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PBS FREAK OUT - Joanne Weir. Come on, PBS- you can do better.

Mr Taster May 24, 2013 12:54 PM

Am I the only one freaked out by this lady?

The format is that she "teaches" a student how to cook.

Here's a few of the big problems I have with her.

1. She speaks to her adult students as if they were 13-year olds
2. She glosses over (or skips entirely) explaining fundamental concepts that actually would be quite important and interesting for students to know
3. She solicits constant and repeated admiration for her cooking from her students, both while they are cooking and after while they are eating.
4. Many of the "students" are quite awkward on camera.
5. She possesses little to no charm. I can't see a single endearing quality to this lady-- yet she persists, every night, on PBS' Create TV.

Who is this lady, and what exactly is her appeal? To put her on PBS with the likes of Julia and Jacques (who possess charm, accessibility and knowledge-- critical factors in a TV cooking host) is mindboggling, to say the least.

Mr Taster

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  1. paulj RE: Mr Taster May 24, 2013 01:21 PM


    her weekend cooking classes only cost $1000. 10-15 hrs with 10 students.


    1. DiningDiva RE: Mr Taster May 24, 2013 01:26 PM

      This certainly isn't her first stint on PBS. She was on when I lived in the Bay Area and that was over 10 years ago.

      I bought the companion book to her first show and I have to say the recipes in it are actually pretty good.

      Haven't seen her new show and probably won't because my local PBS station believes cartoons are more important than cooking shows so, sadly, we only get a small number of the PBS cooking shows

      1. ennuisans RE: Mr Taster May 25, 2013 01:13 AM

        1. and 3. for me. I gave her another chance lately and only lasted a few episodes. She's not the only smug tv cooking host but her particular smugness is hard for me to overlook.

        26 Replies
        1. re: ennuisans
          paulj RE: ennuisans May 25, 2013 08:45 AM

          People keep claiming this or that TV host or contestant is 'smug'. What are the tell tale signs of that? Is that something you only see on TV, or are there smug people around all the time?

          1. re: paulj
            kengk RE: paulj May 25, 2013 09:08 AM

            It is an interesting concept. I think it is closely related to "snootiness", both in waiters and entire (somehow) restaurants .

            1. re: paulj
              jarona RE: paulj May 27, 2013 11:29 AM

              I wouldn't call her smug, but I would call her condescending. She really speaks "down" to the "students" as though they are a bunch of morons. I don't care for that. It is the same reason I cannot watch Diane Sawyer, she talks her newstalk in such a condescending way. Ugh. Nope. Weir is not for me.

              1. re: jarona
                paulj RE: jarona May 27, 2013 11:38 AM

                Is she 'talking down' to the students, or to you? Maybe she's taking the pedagogical approach of 'do not assume the students know something'. The videos are aimed at a broad audience, not customized to the knowledge of the studio students, or advanced viewers.

                If she's been teaching $1000 classes for years, she must be doing something right.

                1. re: paulj
                  JonParker RE: paulj May 27, 2013 11:55 AM

                  I don't find her annoying, and once in a while I learn a trick I didn't know. But I agree, her show is mostly aimed at novice cooks. I don't see anything to criticize even though I'm usually not learning anything I didn't already know. There was a time when I didn't.

              2. re: paulj
                ennuisans RE: paulj May 28, 2013 03:16 AM

                I'm trying to get past the defensive snark in your comment long enough to take the question seriously, because it's a fair one on its own.

                People like Weir, and Bayless, and Raichlen, and Flay, have worked and studied hard to attain a certain level of expertise that is commendable. I don't demean them for their accomplishments at all.

                But when they give instructions it is with an air that the knowledge is coming -from- them, as authorities, rather than -through- them, as teachers. And it is their apparent sense of self-satisfaction in their own knowledge and accomplishments that leads me to dub them as "smug".

                Anyone who is content with what they have learned is done learning, and that's not the sort of teacher I'm attracted to.

                1. re: ennuisans
                  JonParker RE: ennuisans May 28, 2013 08:24 AM

                  I guess I just don't see the "air" you're attributing to them, especially with Bayless, who pretty much taught me the art of cooking through his books and TV show. He took me from meticulously following his recipes to being able to whip up delicious meals out of what I have on hand out of my own knowledge and experience.

                  And perhaps it's because I follow what he does closely, but its pretty easy to see how he's evolved over the course of his career. I strongly disagree that he's stopped learning, or that he would claim to know everything about Mexican cooking.

                  Weir is pretty basic for me at this point, but there was a time when I would have found her a really good teacher. There's absolutely a place for what she does, even if it mostly isn't for me. I also really like Anne Burrell, who like Bayless and Weir not only shows you what to do, but explains why. It's not just following recipes, it's learning to cook.

                  I don't like the personality of every TV chef, and some are better than others, but I don't see any of them as condescending.

                  1. re: JonParker
                    DiningDiva RE: JonParker May 28, 2013 08:49 AM

                    I've had the opportunity to take classes in Mexico with Rick Bayless and can confirm that he really hasn't stopped learning. Mexican cuisine as a whole is pretty vast, there is always something new to discover. But I can say that there is a marked different between how he was before winning Top Chef Masters and after; and I'll leave it at that.

                    He is a fantastic instructor. The classes I've done have been for both home cooks and chefs. He has the ability to move easily between gearing his style, approach and recipes so that they are appropriate to the skill level and interest of those widely diverse groups. No easy task. At least with the chefs groups he does share a lot of the tricks and short cuts he's learned over the years to make producing really good Mexican food in commerical kitchens really reflect the locality of the dish.

                    1. re: DiningDiva
                      emily RE: DiningDiva May 30, 2013 11:11 AM

                      "But I can say that there is a marked different between how he was before winning Top Chef Masters and after; and I'll leave it at that."

                      I just took a trip to Mexico City and attended 2 cooking classes with Rick - your comment is interesting as I was a bit put off by him and his wife. It was subtle, but odd.

                      1. re: emily
                        DiningDiva RE: emily May 30, 2013 12:56 PM

                        Emily, was this the recent Culinary Adventures trip?

                        I will say that he was MUCH more open and approachable before TC Masters.

                        Love your avatar, BTW :-)

                        1. re: DiningDiva
                          emily RE: DiningDiva May 30, 2013 02:28 PM

                          Yes, it was. Surprisingly, I liked Ricardo's class much better!

                          1. re: emily
                            DiningDiva RE: emily May 30, 2013 03:58 PM

                            Not surprised. Ricardo is a real sweetheart :-).

                    2. re: JonParker
                      Mr Taster RE: JonParker May 28, 2013 09:20 AM

                      By way of contrast, compare Bayless and Weir's didactic methods compared with, for example, Bridget from America's Test Kitchen.

                      Mr Taster

                      1. re: Mr Taster
                        JonParker RE: Mr Taster May 28, 2013 10:48 AM

                        I guess I don't see that much difference other than being aimed at different audiences. Bayless I probably can't judge objectively, since I see him through the prism of his cookbooks, where he goes into great detail about his methods and ingredients. I like Bridget too, and I occasionally pick up something interesting from ATK or CC, although Kimball drives me batty.

                        I have to admit that I've never watched Raichlen, and Flay only once in a while. Flay does ok, but his shows seem geared more toward "here's how to make this recipe" than the "here's a recipe that will teach you things that you can apply in your daily cooking" that Bayless and even Weir do. I guess I have that criticism of ATK too -- cooking the same dish 40 times to learn how to perfect it is not practical for most of us.

