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Old 07-19-2007, 08:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JulieS
I am looking for some good cooking shows, and instead of wasting my time watching several different ones I thought I would ask the people who know best. So what are your favorite shows and what’s so good about them? (please no Emeril, I know he is great but I am not a big fan) Thanks for your help!
JulieS, my first advice would be to steer clear of shows that seem to be driven by market research. Sometimes you can identify market researchers by folks whose first post in a forum is, hard to describe exactly, but sort of seeking general input regarding a general product like salsa, ice cream or TV shows.

I don't disagree with any of the earlier posts. It's impossible to seriously answer your question, because you've told us nothing about yourself. For the benefit of novices reading this thread, I would suggest a two pronged approach.

Step one:
You need at least one source of comprehensive general information. Books like Joy of Cooking or How to Cook Everything will work. I haven't seen a TV show that provides an adequate alternative. You might be able to collect a list of URL's that could be used but in my humble opinion a good book is, in the long run, cheaper and more useful.

Step two:
Secondly and optionally, focus on regional cuisines one at a time. Adding only one regional cuisine makes manageable the number of herbs and spices that are added to your palate, menu, and shopping list. You can get this information from friends, neighbors or kinfolk. There are also huge companies providing information via the TV and Internet. My advice for the novice is to avoid the sites, chefs, etc. that have the longest list of ingredients for every recipe. In my humble opinion these chefs and sites aren't looking to help increase your skill, so much as to broaden their base of copyrighted recipes.

I hope this post helped somebody without offending anybody.

"'Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." - Michael Pollan

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Old 07-22-2007, 05:00 PM   #12
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My favorites:

1.) Good Eats. I like it because it addresses the "why" and "how", and because his recipes are darn tasty.

2.) "Top Chef". I enjoy this because the best of the bunch are often about as good as they get, and it's fun to see them try new stuff and push their own capabilities against the clock and with strange ingredients.

3.) Iron Chef. Same reason as above generally, I like the innovation.

4.) Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Not technically a cooking show, but I'm a sucker for any sort of roadside food show. I would put "Feasting on Asphalt" at the top of my list, although it's technically more of a miniseries than a show.

5.) Paula's Home Cookin'. Easy, practical recipes that would be simple enough to do every day if they weren't so fattening that you'd die just looking at them. Regardless, some very delicious food made on this show.

6.) Any Julia Child episode, obviously no longer in production, but she was the Queen.

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Old 07-23-2007, 09:55 AM   #13
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Not sure what channels you get. I was living in Europe until recently and we now get German, French and British channels on our satellite. I have a German show I like, but that won't do you any good, probably. If you receive the program on your TV, I second Ready, Steady, Cook. I also like Naked Chef and Daily Cooks, two more British shows. On Discovery Health, Nathan Lion (I'm pretty sure he was a Food Network Star contestant) has A Lion in the Kitchen, which is really great because he talks a lot about buying fresh, local ingredients. On PBS, Everyday Food is a good show that is all about the food. I don't really like the Food Network, as it seems to be more about the people than the food. Basically, you're probably going to have to waste some time finding what you like and don't like.
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:03 AM   #14
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Good Eats. You'll learn techniques and fundamentals, not just recipes. You'll learn WHY the food comes out like it does.

Emeril *spit* and Rachael Ray *spit spit* are just recipe book and merchandise marketing machines.

And I can't say in polite company what I think of Bobby Flay.

There's something to be said for the old "The Frugal Gourmet", and Jamie Oliver isn't bad either.

I can't watch Paula Dean long enough to have an opinion on the value of her show.
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by JulieS
I am looking for some good cooking shows, and instead of wasting my time watching several different ones I thought I would ask the people who know best. So what are your favorite shows and what’s so good about them? (please no Emeril, I know he is great but I am not a big fan) Thanks for your help!
This depends on what you are looking for in a "cooking show." Do you want, information, instruction, or entertainment value?

Emeril, and most of the other celebrity chefs on Food Network, are mostly there for the entertainment value, and that is exactly the audience that Food TV is looking for.

PBS, on the other hand, has some great informational (i.e. America's Test Kitchen, Mexico; One Plate at a Time), and instructional (i.e. Simply Ming, Lidia's Italy) programming that will provide you with the latest in products and services, demonstrate cooking techniques and traditions, and teach you meal preparation. An added feature of the PBS programs is you can order the host's latest cookbook, which usually contains all the recipesfor the current series, and a DVD of all the shows, so you can follow along with the chef.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:18 AM   #16
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My favorite is Barefoot Contessa. I also LOVE Alton Brown, Giada and Tyler Florence!!! I can't stand Rachael Ray, none of her recipes appeal to me.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:26 AM   #17
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JulieS - as you can see, you have opened up a virtual can of worms, which could have been your intention. It's impossible for us to tell YOU what to watch based on OUR personal likes and dislikes. Most people here are stating an opinion about the "person" versus their recipes so it's really not fair to read too much into anything. You need to form your own opinions.

Just don't be so close-minded when you watch some of these shows. Even if the person bugs you I guarantee that there will be at least one thing you can take away from watching, that you didn't know before.

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:45 PM   #18
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I have to agree with Kitchenelf. While I can't stand Rachel Ray's on-screen persona, I do have one of her cookbooks & have enjoyed many of her recipes.

Watching cooking shows on tv is definitely a pick-&-choose sort of thing.
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Old 07-29-2007, 12:17 AM   #19
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All of food Net work is good for general ideas I like the Fine Living in the AM
for some really good ideas, There are thousands of books but the one I keep going to is Joy of Cooking the new adition is been up dated for modern cooking, For intertaining I would get the New ""Silver Pallet cook book "" it is great with a lot of good side bars info..
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:21 AM   #20
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Red face cooking shows

I've been watching cooking shows for years and am a very good cook ( so I'm told) and have been cooking for 50 years. New Orleans born, and now in California. I tried them all, and here are my likes and dislikes.

Semi Homemade - easy, uses part home and part store and very nice to listen to.
Easy Italian with Giada for down home Italian with no snob appeal
Quick Fix meals /Robin Miller - really good ideas on fixing things - down to earth host
Healthy Appetite w/ Ellie Krieger - same thing and delicious light but not fanatical meals
Tyler's Ultimate - for extremely good food but a little more fancy

These shows are down to earth hosts, fairly basic cooking ideas for a moderate cook, and great ideas.

I can't listen to Emeril say " what we're gonna do" a million times and all the hype. I want my shows to be simple, give me the recipes with a little down to earth explanations, which the above do.

30 Min. meals is a good show - if you can stand Rachel's high pitched, loud nasal voice. Sorry, that sounds very nasty, but my ears can't take her voice:-)..

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