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May 5, 2013 06:37 PM

Worst thing about cooking shows? The tasting at the end! Is anyone with me?

I would be perfectly happy if all cooking shows eliminated the tasting at the end of the show. It doesn't add anything of value, IMO, and grosses me out or irritates me more than anything. Of course they are going to say it tastes good! Spare us having to watch the host's "foodgasm" face & listen to them rehash all the ingredients ("oooh, I can really taste that bacon, and the whipped cream is so creamy"). Not to mention the talking with their mouth full. Ugh. Just dish it up & show me the finished product. Are there any shows that do skip the dreaded tasting?

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  1. I agree it's stupid, phony and unnecessary but we are in the minority. Most people like it and want you to prove it's not fake stunt food. I was at Food Network for years and we did program audience research and everyone wants to see you taste the food to prove it's real and yummy.

    When I began producing my own videos I didn't do the tasting and people would write me and ask why I wasn't eating the food and accuse me of using fake stunt food that just looked good.

    So now I eat on camera.

    Your foodgasm analogy is correct. Without it, it's all just foreplay.

    But I do think if anyone is seriously grossed out by watching someone eat, they may need to get out more.

    3 Replies
    1. re: acgold7

      Giada's squealing and chomping on crunchy things makes me uncomfortable. It's like I'm eavesdropping on an intimate moment or listening to a child chomping on crackers or something. I can deal with the rest of them.

      1. re: Njchicaa

        Oh, yeah, ol' jack-o-lantern face baring her teeth on camera is...odd, to say the least.

      2. re: acgold7

        Off the top of my head I think the one who gets this right is Alton Brown. As far as I can remember he gets all his talking mostly out of the way before he digs in--or has someone else do the digging for him. He's not talking with his mouth full, and we aren't patiently waiting for him to chew. We still get the satisfaction of someone eating the food but it's better television overall.

        Come to think of it, watching Chopped right now (where eating on camera is a big part of the story) there's always a voiceover when people are shown eating--rarely much dead air. Iron Chef is similar. If eating must be shown, any sort of distraction would be welcome I'm sure.

      3. Julia Child did it way back when during the advent of cooking programs. It completes the cycle to taste the food. Why cook it in the first place? The finished dish tastes different than the components and describing that will help the viewer understand the cooked dish better. Now, the way in which certain hosts do this may be an issue, but the actual act of doing it doesn't bother me in the least.

        6 Replies
        1. re: ttoommyy

          It would be fine if it was honest, but as shown on the Next Food Network Star, the producers expect emphatic moaning and vague descriptors that are perfectly timed to the closing sequence. But, most of everything on Food Network is contrived.

          1. re: catroast

            WELL then. Stop watching it if you don't like it.

            This tendency to bash tv food shows for no apparent reason other than snobbishness is getting really old.

            As has been pointed out: Julia Child did it. If she did it, then for gosh sakes there's nothing wrong with it.

            Honestly. Some people.

            1. re: jmckee

              I love Julia Child but just because she did something, that doesn't mean every yahoo with a cooking show needs to do it. And certainly, some hosts are more OTT and annoying than others in the way they do it. I was just raising the question of whether it is really necessary, and why.

              1. re: jmckee

                i don't. there's no need to be hostile. criticizing media, just like praising it, is a perfectly normal human activity.

              2. re: catroast

                I don't watch much on FN anymore; mostly just PBS cooking shows, where the tasting is still a bit over the top at times but at least it adds something to the show like I said up above.

              3. re: ttoommyy

                One of my favorite memories as a child was watching the French Chef.
                On one episode, Julia made some sort of really fancy hamburger with all sorts of things added to the ground beef. At the end of the show, you could almost picture the producer circleing his finger to tell her to hurry up....
                She took the patty so carefully constructed, slapped it in a pan, flipped it over and slapped it in a bun. Opening her mouth wide, she says "Bon appetit" and shoved the raw thing in her mouth.
                The screen went black at that moment. I figure she spit it out.
                All that said, I loved the show.

              4. One thing that I liked about Anne Burrell's show was that she tasted the food during cooking, sometimes more than once, at various stages. Her stock statement was something along the lines of "I want to make sure this is going to taste good and not just hope it turns out OK".

                Of course she also did the obligatory tasting at the end as well.

                5 Replies
                1. re: pamf

                  I liked everything about Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. I wish she'd do another cooking show -- it's so much fun to watch her work. She's got an amazing personality, but the reality shows are tedious.

                  1. re: JonParker

                    She had a restaurant in nyc for a few years. It was quite good. I guess TV pays more! :)

                    1. re: JonParker

                      Most shows seem to be cooking competition shows now, aside from Guy's DDD. While it may generate the entertaining spectacle for some, cramming a handful of asshole chefs into a sinking van and giving them a hotplate and a bag of leftovers isn't really about cooking at all.

                      I started watching Justin Wilson (which was a spectacle in and of itself). Loved that old timer. Used to kick back and watch Emeril and Mario Batali's shows a lot as well.

                      I don't mind the extreme nature of shows like Chopped or Iron Chef, but it's more about competition than cooking to me. I miss your basic setup of bad-ass chef/cook, camera, and kitchen.

                      1. re: Agiyosi

                        You could easily make your own cooking show - and post it on Youtube. Thousands of people have done that already.



                        ready set cook


                        1. re: paulj

                          One of the first cooking channels I remember finding is Chef Todd Mohr


                          and he's done exactly that for years now. It's a shame he has so few subscribers, because his info seems pretty solid and he has an incredible number of videos available. Then again I find him to be kind of loud and haven't watched many episodes myself.

                          This is in a way what's "wrong" with food television right now: anyone can make a cooking show and many have. Jamie Oliver and Mario Batali have their channels, among others. There's no shortage of cooking instruction on the Internet, and so FN and CC are having to find other ways to compete.

                          Which means big name chefs on cooking competitions, or packing Eden and Alie and Chuck across the country to eat the food we don't bother to. Shows that cost a little bit of money to produce, and a crew.

                  2. Yep - close your eyes and you could be watching a porn movie.

                    I hate the clich├ęd stock phases they come out with too.

                    1. Why do they have to talk after the taste? I don't mind the taste, I can watch people eat. Plus if something is eaten a certain way it might be important to know. End with a taste and music over the credits.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: melpy

                        "Why do they have to talk after the taste?"

                        As I stated above, the finished dish has a different taste than the components and with an educated instructor, they will impart that to the viewing audience after they taste it. Watch Jacques Pepin or Sarah Moulton, for 2 examples, to see what I mean.