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Old 01-18-2009, 09:20 PM   #61
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Although I learn from everyone I watch, I honestly think I have learned more from Mario than anyone else.
Ina Garten has helped me tremendously with knife skills, though.
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:32 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Peterpack View Post
guys you won't be talking or partying with whoever you choose ! lol

they will do the cooking for you only, let's say you don't even get to meet your chosen celebrity chef, they just cook the meal for you behind closed doors.

that's why i wanted to try separate personalities, looks etc.

really enjoying reading the replies people, thanks heaps. I have really got into cooking shows in a bit way the last few months :) so i'm trying to suss out their real credentials.
Peter,

I don't know about anyone else, but the chefs I mentioned taught me things that have made my cooking so much better. I can turn out a decent meal without what I learned from them. But, I have turned out some dishes that were "memorable" applying techniques that I learned from them. I am very critical of my food, but I have managed to amaze myself on a few occasions.

Any one of them could cook for me. But, you said tv chefs.

If I knew when I was having my last meal, it would be Patrick O'Connell, from the Inn at Little Washington, who has chosen to run one establishment, and do it extremely well. He is also self taught.


The Inn was the first establishment in the Mobil Travel Guide's history ever to receive 5 stars for its restaurant and 5 stars for its accommodation.

The Inn was the first establishment ever to receive AAA’s highest accolade, the 5 Diamond Award, for both food and accommodation.

The Inn at Little Washington, and Chef Patrick O’Connell, has received 5 James Beard Awards including: Best Service, Best Wine List, Restaurant of the Year, Best Chef in the Mid–Atlantic and Chef of the Year.

The Inn has been rated one of the Top 10 Best Restaurants in the World by The International Herald Tribune.

The Inn at Little Washington dining room is rated number 1 in America by the Zagat U.S. Hotel Survey. The Inn has been rated number one in all categories (food, dècor and service) of Zagat's Washington D.C. restaurant survey for the past 14 years.

The Inn’s dining room has been rated #1 in North America, and #2 in the World, by Travel + Leisure Magazine’s ‘World’s Best Awards’.

The Inn has been awarded Wine Spectator magazine’s “Grand Award” for its wine list every year since 1995.

The Inn at Little Washington is a member of Relais and Controix and their restaurant group Relais Gourmand. Chef Patrick O’Connell is the president of the North Atlantic Relais Gourmand and serves on the International Board of Directors.

Robert Mondavi awarded Patrick O’Connell the Mondavi Award for Culinary Excellence and labeled him “the Pope of American Cuisine”.

The Inn received Cigar Aficiando's “Grand Cru” award for its wine list.

The Inn received the “Readers Top Table” award in Gourmet's Restaurant Issue.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:24 PM   #63
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I think my biggest problem with this thread is that very few of the people mentioned here are "chefs". "Cooks", yes; chefs no. Is Sandra Lee a "chef"? No. Is Rachel Ray a "chef"? No. Are either one of "The Neelys" chefs? No. Is Guy Fieri a "chef"? No. Ad infinitum.

I find it so unfortunate - & this isn't snobbery in any way - that The Food Network has done so very much to dumb down professional cooking. I barely watch the channel anymore - it's way too sad. No wonder so many of the REAL chefs like Bourdain & Batali left Food Network asap.
The Food Network is not in business to play up or dumb down the profession...they exist to entertain the masses. It's all about ratings. The average viewer doesn't want to be a professional chef, they just want to be a better cook for their family and friends. Like college, culinary school is not for everyone. When I get a good meal in a restaurant I don't ask what culinary school the maker of my meal went to, nor do I decide where to eat based on that criteria either. I respect both paths that people choose.

BTW, Batali has 230 episodes on Foodnetwork. Has he left recently? I don't watch Bourdain...think he tries too hard to be a rebel.

41 years ago I learned to debone a chicken and to debone pork butts for sausage from Armand Calabrese while I worked in his meat market when I was 17, and I how to fillet a fish from my father when I was 12. Neither went to college or culinary school, but somehow managed to be revered and respected for their individual talents. They both had teachers who never appeared on TV, and I don't think they felt shortchanged because of it.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:41 PM   #64
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I think my biggest problem with this thread is that very few of the people mentioned here are "chefs". "Cooks", yes; chefs no. Is Sandra Lee a "chef"? No. Is Rachel Ray a "chef"? No. Are either one of "The Neelys" chefs? No. Is Guy Fieri a "chef"? No. Ad infinitum.

I find it so unfortunate - & this isn't snobbery in any way - that The Food Network has done so very much to dumb down professional cooking. I barely watch the channel anymore - it's way too sad. No wonder so many of the REAL chefs like Bourdain & Batali left Food Network asap.

and by the way, Guy Fieri is a chef, He owns restaurants and owned them before the next food network star. And no longer is the food network just straight cooking terms and boring stuff. I love that boring stuff, but that's why I read the text books from different culinary schools. most people, like they said, are not on there to become a professional chef. I enjoy watching Alton and Rachel and Guy, because they inspire people to just cook, they arent intimidating and they make recipes that everyone can create. I think food is about creating memories and great times with the people you care about. And knowing how to cook properly is important also, so maybe there is a loss in that aspect, but you are gaining a lot also.
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:16 AM   #65
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Laura Calder has my vote. (French food at home) - I'm sure everything she makes tastes really good.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:15 AM   #66
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Thank you Lisa Mac for getting this topic back on track.

