Food Shows, Gordon Ramsay and Serendipity

After a few boring old runs last night (they were just normal old runs with nice people that knew what they were doing! Where’s the fun in that? Don’t these people know I’ve got a blog to write?) we tucked Alex into bed and retired to the living room to get some use out of that long neglected home furnishing…

The television.

We love that genre of show, the food competition. Top Chef, Chopped, and Hells Kitchen have been among our most favorite ones, while the Food Network Challenge and The Next Iron Chef come in on the second tier, and Iron Chef comes in last.

Not the original Japanese Iron Chef. I’ll watch that all day long. No, it’s the new one we don’t really care for.

The only reason we actually ever watch it is because I’m an Alton Brown fanboy, and because we both love Mario Batali, who is sadly underused.

We both dislike Bobby Flay. A lot. And he seems to show up in reruns quite often.

Masaharu Morimoto kicks ass, but also sees scarce face time.


If I were to put together a list of favorite Food show personalities to watch on TV, it’d be something like this;

  1. Tom Colicchio
  2. Alton Brown
  3. Gordon Ramsay
  4. Ted Allen

Anyway. Again. And moving on.

We rarely actually watch TV, except for some specific shows Cassie likes that we Tivo, but we do love to watch those cooking competitions.

Recently, to get a little more Gordon Ramsay in our diet, I’d requested Season 1 of the UK version of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares on DVD from Netflix.

Disc 1 came a few days ago, and we watched the revisited versions of The Glass House and Bonapartes.

Fun shows, but only two episodes per disk? Even with a revisited version, come on, man!

Oh, right. Only four episodes were done for season 1. Okay, fine. Grrr.

Yesterday, Netflix dutifully delivered disc 2.

After Alex’s tender ears were safely abed, we settled in front of the zombie box, lowered the lighting, and prepared to watch Ramsay investigate horrendous kitchens and try to turn the businesses around in one short week.

We weren’t sure what exactly was about to happen… but I thought chances were pretty good that there would be swearing. The F-word would turn up a time or two. Dog’s breakfasts might be discussed. A refridgerator would likely be disgusting.

It turned out only one of those things actually happened.

We spin up the disc, and there appears on the screen Gordon Ramsay.

Walking down the hall, talking about the people sitting at home wanting to learn how to cook. How this is the show for them.

Wait, what?

He’s taking his clothes off.

He strips naked! (From the waist up.)

This, I have to admit, is a new approach to kitchen makeovers.

Cassie at least seems happy with this new direction for the show.

Then he puts on his kitchen smock, and heads into a beautiful if trippy restaurant, and on the screen the music jazzes up and the title “The F-word” appears.

What the f-word?

Netflix sent the right disc jacket… with a completely different disc inside. Some show called The F-Word.

But it’s still a Gordon Ramsay show, so… hmm.

Oh, what the hell. Let’s check it out.

It turns out that instead of disc 2 of season 1 of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, we got disc 2 of season 1 of The F-word, a different Ramsay show that’s more of a food magazine, multiple topic kinda thing filmed at one of his restaurants.

Ramsay, and hold onto your butt here, Ramsay spends a lot of time actually cooking, and showing you how to cook on this show. In a highly stylised fashion, of course. You couldn’t actually make something by watching him, but you do get a feel for how it works.

I’d never actually seen him DO anything before. I’m more used to him ripping other people a new one in a high energy, humorous way.

And this is supposed to be filmed at one of his restaurants, named “The F-word”, so this is how he designed the interior of one of his places? No shit?

Somehow, it fits with the name. Very ‘up in your face’ kind of place.

I thought it was a cool looking place, but who the hell cares what I think? I will say that it’s not where I’d take Cassie for a romantic dinner for two on Valentines’ Day, but I’d sure as heck hit the place for a foodie dinner with a party of 6 friends on a night on the town with cocktails.

Here’s the deal about the show.