                        Here's an example. Last week I made "Leftover Enchiladas." I used frozen shredded chicken left over from a Zuni Cafe chicken I had roasted, roasted tomatillos and garlic, a container of leftover chopped cilantro and white onion, and a caramelized white onion, some toasted rehydrated chiles and some spices and herbs. I used a lot of techniques I had picked up elsewhere, including which onion to use (Bayless), roasted chicken (a Chowhound thread), roasting chiles (Bayless again), the mixed cilantro and onion (me -- I made it as a taco garnish). They were freaking delicious, and that was because I'd learned how to deal with the ingredients. I chose the herbs and spices, I chose the chiles, I decided how much of everything to use. But it was good because I'd seen most of these things done and done them myself. I didn't do pan after pan of enchiladas looking for the perfect recipe, I did the things I understood. That's the best kind of teaching. I would have no fear (well maybe some) about inviting Rick to dinner and serving him one of my recipes, but that's because I don't just know Mexican recipes, I know Mexican cooking. Maybe not at his level, but I bet he'd like it.

                        1. re: JonParker
                          Jay F RE: JonParker May 28, 2013 11:21 AM

                          < I guess I have that criticism of ATK too -- cooking the same dish 40 times to learn how to perfect it is not practical for most of us.>

                          Of course not. That's why they do it for you.

                          1. re: Jay F
                            JonParker RE: Jay F May 28, 2013 11:23 AM

                            Yes, but my point was that doing that is teaching how to make a recipe, not teaching how to cook. There's a real difference.

                            1. re: JonParker
                              ennuisans RE: JonParker May 28, 2013 11:54 AM

                              Except that when they explain the choices they've made--"We exchanged half the sugar for honey for a moister batter" or whatever--we learn to cook from having those choices explained. The recipes that didn't work is the valuable part of ATK to me.

                        2. re: Mr Taster
                          paulj RE: Mr Taster May 28, 2013 11:07 AM

                          Bridget is part of a team, one that makes a big deal about 'trying 50 variations so you don't have to'. The role of the cook on ATK is to demonstrate the finds of that team. There isn't a big difference in the style of the various cooks (roughly 3-4 come to mind).

                          Even so posters complain about their (ATK) 'best ever' claims.

                          For what it's worth the cooking shows that I follow most (as in try to watch any new episodes) are:
                          Mind of a Chef
                          Pati's (more for the subject than the style)

                          I often get more from competitions like Chopped or ICA (yea Garces!) than instructional shows.

                          What I can learn from the show is more important to me than the presenter's style.

                          1. re: paulj
                            MGZ RE: paulj May 28, 2013 11:16 AM

                            ATK = LCD

                            1. re: MGZ
                              Justpaula RE: MGZ Jun 2, 2013 09:11 PM

                              That is your opinion, to which you are entitled. However, there are MANY people who hardly know how to boil water and find ATK a wonderful starting point in their effort to learn how to cook. For some people, knowing that a recipe - no matter how boring or basic it may seem to us more experienced home cooks - has been tested, tried, and found true, is comforting when they are just starting out and hoping to satisfy their families, new mates, or just themselves. Where you may see it as LCD, I see it as a show that allows total newbies a comfortable and not-scary opportunity to learn how to create a meal. Not everyone who watches cooking shows are the type to who have experienced a Bayless class in Mexico City or have reached the level of having (watched enough cooking TV and) learned enough that that they can whip something up on their own. I find the term LCD a bit derogatory. I find people interested in cooking who can and do take a lot from ATK, a really great thing. There are people in this world who were picking up Taco Bell or Burger King for dinner every other night and may not be ready for Bayless, but ARE ready to start cooking their own food at home. I have been cooking full meals since I was eleven years old, but I am not so ignorant that I don't understand that cooking is as scary and complicated to some folks, as physics is to me.

                              1. re: Justpaula
                                MGZ RE: Justpaula Jun 3, 2013 11:15 AM

                                Justpaula, I appreciate your thoughts. And keep in mind there's almost nothin' here from a stinky old 'hound like me, that ain't just opinion.

                            2. re: paulj
                              ennuisans RE: paulj May 28, 2013 11:55 AM

                              For what it's worth, I pretty much second all of this.

                              1. re: paulj
                                theotherdikcheney RE: paulj May 28, 2013 11:56 AM

                                I agree about
                                'ATK's - though some of their best of, is NOT.
                                Mind of a Chef
                                Pati's (more for the subject than the style)'

                                When Bobby does straight ahead cooking he is great.
                                I think the whole competition/reality genre has ruined the respective 'food networks' for me. I have tended to dwell on the PBS offerings, and surfed back, usually in vain, to the food networks for something.
                                I really like watching chefs/cooks actully cook.
                                Kim Chi Chronicles for Jean Georges.
                                Hubert Kellers Secrets Of A Chef
                                Eric Ripert's web show...
                                I'd like to see more Thai, Asian in general, Indian and African. It's a big world.
                                I miss Paul Prudhomme.

                                1. re: paulj
                                  paulj RE: paulj May 28, 2013 06:14 PM

                                  Just watched the 'home fries' episode of ATK. The reason Julia does not talk down to the viewers is she talks up to Chris. :) Bridget too, but it's more noticeable with Julia.

                                  Punning aside, having a studio audience that is knowledgeable, but not expert in this recipe, does set a different tone than having a 'dumb' student or child.

                                  Ruhlman's Reach of a Chef is good reading if you want some insight into celebrity chefs, both owners like Keller, and TV cooks like RR.

                            3. re: ennuisans
                              paulj RE: ennuisans May 28, 2013 09:31 AM

                              The only Flay show that I've watched much is Throwdown. Learning is built into the structure of that show.

                              Raichlen comes across as a learner in his interview on The Splendid Table.

                              1. re: ennuisans
                                Bellachefa RE: ennuisans Oct 17, 2013 04:19 AM

                                Your post reminded me of a recent cooking segment with Jerry Seinfeld and his wife, for her cookbook. She made chicken cutlets as if she had invented chicken cutlets. It was rather pathetic.

                                I appreciate your comments of "cooking from vs cooking through them"

                          2. Jay F RE: Mr Taster May 25, 2013 08:58 AM

                            I liked her back in the 1990s when it was just her, the camera, and the TV audience. She cooks mostly Italian, and I got along so well with her, foodwise.

                            The new show doesn't bother me particularly, but I don't watch it unless I happen to be sitting in front of the TV and I click past it as she's cooking something interesting.

                            Unlike you, I find the awkwardness of her students rather natural, actually. I know I'd feel awkward being taped (or whatever the process is called now) in a situation like that.

                            All that really bothers me is that she's forced to shill for both Anolon and the wine industry, as they're footing the bill.

                            When something bothers me as much as this bothers you, I don't watch it. Or I admit to myself I'm "hatewatching" it.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Jay F
                              breadchick RE: Jay F May 28, 2013 07:18 PM

                              Crikey, love the "hatewatching" term. If I could tolerate the "ranch woman cooker blogger" on FoodNetwork, that's the word I would use. Actually pretty much all shows on that network these days, sadly, now that I think about it.

                              1. re: breadchick
                                Jay F RE: breadchick May 29, 2013 04:36 AM

                                Food Network actually caused me to give up all but the most basic level of cable. I just couldn't look at Guy or Chopped, or any of the idiotic FN competition shows, and they show so little besides Guy or Chopped or those idiotic competitions, so I cut the cord.

                                I've seen Pioneer Woman on youtube, and read about her because she uses Fiestaware. I think I would hatewatch her, too, if I watched her at all.

                                1. re: Jay F
                                  MGZ RE: Jay F May 29, 2013 05:28 AM

                                  Food Network jumped the shark many years ago. I'm with you and similarly live in a post cable world. Just, gimme my local channels and some PBS . . . .

                                  My question is how long 'til the cable companies figure out that a la carte service is what folks want? In the meantime, streaming works for me and most other people who think about it. HBO's the bitchy little holdout keepin' the cable monopolies from drowning.

                                  I just discovered the MLB channel through the Roku. It's gonna be a good summer.

                                  1. re: MGZ
                                    Jay F RE: MGZ Jul 12, 2014 09:50 AM

                                    MGZ: " HBO's the bitchy little holdout keepin' the cable monopolies from drowning."

