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Mo Rocca--My Apologies for Finding You So Annoying!

So it's the day after Christmas and I'm having a lazy morning before dropping one of the kids off to go back to NYC....I saw a CBS This Morning show...and Mo Rocca was interviewing a Danish Chef..my first thought was "Ugh..this annoying man is interviewing such an interesting chef"..but then....I focused on the interview and by interview's end, I had a change of heart toward Mr. Rocca.
He wasn't "on" as much as he is on his other shows. He was attentive to the guy being interviewed and he was so low-key and charming. Wow! When I'm wrong--I'm wrong. Maybe Mo isn't so bad after all!!! Have any of you Chowhounders ever had a change of heart like that?

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  1. Yes, but not about Mo. I still find him annoying. However, Alton I used to really like. Now I change the channel when he is on. I have never met either one in person but their TV personas annoy me. In real life, they may be charming.

    23 Replies
    1. re: wadejay26

      Alton Brown and Mo Rocca - separated at birth.

      I avoid them both.

        1. re: Bob Martinez

          I actually believe they are one person. Have you ever seen them together at the same time and place? Have you?

        2. re: wadejay26

          Yeah. I used to wait for AB's shows. Now I find him contrived and irritating.

          1. re: sal_acid

            How true. I loved when AB was truly the "bad boy"...now--especially since "The Taste" he's lost his badism and credibility!

            1. re: jarona

              You may be confusing Anthony B with Alton B. Done with Alton since he came out with Cutthroat Kitchen. Loving Mo with Grandmother's Ravioli. It's a show with quiet heart. Putting up with Bourdain since the Taste as he's done some great shows on Parts Unknown.


              1. re: JuniorBalloon

                I really enjoy Grandmother's Ravioli. At least we aren't watching some diner chef stand and stir, make a giant sandwich or burger, and witness Guy unhinging his jaw to wolf down a bite. "DUDE that is so righteous!!" Wipes the icky sauce from his mustache, etc. Ugh.

                Mo's show is so down-to-earth and his interaction with the folks he visits are charming. The episode with the "Golden Girls" makes me think of my mother and her friends just cackling and drinking wine, having a good time.

                I'll keep watching.

                1. re: breadchick

                  Well for all Mo's fans, Cooking Channel is playing a marathon of Grandmother's Ravioli today. More than 12 hours worth.

                  1. re: pamf

                    I caught some of this and I must say, I'm liking Mo mo' and mo'--especially with Clara! Clara should have her own show!!

                2. re: JuniorBalloon

                  Cutthroat Kitchen.......possibly the absolute worst "cooking show" ever.

                  1. re: grampart

                    Oh I caught a few episodes recently of Cutthroat Kitchen. As much as I wanted to like it... I absolutely hated it.

                    1. re: Firegoat

                      I still like it. And I gua-ron-tee that five years from now we will talk about shows and say "Oh, that's so Cutthroat Kitchen. They did it first." Like it or not.

                      1. re: ennuisans

                        Five years from now, no one will remember it ever existed.

                    2. re: grampart

                      I know this makes me a bad person, but I enjoy it. It's not so much about cooking, as it is about resourcefulness. I do find some of the (undoubtedly producer-encourged) posturing of the contestants to be irritating.

              2. re: wadejay26

                < I have never met either one in person but their TV personas annoy me. In real life, they may be charming.>

                ROTFLMAO! I've met them both. Mo is not as annoying in person, Alton Brown???? worse... don't get me started. ;)

                1. re: ChefJune

                  Consider yourself already "started".

                  Gotta tell more.

                  1. re: ChefJune

                    Oh but I want to get you started.
                    Tell us why...
                    I can't watch Alton when he comes up on the screen either.

                  2. re: wadejay26

                    Alton Brown looks like th etype of person who secretly does some horrible thing.

                    1. re: wadejay26

                      Reruns of "Monk" are frequently on free TV - you can enjoy Rocca being the murder victim in one of them.

                      1. re: greygarious

                        I used to LOVE Monk! Is there an episode name you can share?

                        1. re: Shrinkrap

                          I am wrong - googling turned up nothing for Monk, but for season 7 of L&O:Criminal Intent. Rocca played a gossip columnist, which is the role I was thinking of. Right about the murder, though!

                    2. Yes, me. When I first saw Mr. Rocca on TV, I can't remember which program, I was annoyed at his delivery. Since then though the more I saw him in snippets here and there - especially on his own show about learning to cook with various "grandparents", I realized what a talented and genuinely funny fellow he is. Did you know he's a Harvard grad and was president of the Hasty Pudding club?

                      1. Ina Garten. I find her snobbish and tire of her "how great is that" meme. And her nervous chuckle used to drive me up the wall. I always felt I liked her cooking ideas, but didn't think I'd like her if I knew her, not that it has anything to do with her cooking, but you asked.

                        I have eased up a bit now and like most of her recipes--pretty reliable.