We watched the first episode, and we’re both laughing so damn hard it hurt. It’s so wild and irreverent and out there on a limb not giving a shit, that it’s like wathcing a train wreck in the making that never quite crashes, because just at the last moment, when you’re sure it’s about to hit the bus stuck on the tracks, the bus gets out of the way and the train keeps on barreling along.

No brakes. But it never blows up or goes down.

Episode 4, the first episode on that disc, was good, with tons of crazy.

What won us over and really broght home how crazy this show was, was one of the other two correspondants, food critic and writer Giles Coren, who appears later in the episode to deliver an impassioned speech, out in the woods, about Squirrels.

Grey Squirrels.

The man goes off for 5 minutes on what rotten little bastards Grey Squirrels are, advocates their mass slaughter, with frequent cutaways to look at the cute little furry buggers in trees, finally culminating in visiting a restaurant that serves Squirrel on the menu, talks about they prepare them and how they taste, and then takes cooked squirrel out on the street to get people’s reaction to how it tastes.

I know. I know how bad that sounds.

In America, where the very suggestion that eating bacon or a hamburger can inspire people to go into a hate-crazed frenzy of taking offense at you all up in your face, this is over the top chaos at it’s finest.

I like eating beef, I love bacon, but I’d take a pass at the squirrel cutlets myself. Gamy chicken somehow doesn’t excite me. We weren’t cheering the idea of mass slaughter, we were charmed by his crazed delivery and frantic passion. Damn, he was convincing.

Oh, and I may not eat it myself, but if you want to eat squirrel, well, bloody well eat it. I hope you find it tasty. I’m certainly not going to get in your face screaming at you about it.

We now interrupt the lighthearted post to turn serious for just a moment.

To explain to all the honest vegetarians and vegans who may think I’m taking shots at them for no reason, or feel I’m even talking about them, I want to let you know this really isn’t about your views at all. I respect your views, and think there is a lot to admire about your positions and choices. I really do.

Why I am overly energetic about the pro-choice aspect of dining is that I’ll never forget the time, on this blog, that someone replied in a comment to one of my old posts about enjoying bacon that maybe I’d appreciate having my son killed and eaten, and added a Googlemaps link to my house.

If you are vegetarian or vegan, if you are someone that has made a choice on your diet for any reason, whether it be for fashion or based on moral grounds, I’ve got no problem with you whatsoever.

It’s the person that goes beyond living a lifestyle of their own choosing to take that next step of being a militant activist, telling other people how THEY should live and how THEY should behave… someone who believes meat is murder, and enjoys being confrontational with strangers over what they choose to do in their lives.

Let me be clear on this; one militant idiot has already stressed that they were fine with killing my son and showed they knew where I live. In public. It’s been done. Not a hypothetical. So future militants, guess what. You’ve got zero f’ing sympathy coming from me if you don’t like my tone. Tell someone else how you think they should live, and kiss my ass.

All the hate does now is encourage me to increase my bacon intake to piss you off more, so back off. The more you bring it, the more bacon I’ll eat. Threaten my son again and I buy an entire cow for our deep freezer. And I’ll name the cow, first.

That’s right. Back away or the cow gets it.

In fact, my next step may be to hold a “Sponsor the Bear Bacon Binge” event, and have people donate to a Paypal account to fund my bacon eating extravaganza.

Oh yeah, I’ll go there. Bet on it.

This post kinda took a turn back there, didn’t it?

Let’s get ‘er back on the rails.

We now return you to the lighthearted post on The F-Word, already in progress.

As far as the Squirrel bit, we just about died laughing.

This is not a show for people who are expecting a traditional, predictable anything. I never got the feeling they were going for a shock factor, as much as they were going for an ‘anything goes about food’ vibe. You never, ever know what the hell is going to happen next, but it’s fun and the people, for the most part, all come across as being themselves. They may like and crave the attention, but it’s kinda charming.

