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Old 07-19-2007, 03:19 PM   #1
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Cooking show suggestions?

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!

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Old 07-19-2007, 03:30 PM   #2
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Welcome to DC Julie, I usually watch what interest me. I am a everyday home style cook. I get ideas from Paula, Giada, Bobby Flay and RR. all depends on what type of meals you enjoy. Nothing fancy here ! Barb L.
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
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!
You're going to get different answers based on what the particular person likes, and their cooking skill/knowledge. You should use that for yourself to decide which shows you do or don't want to watch.
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:55 PM   #4
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Emeril....you MUST watch Emeril! You must!

LOL!

Just kidding. As BarbL said, it depends on what you want.

For a competitive, think on your feet, fast bit of exotic cooking, try Iron Chef, and Iron Chef America. The things they do in a pinch can really help you to think on your feet.

To understand WHY food does what it does and why you should cook it a certain way, try Good Eats with Alton Brown. He takes a Physics/Chemistry teacher’s approach and explains, often at the molecular level, how a recipe works. I know that sounds dry, but Alton is a real clown and a cut-up......maybe that’s why he cuts up so much? It’s a fun show.

For fast throw together meals that taste great, look at 30 minute Meals with Rachel Ray.

For BBQ tips, try Boy Meets Grill with Bobby Flay. To see BBQ all over the nation and how other “regular folks” are cooking it watch BBQ with Bobby Flay.

To see how some popular items such as candy, beverages, french fries, etc are made, watch Unwrapped. I’m not really a big fan of that show (it’s a bit dry, and a lot of the stuff they showcase doesn’t interest me), but last night, I saw how they make Crab Delights (imitation crab) and I LOVE Crab Delights, so it was a fun show for me.

For some god ole home cooking with a southern flare, check out Paula Dean’s Home Cooking.

For something a bit “uppity” and fancy, check out Barefoot Contessa.

For an Italian flare, try Everyday Italian with Giada De Laurentiis.

There is a thread talking about everyone’s favorite shows here.
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:57 PM   #5
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Check out PBS for Jacues Pepin or Julia Child cooking shows. They are the best teachers.

Also take a look at America's Test Kitchen and Lydia Bastainich cooking shows.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:11 PM   #6
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Read if you can. You can always go back and read it again if you missed something. A good place to start would be the book, On Food and Cooking by Harold Mcgee. If you would rather watch tv, then id say just watch and find out what you like.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:15 PM   #7
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I'm definitely a Bobby Flay guy. I like Iron Chef and Top Chef just to watch techniques and learn by observing.
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:57 PM   #8
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JulieS - it really depends on what you like/want. I mean, I really dislike Rachael Ray's tv personality, but do have one of her cookbooks & have liked many of her recipes. But watching her on tv just makes me gag - lol!!

And I agree with others that it's a crying shame that no one is repeating the old Julia Child "French Chef" series, the old Graham Kerr series, "The Two Fat Ladies" series, etc., etc. The oldies were definitely goodies & provided excellent info without talking down to new foodies.

As far as show on Food Network, I'd recommend Sara Moulton's "Sara's Secrets" (usually on early in the morning) & Alton Brown's "Good Eats" for basic stuff. But again - as others have said - it all depends on what sort of show you're looking for.
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
JulieS - it really depends on what you like/want. I mean, I really dislike Rachael Ray's tv personality, but do have one of her cookbooks & have liked many of her recipes. But watching her on tv just makes me gag - lol!!

And I agree with others that it's a crying shame that no one is repeating the old Julia Child "French Chef" series, the old Graham Kerr series, "The Two Fat Ladies" series, etc., etc. The oldies were definitely goodies & provided excellent info without talking down to new foodies.

As far as show on Food Network, I'd recommend Sara Moulton's "Sara's Secrets" (usually on early in the morning) & Alton Brown's "Good Eats" for basic stuff. But again - as others have said - it all depends on what sort of show you're looking for.
The Two Fat Ladies was an AWESOME show. I miss that one. They were a trip.
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:52 PM   #10
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If you want some really quick recipes that take like 20minutes to make entree, main and dessert, there's a show called ReadySteadyCook in Australia. (the cooks are given 5 ingredients by a member of the audience and have to come up with an "on the spot menu")

The website is Ready Steady Cook

I watch this in my 30min break at work as there is nothing else to do here and its too cold to go outside lol

and there is also this other show called Food Safari, it shows the culture and recipes from 13 different countries...oh its SO good!
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
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.
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Old 07-22-2007, 04:00 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, 08:55 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, 10:03 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, 11:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
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, 08:18 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, 10:26 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.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:45 AM   #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 07-28-2007, 11:17 PM   #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, 10:21 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.

Favorites:
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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