TV Shows »Two Fat Ladies

on Cooking Channel, Sat at 10

You’d be hard pressed to find to women on television as utterly charming as the Two Fat Ladies whose cooking show graced the airwaves in the mid to late nineties.

Their motorcycle and sidecar are as iconic as they are. Their locations and food are thoroughly British. Think castle boarding schools, cricket matches, pheasant terrines and an intriguing anchovy paste called “gentlemen’s relish”.

It was very sad when Jennifer passed away, ending the show in 1999.

Cooking channel had a marathon on Christmas day which I dvr-ed and have been enjoying intermittently since.

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Posted on January 14, 2012

TV Shows »Iron Chef Japan

Re-Airing on Cooking Channel

I vividly remember when my family and I first watched Iron Chef. It was so flamboyantly dramatic, with a concept so unusual we – along with many Americans – were floored. There had just never been anything quite like it. I’ve been having a grand old time revisiting this epic show thanks to nightly reruns on Cooking Channel.

Chairman Kaga, with his glittering bejeweled capes, relish for biting into bell peppers and grand gestures sets the cinematic tone. It’s as emotional sometimes as it is campy. I was truly moved to amazement during the historic foie gras battle. I was swept up in the spectacle when, driven away from a French castle by dark horse drawn carraige (!), Sakai ventured off to gather his own ingredients in 24 hours throughout France.

It’s interesting how the world has changed since the show first aired. It seems people are so much more adventurous and knowledgeable about world cuisines. Once confounding dishes which we couldn’t even imagine what they tasted like, are now more approachable.

Sure I can’t exactly imagine crisp eel on chocolate ice cream – but with bacon topping ice cream these days, I have a better idea. As for fried fish bone chips – a dish that the younger me would question – now I’ve actually had and loved these at a neighborhood restaurant.

The U.S. attempted two remakes – if anyone else can remember the woefully off putting William Shatner number and the currently airing Iron Chef America – that I find too obnoxious to watch – something delicate and special got lost in the translation.

And for the record I have small crushes on all of the Iron Chefs, particularly the wise and mysterious Michiba.

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Posted on January 21, 2011

TV Shows »Foodography

On the Cooking Channel

There are some guys I just kind of like and am glad to see working. I like that Nathan Fillion got a job in Castle, (even if it’s unbearable), I love that the beeper king, Dean Winters is excellent in the Allstate commercials he took over from America’s real first black president, and I think it’s nice to see Mo Rocca hosting a food information show. He lends a bit of un-obnoxious humor to the often obnoxious genre in the new (pretty sweet) Cooking Channel’s Food(ography).

The show goes along with the channel’s slightly new take on food television. Instead of Al Roker or Marc Summers taking us to the Skittles factory for the thousandth time (though I still do kind of love seeing stuff being made in factories), Foodography has an approach that is slightly more in line with the foodie culture of today. Interesting and hip places are visited and there’s at least some actual research and information about the history of the subjects. While it still sometimes suffers from cheesy pun intended writing, it’s pleasurable lite watching that has even added a few go to places on my list.

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Posted on August 22, 2010

TV Shows »Paula’s Home Cooking

on Food Network and the Cooking Channel

Paula Deen is undeniably charming and her show, Paula’s Home Cooking is one of the best the Food Network and brand new Cooking Channel have to offer. I know because I have the channels on in the background often in these days of freelancing and know all too well the pain of a show sans charming host – read the irritating growl of Rachel Ray or the frosted tip obnoxiousness of Guy Fieri.

This Southern belle doesn’t even always have to make food I’d necessarily eat. Once she made a Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding, y’all and just looking at the two dozen Krispy Kremes mixed with sweetened condensed milk, and butter rum sauce on screen made my teeth hurt and my head ache. Still, with her soft drawl and cheerful charisma, I’d listen to her talk about anything. She even makes me happy by simply saying the word oil.

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Posted on June 27, 2010