Also, it wasn’t THAT scripted. More than a few times, Ramsay crafted his recipes, served them, then went out and asked the diners what they thought. The criticism he got was oftentimes on the rough side, and frequently he was visibly upset at not having the food gushed over. And it all aired. I love that. Don’t just show how everyone fawns all over the famous chef, show what people really thought about the food. And boy, they do that. 🙂

No matter what, he did maintain his sense of humor, even if you could tell he was pissed. And one sign he’s pissed is when he starts calling guys “big boy”. It’s cute.

All in all, when we saw that we didn’t get the disc we expected, we were disappointed. But we said what the heck, and gave it a go.

Turns out, we enjoyed “The F-word” a lot more than I would have thought possible. Probably a lot more than we would have enjoyed Kitchen Nightmares.

God, I was just laughing my big butt off. How hilarious.

I guess a lot of the diners are celebrities that we’re supposed to recognise, but we had no idea who any of the people were at all. It didn’t matter at all.

I’m not suggesting you go see it. For all I know, you hate cooking shows in general, or Gordon Ramsay in particular.

Or maybe you like a bit more distance between your cooking shows and where the meat comes from. In episode 6 on the disc, he makes some celebrity kill a live lobster and cook it. Again, it was hilarious to us, because the celebrity was obviously shocked he’d be expected to touch a live fricken’ lobster, and kept waiting for the “just kidding” part of the gag. When he finally realises Ramsay is serious, and he’s expected, on camera, to kill a lobster, he offs the lobster, but with a lot of whining. But once it’s cooked, he’s all strutting around the kitchen like Davy bloody Crockett, king of the wild frontier.

It’s funny how what started as a simple disc mix up turned into one hell of an entertaining night.

Maybe I should call Netflix and thank them for mixing things up!

PS… Yes, I’m serious about the bit about the death threat. Very long time readers might even remember the incident, it was years ago on like my first bacon gushing post, but there are quite a few of you awesome folks that have been around a long time that might have seen those comments before we killed it. It was the first time I just felt like closing the blog. In the end, we tightened up comment approval processes so shit like that never gets out live again from a first time commenter. And we did some IP tracking, but that’s another story. 🙂

But yes, I always, and I mean always, do my best to tell the truth here. Yes that shit happens. Believe it.

43 thoughts on “Food Shows, Gordon Ramsay and Serendipity

  1. I was around during the threat post. I was really upset by that too.

    Anyway, some food shows I really like, others are a pass.
    Chopped – great show! I always want to see what they can make out of the mix of ingredients.
    Iron Chef – same as Chopped. I like to see how many things they can make out of the mystery ingredient.
    Anything with Sandra Lee or Giada Delorentis. Do I have to explain that?

    I didn’t like Bobby Flay but like him more now. I think he’s getting older and has less of a chip on his shoulder.


  2. Hey B3, if you are into cooking, I highly recommend the book “Kitchen Confidential”.
    R-Rated bio, of a chef’s journey.


  3. Hey, if you found Giles Coren entertaining, he’s done 2 series of a UK show called “Supersizers” (“The Supersizers go…” and “The Supersizers eat..”).

    Coren and another presenter, Sue Perkins, do a different period in history each week, spending a week eating and drinking their way through that era’s delights. Medieval banquets, ancient Rome, the French revolution, through to the 1980s of nouvelle cuisine and microwaves.

    The shows are entertaining, especially if you’re interested in history. The presenters are likeable and funny (in a mad, ranty kind of way), especially through the periods where they spend the whole week steaming drunk (from the days where beer was the only cholera-free liquid available). Worth checking out from Netflix. Some of that food is just… indescribable.

    P.S. Sorry to hear about the dickwad vegan. We’re not all like that.


  4. About bacon: – just in case you haven’t heard about it yet. And me posting this response is proof that consuming this tasty treat can be survived!

    And yes, even if you’re on a tight budget, splitting a (non-Tauren) cow actually makes sense. It really is cheaper in the long run. If you don’t have the budget for that, start smaller, like on a monthly basis. Your favourite (or 2nd favourite) grocery chain should every now and then have ads for “part of a cow on a piece” – those long 3-ft slabs of whatever, nicely packaged. My money-saving wife would know what that stuff’s called, but ask the butcher to cut half of it into steak sized cuts and grind the other half, and you’ll have a good supply of high grade extremely low cost hamburger (and steaks). Price per pound is excellent, much less fat content, and you can work up from your budget that way. Shopping once a month for $200 gets you more than shopping 4 times for $50. Just hit the right day.

