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Biggest Cooking Show Pet Peeves

I can't stand it when they are cutting jalapenos and have to go into the whole speech about how the seeds and the rib are the hottest part. We know, you've told us that "tip" 10,000+ times already. It reminds me of Ghost Hunters, where in every single episode they cut to a clip of one of the cast members explaining what an "EVP" is.

I absolutely HATE the phrases "ooey gooey" and "crispy crunchy". Not only are they stupidly redundant, but you could practically start a drinking game around them while watching Food Network.

Stop acting like you're having a full blown orgasm every time you take a bite of something. People don't even get that overly emotional in actual pornos. In fact, if I'm trying to enjoy some food item, the last thing I want stuck in my head is a visual of you rubbing one out. Just stop it.

Stick to cooking techniques and actual food expertise, I really don't care about the life and times of (insert celebrity chef here). I can care less about some long winded personal back story you have for the recipe, it's not all about you, get over yourself. Can you imagine going to a cooking school and the instructors spent the whole time talking about themselves instead?

For the love of god, will someone please tell Giada to stop over-pronouncing any word that is remotely Italian. There's nothing authentic about her doing that, it's annoying and she sounds like an idiot. While we're at it, will someone please hide the amaretto cookies and moscarpone cheese from her?

Will someone explain to "aunt Sandy" that nobody would be impressed or fooled by one of her crappy doctored up angel food cakes. If I had a friend like her, the only reason I would be showing up at her dinner parties was for the booze, not her cooking.

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  1. I would like to be shown a knife skill that is not "curl your fingers while you're chopping", which is kind of "duh" at this point.

    I'm no Rachael Ray fan, but she at least washes her hands - it wouldn't hurt anyone else to do that from time to time.

    I'd like a show that was more than "Here's how to make this recipe" with the phony "I'm having guests for dinner!" then a fuzzy picking-flowers/farmer's market/wine shop montage. That's what bothers me about the Next Food Network show - they were all basically the same show, only with different personalities. "I'm punk rock/nerdy/Southern/sassy!" I don't care as much about the "personalities" as I do about the food. Teach us how to sharpen a knife, pick out a good tomato, trim a pork tenderloin - don't take me to your favorite ________ restaurant, then back to your kitchen to recreate that meal.

    Ditto on the orgasm comment - I would like to try that at my house some time: "Every body dig in!" (Chomp) "Mmmmmmmmmm! Oooooooooaaaaahhhhh!"

    While Giada doesn't do it for me, she eats like she just learned how and isn't very good at it, which cracks me up - lots of head bobbing and visible teeth.

    3 Replies
    1. re: NonnieMuss

      I have quit watching the Food Channel. I got thoroughly tired of it about 5+ years ago.

      1. re: Candy

        Same here. Too much reality type entertainment & not enough practical instruction, especially in the evening.

        Giada's smile reminds me of a gremlin from the movie.

      2. re: NonnieMuss

        I wish they would show more shows with good chefs instructing you how to make good food. I've always felt that they need more of a variety. I'm on the west coast and would like to see more ethnic type shows, for instance, various Asian foods instead of Italian and American food. Less traveling shows such as DDD and Food Truck shows which don't do the watcher much good if it's not accessible but only to a few. And most of the restaurant review shows are in New York. Just my opinion.

      3. The shows are supposed to be entertaining as well as educational. Would you prefer a Stepford Wife, with no personality, speak in an unemotional monotone?

        1. Dude, back away from the coffee! I've become the same way, guess I've been watching cooking shows from the days of Julia Childs and Graham Kerr. Now there's at least 25 new shows and I've seen them all too. My pet peeve is when chef's/cook's bang their spoons or spatula's on the pot 3-6 times making that god awful clanging noise.
          Keep on Cooking...

          1. "For the love of god, will someone please tell Giada to stop over-pronouncing any word that is remotely Italian. There's nothing authentic about her doing that, it's annoying and she sounds like an idiot..."

            Exactly. And blabby hosts who constantly interrupt the chef while they're explaining their dish. I won't mention any names, but his initials are Jeffrey Saad. I thought Jasper White was going to throttle him at one point.

            GF's main issue is the closeups of people sticking their tongues way out as the utensil goes to mouth. Especially noticeable on Iron Chef.

