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October 8, 2015


Coming next week: Martha on Rachael, Rachael on Martha

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 5th 2009 12:05PM
Martha StewartThis is either great news if you like Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray or a warning if you don't like them, but it's interesting news nonetheless: Martha is going to do Rachael Ray's show and then the very next day Rachael will be on Martha's* show.

Yup, Martha will appear on Rachael's show on November 12 to show Rachael how to make a Thanksgiving centerpiece, and then on November 13 Rachael will appear on Martha's show and Martha will teach her how to make a Thanksgiving dessert. Notice that on both shows it's Martha who will be doing the teaching?

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First Lady will appear on a very special Iron Chef America

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 4th 2009 5:35PM
Iron Chef AmericaSome people say that President Obama has been on TV too much since he became President a year ago, but his wife is about to make a big splash on one of Food Network's most popular shows.

First Lady Michelle Obama will reveal the secret ingredient on the January 3 special episode of Iron Chef America (I don't think it's the season premiere because we're in the middle of new episodes right now). There's no specifics yet on what the secret ingredient will be, but it is something that grows in the White House garden and ties in with the First Lady's "Healthy Kids Initiative" to get kids eating better and exercising. Beyond all that, this sounds like its going to be a great episode of the show. It will pit White House chef Cristeta Comerford and Bobby Flay against Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse.

You know what I'd like to see as the secret ingredient on Iron Chef America? Ring Dings. Or how about Atomic Fireballs?

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Gordon Ramsay cooks up new show

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 3rd 2009 4:02PM
gordon_ramsay_foxFox's master foodie is at it again. Gordon Ramsay has conjured up a new show called MasterChef, only it's not really his idea. See, it's already been done in England and Australia, but Gordon will put his spin on this show. So for all intents and purposes, it's another Gordon Ramsay project. (Like the Alan Parsons Project without Alan Parsons and a small 'p').

In MasterChef, amateur chefs will compete to master the perfect dish. These will be everyday people, not sous chefs or short order cooks, but backyard grillers and homemakers who have a specialty at which they excel. Sounds to me a bit like the Food Network Challenge shows in which people try to make the best chili or the definitive hamburger.

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Mad Men's Christina Hendricks is on Martha today, making cocktails

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 27th 2009 8:04AM
Mad Men
I'll admit it: I like Martha (the show and the person). Unlike a lot of daytime shows that feature cooking and other how-to segments, it's not so heavily tilted towards women that men can't get into it. Unlike Rachael Ray, which has way too many segments on makeovers, relationships, and what shoes you should wear.

Today she has Mad Men's Joan Holloway herself, Christina Hendricks. It says in the summary for the episode that Hendricks is going to mix Halloween cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Whenever someone from Mad Men is on Martha they make cocktails. Last season Bryan Batt (Sal Romano) was on and made Manhattans and Rob Roys.

Here's a sneak peek. It doesn't really show too much, except that most of the episode is all about spiders. I hate spiders.

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Bravo orders from the Dessert menu

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 26th 2009 10:02AM
top_chef_logoIf you're a fan of Top Chef, there's nothing tougher for the contestants than desserts. Just this past week during 'restaurant wars,' did you notice that one team decided to have no desserts on their menu at all. They just didn't want to risk blowing it.

Well, Bravo noticed, not just last week but all through the Top Chef series. Bravo's creating a Top Chef spinoff called Just Desserts in which chefs will have no choice, they'll have to deal with sugar, icing, cakes and struedels.

Top Chef: Just Desserts is the second Top Chef spinoff, after Top Chef Masters. I'm anticipating Top Chef: Maitre D's down the road, aren't you?

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Flipping Out's Jeff Lewis: An interview with Bravo's OCD realtor

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 20th 2009 11:02AM
Flipping_Out_Jeff_LewisBravo's resident house flipper, real estate guru and OCD interior designer, Jeff Lewis, is a very complicated guy. When I spoke to him recently, I was actually a little concerned. If you've seen Jeff on Bravo's Flipping Out, you've seen him lose it on occasion. Would he yell at me on the phone if I asked the wrong question?

In fact, Jeff Lewis was extremely friendly and funny. We had a great talk and he couldn't have been nicer. He was also really forthcoming about the past seasons of Flipping Out, including this one that's concluding tonight.

What has it been like to be turned into a reality TV star?
Because of the reaction of the show, some people see me as a villain and that could be the way I do business. I handle my employees in a rather non-traditional way. I was concerned about how people would react in public, but it's actually been pretty positive. Overall, it's been a very positive experience. Many people are very nice and complimentary and supportive.