    Edit as needed, not everyone’s interested in coupon-clipping tips 🙂


  5. Good eats is da’ bomb… except the hour-long tribute show filmed before a auditorium full of fans … which was a bomb (the bad kind).


  6. Sorry to break up the foodie vibe, even a little, but to be slightly serious about the grey squirrels…

    To briefly bring forward a few pointers from this article, and as a Brit, as I assume the guy ranting about the grey sqirrels was….

    They ain’t squirrels, they’re rats.

    They have driven off the natural british red squirrel (which really is a squirrel, thanks) from the majority of its habitat, and specific efforts are being made in some areas that still have red squirrels to attempt to help these populations survive. If these efforts don’t work, then sadly, the british red squirrel will be extinct.*

    What I didn’t know until I read that wikipedia article is that its apparently doing the same to your american red squirrel.* So you may end up doing the same sort of things as us, and having the same sorts of frothing commentaries. Although maybe not. Its one of your natives outcompeting another, and not a dodgy colonial import 😉

    Thank you for reading.

    * And yes, I know what survival of the fittest means. Doesn’t mean that I can’t regret the loss of both biodiversity and a very cute critter.


  7. Hey BBB love the blog by the way. Can’t say I like cooking show in any way, kind of funny considering the way I eat but the part about people bing mad about what you eat. Had a guy I worked with tell me I wasn’t allowed to eat my burger I brought for lunch in front of him. I simply told him that he should find somewhere else to eat then cause there’s no way I wasn’t going to eat it(I can cook a cow very well) after talking to a few people we worked with we started haveing cookouts at work almost everyday. After about 2 weeks of it he quit working there. Just thought it was funny.


  8. I’ve been a Ramsay fan for a good while. I found the UK versions of Kitchen Nightmares online & gobbled them down… watched both US shows… and then one day in my Ramsay passion I found F-Word on BBC America. Some of the shows were kinda “meh” for me, but I REALLY appreciated getting to know the “real person” of Gordon? He shows his family, his approach to food from the farm up, etc. Over the course of one season he goes through how he raises pigs from babies, feeds them on a strict diet, goes over whether or not to feed them beer, and then shows his kids’ reactions to slaughter. It’s pretty surprising and not what I expected.

    I guess the one thing I appreciate about the F-Word is that I’ve always called Ramsay the “angry chef.” Any of his shows are referred to by that as well. I mean, you just expect screaming brit on the screen. I like that the F-Word departs from that and shows you what I believe is the real guy. That, and there was an episode where he got smashed in an onion-chopping contest. Turning to a convict & asking him when he gets outta prison so that he can hire him… ranks #1 on my list of memorable Ramsay moments.


  9. I am going to check this show out, even though I hate Gordon Ramsay with the burning passion of a thousand suns. You make the show seem OK, if not utterly watchable though.

    Oh, and anyone threatens my son and I will buy a deep freezer and put their chopped up body in it. After I force feed them 2 pounds of Canadian Bacon. Canadian bacon because I wouldnt waste the real stuff on such as them.


  10. @Steevee: You are dead on (or bang on, as the Brits say it) about Kitchen Nightmares’s narrator. Gordon does the narration chores on Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, and the insight into what he’s thinking really helps move things along.

    Ever since I really started watching BBC America, I like Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Top Gear, and The F-Word. One of the things that mystifies me about the selective bleeper that BBC America employs is how they can bleep “cock” (“Captain Slow” James May’s epithet of choice) but not bleep Gordon Ramsay saying “shit”.

    I did see that episode of F-Word where he raises his own Christmas dinner, which enabled me to get a joke Jeremy Clarkson made on Top Gear about Ramsay eating his own pets.


