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Chowhound Network: What would YOUR show be like?

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I think many of us have tired of the same old cooking shows. So let’s get creative. If you were the host of your own show on Chowhound Network what would it be like? What would you cook? Who would be on the show with you? Who knows? Maybe we can inspire something new.

My show would feature home cooks showing how to prepare food the old-fashioned way. That’s how I learned how to cook and still do. Here’s an example of what I mean. This lady Clara of “Clara’s Kitchen” is such a sweetheart. I can listen to her for days.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Depressio...

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  1. I would do a show much like the one Guy Fieri talked about wanting to do when he was on Next Food Network Star. A show aimed at men to teach them that they too can learn to cook. It wouldn't be Michelin Five Star gourmet cuisine, just good old fashioned guy food.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PotatoHouse

      I like it! Way too many/nealry 90% of my male friends exist on bags of chips and frozen chicken nuggets and refuse to believe that cooking great meals can be quick and easy. I have managed to convert a few who now wonder "wow, I've noticed that I'm no longer constipated and have horrible stomach pain." How is that for a revelation...

    2. Mine would be a New Orleans-influenced show, with both the unique cuisine of New Orleans, plus the Deep South.

      Rather than "BAM," it would actually work with the cuisine, and incorporate jazz, or other musicians - just food - great food.

      Hunt

      1. It would be hardcore food science/engineering, with a terrifying amalgamation of Alton Brown, Harold McGee, Nathan Myhrvold, and all the luminary chefs of modern/molecular cuisine.

        1. Thanks for the Clara link! She's sweet.

          For myself: I think some of my favorite cooking comes from throwing together something quickly from random things in the fridge and pantry. So I'd do a "Planned Leftovers" show.

          Making rice? Make some extra so you can make a fried rice dish 1-3 days later.

          Got some leftover roasted potatoes? Use some eggs and cheese and veggies to make a frittata. (For cream, I actually use those little half-and-half containers for coffee, because they don't spoil fast and I can always have some around.)

          The "planned" part of this approach is that it pays to do some things ahead, like begin thawing shrimp the day or two before you think you might want to make a fried rice dinner, plus just making extra of starches and veggies and meats.

          Pantry or fridge items: thai chili pastes, fish sauce, tomato paste frozen in chunks, eggs, frozen cubes of broth and porcini soaking liquid, assorted chopped veggies, and (of course) onions and garlic. You can make tons of dishes with these accessories.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Bada Bing

            My show would be alot like yours. It would start with vertical fridge doors opening. Close up shot of many rubbermaid containers full of leftovers and pre-cooked staples. Cut to a clock - it is 6:45 PM and I've just returned home from work. Calculating....... I then whip up a delicious meal from fridge findings and pantry staples. Cooking 911.

            1. re: tcamp

              You've got a much better show name in mind: Cooking 911.

              It's a good real-world concept: throw together something awesome from random ingredients on hand.

              1. re: Bada Bing

                I think there was a show on FN called Cooking 911.

                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                  Close. It was called Food 911 with Tyler Florence.

                  1. re: suzigirl

                    Yes, that was it, thanks!

                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                      You're welcome. I thought he was cute so i remember him.

          2. "Iron Chef: Slow-Cooker Version"

            Eight to twelve hours of programming in one shot. Plenty of defrosting, chopping, peering, tasting, adding.

            The Duke says he'd watch "Hmmm, What Would Go With This Beer?"

            1. Mine would be a cooking reality show. I spend the first segment cleaning up the kitchen so I have room to cook. Then I look through the fridge and figure out what I can make with whatever's on the brink of going bad.

              At the halfway point, I realize that I don't have as much as I thought I did of a key ingredient and have to figure out a substitute.

              At some point, I will find that I need a utensil or pot that is in the dishwasher, dirty, and have to pull it out and wash it. Something is probably starting to smoke and/or boil over while I'm doing this.

              I will eat half of my favorite side dish in the last couple of minutes while waiting for the main to be done.

              Fade out on my freshly re-messed kitchen as I pour a glass of wine.

              Frankly, it'll probably be a lot like My Drunk Kitchen:
              http://hartoandco.com/my-drunk-kitchen/

              4 Replies
              1. re: Wahooty

                I love it. I can relate to that cooking show

                1. re: Wahooty

                  Now THAT is a show, that I would watch!