                                    I am able to pay $10+ per month now to be able to stream HBO to my computer. It's available through Comcast/Xfinity.

                                  2. re: Jay F
                                    EWSflash RE: Jay F Jul 27, 2013 10:43 AM

                                    I watched once, most of an episode, and I don't wish her ill or anything, but that's gotta be one of the worst shows ever. So bloody boring.

                                2. re: Jay F
                                  Kate is always hungry RE: Jay F Oct 16, 2013 11:29 PM

                                  LOL "hatewatching" that is brilliant! I, too, engaged in "hatewatching" back in the late '60s when I was a kid. It involved a local cooking show. I think it was called "Cooking with Bea Beyer." This woman was so annoying! I would watch with my friends just to have a laugh!

                                3. d
                                  dolly52 RE: Mr Taster May 25, 2013 09:00 AM

                                  oh, i am so glad someone else has the same opinion, I just can't watch her, and i have tried

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: dolly52
                                    Pwmfan RE: dolly52 May 25, 2013 09:19 AM

                                    I can watch her but only with the sound turned off. Her voice (and most of what she is saying) irritates me. If it looks like she is cooking something I might like I look for the recipe online.

                                  2. CarrieWas218 RE: Mr Taster May 27, 2013 11:38 AM

                                    A very good friend of mine (a trained chef with several books and a pretty good T.V. gig of her own now) worked for Weir(D) for exactly one season.

                                    My friend had nothing really good to say about her or how she got to where she is.


                                    1. t
                                      theotherdikcheney RE: Mr Taster May 27, 2013 11:42 AM

                                      There are times when it seems like she is perving on the male 'students'. There is an uneasy mrs. robinson vibe about her.
                                      Another one that gives me the creeps is when rick bayless has his daughter 'help' him.
                                      None of the charm that Jacques Pepin has with his daughter, the two of them are adorable.

                                      21 Replies
                                      1. re: theotherdikcheney
                                        DiningDiva RE: theotherdikcheney May 27, 2013 11:46 AM

                                        Years ago I was at a culinary conference (maybe IACP, I don't remember now) and had been touring hall with all the vendor booths and needed a break. I sat down in an area where well known chefs were doing cooking demonstrations. I just happened to sit down when JW was starting her demo. She kept staring and staring at me, which I found rather creepy and unnerving. I don't know if she thought she knew me from somewhere or what, needless to say, I got up and moved on even though my feet were still sore ;-)

                                        1. re: theotherdikcheney
                                          Mr Taster RE: theotherdikcheney May 27, 2013 11:55 AM

                                          Yes, absolutely on both counts. The Mrs. Robinson vibe is spot
                                          -on, and I should have included that on my initial list.

                                          Mr Taster

                                          1. re: theotherdikcheney
                                            paulj RE: theotherdikcheney May 27, 2013 12:09 PM

                                            There's another long running thread in which posters wrote equally nasty things about Pepin and his daughter. And Lydia and her children and grandchildren. Many were of the opinion that sidekicks/props should be professional actors, never family members or friends.

                                            1. re: theotherdikcheney
                                              Beach Chick RE: theotherdikcheney May 27, 2013 06:48 PM

                                              IMHO, Rick's daughter puts the 'creep' in creepy.
                                              I feel like I need a shower after watching them together..
                                              Good to know that I'm not the only one that feels that way.

                                              1. re: Beach Chick
                                                EWSflash RE: Beach Chick Jul 27, 2013 10:50 AM

                                                +1. I started a thread on her once, even.

                                              2. re: theotherdikcheney
                                                ttoommyy RE: theotherdikcheney May 28, 2013 02:17 PM

                                                Jacques and his daughter are natural and you can see from the way they interact that they are father and daughter. Rick and his daughter come off more like Rick and some actress playing his daughter.

                                                1. re: ttoommyy
                                                  linus RE: ttoommyy May 28, 2013 03:15 PM

                                                  what would be an example of this behaviour? i'm actually curious.

                                                  1. re: linus
                                                    theotherdikcheney RE: linus May 28, 2013 04:21 PM

                                                    you'd know it if you saw it.

                                                    1. re: linus
                                                      ttoommyy RE: linus May 28, 2013 04:42 PM

                                                      Having not watched a Bayless show recently I really cannot give you an example. Cooking shows are not like episodes of the Simpsons; I really don't retain much of what I have seen after a few hours. Plus, it's really more of a feeling that I get while watching the sum of the parts.

                                                    2. re: ttoommyy
                                                      Terrie H. RE: ttoommyy May 28, 2013 04:56 PM

                                                      When I watch Rick and his daughter, I don't think of it as creepy, but I think of his daughter as being the over-acting supporting actress in a high school play -- rehearsed and trying to overplay her role to be noticed. I feel bad, because I think Rick is a wonderful man and his daughter is a bright and lovely girl, but it doesn't add to the program.

                                                      I also happen to not enjoy Jacques Pepin's shows with his daughter. She's obviously spontaneous and not especially rehearsed, but she appears to be very uncomfortable and unnatural, and his laid back personality about the cooking does not work with her buzzing around and trying to expect and do what he wants. She's awkward on camera, and not everyone can and should do it.

                                                      My favorite awkward child on PBS is Joe Bastianich. I know he knows the business and adds a lot of knowledge up there in restaurant world, but he is the most sullen and off-putting tv personalities I've ever seen. It has been a little awkward over the years when Lidia put her grandkids on when they were 4 and they didn't want to eat the peas, or whatever, but it is 1,000 times more awkward to watch her son be totally devoid of enthusiasm for being on her show. Yet, he you can tell he doesn't want to be there.

                                                      1. re: Terrie H.
                                                        pamf RE: Terrie H. May 28, 2013 05:04 PM

                                                        I see we are thinking along the same lines, Terrie H.

                                                        Maybe we need a new topic about why cooking show hosts need to include their family members. (Maybe there already was one.)

                                                        1. re: Terrie H.
                                                          ttoommyy RE: Terrie H. May 29, 2013 06:11 AM

                                                          "When I watch Rick and his daughter, I don't think of it as creepy, but I think of his daughter as being the over-acting supporting actress in a high school play -- rehearsed and trying to overplay her role to be noticed."

                                                          I never used the word "creepy;" that was another poster. I actually said, "Rick and his daughter come off more like Rick and some actress playing his daughter." Never once used the word "creepy."

                                                          1. re: ttoommyy
                                                            Terrie H. RE: ttoommyy May 29, 2013 06:41 AM

                                                            I was referring to the other comment that used creepy. I wasn't arguing with you, I was adding to your thoughts and agreeing, since I also find her as a character on the stage. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

                                                            1. re: Terrie H.
                                                              ttoommyy RE: Terrie H. May 29, 2013 12:27 PM

                                                              Sorry. I saw that you had replied directly to me by my name in the upper right hand corner (re:ttoommyy) and thought you were commenting directly on what I said. No problem!

                                                          2. re: Terrie H.
                                                            bulavinaka RE: Terrie H. Jul 26, 2013 05:47 PM


                                                          3. re: ttoommyy
                                                            pamf RE: ttoommyy May 28, 2013 05:00 PM

                                                            My SO and I have often commented that Rick's daughter seemed like she had taken a few high school drama classes and was always over acting for the camera.

                                                            Fortunately, I noticed on a recent episode, now that she is a little older, she's toned it down a bit and actually does a good job explaining what she is doing. She seems pretty competent at least with the dishes they are preparing for the show.

                                                            I also recently saw an episode of Jacques with both daughter and grand daughter, too cute.

                                                            1. re: ttoommyy
                                                              truepeacenik RE: ttoommyy Jul 28, 2013 10:05 AM

                                                              I always got "visitation week" vibes with the Bayless pair.
                                                              I still enjoy them, because it shows that teens can cook things that don't need a microwave.

