At this point in my life, I would consider myself a cooking show watching aficionado. A strong desire to improve my own cooking, broaden my culinary horizons, and general interest in the scientific nature of food.. (turning liquids to solids.. yeast making things rise .. the maillard reaction..).. all of these things make me utterly fascinated with the majority of cooking shows, cookbooks, and taking classes.
There are some really good shows out there:
I really love the scientific aspects of this show. He is smart, and clearly does his research. His show typically has inventive explanations and examples. It is scientific without being boring, and entertaining without being devoid of real information. I love any man that can MacGyver a home smoker out of some charcoal and some clay pots.
Two Fat Ladies:
I still watch reruns of this show when I catch it. I can appreciate their totally unapologetic stance on cooking. It wasn’t always the prettiest to look at, but they always seasoned things appropriately.
This seems like a small thing, but any time I see someone sprinkle a pinch of salt on something and call it a day, it makes me wanna smack them until they taste it and season properly.
Tyler Florence Ultimate:
He makes interesting food that I actually want to eat. He picks a main dish, then fashions the best version of it that he can come up with, and plans appropriate side dishes. (PS – I can forgive you for your TGI Friday’s menu as long as you never do that again)
Home Cooking with Jaime Oliver:
He clearly cares about the quality of his food so much that he grows most of it himself. That is respectable. Plus, most of his dishes are simple and clean. No need to add 700 ingredients if the 5 you use are quality.
He makes homey food that normal people enjoy. There’s something about his whole mid-west, jovial personality that makes me want to watch him cook stuff. It’s probably not very healthy but I’m sure most of what he makes is really tasty!
Secrets of a Restaurant Chef:
She’s a little strange but it’s clear that she takes her craft seriously. She always picks pretty classic dishes, but does something interesting to them to make it her own.
There are some really terrible shows too:
Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee:
For fuck’s sake lady, whole grapes and jelly from a jar heated in a pan don’t make a sauce for roast chicken.. Or maybe they do.. but it’s not a good one. Buying precut veggies from the store is so lazy. Take 10 minutes and chop it. It will save like 20 bucks off your grocery bill and they’ll taste better.
Paula’s Home Cooking:
I love butter.. but I think she *LOVES* butter.. like in a slightly sexual way. And the way she flirts with young guys who come on her show makes me wanna hurl. Gramma. Keep it in your pants!
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Robin Miller’s Quick Fix Meals:
Sure you can make 5 meals in a day, but who cares because they’re all kind of boring?!
Throwdown with Bobby Flay:
I get that this is not a cooking show, but seriously… what kind of classically trained asshole chef challenges someone who is not a trained chef to a showdown. Let these nice people with their signature dishes have their glory. Besides, don’t you have like 327846 other shows to do?
30 Minute Meals:
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Ah, Rachael Ray, I saved you for last because.. seriously, knocking on Rachael Ray is kind of trite at this point.. She has anti-rr fan clubs that are devoted to tearing apart her recipes, her lack of cooking technique, etc. I really think that they sum it up much better than I can. I leave you with a few thoughts on Ms. Ray:
- Stop with the cross-marketing. My Mom has your pots and pans and says that they peeled. Stop selling shitty, inferior products.
- Stop with the green pepper. Forever. Thanks.
- When you burn something, don’t try and say you carmelized it… Well.. I guess if you burn something, you’re carmelizing it super extra a lot.. Very well. You may have this one.