                  Sort of a Cooking Channel, mixed with the Fox Channel - "When good foods go bad... "

                  Love it,

                  Hunt

                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Now, now...the food always turns out well in the end, if a bit weird. Like last weekend, when I was determined to use up the rest of a roast chicken (my New Year's resolution is to not let that last serving of leftovers go moldy). I pulled the rest of the meat off of the carcass...chopped up some marinated artichoke hearts and pepperoncini from the fridge...cooked the odd amount of farro I had in the pantry...odds and ends of some cheeses...mushed it all up with some herbs and some egg and flour to bind it, and wound up with a weird meatloaf/casserole thing. Would have had buttered crispy breadcrumbs on top, but the old croutons in my pantry had gone stale - luckily my nose clued me in before I added them in.

                    And both that night, and each time I've gone back for the leftovers, I think to myself..."This is SO WEIRD. But tasty..."

                    1. re: Wahooty

                      Now, a show on "How to deal with leftovers," could be great too.

                      Hunt

                2. It would be hosted by a nutritional anthropologist who occasionally calls on Alton Brown for an anecdote.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ennuisans

                    LOL! Good one. I'd watch.

                  2. My show would showcase a Cookbook of the Week with specific recipes singled out to be cooked by 3 different home cooks living in 3 different countries. It would have the cooks shopping, adjusting for ingredient vagaries, cooking, then sitting down with friends or family eating and discussing the outcome. I'm guessing it would be an hour program. Mo Rocca will host. Or maybe Jeffrey Steingarten...

                    1. Mine would be sort of a combination of Ellie Krieger's old show, and 10 dollar dinners. Easy to prepare but healthy and delicious food that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, since, well, that's how I cook 90% of the time. I'm sure most Chowhounders wouldn't be interested in watching :) But it would also have a big of the Barefoot Contessa vibe when it comes to how it would be shot... sort of soothing, in a nice kitchen without a lot of bright colors.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: juliejulez

                        I would watch this show.

                      2. Hounds, I'm loving your "shows!" I can actually visualize them in my mind. Appreciate your replies.

                        1. Thank you for allowing me to showcase my delusional personality. Here goes:
                          My show would be Cathe's Chaotic Kitchen. I would be in my on-set kitchen, which would resemble a rather large kitchen with a hearth area complete with a very shabby-chic pillowed sofa, a 6-burner gas stove with grill, basically the kitchen that I don't have. Let's just say the decor is French Country with big copper pans hanging on the walls. OK, so here's the deal. Chaos plays a big part because in my own life, I have a million interuptions whilst cooking. The damn corgi which belongs to my better half is constantly underfoot. My better half is constantly interupting me in his strong french accent to give me HIS opinion on whatever dish I'm making--that ends up with me yelling (in my annoying NY/LI accent) at him to cook if he wants to tell me what to do. Add a phone call from one of the kids...and well, you get the idea.
                          So my show would be cuisines from all over the world. But here's the clincher. If I'm making a French dish--perhaps Jean DuJardin, Marion Cottiliard...or even Ludo will stop by while I'm cooking and help me. If I happen to be cooking Morrocan food a North African celebrity or personality will knock on my "door". Itialian--Monica Bellucci will not only give me cooking hints, but tell me how do have great hair as well. THAT's where the sofa comes in. While the food is cooking, we'll have a talk show chat. Yes. Yes, I will also have chefs on the show--but not well-known ones (exception is Ludo). Yes. In my totally delusional world. This is how I roll......................

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: jarona

                            Love it! Chaos...have you been peeping in my kitchen?

                            1. re: jarona

                              I'm hear you on this! Imagine TWO corgis underfoot. They are expert at "praying to the food God's alter" - aka my kitchen counter. woof. ;-)

                            2. I've pitched this before in Fantasy LaLa Land:

                              Grandma Iron Chef

                              Each week three grandmas (or grandpas or combination of the two) would compete by making their rendition of a popular dish.

                              For example,

                              Battle Apple Pie
                              Battle Chicken and Dumplings
                              Battle Spaghetti and Meatballs or Lasagne (For our Italian nonnas)
                              Battle Brisket and Latkes (For our Jewish bubbes)
                              Etc...

                              Of course there would be a time limit: One day.

                              At the end of the day, a panel samples the dishes and a winner is declared.

                              As your host, I would bounce around to each chef letting them explain how they make their dish, and why they make it that way, offering tips, tricks, and secrets to the viewers.

                              To keep things lively you could probably fit in two battles per episode.

                              1. 1st show - "You Eat What?" This show would feature some of the myriad ways people choose to eat. Vegans, paleo, special diets, to the all corn-dog diet (if there is such a thing). The person featured would prepare (if applicable) one or two of their favorite dishes and have a chance to explain why they eat the way they do.