            1. I watched rachel ray a few times and want to slap her every time she throws salt over her shoulder. She needs to get down and clean it up.

              I also hate the whole measuring mentality. Ina Garten...im talking to you. I understand getting out your measuring spoons when baking but it irks me to see them measuring out a teaspoon of salt when cooking. What happened to teaching people to taste as you cook? I regret watching the foodnetwork as there was a time when i couldn't cook without measuring every single thing. now that i look back...it was silly of me to grind pepper into a piece of paper and slide it into the measuring spoon.

              And seeing as they are aiming at the home cook, one thing that annoyed the hell out of me is not being specific enough, specifically wines. At least give a suggestion so i dont look like an idiot. I felt so helpless going to the wine store and asking for white wine. Chardonnay, pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc....it was a nightmare when i was learning.

              1. No one is making you watch all those reruns. Even when something like Giada at Home plays every day of the week, only 1 episode, if that, is new that week.

                But since you do focus on these details, can you describe how Giada's style (or other mannerisms) have changed, say since 2008 to 2013?

                1. One of the worst things: "Heat up a tablespoon of oil in a pan..." - the chef puts a pan on the stove and liberally empties a bottle of oil into the pan until it's about 1/4 of an inch deep...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Elster

                    Exactly! "just a drop of oil". Right! Or "just a pinch of salt" and they pinch in two tablespoons.
                    Plus, Lydia Bastianich must use half a bottle of olive oil in every dish.

                    1. re: pley

                      Haha yes! Although even better than that salt thing is the 'add a pinch of salt', where they then pick up the tiniest little glass bowl ever known to mankind containing a few salt granules perfectly measured into a 'pinch' and empty that into the pot...

                  2. Ha! My girlfriend and I always make fun of Giada and her pronunciations. There was one that was particularly amusing because we had no IDEA what she was saying. We pronounce it "Flugulah". Incidentally, I can do without the cleavage-bearing close ups and low cut tops she constantly wears. Yeah, we know. You're a "sexy cook". I miss Two Fat Ladies.

                    1. 1. chewing with their mouth open! Guy is grossest of all.
                      2. cooking shows about how not to cook..Sandra Lee, Trisha Yearwood , Pioneer Woman and everyone who has a "recipe" that starts with open a box of prepared.
                      3., People who simply dont know how to cook any better than I do...yes Jamie Dean...I am talking to you...Sunny..."this is so easy" Teach me something don't be a silly giggling goose.

                      1. Most of the pet peeves in this thread tell me nothing more than that some of us are peevish. I guess my pet peeve is people who talk about their pet peeves, especially when I don't share them. :-)

                        Why this hostility toward newbies? Every show has many first-time viewers; indeed, by its very nature, the show is designed for people who don't (yet) know how to prepare the dish(es). And it's not as if we were being told something blindingly obvious, such as to use the sharp edge of the knife for cutting. Just because you know how not to cut off your fingers or burn out your tastebuds doesn't mean everybody does.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: John Francis

                          My problem with shows for newbies is that every show seems to be for newbies.

                          1. re: dmjordan

                            I am with you. I would like a show that is for non newbies I thought that Justin Warner was going to give us that... but that didnt happen

                            1. re: dmjordan

                              The internet was made for the likes of you.

                            2. re: John Francis

                              Thank you, John Francis. This is what I have been thinking all along.

                            3. My pet peeve is when they add fresh ground pepper to a dish. They give a couple of twists of the mill and that's it. I can't imagine that is providing much pepper. Maybe my pepper mill sucks, but I probably have to do a good 20 twists to get just a 1/4 teaspoon. Not sure what the solution is; I don't want to watch them grinding for a minute. Maybe do it like Ina--have it already ground.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: dmjordan

                                I think you need a new pepper mill, dmjordan!

                              2. Another thing that drives me nuts is when they add something like olive oil, then pause and reiterate "good olive oil". Is there ever a recipe that calls for "bad" olive oil?!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Atomic76

                                  I think the point is that the olive oil will contribute in a major way to the flavor of the dish. There are times, such as in a vinaigrette, where the use of a higher quality olive oil will make a big difference, and others, such as sautéing mushrooms, where a standard quality oil is fine (or even preferable). No one is suggesting using bad olive oil, but bad and good are not the only points on the quality continuum.