  11. Gordon Ramsay is ok. The F-word is ok as well, it gets fun later on when he raises sheep on his own property and gets the kids involved in feeding them and looking after them. Then near the end of the series he sends them off to the butcher and bang they’re having very taste lamb for dinner. He even gets another celebrity (Brit) to raise some cows to the perfect stage for veal and then invites the neighbors in to eat the final meal.

    I have to say I enjoy Iron Chef, and I quite like a lot of the cooking shows. We get a lot more Brit cooking shows here in NZ and I sometimes think theyre better than the American ones.

    Talking about food, last night while playing we started talking about Lamb Chops and eventually got talking about a Bacon and Egg burger… yum, food talk while playing is not a good thing… 😀


  12. If you like the US version of Kitchen Nightmares then you’ll love the UK version. It’s less focused on him being a big mad sweary chef person, and more on him being a mentor. Ramsay also stays for a week with the restaurant and supports across several services rather than just the one. There are great angry chef moments, but the general outcome and feel is more positive.


  13. Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares is a hoot. Love BBC America for bringing that into my life. The new American version of the show though, “Kitchen Nightmares”, is horrible IMO. It’s the stupid narrator. I can’t stand him. The original BBC show didn’t require narration, why does the ‘slicker’ American version need it? And I do mean slicker. The original show had a low budget kind of feel to it. You could tell it was what-you-see-is-what-you-get. The new American version seems incredibly staged, just like the bulk of all the rest of American reality TV.

    “The F-Word” is awesome as well, I agree. Wait ’till you get to the one where he raises his own turkeys in his back yard… in his children’s back yard… Good times… 🙂


  14. @ LabRat… you know, that’s why we bought our deep freezer, so we could split a cow at the start of a year and save lots of money.

    What we ended up doing is just use it for overflow from our upstairs freezer. We budget so tight we don’t spend that kind of money on food.

    Also, I’m the only one that loves vegetables, steamed or otherwise. So it’s where my frozen vegetables go for long term storage. 😦


  15. You know, it’s fine for us to joke about that death threat thing these days, but at the time, I was pretty damn pissed.

    That event, and other similar emailed drama were such a huge part of my decision to cut ties with WoW Insider. Every time I’d post something over there, I’d get a wave of people coming over here that, to be blunt, brought property values down.

    After a while, you have to make a decision for yourself. “Am I doing this because I’m having fun writing and I really like the people that I meet, or am I shallow enough that I want to be some e-famous idiot and look for expanded pagehits and more exposure?”

    Once I realised that was the question, and that I was naive enough that some folks thought that I WAS some e-famous idiot, I left WoW Insider. That ain’t my bag. I don’t want to be famous, “e” or otherwise. I like writing, and I’m just egotistical enough to think that I’m successfully entertaining you folks and causing a laugh or two once in a while.

    And yes, I like to be helpful with the Feral Druid thang. 🙂 God, I love my bear.

    On my blog, the asshat to nice person ratio is heavily skewed in favor of the nice person. HEAVILY.

    On WoW Insider, a quick scan of the comments of most posts, and indeed, the comments that I’d suddenly get here, showed that the ratio over there is… not so much.

    So, I stopped writing there. I sometimes miss the really nice people I got to chat with via email, but I’ve never missed having a post up on there. Never.

    Okay, I also really miss being on their podcast. I’d do that for free, chatting with people about WoW is like crack cocaine.


  16. Got my first taste of Gordon Ramsey on Hells Kitchen. Not much of a reality show fan but got hooked on Ramsey. I’ll have to check out the other options on Net Flix. Thanks for the tip. I was around when your bacon death threat came. Believe me you have all the support you need on how you handled that asshat. Nothing comes before the protection of ones family. Keep up the great posts, you have kept me coming to the blog daily for years now.


  17. Well, Bear that threat was defintiely my pre-reading-your-blog days, and am in complete agreement with you. I am an omnivore, thank you very much. Vegans, be happy if that’s how you want to live, but leave to my meat, thank you very much. Nothing turns anyone off to a path more than a preachy jerk who won’t shut up about how right he is and terribly wrong you are.