                                                              1. re: truepeacenik
                                                                ttoommyy RE: truepeacenik Jul 28, 2013 10:09 AM

                                                                She's 23 years old.

                                                                1. re: truepeacenik
                                                                  JonParker RE: truepeacenik Jul 28, 2013 10:23 AM

                                                                  My posts on this keep getting deleted, probably because it annoys me so much. Laynie is an adult now who obviously respects her dad and what he does. Her father has taught her a lot, and she has been the willing recipient of that teaching.

                                                                  It really makes me wonder how people would feel about watching me and my adult daughter bond over the poetry of Yeats. We're both passionate about it, but that doesn't mean out relationship is creepy -- if anything it shows that she shares my ideals and values. This is a bad thing?

                                                                  1. re: JonParker
                                                                    Mr Taster RE: JonParker Jul 28, 2013 10:28 AM

                                                                    Well, it depends.

                                                                    While reading Yeats with your daughter, do you wear a wife-beater t-shirt while she makes double entendre references about how hot you are?

                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                      linus RE: Mr Taster Jul 28, 2013 11:01 AM

                                                                      i must have missed that episode.

                                                            2. jpr54_1 RE: Mr Taster May 28, 2013 08:30 AM

                                                              I will have to watch show to voice an opinion

                                                              1. MGZ RE: Mr Taster May 28, 2013 08:44 AM

                                                                Joanne Weir's shows are unwatchable. I've tried a few times, but, I just can't figure out what she's bringin' to the table. I have a similar reaction to Creedence Clearwater Revival songs - I can handle the first minute or so, but then I havta switch the station. Bob Weir songs, on the other hand . . . .

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: MGZ
                                                                  linus RE: MGZ May 28, 2013 03:15 PM

                                                                  "bob weir" and "songs" in the same sentence. now that's funny.

                                                                  1. re: linus
                                                                    ttoommyy RE: linus May 28, 2013 04:42 PM


                                                                    1. re: linus
                                                                      MGZ RE: linus May 30, 2013 02:17 PM

                                                                      Her name is not Joanne Dylan.

                                                                  2. Terrie H. RE: Mr Taster May 28, 2013 05:02 PM

                                                                    Years ago, I watched a series of PBS shows by her, and liked her food, but not her tone. Now, that tone has become front and center and even less enjoyable. I agree with those that say it is like being talked at as a 14 year old.

                                                                    1. k
                                                                      Kontxesi RE: Mr Taster May 29, 2013 06:46 AM

                                                                      I can't stand her, either. I last 5 minutes tops before I have to find something else to do. Everything on your list is dead on, except maybe 4. As someone else mentioned, I think it's normal for them to be a little awkward. But some of them are a little extreme.

                                                                      1. ttoommyy RE: Mr Taster May 29, 2013 12:29 PM

                                                                        This thread is so odd, because all the years she has been on, I have never, ever been able to watch more than 3-5 minutes of the show. I thought it was just me. Now I see I am not alone! Unlike Rachel Ray or Paula Deen, where there are obvious things to dislike (because they CHOOSE to exaggerate parts of their persona), JW is just off-putting for some reason. I would have to say "5. She possesses little to no charm" is the reason I mostly cannot watch the show.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                          Kate is always hungry RE: ttoommyy Oct 16, 2013 11:05 PM

                                                                          I'm so glad to have found this thread! I thought it was me. For years, I've enjoyed many of the PBS cooking shows. The first time I saw JW I had to turn off her show. She just grates on my nerves! Like you, I'm glad I;m not the only one!

                                                                        2. paulj RE: Mr Taster May 30, 2013 12:54 PM

                                                                          Last night I watch her 'Morocan' episode. My only real complaint is that it was too slow paced. But that is more a fault of my experience level.

                                                                          Why did you put 'students' in quotes? You don't think there are real students? There was a shyness and awkwardness about this student, which could easily be explained by her being a real student, as opposed to an actor playing one.

                                                                          Joanne did talk to her in a different style than when speaking to the camera. She suggested trying a different knife, and then asked which she preferred and why. She asked for comments on spices like cardamon (which was novel to the student, thought not to me).

                                                                          Is that talking down to the student, as though she was a 13 yr old? Maybe, if it is more acceptable to encourage a 13 yr old to think for themselves. Adult education is more to the point - 'here's the information and what to do with it'. Adults just want the recipes.

                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                                            Mr Taster RE: paulj May 30, 2013 01:07 PM

                                                                            >> Is that talking down to the student, as though she was a 13 yr old? Maybe, if it is more acceptable to encourage a 13 yr old to think for themselves.

                                                                            This is a gross oversimplification. These kinds of subtle body language cues are not well served by the written word.

                                                                            Again, look at Weir's didactic style with her students compared to Bridget from ATK, who "teaches" Chris Kimball.

                                                                            If you can't see the vast differences between these delivery styles, then I can't help you see it.

                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                            1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                              MagicMarkR RE: Mr Taster Jun 3, 2013 03:38 PM

                                                                              Bridget's approach to Chris Kimball is pretty funny. I find Kimball to be truly condescending. Bridget seems to see through that, and will not let him talk down to her --she does it by turning the tables in a humorous way and teasing him (or rather "teaching" to him) like he's the fool.

                                                                              Of course as a colleague, her relationship to Kimball is much different than Weir's relationship to the guest students, who presumably have never met Weir before except as part of the episode's production.

                                                                              1. re: MagicMarkR
                                                                                Mr Taster RE: MagicMarkR Jun 3, 2013 04:11 PM

                                                                                Yeah, Kimball acts the neophyte but he's clearly not as unskilled in real life as his TV persona would have one believe. He plays the part of the "everyman" in order to make his professional staff look more credible. But the dynamic works, even though it's insincere. It is ultimately entertainment, after all.

                                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                                1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                                  MagicMarkR RE: Mr Taster Jun 3, 2013 04:25 PM

                                                                                  I definitely agree that he has much more knowledge than he lets on. The problem is when he does let on he does it in a way that (to me) says "I'm Chris Kimball and you're an idiot." In fact, I almost find it more condescending that he feels he needs to play the neophyte to make his staff look credible.

                                                                                  But I digress --this is a trash Joanne Weir thread.

                                                                                  1. re: MagicMarkR
                                                                                    Mr Taster RE: MagicMarkR Jun 3, 2013 04:51 PM

                                                                                    It's not just that he has more knowledge than he lets on. He often pretends to have never heard something on the TV show, and then he'll act the ignorant fool on the radio show too when he hears the same thing.

                                                                                    It would be pretty funny if someone would put together an Alzheimers compilation of Chris Kimball acting surprised hearing the same thing over and over.

                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                    1. re: MagicMarkR
                                                                                      linus RE: MagicMarkR Jun 4, 2013 07:56 AM

                                                                                      i can't think of a single example of chris kimball being condescending to his t.v. colleagues.

                                                                                      1. re: linus
                                                                                        MagicMarkR RE: linus Jun 7, 2013 01:54 PM

                                                                                        I haven't seen the show in quite some time so admit I'm having a hard time coming up with specific examples, though I'm sure there have been some to make me have this view. Perhaps it is the format of having Kimball standing there doing nothing except what seems like monitoring or lording over the staff.

                                                                                  2. re: MagicMarkR
                                                                                    paulj RE: MagicMarkR Jun 3, 2013 05:16 PM

                                                                                    ATK bloopers

                                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                                      EWSflash RE: paulj Jul 27, 2013 11:03 AM

                                                                                      Thanks for posting that, I found it hilarious. And I realized just how much I like Julia and Bridget.

                                                                                2. re: paulj
                                                                                  MagicMarkR RE: paulj Jun 3, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                                                  Then maybe the real point/problem is the TV show's format and not Weir, herself. I agree that those sorts of questions are helpful for a one-on-one class for the novice, and as I've said elsewhere in this thread, I do think she is genuinely trying to teach.

