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Old 12-06-2006, 09:30 PM   #1
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TV Food Chef Products

****DISCLAIMER: This thread is NOT a bash, nor do I wish it to become one!!!!!!****

I was just wondering what you all think about all the "products" TV chefs are currently producing &/or are promoting/associating themselves with. It seems like once Paul Newman (ok, granted, not a "tv chef") got his feet wet, everyone else followed.

For instance, all of a sudden Rachel Ray has now apparently joined hands with Kraft. Her face & recipes now appear on Triscuit boxes et al, & she's touting both Triscuit & Ritz crackers in tv commercials. Emeril is now doing toothpaste commercials.

I also nearly fell over when, perusing my supermarket's frozen food aisle, I came across bags of "Emeril's" frozen shrimp. Nothing special - just plain frozen shrimp. But with Emeril's name emblazoned across the bag. And, of course, Emeril has his "essence" & other sauces available at uber-prices as well.

Personally, I can't help but wonder - when is enough enough? I mean - both Rachel Ray & Emeril have tons of money-making shows on their plates. Why start in on products that aren't something that they'd normally be using or promoting except for the money. Rachel Ray has NEVER used any of the crackers on her shows or in her cookbooks that she's now heavily promoting commercially.

And does Emeril really NEED to be doing toothpaste commercials?

Anyone else have feelings about this one way or the other? Frankly, it really has the opposite effect it's supposed to have as far as I'm concerned. I'd rather not buy the products these folks are touting. I find it too greedy & obnoxious.


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Old 12-06-2006, 10:21 PM   #2
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It's all about the money and the fame and stroking the egol. TV chefs become popular and do their best to capitalize on that fame as it is often short-lived.

I don't know that RR improves the taste of a Nabisco Ritz cracker. I have seen the Emeril shrimp and noticed the promote the fact that it's a product of the USA. Some of Emeril's food products have actually received favorable reviews from unbiased sources.

I don't begrudge them their taking advantage of the opportunity to make money.

I bought some Paul Newman's cereal at Costco today.

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Old 12-06-2006, 11:02 PM   #3
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+1, I agree with Andy.

I have, and do, doubt alot of the credibility of these tv chefs, but money talks and well....we know what walks..............................

I only wish I had a product to endorse besides malt liquor and whiskey...

Bottom line is, if you are in the spotlight and now that being a "chef" is "cool", I guess that the offers will pour in. It is ultimately up to the "Chef" to make the call....that call will directly effect the opinion of those that do know the industry though, but then again, that is just my opinion.
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Old 12-06-2006, 11:30 PM   #4
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Emeril, Rachael, Paula Deen (silly breakfast toaster/thingy), whomever. I'm one of those strange people who are not influenced by advertising. If I were interviewed by someone on television about the ads I watch, I would have to excuse myself from the interview. I just don't watch the ads. I have never been interested in which person is selling what product. I'm pretty much a "meat and potatoes" kind of consumer. I read labels, research products and purchase things based on my needs/desires, etc.

For heaven's sake, I still have my blender from 1968 and my crockpot from the early '70s. Plus, I USE them. And they perform just like new.

And, yes, I have to agree that money talks. It just doesn't talk my language.
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Old 12-07-2006, 12:13 AM   #5
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I love watching the food shows, and I HAVE learned a thing or two from these chefs. I don't blame them for wanting to have an income. All I ask is that if you're going to endorse something, at least research it first, and if YOU would use and use it frequently, then go ahead and endorse.

As someone else said, Rachael doesn't even use the crackers on her show.

Emeril DOES use his essence products, but a plain bag of shrimp, give me a break.

When I start seeing these products come out, I start to lose respect for the chef's that endorse these products.
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Old 12-07-2006, 01:46 AM   #6
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It's a two way street: Emerill, RR, or whomever it may be gets paid, and the company hopefully gets an increase in sales and/or better name recognition. It's pretty obvious that any Marketing/PR department with ANY semblance of intelligence will use a personality that brings as much name recognition as the company can afford.

Although I dislike Rachel Ray as a cook (she ain't no chef), I did purchase her 3-piece Furi Knife set which had a portion of the proceeds go to S.O.S. for home use.
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:27 AM   #7
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I don't think enough is ever enough.....but I can slow it down. I never buy signature products. I didn't buy Jordache jeans and I won't buy Emeril's shrimp. (by the way, I read a review in the Philly Inquirer about those shrimp, and they didn't fare well at all)

The good thing about the food network is that it/they give people the confidence to try new food and cook a new way. Nothing wrong with that, at all. But raising their television personalities to demi-god status is unethical, I believe. People are like sponges and will absorb everything they see. Playing into their wallets just isn't right.

My own, personal cooking gods were Julia and Graham. I don't ever recall seeing them hawk anything. Talent, charm, and good taste.
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:29 AM   #8
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Seems to me to be very cyclical (sp?) - early on Sarah Moulton was the apple of everyone's eye at Food Network, altho she did not get into hawking products - course she had her other job at Gourmet.

Then she was phased out and replaced by Emeril, followed by Rachel and to an extent Paula. Personally, I think they are just making hay while the sun shines and before the sun shines on the next 'stars' - more power to them, but they certainly don't influence my buying habits.
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:19 AM   #9
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Vera - I totally agree with you about Julia & Graham. They were both so very popular, & STILL are today, yet neither one (as far as I know) ever felt the need to hawk or endorse anything. It was always just about the cooking. Same with Sara Moulton. I loved her show on Food Network. But, I guess she wouldn't "play the game".

As far as Paul Newman goes, at least all his profits go to charity, so one can't really find fault with that. He's just having fun. But when I go thru the market & see Emeril's sauces at twice the price of other unendorsed brands, it gives me a shiver. And they must sell, because the markets around here have been carrying them for quite some time - something they don't do with other things that haven't "caught on".

What did actually trigger this thread for me was seeing the Rachel Ray commercials for both Triscuits & Ritz crackers on tv. Since I've never EVER seen her use either one on her cooking show or mention them in her cookbooks, it just seems both wrong & greedy. Again, not a bash against her - while I don't care for her personality, I do have a couple of her books & do enjoy her show when she's making something interesting. I just can't figure out why/how she thinks endorsing something she probably never even eats is a "good thing" (to quote a another cooking diva - LOL!!!).

Same with Emeril & "his" frozen shrimp. Really now. In this day & age, markets are now required to tell you where the shrimp came from & whether it was farmed or harvested wild. I really can't beleive that Emeril's frozen shrimp is any different than the shrimp I buy at the seafood counter - except, of course, for the exhorbitant price.
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Old 12-07-2006, 10:01 AM   #10
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I agree with your sentiments. I do know that in one case, the frozen shrimp, US grown shrimp is losing market share to farmed shrimp from Asia. I believe Emeril's push for US shrimp is motivated by his desire to help rebuild the Louisiana economy while making money. Then again, maybe I'm being naive.

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