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For the rest of the month, TV is all Halloween, all the time

by Kona Gallagher, posted Oct 16th 2009 2:04PM
medium night of the living dead
I visited the pumpkin patch last weekend and totally massacred a 30 lb. pumpkin and feasted on its flesh, so I am officially in the Halloween spirit. Luckily, there's a crapload of TV to help sustain my ghoulish mood. TV Tango has compiled a pretty comprehensive list of Halloween-themed programming starting today and going through the rest of the month.

Some of the highlights include a Moonlight marathon starting today on SyFy, as part of their "31 Days of Halloween" programming. On Sunday, The Simpsons is airing their 20th "Treehouse of Horror" episode, while Monday has a some good kids' fare, with Halloween-themed America's Funniest Home Videos on ABC Family, and Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie on Disney.

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Top Chef: Pigs and Pinot

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 15th 2009 1:10AM
Well, things have certainly heated up on Top Chef, haven't they? Oh, I'm not talking about in the kitchen; I'm talking about in the house. These chefs are getting testy, or some are. Eli mentioned in the open that there was a lot of "emotional stress." Well, he should know because he's behind some of it. Then there's motor mouth Robin. Could she really be as yappy as she appears to be on camera?

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Now Anthony Bourdain is going after Guy Fieri

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 12th 2009 2:35PM
Guy FieriIt has gotten to the point where I really don't care what the hell Anthony Bourdain cares about anything. I liked Kitchen Confidential (the book, not the TV show) and some of his other writing, but this need to speak out on anything and everything in the food world he finds lame or disgusting or "evil" has gotten old. Now he (and chef David Chang) is speaking out on other things he can't stand, and one of them is Food Network host Guy Fieri.

Personally, I wouldn't bleach my hair and wear those shorts, but come on, is it really worth bad mouthing his hosting and cooking? I love Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and Ultimate Recipe Showdown!

Update: it's actually Chang who made the remarks, but Bourdain doesn't like Fieri either.

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Fine Living will become the Cooking Channel

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 9th 2009 12:00PM
fine_living_networkWhen you're a cable network and you're only reaching 55 million households and want to reach twice that amount, what do you do? If you're Scripps Networks, you rebrand the channel and give it a new name. That's why Fine Living will become the Cooking Channel in 2010.

The way I see this, since Scripps owns the Food Network, the Cooking Channel will be sort of a Food Network annex. Food Network 2.0. Food Network, Two. In actuality, a lot of the programming on Fine Living now is connected to Food Network. Old Iron Chef episodes, Emeril LaGasse and Mario Batali and Wolfgang Puck ... all cooking shows that were once on Food Network.

Now that it's going to drop the Fine Living angle and concentrate on cooking, all the overflow from Food Network will have somewhere to go.

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The Next Iron Chef is sizzling

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 8th 2009 11:26AM
Even though I watch a lot of programming on the Food Network, I have to admit I missed almost all of the The Next Iron Chef in season one. Last Sunday, the second season of The Next Iron Chef blasted off with the best ratings for a series opener in Food Network history. Over two million viewers, a 1.1 rating among adults 25-54.

Why the big jump? Well, I think a lot of other people are like me. On Sunday, before I switched over to watch pro football, I clicked on Food Network where they were showing a marathon rerun of the first season of The Next Iron Chef. It only took half an episode for me to kick myself for not having watched the whole first season when it aired. It was terrific.

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Bravo bringing back Top Chef for seventh season

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 6th 2009 9:02AM
padma_lakshmi_top_chefAmid the real housewives and matchmakers, millionaire real estate brokers and house flippers, there is one unscripted series that has been top shelf on Bravo. With Project Runway not on Lifetime, the best of Bravo's reality is Top Chef. In the five seasons past and the current season playing out, Top Chef has been a winner for the cable net, so it's not a big surprise that today Bravo renewed Top Chef for a seventh season.

If I were a drinker, I'd drink to that. Top Chef is in the midst of season six, which is shaping up to be one of the best yet. The location, Las Vegas, has opened up a lot of options for challenges, including a French food episode that might have been one of the most intense ever on the series.

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TLC wants to master the barbeque grill

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 29th 2009 11:33AM
TLC_logoYes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but this a bit much. TLC has given the greenlight to BBQ Pit Masters, a new food show about American barbecue competitions. Does Bobby Flay, Mr. Food Network grill master himself, know about this? I can see him getting as red as his hair when he reads about it.

So, TLC is saying that this new show, a documentary about the über-competitive world of competitive grilling, will run for eight hour-long episodes commencing December 2. How this will be different from similar food competitions on other networks -- like Food Network -- remains to be seen.

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And now, Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island shows you how to peel a potato

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 22nd 2009 5:09PM
Hey, it's National Potato Month! If you find yourself making potato-oriented meals and you just hate peeling the spuds, Dawn Wells from Gilligan's Island is here to help. In this video, she shows you how to peel a potato quickly and without jamming a peeler into your thumb. Though I think peeling one would be faster.

[via Boing Boing]

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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.

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