What chef(s) do you watch on TV?

Posted by in The Coffee Shop

Do you watch cooking on TV? Who is your favorite TV chef personality? Let’s discuss our favorites and not-so-favorites! Hello everyone! What/Who are your favorite TV cooking programs/personalities? I confess I only watch Food Network (it’s the default channel in my home) but I have heard about some wonderful-sounding shows on PBS and other stations. So any comments or suggestions about those are certainly welcome.

I watch practically everything on Food Network, but my favorites are Giada De Laurentiis, Tyler Florence, Michael Chiarello, Paula Deen, Rachael Ray and Sara Moulton (sorry to see her go!). I also enjoy watching Iron Chef America and the Cooking Challenge shows. I don’t particularly care for Bobby Flay; his cuisine doesn’t appeal to me, and he seems arrogant.

Now, my rant: I do not understand the presence of Sandra Lee in the fray of talented chefs on this network. In an attempt to justify her “semi-homemade” moniker, she uses canned, store-prepared or packaged foods to excess in every show. While I understand that shortcuts here and there are necessary for today’s busy cook, the excessive use of these purchased ingredients creates items that sound unappetizing, not to mention unhealthy. Many of her prepackaged “shortcuts” make no sense – for example, she tells the viewers to use canned pears, puree, then simmer them for an hour and a half to make pear butter. Why bother? She has implored us to buy expensive precooked baby back ribs to make “pulled pork,” and to cook and chop up a perfectly good apple pie for a pastry filling. Still other “recipes” ignore good judgment in trying to replicate popular dishes. A mole sauce is attempted to be made using jarred spaghetti sauce, red wine, canned beef broth, semi-sweet chocolate, and pumpkin pie spice. This frightful concoction is then supposed to be poured over perfectly good ribeye steaks. In another episode, she tries to make chicken and dumplings, using a store bought chicken, canned chicken broth, canned chicken gravy, canned biscuits and pre-cut vegetables. Goodness. Is this what her grandmother (whom she acknowledges at the beginning of each show) taught her?

Clearly, there is a “train-wreck” quality to this program. But is this what Food Network wants? Why place it in amongst the other well-done, talent-driven shows on their roster?

So, what do you all think? Agree or disagree, like or dislike, please post your thoughts and opinions. Thanks!