                                                                                  But, keep in mind, this is also being done for broadcast, mainly to an "adult education" audience I assume. Frankly, for the true novice, unless you are there getting the hands-on interaction in the kitchen, I do not see that these shows would do much to help you along. If you are not a novice, then Weir's hand-holding all the way down to how to open up a can is pretty awful to watch.

                                                                                3. greygarious RE: Mr Taster May 30, 2013 02:06 PM

                                                                                  I've often watched (I don't have cable) and haven't seen a thing I didn't already know. Since I have no professional kitchen experience or training, my criterion for people who have cooking shows is that they had better know a lot more than I do. It never registered that she talks to her students as though they are children because subconsciously, that's what I expect. Why? Because while many people think she looks like Shari Lewis (I see the resemblance), to me she talks like her but LOOKS just like Lambchop!

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: greygarious
                                                                                    MGZ RE: greygarious May 30, 2013 02:09 PM

                                                                                    Maybe it's just the 'hound in me talkin', but I'd rather be lookin' at a lambchop.

                                                                                  2. m
                                                                                    MagicMarkR RE: Mr Taster May 30, 2013 04:03 PM

                                                                                    I thought it was just me also. A rather mean topic, but I'll bite. I first became "acquainted" with her from her "From Tapas to Meze" cookbook, which I like. Then I saw her TV show --the first one without the "student" (which I have also seen).

                                                                                    I do not think she's smug or condescending, traits which I consider to have a deliberateness. Rather, I think she is sincere in wanting to make it a sort of teaching show --as much of her credentials are as a very experienced cooking instructor. It's just a bit unbearable to watch on TV for anyone with the slightest common sense. Too bad because I think she knows a lot more than she makes it seem.

                                                                                    As part of teaching she has a tendency (I find) to place emphasis on showing pretty obvious ideas in a way that she makes sound like she's full of really clever tips --like showing a kid how much better things look when you keep the crayon within the lines. For example, she explained how to get the leaves off of a stalk of fresh rosemary. Her tip? Run your finger the opposite way the leaves naturally grow. Thanks, J.W.! Cutting a bowl full of cherry tomatoes? She likes to grab just a few at a time from the bowl full rather than dumping them all onto the cutting board so they do not all roll onto the floor. Ohh, I knew I was doing something wrong when I kept slipping on all the tomatoes. Next show? She'll let you in on the secret that knives work better when you put the sharp side down.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: MagicMarkR
                                                                                      sassNall RE: MagicMarkR Aug 25, 2013 10:19 PM

                                                                                      ROFL about the rosemary leaves. Did she forget to mention that she also cured cancer while simultaneously creating perfectly diced onions? AMAZING woman!!

                                                                                    2. natewrites RE: Mr Taster May 31, 2013 07:35 AM

                                                                                      LOL on the Mrs. Robinson riff. Couldn't agree more with MGZ.

                                                                                      I don't have cable, so I don't know some of the references and watch most of the cable TV cooking shows only at the gym.

                                                                                      Regarding her show, it's boring if you are already a fairly accomplished chef. I know most of what she's saying, and since she's not particularly funny or bawdy (Guy), or brilliant and adorable (Julia or Pepin), I'm just B.O.R.E.D.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: natewrites
                                                                                        JonParker RE: natewrites May 31, 2013 10:06 AM

                                                                                        I can't say I find Guy funny or bawdy, although the public accusations of homophobia and sexism haven't really endeared me to him. Julia and Jacques are entertaining, but they have a very rare gift.

                                                                                        This whole thing of projecting sexual undertones onto TV chefs is really strange, IMO. The ones I learn something from, I watch. The ones I don't, I don't. Their sexual proclivities have no bearing on the job they do, and frankly, it's none of my business.

                                                                                      2. t
                                                                                        TomDel RE: Mr Taster Jun 2, 2013 12:04 AM

                                                                                        True on all counts but she has one saving grace. She's not as annoying as Katie Brown.

                                                                                        18 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: TomDel
                                                                                          ttoommyy RE: TomDel Jun 2, 2013 04:24 AM

                                                                                          "She's not as annoying as Katie Brown."

                                                                                          New thread! lol

                                                                                          1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                            MGZ RE: ttoommyy Jun 2, 2013 06:15 AM

                                                                                            Really, that's not fair. It's like comparing soiled diapers. How can you determine which one's worse?

                                                                                            1. re: MGZ
                                                                                              paulj RE: MGZ Jun 2, 2013 08:25 AM

                                                                                              You can always mute the sound while you wait for P Allen or Donna to start.

                                                                                              1. re: paulj
                                                                                                JonParker RE: paulj Jun 2, 2013 11:45 AM

                                                                                                Just goes to show, people are just alike in being different. P Allen drives me batty, I don't mind Joanna at all, and since Katie Brown isn't really about cooking or gardening I pay her no mind whatsoever.

                                                                                                1. re: JonParker
                                                                                                  greygarious RE: JonParker Jun 2, 2013 12:03 PM

                                                                                                  Katie Brown is about passing off the mediocre as the ne plus ultra in all aspects of home life. It's confounding how she ever came to have any sort of credibility, much less success on TV and in publishing.

                                                                                                  At least Joanne Weir's dishes are well-made, not the Sandrafied shortcuts in which KB seems to specialize.

                                                                                                  1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                    JonParker RE: greygarious Jun 2, 2013 01:14 PM

                                                                                                    I don't like Sandra Lee at all. I tried watching her once, and her "cooking" (more like "assembling") was so bad I couldn't stand it. She's also nowhere near as attractive as she thinks she is -- Marcela Valladolid and Nigella put her to shame.

                                                                                                    1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                      paulj RE: greygarious Jun 2, 2013 01:31 PM

                                                                                                      KB made it into the Style section of NYT

                                                                                                      1998 item about her 'dimestore domesticity'
                                                                                                      "As her friend Bobby Flay, chef at Manhattan's chic Mesa Grill, puts it, "I told Katie, 'Martha is the queen, you are the princess."

                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                        ttoommyy RE: paulj Jun 2, 2013 01:36 PM

                                                                                                        Publicists are payed nicely to plant stories like these in magazines and newspapers. None of it means the woman has any measurable degree of talent.

                                                                                                    2. re: JonParker
                                                                                                      ttoommyy RE: JonParker Jun 2, 2013 01:25 PM

                                                                                                      P Allen AND Donna are hard to take. Their personalites and voices are so extreme. Being on TV just exaggerates them.

                                                                                                      1. re: JonParker
                                                                                                        TomDel RE: JonParker Jun 3, 2013 04:28 AM

                                                                                                        Who says Katie isn't about cooking! I'd put her "Watermelon Elephant" ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XP9Px... )up against Sandra's "Kwanzaa Cake" ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we2iWT... ) any day.

                                                                                                        1. re: TomDel
                                                                                                          ttoommyy RE: TomDel Jun 3, 2013 09:09 AM

                                                                                                          I just thought the title of the video was priceless enough!

                                                                                                          "Katie Brown shows us how to have fun with Watermelon "

                                                                                                          1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                            paulj RE: ttoommyy Jun 3, 2013 11:51 AM

                                                                                                            For another approach to dimestore crafting, there's Amy Sedaris. I haven't read her books, but have enjoyed her interviews on The Splendid Table


                                                                                                          2. re: TomDel
                                                                                                            scarletstar20 RE: TomDel Mar 25, 2014 10:33 AM

                                                                                                            I was just waiting for the renown kwanzaa cake to make its appearance hahaha!

                                                                                                  2. re: TomDel
                                                                                                    Jay F RE: TomDel Jun 2, 2013 10:56 AM

                                                                                                    Tom, you have perfected the art of praising with faint damn. Nobody in the entire universe is as annoying as Katie Brown. I cannot stand to listen to her voice for even a second.