                                2nd show - "The Why of It All" A show that pores over the 'why' of foods. Booyahs and smelt run gatherings, a MN State Fair corndog vs Pronto Pup analysis,why do we have such divergent barbecue factions? Church coffee vs Starbucks... all the crazy questions we Chowhounds analyze and pick over every day.

                                1. I would SO watch this network. Every damn show on it. Even if it were a pay channel!

                                  1. I'd do a show on Americanized Asian (and I will refer to it as Americanized rather than fusion) food, but from the perspective of an Asian-American who likes what are considered standard, traditional American dishes that you might find in a 1950s cookbook.

                                    My goal would be David Chang meets Rachael Ray, with a bit of the attitude of Alton Brown and Nadia G thrown in.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: FoodPopulist

                                      I had another idea, inspired by Retro Girl and Alton's Apprentice on season 8 of Food Network Star, who I could imagine hosting a show together comparing food then and now.

                                      Take a classic American dish and do a very traditional, old-fashioned preparation for it, then do two updated variations of it, one a fusion version incorporating flavors from another country, the other a modernist version with a focus on new techniques.

                                    2. Vegetables: Fresh From The Garden.... the show would showcase a couple of vegetables a week or one main veggie like tomatoes and a few ways to cook them, maybe include some accompanying herbs that could be grown with the tomatoes such as basil, oregano, etc. The show would have segments of being in my home garden; talking about planting, growing those tomatoes, different varieties of tomatoes suited to certain dishes , how to deal with problems growing tomatoes like black rot, soil nutrition, etc. Possibly have themes for each week....

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: Cherylptw

                                        Yours is THE one I would watch. I love shows that teach the viewer how to grow things....how to shop....find affordable ingredients and serve healthy unadulterated foods...especially home grown produce.Please include segments on container gardens:)

                                        1. re: Lillipop

                                          I would really really love to do a show like this...definately would do container gardening....I'll be doing quite a bit of that this summer since I had a hard time with my herbs in the regular garden last year...I'm also going to try growing corn in a container this year.

                                          1. re: Lillipop

                                            In my mention of Blackberry Farm (a working farm, plus a great resort), having a "Seed Historian" and a "Master Gardner" on staff, plus two Executive Chefs, plus full kitchen staff, and 5 Sommeliers, would fit right in.

                                            Oh, they have two Cheese-makers, a Sausage-maker, and even a Jam Lady. Wait, they also have a Master Brewer, for local beers and ales.

                                            Yes, I could do that too!

                                            Hunt

                                          2. re: Cherylptw

                                            Now, I could see myself doing similar, base at Blackberry Farm, and "toasting" the harvest from their farm/garden.

                                            Could be great fun, educational, and a real culinary delight for the viewers.

                                            Hunt

                                            1. re: Cherylptw

                                              In other words, the Victory Garden series from the late 1970s-early 1980s, with Marian Morash's cooking segment expanded.

                                              If you haven't seen any of the show from that era, I'm pretty sure you'd enjoy it. Don't know if they're available via DVD or Netflix.

                                            2. Cooking with Father

                                              based on the time my father lived with me

                                              the show would entail planning a menu, shopping for ingredients and distinguishing between good and "not-so-good", storing ingredients.

                                              now to the cooking part. i gather the ingredients, previously purchased and stored, for the recipe only to find that at least one of them has "disappeared". i'd question my father and he'd say that he ate it because he "didn't want it to go bad" or that he "didn't know i was going to use it" as he saunters out of the kitchen.

                                              comedy ensues while i, mentally (i envision cartoon characters), chase my father and attempt to clobber him with an iron skillet. after a deep breath, i try to figure out substitutions for the missing ingredients (do you really need tomatoes for a tomato soup?) or scrap the recipe and improvise with what is on hand.

                                              a recipe is prepared and my father is called into the kitchen to eat. he looks at the food and says, for example, "i thought you were making tomato soup". cartoon character of my hitting myself over the head with an iron skillet.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Vidute

                                                Interesting. Guess that I could have done similar with my late M-I-L, but then, the mains would always have been chicken dishes, and mostly fried.

                                                Hunt

                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                  fried chicken dishes across the globe?

                                              2. I want to do a hunting/foraging cooking show... Part Jackass, part Good Eats,
                                                part Faviken. Accompany a hunter or forager and cook with the finds, supplemented by local produce. Complete with a random boar charging at the camera man (for entertainment value)

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: nomnomnoms

                                                  Chris Cosentino shot a pilot for a show (which wasn't picked up) in which he hunted, butchered, and cooked a deer.

