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February 16, 2008


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Jeremy Borger

Why are so many cooking shows done in front of a studio audience? Who cooks in front of a studio audience? I want to be in YOUR kitchen, not a fake studio kitchen.

I like the fast paced, hand-held camera style of Iron Chef. I watch cooking shows to be entertained, see something cool and maybe pick up a few pointers. But I'm not going to recreate every recipe I see. I don't think TV is a good medium for that. I'd have to have a TV in my kitchen and be pausing the show all the time to catch up. I watch just for entertainment, and if I really want to recreate something you've made, I'd hope I could go to your website and easily print out a recipe with clear, step by step instructions.


Just want to let you know I was a big fan of yours from the Foodnetwork show. I am so excited that you are pitching a new show for Foodnetwork. My husband and I were watching Iron Chef today and we were wondering why we havne't see you for awhile. Both of us are big fans, we love your STYLE and your way of cooking. I can't wait to see your book and BEST of luck for the show that you are pitching!!! I will make sure that we stop by your restaurant when we go to Cleveland.



I definitely think that the Food Network needs to have a show for the more seasoned or advanced home cook. I'm no chef - I don't work in a restaurant, but I am a devout home cook and quite a good one at that (at least I'd like to think so). I know that most of the Food Network is geared towards easy recipes that anyone can cook - but, honestly, they are getting TOO easy (come on - Sandra Lee?). I want a show for the more advanced cook where I don't hear the phrase "this is so easy". I want something a little more complicated and that pushes the boundaries a little more. Please consider this - I am desperate for REAL recipes.



I first saw you on the WVIZ-PBS cooking shows! Loved you, your recipes and your laugh then. I also recall a short-lived but wonderful FoodTV show where you cooked with a partner...but have forgotten the name of it. Why did they take that off the air?! Hmph.

I'm glad you won Iron Chef. You certainly deserve it!

We live in Old Brooklyn and my dream is to go w/my hubby to one of your restaurants someday without the kids.

Anyway, I'm sure your ideas for the show and book will be fine. The only thing I ask is that you have a picture of each recipe somewhere in your recipe book.

Thanks, and keep laughing!

laura Yen

TV: I am so bored by shows that try to be so home accessible that whatever the original idea/dish was is so diluted it becomes something else. the FN doesn't really seem to cater to real foodies (who will track down the hard to find ingredients; take all Sunday afternoon to make a braise, cake, terrine, whatever; have 7 different vinegars and live at their farmers market). Honestly, even if the show is too advanced for most people maybe it can inspire people to cook something new and get in the kitchen. For me there is nothing excited about Rachel Ray making another burger, but someone using offal is!

Cookbooks: I love your idea. My favorite cookbooks are ones where I feel like the author is actually there with me walking me through it and are full of personal stories and pictures.

Good luck!


In my opinion Alton's books are perfect. The old, traditional: Salad, appetizer, entree, dessert set-up of most cookbooks is really boring. Altons categorizing by method is interesting.
The good (Not the average chef-behind counter experience. Explains WHY I am putting this in that or mixing this way instead of that):
Molto Mario
Good Eats
Ace of Cakes
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Jamie at Home
The Between bad and good:
Barefoot Contessa
Paula Deen
The bad (Boring travels shows that offer no personality, chef-behind counter just doing things without good explination):
Tasty Travels
Throwdown with Bobby Flay
Diners, Drive-ins and, Dives
Tyler's Ultimate
Hungry Detective
Guy's Big Bite
Gourmet Next Door
30-minute meals
Simply Delicioso
The Ugly:
Semi-Homade with Sandra Lee

will levatino

a cook book like white heat or bourdains les halles where you feel as if the chef is talking to you personally. you feel like part of the process.

and what about a show that is actually in a restaurant setting? i know how to cook at home...but i want to know how to make restaurant food, with all the stocks and sauces. no one has ever done a show on veal stock, chicken stock, fume, etc etc. those are things that will make every meal taste amazing, but if you dont know how to make them, youre boned.


I agree with Judy! Let's see..hmm..a show something like "The Lola Diaries" lol.

Also loved the Mr happy story..it even made my mom laugh!! I sent it to all my friends.

Catherine, 13


If you trust 90% of the above opinions about shows - I'll hate it....could I be that out of the loop?
Can you go on another channel? FN is going to squeeze you into 21 minutes of crap - Symon don't F'n do it! Don't sell out. I love you because your laugh is so contagious. You won't be laughing unless you are speaking to people, so that's a given. Don't let them stick you into their formula....all of the shows end up feeling like the same product. "stay with us...we'll be right back after the break...." Seriously? Can you say those words?

I like Bourdain best when he is trashed on local brew and seriously enjoying the people around him - his passion for people comes out - it really isn't about the food at all at that point.

Catherine Mayhew

Things I hate about cooking shows:
1. TV cooks who feel somehow inadequate about their training and start to use phrases like "bake off in the oven," "the acid in this recipe" and similar phrases more appropriate in professional kitchens.
2. TV cooks constantly telling us how great something smells.
3. TV cooks telling us how delicious their food is.

You were and are great on Iron Chef. Just do your own thing. Catherine


Likes: The history/ inspiration behind the food. The history/ inspiration of the chef/ cook (Lots of guest chefs, but ones you know who do good food, not the mid day lineup you may have access to on FN).
The science behind what is being cooked. (like AB on good eats without some of the silly props)
Personality, but not like...well... let's just say, the silly biyatch who giggles like the pillsbury dough boy on crack and does commercials for a certain east coast doughnut chain.
Let it be you! Great personality Michael, even though you may share the same laugh as the aforementioned ... uh... person. You can just flat out cook. Don't be afraid to go back to your roots be it, your family, CIA, influences... let us see what made you... YOU! Maybe you can keep whomever gave you that laugh a secret however...

Things I hate in cooking shows...
30 minute cooking... If you're too busy to cook a full blown meal...I have a recipe for that, it's called a sandwich.
Cooking shows that try to cram 10 lbs. of crap in a 5lb. bag. Either make the time to do it right, or turn it into two shows.
Standing behind a stove talking to a camera, talk to somebody. Hopefully that someone you're talking to has a brain and knows food, it makes it so much better for the viewer (assuming that viewer has said brain).
Go places with good food history and introduce the when, where, why, and how of the places and the food they represent.

As far as cookbooks are concerned, do something different such as alain ducasse ma gastronomie. I know it was done some time ago, however it was groundbreaking then as it would be now. Introduce ideas of recipes, what inspires you about the recipe and some general guidelines with the how and why. Just have it so real cooks, and foodies alike can take it from there. I don't know of many people (with the exception of bakers of course) who follow recipes to a tee.

Bon Chanc


Sorry.... I meant Fernand Point, Not Alain Ducasse.

Aaron Salvo

What I hate about cooking shows...when the chef makes it look easy, because it gives people the impression that business isn't as tough as it is.

What I hate about cookbooks...that I can't stop buying them. I find inspiration in all of them even those "Man, a can, and a plan" book can give me some goofy inspiration. I will also say that I hate it when restaurant chefs "dumb down" their recipes for the books. Thomas Keller's French Laundry Cookbook is great, because it shows you exactly how they produce their food. The ingredients in each dish, and the work that goes into it.

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