                        Mo definitely has a schtick and I don't care for the "grandmother's" show but I really hated his other show where they had him vamping on top of the tables, etc. How silly. I can see him as Pres of the Hasty Pudding Club!

                        1. I'm a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives fan, but I always found Guy very annoying. I watched it for the places he visited, and tolerated his onscreen persona.

                          A couple of years ago (right around Christmas, maybe on Christmas eve) I saw an interview with him on a local news station (I think he was in DC for some food-related event.) He didn't have the bling and sunglasses on the back of his head. He was very low key and down to earth. He had his teenage son with him and he talked about how his family likes to cook healthy food (fish and vegetables) at home. I had a lot more respect fo rhim after seeing that interview and now I don't mind the goofball character he plays on the Food Network.

                          1. When Martha Stewart's earliest shows appeared on TV - I think the first one was the special Thanksgiving one where she was still married and a huge table was set up in their Westport home's barn - I thought she was repellently haughty. Then came the once-a-week show in which, when cooking, she inevitably specified the "best quality" hummingbird lips, which she either mail-ordered or purchased from NYC's best artisanal hummingbird lip purveyor. But as time passed and her show became daily, the ingredients became more accessible, and her appearances on Letterman showed she could laugh at herself, as did the holiday special in which Miss Piggy belittled Martha's painstaking decoration of cookies and a gingerbread house.

                            It's clear, from biographical details, that she can be very icy and controlling, but I think that's a form of self-protection and somewhat understandable. And she has undeniably good taste in all aspects of homemaking.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: greygarious

                              Her recipes always turn out wonderfully for me, to boot.

                              1. re: Green_Shartreuse

                                When MS daughter and a childhood pal took to the airwaves as radio personalities hell bent on trying and failing to replicate many MS recipes and crafts projects my opinion of MS changed dramatically. This gal knows how to laugh hard at herself.

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  And she is an incredibly astute business woman for recognizing that and making sure that program was aired! As for her insider trading conviction, I've always suspected that her perfect speech and perfect grammar are what did her in... You can really tick people off with perfection! Including husbands.... '-)

                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                    C1, let's face it successful women still tick some people off no matter what they do.

                                    Ho hum, I can't bother about that kind of opinion anymore. I think strong women rock.

                            2. Brian Boitano in the kitchen didn't wow me. I'm sure he's been cooking for friends forever but the show was so off and goofy I found it annoying. I probably won't be apologizing.

                              Mo Rocca otoh has gotten some good work and some not so good work. I enjoy him on CBS Sunday Morning. I also like that his cooking show highlights home cooks many of us grew up with. My own grandparents could have been on that show.

                              But the biggest change of heart for me was the show, The Two Fat Ladies. It took me some time to embrace them, the recipes and the show. But I did come around.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: HillJ

                                Loved the Two Fat Ladies on the show, hated Clarissa by the time I finished her autobiography, Spilling the Beans.

                                However, I'm never found Mo Rocca as amusing as he seems to think he is, so I've avoided his cooking show.

                                1. re: tardigrade

                                  I see Mo Rocca as a 3rd rate imitator of Bill Geist, only a lot younger and a lot less funny. He's also got a terminal case of the "cutes."

                              2. Not a cooking authority, but I noticed with admiration Kelly Ripa's knife skills with I-can't-even-remember-which-chef who guested on her show last week. They were doing roast pork and her task was to mince the garlic and herbs for a rub.
                                She was fast, authoritative, and efficient with the chef's knife.
                                Co-host Michael Strahan remarked about her knife work, which she shrugged off by quipping that she'd done a lot of TV cooking segments. I've long admired her quick wit but did not expect this level of kitchen expertise. Typically, these type of chat show segments feature the hapless cohost spilling things. Maybe it's because Regis used to be the one doing the food prep - he WAS all thumbs. Apparently Joy Behar, who is no longer on The View, is also a good home cook.

                                1. Rachael Ray waaaay back when, I liked. The more I watched and learned about her, and the more fake her mannerism got, I am now at the point I cannot stand to have her on the TV.
                                  Guy Fieri I was prepared to hate at first sight. Like another poster here, I saw some interviews where he was just being himself, a normal guy who has to work out a lot to try to keep his weight down and struggles with keeping his family first. I hate some of his shows, but I enjoy him on DDD.
                                  Kerry Vincent. She seemed so mean on the FN shows. I met her in person and had a good discussion with her, and found out how much she gives back to the community. Love her!
                                  Alex Guernacelli (sp?) Hated her on the early Choppeds. Then she started letting her hair down on the iron chef competitions. Now she's a favorite, too.
                                  Anne Burrell, loved her from the start. Started cooking her recipes and really loved her. I admit, I'm hating the way she is going with some of her new shows. Just seems too mean and too critical. I hope she gets back to her roots.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                    Rachel Ray is almost as intolerable to me as Guy Fieri, but you piqued my curiosity. I agree that she is a total take, but what was it that you learned about her that added to your distain?

