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Old 10-12-2009, 10:10 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, 10:37 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, 10:47 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, 04:35 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, 07:57 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, 08:03 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, 08:06 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, 08:11 AM   #8
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I also remember some that were German and/or Austrian
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:19 AM   #9
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Yes absolutely.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:28 AM   #10
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:32 AM   #11
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That's the one. Thanks Wyogal!
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:33 AM   #12
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I need a job "googling," I seem to do that well...
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:45 AM   #13
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:24 AM   #14
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"The Food Network" lost me as a frequent viewer as soon as they switched their format to showman/woman personalities, stupid contests, & reality shows, & away from actual cooking. These days, the only show I tune in regularly is Alton Brown's "Good Eats". I find him amusing, & also enjoy the way he can explain the science behind cooking without sounding pedantic. Even kids can learn something from his shows, sometimes without even realizing it - lol! The rest of them can go climb a rope.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:31 AM   #15
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I'm not as far along or into cooking as much, as you
guys, probably...I still find them informative but I'm
not a regular veiwer of cooking programs to begin
with...got many more irons in the fire...they do tend
to mess-up alot of pots & pans...I'd have to have to
clean-up behind'em........................................B H51
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:27 AM   #16
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I've pretty much stopped watching Food Network except for some actual cooking shows.

I have no time for the challenges and "Dancing with the Stars/Survivor" type shows. They are all so fake and drawn out it's ridiculous.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:01 AM   #17
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I find I watch them less for the actual recipes and more for the ideas. That is one of the things I still love about the original Iron Chef. I watched the combination of ingredients and got ideas from "tasting" the combos.

Most recently, Chen Kenichi was making a pork shoulder with prunes and crushed pineapple as the base and glaze. I was totally blown away by the mental taste I got of pork and prunes.
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:19 PM   #18
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Just to clear up what I originally said, I do appreciate the food networks ability to introduce new ideas, cuisines, ingredients. Because of their big budgets, wide spread popularity and 24/7 availability, I am able to see so many things. But for me personally, the pbs shows just seem to sit better with me. Im not sure Id consider myself someone who doesnt like change, as Im always looking for something new to try. But in my opinion, I just dont like the catchy phrases, and cult like followings. I dont like feeling like I should like someone just because they are popular, bring in good ratings, or their face pops up everywhere you look, as if they are trying to force-feed you their informative crap. That said, I feel you can learn something from anyone or any situation, and I prefer to watch a cooking show, than some of the stupid sitcoms that are just copying the old classic sitcoms, just with new characters.

But what I find kinda funny ( especially when watching 'the next food network star' or whatever it is called), is that in one breath, they tell these people to be themselves and portray their own style and philosophy about cooking, yet when they do this, they get criticized for being boring, not taking risks .... And when they do take the risks, or try to reach out of their comfort zone, they get eliminated off, or reprimanded by the judges for not sticking to their true selves. The hippocracy drives me crazy. Every episode shows this, and I feel like slapping the judges every time I see it.

Id also love to see some of those nasty , mr/mrs know it all judges try some of these challenges themselves, and see how well they do.

Wow, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, I guess I should get back to work

Have a nice day everyone, I guess i just needed to vent,

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Old 10-13-2009, 12:27 PM   #19
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My whole point about my last rant, was that the network executives obviously have this image of people they want in their network, and it appears as if they are trying to mold these people into these images, instead of some of the older chefs from pbs shows, that kinda let them be who they are. So we were able to appreciate who they are, not who someone wants them to be.

(I understand it is a business, and that is their job to have people who can bring in viewers, so I dont blame that at all from a business point of view).

Now Ill go :)

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Old 10-13-2009, 12:29 PM   #20
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And one more thing ....

Joke,

I think ive exhausted myself on this topic.
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