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November 23, 2014

Just watch this: Sam the cooking guy is great!

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 19th 2009 1:01PM
sam_zein_FitTVRecently, I was channel surfing and I stopped on a show called Just Cook This! With Sam the Cooking Guy. The fact that it was on FitTV nearly made me move on (to me a healthy cooking show is oxymoronic!), but this guy Sam, the cooking guy, kept me tuned in. Well, I can now say without equivocation, Just Cook This! is my new favorite food show and I'm in love with Sam.

Sam is actually not a formally trained chef or a caterer turned cook or a restaurateur or any of the other types that have made their way to TV. I looked him up and Sam Zein was a regular Joe, working for a pharmaceutical company, who dumped it all to make a TV show about travel, which turned into a food program instead. FitTV, which is part of Discovery, probably bought the show because they liked Sam. And that's the beauty of the show.

Sam's this regular person, working in his own kitchen -- not a set -- making good food. (Really, that's his house in San Diego.) He talks about real food, opens the fridge to find stuff, pulls out the items from the pantry, retrieves plates and platters from the dining room because they don't fit in the kitchen cabinets, and occasionally trips on his two dogs who have a tendency to get underfoot because they're looking for a scraps. See, this is a real reality. On one show, his oldest son snuck in to share the finished Chinese stir fry because he was hungry.

The show also makes great use of graphics, interjecting commentary to the cooking or explaining something along the way. And when Sam messes up, he tells you about it.

The bottom line is that Sam's food looks really good, but really easy for anyone to make. He's fun and engaging and, if you give him a watch, you'll see that if he were ever in The Next Food Network Star, he'd be a cinch to win. But why bother, he's already a food TV star. Even if it is on FitTV! So, trust me -- just watch him!

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Ruth

I watched "Sam" for the first time yesterday and now I'm hooked already. I've been spreading the word, even in the grocery store where I ran to buy the ingredients he had in his recipes...............

October 19 2009 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nornny

I'm pretty sure Just Cook This! has been on repeats for over a year now. I think they only filmed one season, unfortunately. Is it too late to petition FitTV to bring back new episodes?

This is a shame, because I LOVE the show and Sam. I wish they would film new episodes or something. He injects so much of himself and even his family into cooking. His show would never work on Food Network where they take cooking far too seriously sometimes.

I believe Sam still regularly has his t.v. series going on in San Diego. Wish I could watch it here on the east coast.

September 20 2009 at 10:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nicholas

Also been watching Sam in SD for a while now, my wife and I love him. Great personality, and actually a "fun" and "down to earth" cooking show. Practical recipes you'll actually want to make (and have the stuff for).

September 20 2009 at 12:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Heidi

Thanks for the review, I've heard good things about the show but have not watched him yet.

September 19 2009 at 7:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Garrett

Been watching Sam the Cooking Guy in San Diego for awhile. Definitely the most enjoyable chef on tv to watch. His recipes are great and easy.

September 19 2009 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Garrett's comment
YouFaceTheTick

Agreed - been on in SD for a long time, friends have gone to tapings in his house and his recipes can be good and easy.

September 20 2009 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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