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Caricature Chefs

Saw back to back ads-- the first for reruns of 2008 Secrets of a Restaurant Chef followed by one for the new season of Chef Wanted and noticed the Snow Miser hair currently sprouted by Anne Burrell.

And I thought-- she's become a caricature of herself!!

So, who else could currently be on a list of chefs/cheflebrities who have been absorbed by their own hype/ media image?

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    1. re: girloftheworld

      I'm going to disagree on Paula, just because I don't think there's much of a change from "early" to "current."
      Have you seen those morphing videos that show her from magazine covers over the past decade? She always has the same smile.

      I think maaaaaaybe Emeril is growing out of his BAM version of himself.

      Guy, yes. I blame FN for boxing him into D3.

      1. re: Kris in Beijing

        Agree on Emeril - he seems quiet and knowledgeable on Top Chef, and has shown some real cooking chops outside of shouting Bam at everything. My vote would be Giada.

        1. re: NonnieMuss

          The majority of Food Network chefs seem to morph into something too over-the-top for me with time. I love a lot of Anne Burrell's recipes, but I wish she'd go back to her more-toned down personality. I find it hard to watch her now, and I've always liked her.

          Chefs that I like more now than when I first started watching them (or at the very least like as much now as when I started watching them): Emeril, Michael Symon, Alton Brown, Alex G., Bobby Flay, Morimoto, Kerry Vincent.

          1. re: NonnieMuss

            Agree on Emeril. Gone are the "Bam!" and "oh, yeah babe".

        1. re: DatatheAndroid

          Really? I've only seen a show of hers a dozen or fewer times; as she seems easy and authentic I guess I never thought she'd been otherwise. Maybe I've only been seeing the older/original Nigella?
          What has changed? What would you say is the reason?

          1. re: Kris in Beijing

            I'm amazed that you have not heard about her troubles with her husband Charles Saatchi. Having your husband put his hand around your throat is not very good for your 'Domestic Goddess' image.

            1. re: DatatheAndroid

              Her marital troubles didn't -- in my eyes-- turn her into a parody of herself.

              Maybe I mean chefs who have been reduced to a limited element of a narrow schtick.

              1. re: Kris in Beijing

                She'd become a parody of herself while she was still married to John Diamond. IMO, of course.

                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                  That was just the first of many things that stuck out in my mind. You also said absorbed by their own hype, so I decided to run with it. And like Harters said, her pouting/moaning turned her into a caricature.

                  1. re: DatatheAndroid

                    Huh. I guess I've been lucky enough to have never seen anything particularly new from her, then!

                2. re: DatatheAndroid

                  That's unfair. Nobody signs up for that persona.

                  1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                    Which persona, 'the abused wife', or the 'her cooking shows could double as soft core porn' persona? I imagine it's the first one. I respectfully disagree in either case.

                    1. re: DatatheAndroid

                      The battered woman persona. But I thank you for respecting my point of view.

                      1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                        No problemo. I joined the thread because I value other people's opinions. Yours are no less valuable just because we disagree on a topic. :)

              2. re: DatatheAndroid

                Certainly agree, Data.

                Her original series was very good - just the sort of food we middle class Britons wanted to cook. Since then, she has become increasingly pouty - all deep sighs and moanings. A genuine caricature of her original persona.

                1. re: Harters

                  On the few episodes of The Taste that I watched, she seemed to be trying too hard to look young and sexy - the makeup, the cleavage, etc. Now that may have been styling for TV, and I'm not saying she is not attractive or shapely or that a woman over 50 should not still "work it", just that she did look a bit like a caricature, and I think she would have looked better styled differently.

                1. Every chef who makes it past 1 year on FN. They ALL become caricatures; it's FN's shtick. I've been saying this for years.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ttoommyy

                    I think Flay and Emeril have redeemed themselves. I hated the whole "Bam" thing with Emeril. And Flay was just completely unlikable. Granted Emeril basically got away from most of the FN and went with M. Stewart. Flay got some better vehicles to show his real personality.

                    1. re: Firegoat

                      I was going to suggest Flay as having come "through the fire." Somewhere along the way he got over himself, I think, as has Emeril.
                      Maybe they had some real life/ reality checks -- divorces and Katrina?-- that humanized them.
                      OR, alternatively, they gained enough power within FN/The World of Food Media that they could be themselves??

                  2. Gordon Ramsay is definitely a caricature. If you read his biography, or see some of his less volatile television work, you can see that he ramps it up for the camera when required.
                    His ***Chef book is awesome.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: cronker

                      I would have to agree with cronker with the ramsey " I am not a douche but i play one on tv" character.

                      1. re: cronker

                        Seems that, for the second time on this thread, I have to slag off one of my compatriots.

                        Ramsey's public persona is a peculiar one. Right from his early days, it has been one of the foul-mouthed bully. Should it be his real persona, it is a mystery why he would want that portrayed. And, of course, it is even more peculiar for him to want it portrayed if it is an assumed persona.

                        1. re: cronker

                          Here is a kind of funny, recent take on Gordon's "real" personality behind the scenes from a production assistant.

                          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/quora/w...

                        2. Agree on Anne Burrell, more on Chef Wanted. OMG! That countdown, when she screams at the top of her lungs, "10-9-8...).
                          But, I think her Secrets show is very good and delivers on its premise. Moreover, I feel that Burrell seems generous in sharing her knowledge and experience with such enthusiasm, and her teaching acumen is quite good.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: monavano

                            I just can't watch "Chef Wanted." She is so horrible in that. I like her food, I loved "Secrets," I liked her on Iron Chef, but I just can't stand her on Chef Wanted.