Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Cooking Shows

I don't watch many cooking shows. Virtually none, actually. My addiction to Top Chef really stems from my reality TV addiction, not my interest in food.

Whenever I watch the Food Network, I get annoyed at the personalities, which really seem to get in the way of the interesting stuff. Alton Brown and that-cloying-Paula-woman-that-is-freaking-everywhere are the two most annoying right now. Rachel Ray comes close, but I've somehow managed to avoid her for the most part.

But I decided to give it more of a shot. I grabbed a few with interesting names from the TiVo on-line guide that I hadn't looked at before, just to check them out. I then added America's Test Kitchen, on PBS, when I noticed the mention on the cover of Cook's Illustrated (a magazine as good as everyone says it is, by the way).

So, while nursing a headache early last Sunday afternoon (weather change/sinus - NOT a hangover), I watched a few.

First up was Everyday Italian with some DeLaurentis. I assume that this Giana person is relative of the infamous Dino. Like with the others I've seen, her personality gets in the way. Too much gushing about how much they love a certain flavor or how easy something really is. I only lasted for 1/2 of the show. The Orange Pound Cake she made did look good, though. I can't find the recipe on-line, which is a shame.

I then caught two episodes of America's Test Kitchen. Wow, this is my new favorite show, particularly during the writer's strike. Informative, interesting and intellegent - this felt like going to a really good class. There's a lot of information packed in and they keep the pace moving. I quickly added this to my Season Pass.

Finally, I decided to give How to Boil Water a chance. In looking on-line, I think I'm the last person to find out about Tyler Florence. The guy has at least three shows, it seems.

The episode I saw was about Roasted Chicken with Roasted Root Vegetables and Gravy. This was prety interesting. Enough that I think I'm going to give his method a shot. It's a little bit different from my Chopping Block experience and lighter on the butter (which they love over there), which should make the gravy easier to deal with.

I don't know if it's having a "beginner" on set with him or what, but he's not as "on" as the other Food Network hosts. Granted, he is also easy on the eyes, so I may be cutting him some slack he doesn't deserve. It's getting a Season Pass for a while.


Anita said...

You are funny! I agree almost completely with you about Tyler Florence. However, I would go farther and say that he is very easy on the eyes, and is a really talented chef. His Food 911 show is also one I think you would like. He takes normal people with kitchen disasters and fixes them. Your green beans would be a perfect example. FYI... Giada is Dino's grand-daughter.

Hal Shipman said...

I reformatted that paragraph about Florence, as I had described him in exactly the same way, but it was kind of buried.

So that's two votes for his looks (three if you count Channing commenting that he's glad Florence isn't in Chicago). But his personality/stage presence goes a long way to making him a good host/virtual instructor.

If Alton Brown had Florence's looks, but the same smug mania, I'd still hate him.