People, we have strayed a bit off topic here. Lets leave the conversations about what the Food Network is doing right and wrong at the door and stick to the topic at hand.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:45 AM   #67
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My choice is Jacques Pepin.

Ditto.

Pepin or Batali. Both know the meaning of fresh ingredients and use their recipes to bring out those flavors. Not mask them with a bunch of other junk.

Edit: J. Oliver is great too.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:48 AM   #68
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Bobby Flay, Mario Batali or Michael Simon.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:51 AM   #69
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I agree with Jacques Pepin.
But what I thought was funny, is I had the pleasure to see him in action at a cooking show in September. He said that now, he goes to stop and shop, gets the pre cut vegetables, has the Butcher as stop and shop debone his meat .... He did everything from scratch during the demonstration. And there is nothing wrong with the precut stuff. I was just a little surprised to hear him say it.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:53 AM   #70
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That is very surprising Larry.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:54 AM   #71
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I agree with Jacques Pepin.
But what I thought was funny, is I had the pleasure to see him in action at a cooking show in September. He said that now, he goes to stop and shop, gets the pre cut vegetables, has the Butcher as stop and shop debone his meat .... He did everything from scratch during the demonstration. And there is nothing wrong with the precut stuff. I was just a little surprised to hear him say it.
I think he was just giving the listeners/audience an option to make cooking a bit easier for Newbies. Alot of those shows the host will say "Ask your butcher to do that."

I have his techniques cookbook, and believe me, he doesn't need anything prepared.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:55 AM   #72
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I agree with Jacques Pepin.
But what I thought was funny, is I had the pleasure to see him in action at a cooking show in September. He said that now, he goes to stop and shop, gets the pre cut vegetables, has the Butcher as stop and shop debone his meat .... He did everything from scratch during the demonstration. And there is nothing wrong with the precut stuff. I was just a little surprised to hear him say it.

I was watching an episode of his "...More Fast Food My Way" show and arthritis is evident in his hands. So day to day he gives himself a break. I guess the key is knowing which pre-cut foods are OK and which are not.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:09 AM   #73
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I was watching an episode of his "...More Fast Food My Way" show and arthritis is evident in his hands. So day to day he gives himself a break. I guess the key is knowing which pre-cut foods are OK and which are not.
Funny, Andy. That was my first thought because that's been my problem for a long while and I'm not a professional chef and prone to a lot of time in the kitchen. On my bad days, just holding a knife is painful.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:18 AM   #74
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Sure, by no means am I knocking the guy. I respect him %100. And the truth is, when I first saw him in person, I almost didnt recognize him, as he looked like a frail old man. Not what I was used to seeing on the PBS show. It just took me by surprise, because you always hear everyone preaching how you shouldnt use the precut stuff because its lazy and bla bla bla. Its nice to know that someone as experienced as JP cuts a few corners too. I learned more in that 1/2 hour watching him then I do a year of watching most of the others. And actually, in the past he has been one of the chefs who cooks a dinner at the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa in Connecticut. So, for all those who want to experience a dinner cooked by JP, keep your eyes open. Usually this event happens in the spring. Im not sure when they announce the chefs who will participate. If I wernt a vegetarian, id go. But I dont feel like paying a few hundred bucks to eat the sprig of parsley >
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:56 AM   #75
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Sure, by no means am I knocking the guy. I respect him %100...

Larry, I didn't take it as knocking him, I was just offering a possible explanation.

I have always been fascinated watching him because everything looks so easy and second nature when he does it. Also, he is explaining every step of the way. More of a teacher than a personality.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:59 AM   #76
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I miss seeing Julia Child and Jeff Smith. Justin Wilson knew how to cook Southern well.
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:07 PM   #77
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Larry, I didn't take it as knocking him, I was just offering a possible explanation.

I have always been fascinated watching him because everything looks so easy and second nature when he does it. Also, he is explaining every step of the way. More of a teacher than a personality.
I'm not knocking FN but,

That's why I like his show and a couple others on different channels so much. Because after I watch it, I felt like I learned something and wasn't just watching to try to figure out what I want for dinner. His knife skills are impeccable, he doesn't just show you how to make a recipe but why he is adding an ingredient.

Sometimes my local public channel WLIW shows his old cooking techniques shows. On those shows there is no recipe or dish, but he will show you how to prepare an artichoke and what you can use the parts for, or how to line a sheet pan properly, etc.

I wish there were more shows like that, with "real" Chefs.
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:14 PM   #78
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1st would be Paula dean good down home cooking then Tyler & The neelys
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:26 PM   #79
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I think he was just giving the listeners/audience an option to make cooking a bit easier for Newbies. Alot of those shows the host will say "Ask your butcher to do that."

I have his techniques cookbook, and believe me, he doesn't need anything prepared.
He surely doesn't NEED things prepared for him, but people's lives do change. He is really a fabulous chef.

I'd like to change my answer ... I would surely enjoy it if ANY OF THEM were to prepare a special meal for me!
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:38 PM   #80
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I'm so tired of the celebrity chefs whose only purpose seems to be cooking for the cameras and the entertainment value. Lagasse is one of them.
I have a new love in my life and his name is Hubert Keller,Secrets of a Chef. This guy is a true chef and his recipes are soooo mouth watering. He's on the PBS Create channel, not sure if he's on the FoodTV network. Check this guy out and just watch what he does.
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