                                                                                                    Joanne Weir doesn't come within miles of being as annoying or as reprehensible as Katie Brown. TBH, I am really amazed at all the hatred for Joanne Weir. While her current show isn't as enjoyable as her first show, she simply does not deserve the group shit you all have taken on her.

                                                                                                    1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                      ttoommyy RE: Jay F Jun 2, 2013 01:24 PM

                                                                                                      There's no hatred. It's dislike. Please, is she your sister? Why do you care if we dump on her? She certainly doesn't.

                                                                                                      1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                        Jay F RE: ttoommyy Jun 2, 2013 06:30 PM

                                                                                                        You're not the Tom I was talking to, if it matters.

                                                                                                        As for why I care, well, she's simply never done anything to bother me. I simply can't fathom the "dislike," if that's the word you choose to use.

                                                                                                        As for her not caring, you don't know that. She's human, too. I wouldn't want to go to some food website and read things like you all have said about her, about me.

                                                                                                        Katie Brown, OTOH...

                                                                                                        1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                          ttoommyy RE: Jay F Jun 2, 2013 06:43 PM

                                                                                                          People who work in media face this stuff all the time. Especially in the age of the Internet. She has her money to console her. A quick Internet search leads me to believe her little cottage industry is pretty profitable. I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about her.

                                                                                                    2. re: TomDel
                                                                                                      TomDel RE: TomDel Jul 24, 2013 01:32 PM

                                                                                                      Now I did it. Did you ever get a song in your head and you just can't seem to stop humming it?

                                                                                                      Well, It's been over three weeks now since I posted and I can't seem to get the image and vocals of Katie Brown singing "The Chipmunk Song" with Alvin and the boys. "Christmas, Christmas time is here, time for joy and time for cheer..." Ole' Katie flashing those two big old incisors a hugging Alvin. I need help!

                                                                                                    3. a
                                                                                                      ArtistCharlotte RE: Mr Taster Jun 6, 2013 04:00 PM

                                                                                                      I was so bothered by tonight's show that I found this. You are right. But I remember liking her many years ago. Tonight's show was very uncomfortable and the food looked awful.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: ArtistCharlotte
                                                                                                        paulj RE: ArtistCharlotte Jun 6, 2013 07:02 PM

                                                                                                        The pot roast and polenta episode? I didn't seen anything wrong. In fact I was happy to see her use a food mill just as I would. Also tweaking the consistency of polenta.

                                                                                                        1. re: ArtistCharlotte
                                                                                                          theotherdikcheney RE: ArtistCharlotte Jun 7, 2013 11:52 AM

                                                                                                          what was uncomfortable about it?

                                                                                                        2. JonParker RE: Mr Taster Jun 6, 2013 06:56 PM

                                                                                                          I gotta say that while none of the things you mention are problems for me, her hairstyle drives me nuts. I wish she'd change it.

                                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: JonParker
                                                                                                            Mr Taster RE: JonParker Jun 7, 2013 01:31 PM

                                                                                                            Wow. You're absolutely right. I'm officially making her hairstyle #6 on my list.

                                                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                                                            1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                                                              LA Buckeye Fan RE: Mr Taster Jul 24, 2013 01:47 PM

                                                                                                              Are we really criticizing a Chef's hairstyle? Unless its in the food, who cares?

                                                                                                              1. re: LA Buckeye Fan
                                                                                                                ttoommyy RE: LA Buckeye Fan Jul 24, 2013 04:03 PM

                                                                                                                While criticizing her hair may be a tad extreme, she is also a TV personality which is a visual medium. If you set out to be a TV "star" then you set yourself up to be judged on your looks. Right or wrong, that's just the way it is.

                                                                                                                1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                  JonParker RE: ttoommyy Jul 24, 2013 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                  That's it exactly. I find it distracting. Other people might not, but I keep staring at it in distaste. I'd feel the same way if Rick Bayless started wearing Elton John glasses.

                                                                                                                  And again, i really don't share a lot of the criticisms of people in this thread about her. I just find her hairdo really ugly and distracting.

                                                                                                                  1. re: JonParker
                                                                                                                    greygarious RE: JonParker Jul 26, 2013 07:33 PM

                                                                                                                    Elton glasses would be preferable to the soul patch, which is something that can't go out of fashion soon enough, IMO.

                                                                                                                    1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                      Mr Taster RE: greygarious Jul 26, 2013 08:07 PM

                                                                                                                      Is it in fashion?

                                                                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                                                                        greygarious RE: Mr Taster Jul 26, 2013 08:35 PM

                                                                                                                        Bayless apparently thinks so. His was more apparent than his teeny goatee, last time I clicked past his show.

                                                                                                                        1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                          paulj RE: greygarious Jul 26, 2013 08:46 PM

                                                                                                                          Since his facial hair has gone gray, he needs a full Santa beard. These little patches are barely visible.

                                                                                                                      2. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                        EWSflash RE: greygarious Jul 27, 2013 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                        He shuld either start dying the soul patch or stop dying his hair. Too much contrast. Maybe he could get lowlights in his hair. And shave off the stupid facial hair.

                                                                                                                        1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                          paulj RE: EWSflash Jul 27, 2013 11:48 AM

                                                                                                                          Are you sure he is dying his hair? My beard turned white long ago, while my hair is still mostly brown.

                                                                                                                    2. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                      LA Buckeye Fan RE: ttoommyy Jul 27, 2013 11:39 AM

                                                                                                                      Who is going to break that news to Lidia, Maryanne and Julia?

                                                                                                                    3. re: LA Buckeye Fan
                                                                                                                      Mr Taster RE: LA Buckeye Fan Jul 24, 2013 04:41 PM

                                                                                                                      By itself, it's inoffensive. As part of the whole package, it's repulsive.

                                                                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                                                                2. paulj RE: Mr Taster Jun 7, 2013 11:14 PM

                                                                                                                  Today's episode
                                                                                                                  -squash soup
                                                                                                                  -semolina gnocchi (Roman)

                                                                                                                  I didn't see or hear anything wrong with this episode. I didn't pay a lot of attention to the soup segment. I have made this gnocchi, though not with the browned butter. I also like kale, though I haven't tried her seasoning. I have some cooked kale in the fridge, so maybe I'll give it a try.

                                                                                                                  Fried sage leaves will have to wait for another time.

                                                                                                                  1. normalkitchen RE: Mr Taster Jun 8, 2013 01:44 AM

                                                                                                                    Glad to know that I'm not alone in feeling this way about that cooking show. I watch the PBS cooking shows late at night - they're my guilty pleasure before going to bed ... unless JW's show is on. I manage to view the first few minutes but it becomes too uncomfortable to watch once they start shifting to her comments about how she thinks her "student" is doing, I find many of her approaches to food quite strange. I became especially disappointed during the episode where she was telling her student how to prepare dungeness crab. While Lydia Bastianich (one of my favorite PBS chefs) stated that she enjoys eating tomalley and Rachel Allen (another of my favorites) used the crab tomalley to flavor the rice noodle dish she prepared, Joanne rinsed the crab tomalley away under running water - she got rid of the tastiest part of the crab! And I know my nighttime cooking show viewing is totally ruined when they follow her show with Christina Pirello and her religious-fundamentalist-like condemnation of non-vegan cuisine.

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: normalkitchen
                                                                                                                      ttoommyy RE: normalkitchen Jun 8, 2013 04:01 AM

                                                                                                                      Christina Pirello... She is unwatchable!

                                                                                                                      1. re: normalkitchen
                                                                                                                        JonParker RE: normalkitchen Jun 8, 2013 05:09 AM

                                                                                                                        I used to find Christina seriously annoying until I learned her story. She was diagnosed with terminal leukemia as a young woman, and given less than six months to live. She switched to a vegan lifestyle, and her cancer went into remission, then disappeared.

