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Old 10-12-2009, 11:10 PM   #1
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Disappointed in TV cooking

I know it is probably a sign of age, but my husband and I have for many, many years spent Saturday mornings watching TV cooking and travel shows. Mostly on PBS, but then on the food network. Lately, though, I can't say that I enjoy very many of them. So many are more personality- than food- driven. Lots of yelling (I blame Emeril for starting that). It just isn't that much fun any more. It seems that they're trying to compete with a football game or something. There are a few I still like, but I just don't enjoy most of them any more. Anyone else feel this way?

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Old 10-12-2009, 11:37 PM   #2
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I agree with you Claire. I used to watch the food network all the time, not the case anymore, but I still enjoy watching the shows on PBS specially my favorite Julia Child and Jacques Pepin.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:47 PM   #3
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I always find myself gravitating back to the PBS shows ( jacques, julia, lidia...) There are no sound affects, catch phrases, pushing personalized lines of cookware, knives or whatever .... Just cooking. Most have had 20, 30, 40 + years of cooking experience, tremendous amount of exposure to both cooking and the world. Sure, I have my few food network shows I like to watch and learn from. Even when I went to a food and wine show last year, Both Jacques Pepin and Guy Fieri were there. Guy's demonstration was standing room only because of the " celebrity " he is, and the amount of exposure he gets. And with Jaques, the room was maybe 1/3 filled. Guy was fun to watch, I cant take that away from him. But, he spent the entire 45 minutes show boating, egging on the audience and cooking one dish ( which he actually burned, but I appreciate when things go wrong to even the professionals, its more realistic). Jacques, cooked a 5 course meal in the same amount of time, entertaining and educating too. Equally as fun to watch, and left me amazed how he really has his SH#$ together. Once again, im not trying to take away anything from the food channel, Im just stressing my deep appreciation for the oldies, but goodies. I think if you are really interested in learning techniques, and how to cook, without having mainstream shoved down your throat, the PBS shows are a great place to find this. Most of the really old timers you can even find on youtube also.
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Old 10-13-2009, 05:35 AM   #4
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I disagree. Besides Emeril, I don't know what "yelling" you're talking about. Gordon Ramsey doesn't count because his aren't "cooking" shows.

Julia was/is as much of a "personality show" as any chef TV show today! People watched to see what, sometimes outrageous things Julia was going to do - not always just for her recipes. If that was all people wanted, then they only had to buy her book. No, we watched Julia and people like Wolfgang Puck, Graham Kerr and Martin Yan to see THEM as much for who they were as we do for what they were cooking.

And if you look at the production quality from then compared to today... well, today far exceeds those from yesteryear.

But, there are always going to be people who resist change. I know I do, but just not in this area. I like seeing new techniques and ingredients that are more common place today but were unheard of back then. I don't want to hang on to an, old, smoking Olds Delta 88. I want a new quiet and efficient electric car. It makes sense for today, just as these "new" cooking shows do. And some aren't so new anymore. Many have been around on TV for about 20 years.

I'm thankful that we have new shows coming along with new ideas and recipes, rather than watching continuous strings of reruns hashing over the same tiresome fare. I like Thai, Mexican and Japanese food, which was NEVER covered in any of those old shows. Many of us have grown up and welcomed the inclusion of the rest of the world into our kitchens.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selkie View Post

No, we watched Julia and people like Wolfgang Puck, Graham Kerr and Martin Yan to see THEM as much for who they were as we do for what they were cooking.

And if you look at the production quality from then compared to today... well, today far exceeds those from yesteryear.
My favorite cooking show (forgive me because I always forget the name) showed restaurant chefs preparing their dishes. the chef NEVER said a single word. It was narrated by someone off screen in a very deadpan subdued style. There was as little personality in it as is possible. As for production value, there was next to none as well. There were no sets or audiences or sound effects. They had soft background music playing, but it was so much in the background that you hardly noticed it. The reason for it was that there were times the chef was cooking that the narrator was not talking. Without the music there would be dead silence for 20 or 30 seconds. I was not watching those shows to see the chef. I was watching them to see food and cooking. Often times all you would see of the chef were his hands.

I loved that show so much because you saw real chefs cooking real food in real time with no fake production value. It was real life, not what the TV studio wanted to portray as reality.

FoodTV has it's place. It is great for people just getting into food and cooking. For most of us who are past that point it doesn't do much for us. PBS shows are better for many of us because they focus a little more on the food and cooking technique then all the cutsie stuff.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:03 AM   #6
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yes, GB, I know what you mean. The shows were European (maybe produced in Boston?), from what I can remember, and they were real chefs in real restaurant kitchens.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:06 AM   #7
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Yes Wyogal, most of the chefs were European I believe. The few times the chefs did talk (in the background) it was usually in French.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:11 AM   #8
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I also remember some that were German and/or Austrian
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:19 AM   #9
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Yes absolutely.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:28 AM   #10
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