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Cooking 80/20 with Robin Shea

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A new contender for the worst cooking show on PBS Create debuted today. I had high hopes, which were rapidly and irretrievably crushed in the first couple of minutes, when the recipe for Spinach burgers flashed on the screen, including "Penco crumbs". The dessert recipe called for "coca powder". Yes, folks, spelling DOES count. In TV programming, it's a darn good indicator of overall reliability and competence. The pieces of the puzzle clicked together when the credits rolled and I noticed that Joseph Ciminera ("Taste This" - he always sounded like he was exclaiming "tasteless"...agreed) is the co-producer.

This cookie then goes on to explain her approach of "clean and healthy" eating 80% of the time, and 20% Southern cooking indulgence. When she talks about "meatless" recipes, she excludes egg yolk and milk but allows whites, and cheese. When prepping onions and bell pepper, her choice of knife, her grip, and her motion are all poor. Apparently she had a previous show, not on PBS, called "Southern-fried Fitness".

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  1. I agree, greygarious. I saw yesterday's episode, which focused on boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I know, I know). Poor production values, grating music, unappetizing food - and I'm convinced that big kitchen you see behind her is actually a green screen. I visited Shea's website, and it's slick, modern and professional - this show looks the complete opposite.

    And I never understood how "Taste This" - which looks like it's straight out of public access - ended up on PBS/Create, though Ciminera at least is a legitimate chef (and you'd think he'd have given Shea some cooking pointers).

    1. "when the recipe for Spinach burgers flashed on the screen, including "Penco crumbs". The dessert recipe called for "coca powder". "


      1. One episode is all it took to know that this show is not for me or, IMO, other experienced home cooks. I will not watch again. When I dine out, I choose restaurants that do a better job preparing the items on their menus than I would be able to. My criterion is that TV cooks should have better skills and turn out more appealing food than I, or other competent home cooks, have and do on a daily basis.

        1 Reply
        1. re: greygarious

          Boy, am I ever with you! I recorded it last night and *tried* to watch this morning. It's excruciatingly slow, what I saw was unappealing, and I gave up after only a few minutes.

        2. Mind of a Chef just makes everything else look bad.

          1. That dessert must have had quite a kick to it!

            1. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thinks this is quite possibly the worst cooking show on TV. I watched one excruciating episode in which she described a fritAYta as "an egg dish with a potato crust" (!) and recommended substituting the usual cream cheese (!) in the recipe with silky tofu. The finished dishes--all of then--looked so unappetizing. How is this on Create?

              1. I stumbled upon her Southern-Fried Fitness show, running on the ION-TV network. It is way worse than her PBS show, hard to fathom as that concept may be! She was making Crepes Suzette; Julia Child must be cartwheeling in her grave.There are portions of SFF on Youtube, featuring a variety of hairstyles and degrees of makeup, but it's all still her.