                                                  With a show like that, I'd want to highlight the killing of animals because the PETA protests would be great free publicity for the show.

                                                  1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                    Have you seen Steven Rinella's shows, The Wild Within and Meat Eater?

                                                2. Our almost 5 year old is crazy over assembling her favorites foods in a very step-by-step fashion much like what she sees when we watch the Food Network together. I guess it's a precursor to independent cooking, which I think she is too young for. She likes us to record her doing her "show" so she can see herself after she does it. Quite funny to watch and not just because she's ours...so far, she has assembled her favorite Cheesy Cheese-o's which are french fries with cheese wrapped around them, and she has assembled the perfect bite of pancakes, she did a critique of my grilled cheese and bakes carrot fries, and tonight will be doing spaghetti and meatballs.
                                                  She calls her show "Dylan at Home"...like Giada, she says.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: MRS

                                                    That is to cute for words. She sounds adorable.

                                                    1. re: MRS

                                                      Let that baby girl have at it mom:) She sounds too cute for words!

                                                      1. re: Lillipop

                                                        oh thanks Lilipop and Suzigirl. Yes, she pays very close attention to how her "favorite chefs" do it when she watches The Food Network. She is trying very hard to "demonstrate" as she describes what to do. It's really hilarious!

                                                      2. re: MRS

                                                        With YouTube, and similar, she should get quite a bit of practice, and also entertain many.

                                                        Great start!

                                                        Hunt

                                                      3. A show that focuses on group chows: community potlucks, block parties, beach celebrations, sailboat parties, picnics, campfires and tailgating (just to name a few) starring Chowhounds from across the globe. Satelite feed of four locations each episode. Highlighting the recipes, people, collaboration and fun from each event. Always outdoors and always homemade.

                                                        Called...Chow Locale

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                          really nice concept. :)

                                                        2. (I had this idea before I read MRS's post, honest)

                                                          I would also like to do a show teaching parents and children how to cook together. I would have a different youngling to help me every episode (rolling out dough, measuring and mixing ingredients, MAYBE some basic and WELL SUPERVISED cutting, etc) and there would be one dish that the youngling would take lead on (once again, well supervised). I think it would be called The Kid's Kitchen.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                            That is a great show right there!

                                                          2. Interesting ideas! Most sound just like the Chew on ABC! :-)

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: RUK

                                                              Oh no not mine, RUK and I'm planning on pitching it every chance I get.

                                                              Out of the kitchen studio/indoor food shows go back for years and years, the take it on the rood food celeb chef show is about 4 years old in greatest number but a show about how food lovers organize meetups in a variety of locations has not been covered by the networks; at least no by the networks we are associate w/food tv.

                                                              Vlogs and blogs cover outdoor food meetups all the time.

                                                            2. I've had a thought I've been meaning to pitch for a show called "Cooking in Translation." As a first-generation American of mixed ethnicity, my racial identity has always been fluid, but I have always felt a cultural self-awareness even if I could not find words to express that. One of the ways that did tie me down to my cultural roots and give it a means of expression was food, learning traditional foodways from family and carrying on those taste preferences throughout my life. What interests me, and what would be the premise of my show, is how those tastes and styles and recipes evolve in the kitchens of young 21st century first-gen Americans: kimchi grilled cheese, qeema quesadillas, mantou sliders. We know how Italian and Jewish food changed when they passed through the tenements of New York. We are only now beginning to gain a vague awareness of the chimeric cuisines of today's young people with one foot in the Old and another in the New.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                I like your idea but the title of the show might be a problem...there is currently a show called "Taste in Translation" with Aarti Sequeria...although the Food Network have no problem naming several shows similarly..."Chuck's Day Off"...Alex's Day Off"....so it might work

                                                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                  Well let me stake my claim on the title "Cooking in Translation" right here, because it's the working title of a similar essay I've been working on as well!

                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                    lol...

                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                      copyright it! seriously.

                                                                2. I would pick a famous but 'controversial' restaurant, have two separate groups of chowhounders, one pro and one against and have them debate and slug it out!!

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                    Call it....Food fights?

                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                      Great one!!!

                                                                  2. Mine would be 30 minutes of a test pattern because we would be off air. I have no desire to be on tv. LOL.

                                                                    1. At first I was going to say that my show would be a baking show. Just baking and featuring everything related to baking under the sun, from simple pound cakes and rolls to fancy layered tortes and croissants and baguettes and featuring specialties from cuisines all over the world.