    As for the foodie stuff, we love Alton Brown and Good Eats is always a winner for us! That’s why I love the machinisima (sp??) Raid Eats as well.. ::chuckle:: Iron Chef is okay, but I dont’ watch maniacally any other food shows, honestly. 🙂 But Alton… well, any man who sits there and explains precisely how to both select and then cook your ‘bug’ (it was the lobster show) with such fun and humor, while being completely accurate and informative is okay in my book… ::chuckling:: In fact, I need to look up his recipe for french onion soup… we’ve been wanting some lately… 🙂


  18. Bobby Flay. Ech. I didn’t even like him formerly, he’s always rubbed me quite thoroughly the wrong way. He irked me when he did his stand-on-the-counter grandstanding on the original Iron Chef, he irked me when he worked with poor Giada during that battle (whereas Mario Batali was nothing but kind and helpful to Rachel Ray, who was clearly in way over her head), he irks me in general. Part of it is that I live in the southwest, and what he does is far more stylized “southwestish” than truly of this region.

    Batali isn’t on anymore because he and FN had a contract dispute. Same as why Emeril is now gone. I stopped watching ICA after the battle where they brought Batali and Emeril back to face Flay and the WH chef; it felt so overwhelmingly like a staged defeat of the old guard that the show lost all credibility for me, even with Alton and Symon.

    I actually DID buy half a cow for my deep freezer this week. */wave at the lunatics*
    .-= LabRat´s last blog ..How 2 Huntar =-.


  19. Douche, I’ll admit, I never thought of him as representing any people, any more than I feel I represent anyone other than me.

    I don’t think of Ramsay as a Scot, I think of him as a cooking entertainer.

    I do wonder why so many of the good shows come from the BBC.


  20. I’m at work, going about my business and I decide to print out my favorite Tyler Florence recipe for dinner tomorrow, “1” Thick Pork Chops with Spiced Apples and Raisins”. Also a side of creamed spinach and garlic mashed potatoes with chives. For desert, a real cheesecake(none of that ‘no bake’ stuff! It’s just not the same).

    Then I move over to BBB for my daily dose of WoW at work, and to my delight, a Gordon Ramsay post!?! Excellent!

    In my defense, yes I actually do work at work, most of the time!

    This got me thinking about the type of people who play wow, enjoy it, and really accel at it. I’ve always thought that everyone could enjoy wow, but most players have to be ‘smart’ to really get a hold of everything this game has to offer and try to master certain areas of the game. This is much the same with cooking. Everyone can cook if they try, but to create a masterpiece of a dish requires ‘smarts’ and passion. I wonder how many other wow players have a passion for cooking as the two seem to require the same skill sets; passion, smarts, and perseverance to create something extraordinary.

    Once our daughter goes to bed, if my gf and I are not running dungeons, leveling, or playing around on the AH, we’re usually watching Kitchen Nightmares (or Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm for our comic relief). We both share a love of good cooking and wow, a match made in heaven!


  21. The only issue I have with Gordon Ramsay is that he and groundskeeper willie have become the stereotypical view of Scottish people. I don’t wear a kilt to work or call people “big boy” when I’m pissed off. The swearing parts right though heh


  22. I can only take Gordon in small doses, or I will punch my tv set. He really gets me worked up. First time through kitchen nightmares I had to visit the range to relieve my stress – lol.

    Have you seen the new Good Eats ?, Alton lost a bunch of weight, he looks very skinny now.


  23. You hit on my biggest turnoff for cooking shows in your comment, BBB. Rachel Ray. Rachel fucking high octane Ray. I’m not sure what specifically it is, she just annoys the living daylights outta me. I just saw Gordon Ramsay for the first time the other night at a friends house. When it started, I whined a little, because I’m not a huge fan of cooking shows by default. (Same reason as the strip club…why spend time/money on something that I can’t actually enjoy, and is just teasing me.) But the dude is entertaining, and despite my disdain for reality shows(Christ I’m a TV show genre bigot), I enjoyed him reaming the kitchen staff so badly that they temporarily quit(scripted, they just walked around the block before magically deciding they weren’t that mad), and him calling in his spec ops master cook.