                                    And I have always like Alex G and Ann B. Both occur for me as very skilled and really pretty down to earth.

                                    1. re: Firegoat

                                      I agree with you on all counts. Although i loved her as Batali's sous chef on Iron Chef America, I hate her show. Haven't watched her as much on the cooking contest shows.
                                      Love him or not, I really think that Fieri is the only, and I mean ONLY contestant that i've EVER seen on "The Next Food Network Star" that had any star quality whatsoever.

                                    2. Alton Brown, can't stand his deliberation. Every other word is ah. One night I counted 25 AH'S on Iron Chef in a very short segment I had to change the channel. I don't find him at all funny on his Good Eats show. It's annoying, just cook and stop the nonsense!
                                      However, I enjoy him on his Podcast on Sticher Radio. Even though he still AH'S constantly I enjoy his interviews and find the discussions interesting.

                                      1. I like Mo too.

                                        I didn't like Bobby Flay for a bit, but do now. Kelsie and her essentials have grown on me too.

                                        16 Replies
                                        1. re: Shrinkrap

                                          I definitely went through the "bobby flay UGH" phase, but I'm finding him much less annoying. I love the brunch show he does on the Cooking Channel and he was great during the Thanksgiving Live program. I think he's really loosened up over the years and become less of an egotistical douche

                                          1. re: coney with everything

                                            I agree, I really enjoy Bobby Flay now.
                                            The only show I have a problem with is his Throwdown Show. It seems like such a dirty trick for the Food Network to put people on TV to cook their dish that's so highly regarded, only to have Bobby show up just to take them down and make a better version.

                                            1. re: Annief123

                                              From what I've seen, Bobby doesn't win these throwdowns very often. They're more entertainment than anything.

                                              1. re: lscanlon

                                                are they making new episodes of Throwdown?

                                                1. re: coney with everything

                                                  No, it's out of production - but Flay has some new 'come and get a piece of me' show airing soon on one of the channels.

                                                  1. re: nikkihwood

                                                    There was one show where two chefs competed and the winner got to cook against Flay (in this case Sarah Grueneberg from Top Chef). I only saw the one episode a few months back, completely by accident and with no advertising that I can recall.

                                                    Here it is: Beat Bobby Flay: http://www.foodnetwork.com/beat-bobby...

                                                    1. re: ennuisans

                                                      I wish I saw that show.
                                                      I alway wonder is Bobby Flay really that good? Most of his food seems to have the same flavor profile; smoky, highly seasoned and spicy.

                                                      1. re: Annief123

                                                        If he isn't that good he's fooled a lot of judges.

                                                      2. re: ennuisans

                                                        That's the one - I read somewhere that a season of it begins in March. Gracias!

                                                2. re: Annief123

                                                  Bobby Flay loses about 90% of the time to the local specialist. I think that this is done on purpose. Usually, it is pretty clear that the crowd trying out the competing dishes is familiar with the local specialist cook's dish and can easily identify it. I think that this information is then "telegraphed" to the judges, based on the crowd's reaction to comments on the competing dishes by the judges.

                                                  I respect Mr. Flay for his good sportsmanship and willingness to lose repeatedly. Clearly, in creating the show, the producers decided early on that having Chef Flay win much of the time would be a turn-off to the audience. Clearly, having the "Pro from Dover" come in and beat out the amateurs would be boring and overkill. Does anyone doubt that in a blind tasting competition that Chef Flay would win a lot more of these contests?

                                                  1. re: gfr1111

                                                    I think that in some cases the amateurs would come out ahead of Flay. The dish they make is their specialty and sometimes I think Bobby and his helpers make something simple and already delicious a little too "busy", especially when he throws in his signature smoke and some type of pepper.

                                                    1. re: Annief123

                                                      I agree Bobby always adds a twist, so the local judges can usually tell immediately which dish is the "traditional" version.

                                                      According to the "Inside FN" book that has been referenced here before, Bobby actually came up with the concept himself, so I think he is the producer. Will have to pay attention to the credits next time I see an episode. The FN execs asked him to create a competition show, he developed the format. That book made Bobby seem like a pretty easy-going guy who could just roll with whatever FN changes came along, which is probably why he has been around for as long as he has.

                                                3. re: coney with everything

                                                  In this particular case I want to attribute BF's new found down to earth demeanor to his current wife. What a makeover she gave him!

                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    Yeah, if nothing else, he dresses a WHOLE lt better than he used to, for starters.

                                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                                      It's not only a wardrobe change. He's fit. Clothes fit him better now. Again, his wife is responsible for the healthy lifestyle, fit BF.

                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                        Well then he needs to be thanking her every day! Used to be I couldn't stand the jerk. Now I actually like him! Kind of like Martha Stewart, they both lightened up and started laughing at themselves and showing more of their sense of humor.

                                                4. Yes- Mo Rocca. I went from finding him annoying as all get-out to adoring him.