recipes in honor of PSY

                                                                                                                                      And if you insist on getting REAL news, here's an NPR interview with PSY

                                                                                                                            2. re: Tudor_rose

                                                                                                                              The ones you list have fans as well. I recently read (via Eater) that Guy gets $100,000 for speaking appearances plus $1500 for expenses. Groups don't pay that kind of money if no one is interested.


                                                                                                                              DDD is solidly represented in Friday night Cable TV ratings. On other days, a new episode of Chopped appears on Thursday lists. I expect the Next Iron Chef episodes will appear on the Sunday lists in November.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Tudor_rose

                                                                                                                                I can't take that ever present fake smile on Giada's face. Reminds me of a clown at a children's party.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                  someone once referred to it as a "rictus grin" which works for me.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                    Somebody posted she was smoking hot. In dark bar a closeup flash from all those bleach white teeth would have me falling backward off the stool.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                    I think I liked Giada for all of 2 or 3 episodes. After that, I could not stand that double-wide grin and over-emphasis on Italian pronunciations.

                                                                                                                                    I understand the need to pronounce things correctly, but hers is a little too much. She's like the newscasters who have to remind the viewers they are really Latino.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                      I am not to versed on Italian pronunciations but I know a fake exaggerated smile when I see one. If my wife kept smiling at me like that I would be afraid to go to sleep.

                                                                                                                                  3. re: Tudor_rose

                                                                                                                                    Sandra Lee's presence is simple - she's kind of hot.

                                                                                                                                    Giada? She's smoking hot, and has that bubbly girl next door personality that draws people in.

                                                                                                                                    Rachel? She has a way of making bad home cooks feel as though they can cook - that has wide appeal. Oh, and she's kind of hot.

                                                                                                                                    Guy.....I have no idea there. He seemingly never cooks, he isn't what most women would find attractive, and he brings nothing to the table other than acting like being a chef is like being a rock star. I can't answer that one.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Quintious

                                                                                                                                      Could it be that Guy makes people who eat at 'dives' feel good, that their kind of place is special?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                        You sound like you know the guy or you own a place he visited.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Quintious

                                                                                                                                        I think "some" of the people (Probably not those on this site) who watch food entertainment shows are just into the reality type shows & not cooking & would find a 6 person race to see who could pick the lint from their navels the fastest just as entertaining if there was enough noise, flash & camera movement.

                                                                                                                                    2. Speaking of PBS food shows
                                                                                                                                      A new one is The Mind of a Chef, Bourdain looks at David Chang

                                                                                                                                      "Narrator/Executive Producer Anthony Bourdain
                                                                                                                                      Travel inside the Kitchen, World, and Mind of Acclaimed Chef David Chang
                                                                                                                                      Beginning Friday, November 9, 2012"