    TL;DR Never saw Ramsay till recently due to Rachel Ray residual hate, but he’s a funny mofo.
    .-= Redbowl´s last blog ..The Road goes ever on and on =-.


  24. @ Adam; Not certain I’ve ever actually heard of Tyler Florence before. And @ Woog, okay, two votes for Tyler Florence, I guess we’ll be seeking him out now.

    I think we might have seen him as a guest on Top Chef, but I can’t really recall for sure.

    @ Dorgol, yes, I like Bronwen too. Alex loves the cake challenges on Food Network, and they are usually aired during our dinner time, so he gets to see the repeats. He has often said he wanted to finish watching a cake challenge instead of watching actual ‘kids’ programming. Woot!

    And he LOVES watching Chopped with us. He counts off the last seconds of each round each and ever time, and calls out the “Times Up!” and stuff. Same with any other countdown on a food show.

    @ Thistle, we also put Top Chef at the top, and you’re dead on with the judging. As Cassie points out at the end of the shows, the fine print they show says in clear black and white that decisions of the judges are influenced by the shows producers. Period. We love it anyway.

    @ Rayvynn, you are quite welcome.

    @ Woog one last time, actually we only really saw Molecular Gastronomy on Top Chef, on several seasons, including some during the Masters. It’s pretty cool, but I’m afraid I’m not enough of a foodie to care as much about the awesome repackaging and invention of classic flavors, as I am about actually experiencing those classic flavors done right. The things the judges take for granted, and even sneer at are things that Cassie and I never actually experience firsthand. It’s not in our normal budget raising our family.

    But it did mean that when we went to The Saint Paul for a special dinner, when the scallops came, I paid close attention to them.

    Funny, gorwing up in South Florida, I ate tons of fresh off the boat seafood, even spent a summer working one of my uncle’s deep sea fishing boats, but I’d never had a fresh, properly prepared scallop before. It was pretty awesome.

    It made the idea of a simple bacon-wrapped scallop seem…. mmmMMmmm


  25. Alton and Gordon are the 2 chef got me interested in Molecular Gastronomy. Well… mostly Alton. If you and/or Cassie are interested on that particular subject, I recommend ‘On Food and Cooking’ by Harold McGee. The best book on the subject so far.

    A couple of other chefs that’s increasingly fun to watch is Tyler Florence called Tyler’s Ultimate and Jaime Oliver’s ‘Naked Chef’.
    .-= Woog´s last blog ..Tanaris Needs More Bacon =-.


  26. I concur with that Food show personalities list, Bear. Right on!

    Oh, Netflix. I have recently discovered the joys of Netflix. It is amazing. To come home to a movie in the mail…it’s love. I need to check into this F-Word show. 😉 Thank you, Bear, for another DVD to add to the 200-someodd already on my Netflix! 🙂

    Also, I would totally support a “Bear Bacon Binge”.


  27. Sadly there will always be that element of society that lives out where the bus don’t run..
    And anyone that knows anything about animals, should know you don’t mess with the cub, cause momma bear is always nearby. (daddy bear too)
    I’m very protective of my 4 girls, i pitty tha fool that attempts to date them.

    Was watching good eats the other day when they were making chili. All I had in the pantry was a can of wolf brand hot dog chili.. and no hot dogs.. or fritos…
    These would not be out of place in alton brown’s kitchen.
    .-= Kattrinsaa´s last blog ..Get a rope =-.


  28. I remember the crazy-threat event. Still freaks me out that people would think that way.

    On topic –

    Hell’s Kitchen is pretty much the only “reality show” I don’t instantly turn off. I’ve also seen some of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares via BBC. He’s quite the character, no doubt.

    I can’t say I watch enough of these cooking shows regularly to like / dislike particular people. I like Bobby Flay’s Throwdown when I see it, Rachel Ray is kind of annoying, Paula Dean is WAY to happy for me. My mum and I have watched numerous episodes of the Cake Challenge, and I really like Bronwen Weber.