                                                                      Then I realized what I would enjoy the most would be a show focused on cooking techniques, including the foundation steps that underlies so much of our cooking. There are plenty of good home cooks who would be even better if they had mastered a range of straightforward techniques. This show wouldn't focus on the great classical French dishes that usually comes to mind when people talk about cooking techniques but applying those same techniques to a range of more normal, everyday home cooked dishes and elevating them to the next level. I'd also include the foundation steps of other cuisines including Chinese, Thai and Indian to help Western oriented cooks understand the underlying principles that support the flavors and textures of those cuisines.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                        Count me in on watching your show Roland!

                                                                        1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                          Oh, I'd take over your baking show concept! Or something like a "at home bakery" where I'd teach people how to do simple scratch baking of all kinds, perhaps give people a formula (a la Ruhlman's ratios) and once you have that formula down, you can do all sorts of variations to it, depending on your mood and/or what you have on hand.

                                                                          A lot of people are intimidated by baking. I'd like to change that.

                                                                        2. I'm not sure it would fly, but I think my area of (somewhat) expertise is preparing good, homecooked meals in a small space. I live in a condo in the middlle of a city, do all my herb gardening on my terrace, and have spent a ton of time organizing my kitchen to work the best for a lot of situations. And deciding on what I need to own as far as gadgets go and what could do double duty. I love to cook a lot of international dishes, and infuse a lot of unique flavors into the old standards.
                                                                          So I guess it would be cooking instruction along with little bits of info about good use cooking space thrown in. Guests could be 'hounders that are know for having a particular specialty. Maybe have a few situations where I maximize living space for entertaining, etc... The only cheesy name I can think of now is "Small Space, Big Flavor". Hahaha!

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: alliegator

                                                                            Cute, and I like the name too. Deb of Smitten Kitchen fame launched an entirely new career from her small space kitchen and big flavor approach to road testing recipes from some significant sources..and look where that's led!

                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                              Why, thank you HillJ! It would certainly be the most useful for small space dwellers, but I would want to try to keep it as equally recipe, ingredient, and technique focused as possible so even those with palatial kitchens could enjoy.
                                                                              I'd go for a casual vibe, that how I do things, and maybe do a Molto Mario thing where there are 3 'hounds that sit there (at the open "bar" wall), eat the food as it's ready, and offer opinions.
                                                                              Ahh, to dream...

                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                Without dreams....nah..can't imagine it!

                                                                            2. re: alliegator

                                                                              Little Paris Kitchen on the Cooking Channel is along those lines, but it's all french food. Having lived in some miniscule apartments before (smallest was 340sf), I can definitely appreciate a show like your idea!

                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                I love that show! And 340sf?! My hat is off to you. I'm feeling completely squished in 1250sf. Mostly because I could be without a full laundry room and an oddball hallway in exchange for a bigger kitchen!

                                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                                  Yeah that was a challenge. After a year I "upgraded" to about 600 sf, where the kitchen room took up about 1/3 of the apartment, but had next to no counters... had one of those old all in one sink things with about a foot of counter on each side, one of which was taken up by the dish drainer. The free standing stove was across the room, with the fridge next to it. I bought cheapo ikea cabinets and put on a butcher block top to create my counter prep area. Once I moved I realized it was too large to fit out the door (both entry and exit doors were in the kitchen), which only opened 3/4 of the way because it would hit the furnace. It's no wonder I didn't cook much back then. I learned when I moved into my 580sf condo, which had a lovely, albeit small, kitchen. It was laid out really well though and really made cooking enjoyable.

                                                                                  Now I live in an 1800 sf house and honestly, other than enjoying the large closets, pantry, and basement for storage, I don't know what to do with all the space.

                                                                            3. When this thread was first posted, I was completely stumped. I think I've come up with an answer, nine months later!

                                                                              Mine would be kind of a homesteading-based show. It would be centered around a home garden and wild game. Cooking seasonally, butchering and preserving your hunting/fishing spoils, root cellars, foraging, raising chickens, cooking on a woodstove.... All of that kind of stuff.

                                                                              But the actual food wouldn't be your typical country fare. Not all of it, at least. I'd be making Chinese, Indian, Mexican, etc. No reason to be limited.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                kind of like Discovery's Alaska the last Frontier?
                                                                                http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/ala...

                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                  I'm at work without speakers on my computer, but I think I've seen an episode before. It would be more cooking obviously, and not so hardcore.... And we probably wouldn't talk about poop. :-/

                                                                              2. It would be just like Extra Virgin-- except-- instead of Debi being married to Gabriele, it would be me.