                                                                                                                        Rightly or wrongly, she credits her lifestyle change for curing her, and honestly, if I was in her shoes, I probably would too. That accounts for her evangelical zeal in promoting a healthy lifestyle.

                                                                                                                        I don't think she has a personality made for television, and I haven't been particularly interested in her cooking the few times I've caught her show, but knowing her story at least made it so I don't find watching her like fingernails on a blackboard anymore.

                                                                                                                      2. m
                                                                                                                        MarianneB88 RE: Mr Taster Jul 9, 2013 11:42 AM

                                                                                                                        I think they have taken her off CreateTV thank God!!! She was the most annoying boring cooking show host.

                                                                                                                        Here are the problems I have with her:

                                                                                                                        1. When there is a male student she acts all creepy around them.
                                                                                                                        2. You can tell she wants to rip the knife out of the students' hand when they take forever to chop an onion.
                                                                                                                        3. How she constantly has to remind the viewer she has cooked and lived in Italy! Please! My grandmother cooked and lived in Italy! Of course, she was Italian!
                                                                                                                        4. While other wine makers give their wineries interesting names, she chose a boring, ego filled one. The Joanne Weir Wines. Couldn't this Orphan Annie reject come up with a better name?
                                                                                                                        5. Was making pizza and said she came up with such a perfect pizza dough she named it. Ready? Weir-dough! Naturally she laughed at her own joke. You could just feel the crew cringing.

                                                                                                                        A friend of mine was looking at her new cookbook and said they must use a special camera filter or great makeup because she looks a lot older in the photos in her book. Glad she appears to be gone. Now they put Martha Stewart's Cooking School in her place. What next? Paula Deen?

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: MarianneB88
                                                                                                                          Mr Taster RE: MarianneB88 Jul 9, 2013 12:21 PM

                                                                                                                          She's still on create TV's web portal.


                                                                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                                                                          1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                                                                            Mr Taster RE: Mr Taster Jul 9, 2013 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                            ...AND she's got a second program called "Cooking Confidence"

                                                                                                                            ...AND she's won a James Beard Award(?!)


                                                                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                                                                        2. b
                                                                                                                          bear RE: Mr Taster Jul 27, 2013 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                          I personally don't watch Joanne's show because I find it much too basic. At first it annoyed me, but then a friend who grew up in a home where food was an afterthought at best, and who struggles in the kitchen, told me that when she has difficulty sleeping she watches Joanne's show as well as Mary Ann Espoito's, and both shows have helped her to learn new things and given her the confidence she needs to try things she wouldn't otherwise. I'd rather have a show about the basics than another cupcake or competition show.

                                                                                                                          I guess I don't understand the criticism of her appearance and hair. She's a real person, a middle-aged woman who tries to find a style that fits her hair and age group. She seems to have a no-fuss perm that suits her thick hair type as well as the shape of her face. Some of the posts seem like piling-on and feel a bit mean-spirited to me.

                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: bear
                                                                                                                            JonParker RE: bear Jul 28, 2013 06:44 AM

                                                                                                                            You're making me feel bad about my criticism of her hair, which I'm sorry but I do find distracting. In general though, I totally agree with you -- as i've said before, while her cooking instruction is not for me, I think it's incredibly valuable for beginning cooks.

                                                                                                                            I think her show is a valuable public service, that she does it very well, and it's a great way to bring beginners into the fold. Aside from wishing she'd find a new hairdresser, I have absolutely no problem with Ms. Weir or what she does. Just because I don't need basic instruction doesn't mean no one does, and it wasn't all that long ago that I did.

                                                                                                                            1. re: JonParker
                                                                                                                              ttoommyy RE: JonParker Jul 28, 2013 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                              I politely disagree that the show is "a great way to bring beginners into the fold" in that she talks down to her guests, as if they were children. There's just something off about her demeanor towards them. It's more of a feeling I get while watching and difficult to put into words.

                                                                                                                              1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                JonParker RE: ttoommyy Jul 28, 2013 09:55 AM

                                                                                                                                I guess that's a judgement call. For instance, when she's telling her student to do a chiffonade, but not to worry about chopping speed, I think "yeah, I was once like that" and not "she's treating her like a child."

                                                                                                                                If you watch the show realizing that her students are to a greater or lesser degree remedial cooks, then her manner becomes a lot more palatable.

                                                                                                                                Sometimes we have to divorce the personality from the instruction. I've defended Rachael Ray here several times even though I find her personality unbearable -- she's really good at coming up with quick, relatively healthy dinners for working families that have probably kept people from turning to Hamburger Helper or takeout on more than one occasion.

                                                                                                                                Roger Ebert taught me this: he did not compare "Spiderman 2" to "Schindler's List" -- he compared it to both other summer blockbusters and to movies within its genre. By these standards Rachael wins, and Sandra Lee fails. And I think Joanne does pretty well.

                                                                                                                              2. re: JonParker
                                                                                                                                Mr Taster RE: JonParker Jul 28, 2013 09:56 AM

                                                                                                                                I completely disagree.

                                                                                                                                For a show that's absolutely great for beginners, look to America's Test Kitchen. It instructs without talking down to the viewer, as Weir does.

                                                                                                                                As for personal style, KImball's bowtie and false golly-gee-whiz character is far less annoying to me than Weir's creepy Freudian condescension, but that's admittedly personal preference.

                                                                                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                                                                                  JonParker RE: Mr Taster Jul 28, 2013 10:08 AM

                                                                                                                                  And I think that's really a matter of taste. I just don't see Joanne "talking down" to viewers, I see her teaching technique to people who may not know it. If she's teaching things you already know, I can see being impatient with her, and deciding that this is not a show to spend your time watching, but calling her creepy and Freudian is way outside the box.

                                                                                                                                  By my standards today, my first grade teacher was "talking down" to me in teaching me addition. At the time, it was pretty useful.

                                                                                                                            2. k
                                                                                                                              kseiverd RE: Mr Taster Jul 28, 2013 07:23 AM

                                                                                                                              Think it was a week or so ago, JW had "student" named Juan... think he was a soccer player from somewhere? She pronounced his name with a "J" throughout the show??

                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: kseiverd
                                                                                                                                linus RE: kseiverd Jul 28, 2013 11:02 AM

                                                                                                                                maybe he was portuguese or catalan.

                                                                                                                                1. re: linus
                                                                                                                                  ttoommyy RE: linus Jul 28, 2013 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                                  That's what I was thinking. I doubt a person would allow her to tape the whole show pronouncing his name wrong.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                    mr99203 RE: ttoommyy Aug 22, 2013 09:19 AM

                                                                                                                                    The student was Joan Boada, a principal dancer with the SF Ballet.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mr99203
                                                                                                                                      paulj RE: mr99203 Aug 22, 2013 09:27 AM

                                                                                                                                      Cuban. But the 'Joan' spelling does suggest Catalan heritage


                                                                                                                              2. m
                                                                                                                                midnattsolen RE: Mr Taster Aug 18, 2013 07:40 PM

                                                                                                                                I've watched the show a few times and there is definitely something not right. I envision her dressed in a catwoman suit with a policeman's hat. On the wall behind her are whips and chains. It looks to me like she wants to flog her students with a riding crop. The students do often appear uncomfortable. I would rather watch Katy Brown than Joanne Weir.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: midnattsolen
                                                                                                                                  sassNall RE: midnattsolen Aug 25, 2013 10:20 PM

                                                                                                                                  What a choice - Katy Brown or Joanne Weir. I'd rather have steel rods shoved into my eyes than watch either one!!

                                                                                                                                2. iL Divo RE: Mr Taster Aug 20, 2013 01:10 PM

                                                                                                                                  watched her several times.
                                                                                                                                  kept hoping I was viewing an 'off' show. I wasn't. don't enjoy her methods or behavior but sidebar:
                                                                                                                                  I could never get past her coif.