    Iron Chef America is barely watchable, while Chopped is great just to see how they turn those crazy ingredients into something edible.


  29. Not a fan of Tyler Florence? He’s not on the same level or even the same type as Alton, but I still enjoy his enthusiasm and recipes.


  30. I enjoy watching Kitchen Nightmares with my son. We gasp and shout at the TV with the best of them – and have fun. Isn’t that the point? We enjoy Gordon’s style and seeing how he deals with people.

    Damn, I’d be pissed if someone saw fit to threaten my kids with harm just because I love to consume the flesh of that which once lived and is now dead just to feed my hunger. I’d offer them to come to my house and discuss it. Then I’d explain how I have been thinking of trying cannibalism on for size and see if they’d like to volunteer for my taste test. Screw with my kids and I’ll eat you.


  31. Ah, The F Word was a fun show, and I miss it. He always seemed to enjoy it just a bit more than when he was self consciously being cheffy. For some reason, our TV chefs and cooking shows are getting quite cool at the moment over here.
    .-= Spinks´s last blog ..Perks for the Old Timers =-.


  32. YIKES!!!

    Sorry, Dreadtusk, you nailed me dead to rights. Anthony Bourdain’s show is also one of my all time favorites, and one of the only shows *I* put on Tivo.

    The reason I didn’t mention him is simply that, after so long of having his show on Tivo… I’ve seen them all multiple times. So until new shows come out he’s not way up on my radar.

    Oh god, did you see the No Reservations Bourdain did with Ted Nugent? Total freaking win.

    Of course, part of the draw for me of No Reservations is that I’ve been to a lot of the places he goes while I was in the service, and he hits a lot of normal places that I’d go to, not just upscale fancy places I’d never in a million years have seen myself.

    Oh, oh, or what about the episode where they tasered him?

    Now THAT is good, clean entertainment. Hit a chef in the chest with a taser, and I’m right there. Good call, Dread. Good call.


  33. If you haven’t watched Anthony Bourdain/No Reservations, he is definitely worth checking out. I would say he is in more of the air of Alton Brown. If you like to find out more about food and food culture coupled with some dark humor, its a nice watch. A few seasons of No Reservations are up on Netflix.


  34. Okay, before the Bobby Flay fans destroy me, I’ll say that the biggest thing, I think, is market saturation.

    I started out enjoynig watching him, and I like the southwest tyle he brings, he did several barbecue shows and grilling shows I liked, I enjoyed watching him.

    Over time, I started to feel he was slick, a bit two dimensional, and everywhere. Like salt, a little can be good, but too much is just too much.

    Much like Rachel Ray or Paula Dean. I really like a little exposure to them, but too much drives me crazy.

    Paula Dean is a great example. I first saw her on early Food Network Challenge shows showing pie baking contests, I think she competed against Beck on an early one, she was great. I even thought, “Boy, she’d be great with a show of her own.”

    Over time, too much Paula just ain’t my cup of… well, butter.


  35. I’m glad I’m not the only one with a hatred of Bobby Flay. I’m not a Cat Cora fan either. If I see their name in the description on my TiVo, I just delete the episode unwatched. It’s going to be a wasted 50 minutes, even with AB. I was rooting for Symon all the way through the first NIC, and was overjoyed when he won (although Besh would be incredible too). I actually was lucky enough to eat at Lolita on a business trip to Cleveland, and it lived up to the hype.


  36. Why the dislike for Bobby Flay? seems like a good guy and I enjoy his Throwdown show. It’s a nice showcase for the folks he goes up against. I have never given GR a chance really never understood what people see in him at all. I will have to watch some of his shows to see for myself I guess.


  37. In fact, my next step may be to hold a “Sponsor the Bear Bacon Binge” event, and have people donate to a Paypal account to fund my bacon eating extravaganza.

    You can’t keep all that bacon to yourself! This calls for a party!


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