                                2. Thanks to Next Food Network Star I've come to realize how ubiquitous the "family stories" are in many cooking shows, and how they are just space filler. So while a cook is stirring she can say "I love this dish because when I was a little girl my dad was a firefighter in NYC and now I love to make this all the time."

                                  That one's fairly verbatim, though it may have been a victim of editing. Still it shows the whole family story thing is so that hosts have something to fill space with while they're chopping and grating. As annoying as Laura Calder's scat-singer has become over the years, I can still appreciate that I know little about her family or childhood. Alton solves the problem with screen text, puppets, voiceovers, or anything to distract from the fact he's still whisking.

                                  But that's also where the finger-curling tips come in--they fill the audio space while something else is going on. Just a few days ago I saw a moment on Giada where she was grating a cup of cheese, more or less real time, and ran out of anything to say. I have to admit it was awkward to watch.

                                  My other peeve is how so many cooking shows are lifestyle shows first. I want to learn when to wash the starch off of pasta and when not to, not how to whip up a tasty picnic to share with friends on my yacht.

                                  Another pet peeve is how long this comment is. Jeez.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: ennuisans

                                    Haven't you seen Calder's hour long bio on Cooking Channel? Not that it had a whole lot about family and childhood. She's had a varied enough career that didn't have to dwell on the the earlier stuff.

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      No, I remember seeing those on for a while (Chefography?) but never did see hers. I'd kind of like to see that.

                                    2. re: ennuisans

                                      I don't watch regularly but I like Laura Calder's show a lot.
                                      I think it's the lack of scripted cutesy wootsey BS and harping on how healthy everything is. My pet peeve I guess is the obviously faked dialogue and the health harping. The opposite would be going 180 degrees and making everything as fat and salty as possible, it's just as annoying to me.

                                    3. Hair. Hair is not a good ingredient. Hair in the kitchen should be kept under control and away from food.

                                      There's a new show on Korean cooking which I would very much enjoy if the presenter didn't have her hair hanging down just inches from her food: it would not pass muster in a commercial kitchen. Or in mine: my own hair is much longer, and the first thing I do when I'm preparing a meal is tie or clip it back. I understand people want to look nice for the cameras, and no one's going to eat the stuff you're making, but make an effort at good kitchen practices!

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: tardigrade

                                        FNC spelled backwards is LCD. AKA 'Lowest Common Denominator'. Always searching for and making the worst in cooking shows. The people who are getting WAAAAY over payed at FNC to crank out a constant stream of crap ought to be ashamed. Guess none of them know how to Goggle up Australian/NZ/British cooking shows. More likely is they don't want to have to compare their work.

                                        1. re: Puffin3

                                          Or Mexican cooking shows complete with chef's whites and hat, and a stiff camera manner.

                                          or do you prefer a bit of dance with your food

                                          or do you like a more rustic kitchen

                                          and for you BBQ fans, a 'well' cooked head

                                        2. re: tardigrade

                                          My peeve isn't so much hair-it's sleeves!
                                          I can not stand cooking with long sleeves that hang and when I see chefs dragging shirt sleeves through food, it grosses me out.
                                          Rings need to be taken off when your putting your fingers into food, too.

                                          PS... Aunt Sandy is the biggest sleeve offender. Who cooks wearing "Angel" sleeves?
                                          I'm waiting for her to catch on fire like dried tinder one day.

                                        3. We need to turn these peeves into a drinking game. Luckily, I don't watch FN much, since it's too basic for me, or I'd be hammered all the time!
                                          (I hate the 'personal' stories. I don't care about your personal life, or what this dish means to you. I'll be putting my on spin on it anyway.)

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: joycebre

                                            I've always thought that I'd never even be considered for a food show because no, I wasn't tied to my Nana's apron strings, rapt with awe at her cooking.
                                            Same for my mom- she was a solid home cook, but we didn't live in our kitchen. That's where we ate.

                                            It seems to have to have yarns to spin in order to be a "good" tv show host.
                                            I pretty much decided that I loved cooking later than 4 years old, and until that time, I cooked to eat, not to learn, create and expand my acumen.
                                            But, I bet I'm just as good.

                                            If there isn't an official Giada drinking game, there should be, and it should be called "Creamy".