                                                                                                                                  1. g
                                                                                                                                    groonge RE: Mr Taster Aug 22, 2013 09:03 AM

                                                                                                                                    I'm relieved to see I'm not the only one who can't watch Joanne Weir's show, except for the part when Andrea Immer-Robinson comes on to talk about wine. The only Create cooking show I enjoy less is Martha Stewart's.

                                                                                                                                    1. s
                                                                                                                                      sassNall RE: Mr Taster Aug 25, 2013 10:15 PM

                                                                                                                                      I'm not a fan either! She is definitely condescending to her students. I don't know why she even gives them a knife in the first place, she never lets them actually cut anything before she snatches it back and shows them how "she" does it. Another thing... if I hear her say "ball-SAM-ic" for the vinegar one more time I think I'll scream!

                                                                                                                                      I'm really freaked out by the wine lady. Why does always wear the same shirt? Why does she stare into the camera as if to hypnotize us? Make her stop!!

                                                                                                                                      (sigh) I feel better now. Thanks ;)

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: sassNall
                                                                                                                                        ttoommyy RE: sassNall Aug 26, 2013 03:56 AM

                                                                                                                                        In defense of Andrea Immer (the wine lady) she is an accomplished authority on wine. Perhaps she's just not comfortable on TV. As for her wearing the same shirt, I can't recall, but perhaps it is part of a "uniform" from a restaurant she is associated with. A bit of free publicity? A lot of times guest chefs and sommeliers do this when appearing on a cooking show.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                          paulj RE: ttoommyy Aug 26, 2013 10:08 AM

                                                                                                                                          or the episodes were taped within a few days on a limited budget.

                                                                                                                                          Just because viewers see a show spread over 8 weeks, does not mean it was taped over the same time period.

                                                                                                                                      2. b
                                                                                                                                        birdcatdog RE: Mr Taster Oct 9, 2013 06:42 PM

                                                                                                                                        Yes, thank you! Just saw this post, and probably no one is following anymore, but I am so glad so many people agree. I saw her a few times and was like "K that's weird and lacks charisma" but then I saw one episode where J was acting like she was actually angry at the student. Except the student didn't seem to be angry at all, just confused. Can't remember the episode, but it might have been 206. The woman had long blackish-brown hair and was shorter than Joanne. I think they made a salad (which does not narrow the choices a bit). Anyway, she didn't say ONE positive thing to this student, not even "Thank you" or "Nice." And she would snatch stuff away from her, or just take over whatever she was doing. Usually I don't like her for reason #1 in the original post, but this episode suggests that her condescension comes with a dash of venom and a pinch of bile. Gross.

                                                                                                                                        1. Kate is always hungry RE: Mr Taster Oct 16, 2013 11:23 PM

                                                                                                                                          I cannot watch Joanne Weir at all and I LOVE cooking shows. She just seems unnatural and it sounds to me that is condescending to her students. I'm not saying she is it just sounds that way to me. Also, her voice grates on my nerves.

                                                                                                                                          What does she have in common with Julia and Jacques? Her name begins with a J?

                                                                                                                                          1. paulj RE: Mr Taster Nov 9, 2013 04:24 PM

                                                                                                                                            Speaking of the interaction between chef host and guest, I'm watching a Simply Ming episode in Singapore. Ming is cooking with KF Seetoh, an expert on street hawker food. While Ming is talking, KF makes a yak-yak sign for the camera. I'm not sure I'm learning much, but the interaction is entertaining.



                                                                                                                                            1. s
                                                                                                                                              scarletstar20 RE: Mr Taster Mar 24, 2014 10:48 AM

                                                                                                                                              Wow thank you! I actually typed "I hate Joanne Weir" into Google to see if anyone else had the same sentiment as I do about this woman. She couldn't be more condescending to her students. It almost seems like she has them make a mistake on purpose to show how skilled she is and how to do it right. Every one of your points are right on. She is SO into her recipes and how great she is; it is almost disgusting. I saw one episode with a guy who had a decent amount of cooking knowledge compared to most of her students and she didn't know how to handle it, like she had to find something wrong with what he was doing just to show him he was inferior to her, the teacher. I would hate/love to see her cook with someone with real culinary experience.
                                                                                                                                              Also when she tries to be sweet or complimentary it is so faked! Like at the end of her episodes when she asks her students to "cook with her again! tee hee!" oh puhleeze! She really does have no charm!
                                                                                                                                              One last rant, i HATE the way she looks when she takes a bite of her food, that face like she just tasted heaven. How full of yourself can you be?! Actually I really don't like the way she looks in general, kind of like a female Carrot Top :D Okay, end rant. Thank you for the outlet though, you are right on!

                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: scarletstar20
                                                                                                                                                Mr Taster RE: scarletstar20 Mar 24, 2014 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                I saw a great description of her from another website conversation:

                                                                                                                                                >> She has this frantic, "You will now love me and my cooking and we will be best friends but don't call me, I'll call you" vibe to her.


                                                                                                                                                She seems like the type of person that would Google herself often, and I'm happy to see that this thread comes up #5 in Google search.

                                                                                                                                                I get great joy knowing that a raging narcissist is being brought down a peg or two (not that it will affect her or change her behavior, as narcissists are generally incapable of change.)

                                                                                                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                                                                                                  paulj RE: Mr Taster Mar 24, 2014 04:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                  It's time I 'unfollow' this thread!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                    scarletstar20 RE: paulj Mar 25, 2014 10:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                    The thread is called "PBS Freak Out", it is what it is. I think some people genuinely don't see the Joanne Weir that the "haters" see. I do think that her recipes are mostly good, I would definitely eat her food. Maybe if she did a solo cooking show (definitely not with another chef) where she just taught her recipes to the viewer, I could find much more value in what she does. She just isn't a teacher. A good teacher, rather.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Mr Taster
                                                                                                                                                    scarletstar20 RE: Mr Taster Mar 25, 2014 10:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                    That description is perfect. I was happy as well to find your thread, we can only hope that she comes across it and picks through each reply and argues with the computer while drinking her "vino" haha. I always wondered why she had the student pour the wine, like they know anything about what selection she picked and why she so ingeniously picked this variety. I think she's waiting for someone to fill the glass way up, another "teaching" opportunity :D

                                                                                                                                                2. b
                                                                                                                                                  BevSteenstra RE: Mr Taster Mar 25, 2014 01:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Okay, this is a dated thread, I see...still! All points folks have made here are spot on. And I need to add something that creeped me out about Ms. Weir: a subliminal bad soft porn sorta thing going on with her, especially when she's tasting whatever's in front of her. I have had true concern for some of her students - that they might not get out of her clutches without a roll in the hay! Yuck!!!

                                                                                                                                                  1. pamf RE: Mr Taster Mar 25, 2014 09:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I am not a big fan of Joanne Weir. It seems like every time I see her show she is making pasta and salad, not that interesting. I make that all the time myself.

                                                                                                                                                    In a recent interview I have read with Sara Moulton, Sara has stated that she has had to come up with a million dollars in corporate sponsorships to produce a series for PBS. So I would guess that the same applies to Joanne. Someone must support her.

                                                                                                                                                    She has a long resume in the SF Bay Area food scene having once worked with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse. So she will probably be around as long as she can continue to get the sponsorships.

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pamf
                                                                                                                                                      emglow101 RE: pamf Mar 25, 2014 09:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I don't mind Joanne. As pamf said a long time resume in the S.F. bay area. A million dollars is nothing where she resides in Marin county. Same as Michael Chiarello in Napa. Chump change.Look at her sponsors.

                                                                                                                                                    2. g
                                                                                                                                                      groogle RE: Mr Taster Jul 12, 2014 09:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I'm glad I'm not the only one. Yes, you have covered the basic annoyances succinctly. Her patronizing, superior attitude toward her guests is a real turn off.

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