Jump to content

Cooking TV shows. The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.


meatbin
 Share

Recommended Posts

I watch a lot of cooking shows on TV, and I hate it when I run out... Thought hopefully I'd be able to pick up on some missed ones you lot have seen, while also recommending some you also may have missed.

Here are mine...

The Good:

- Man vs Food - Not so keen on the challenges themselves, but I love the segments where Adam visits restaurants just to watch how they make their dishes etc.

- Great British Menu - The best chef programme out there imo, you see some amazing food being made by usually all Michelin starred chefs, and I love watching the judges tasting/discussing the dishes.

- Jamie Oliver - especially 'Jamie at Home' - Although his 'Alright Bruv' dialogue can be cringe worthy, the production values of these series' are so high he gets away with it. I loved the 'Jamie at Home' series for it's focus on just a few ingredients per episode.

- Great British Bake Off - Love the British charm here, and the contestants and usually lovely people.

- Nigella - She can be massively annoying, and her food can sometimes be quite lazy, but her motherly tone and dem breasts just win me over everytime.

The Bad:

- Any of those Iron Chef / Cupcake Wars / Hells Kitchen USA kinda shows. Cheesy American presenters and extreme close-up shots of people wiping their brows etc.

- Masterchef - I'm not keen on the new 'tense' format, but I know a lot of people think this is what makes the show so watch-able.

The Ugly:

- Barefoot Contessa - it's so bad it's good. Cheesy American housewife cooks for her husband in a massive house in a rich part of America (looks like somewhere like New England or something). There is something so satisfying about hearing her pronounce certain words like 'Basil' and 'Tomato'.

- Nigel Slater / Simon Hopkinson / Fabulous Baker Brothers - All of these shows are just too sickly and cheesy... Words like 'Scrumptious', 'Lovley', and 'Yum' are all used far too often. However, the food is generally awesome so they're hard not too watch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm. Masterchef I think is great if you can put up with the presenters and the amount of time wasted on making it a competition instead of cooking.

Iron Chef is absolutely amazing. Yes, it's very American, but it's talented chefs at the top of their game doing really fascinating cooking. Just never watch the appalling Iron Chef UK. Lumping IC in with Hell's Kitchen is a bit unfair, they're totally different shows.

Great British Menu I really like, but I only ever watch the Friday shows, because I've got no interest in the rest of the week of padding and clips about why Johnny gets his flour from the farm down the road.

It may not really be a cookery show, but Come Dine With Me is one of the greatest things on TV, ever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I quite like that Perfect... show on Good Food. I think its probably the fact they include an element of competition without overhyping it that makes me like it. Most of the stuff they cook seems doable as well which helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love chefs that look like they actually eat what they cook, and for that reason I'm filing Lorraine Pascal under BAD.

Quoted for Truth. Worst TV chef ever and there's fair competition for that. If ever anyone was commissioned for style over substance it was her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anthony Bourdain No Reservations is by far my favourite food programme as you can probably tell by my avatar.

Bourdain has a new show called The Layover, its essentially the same format just more cities and its brilliant as usual. You can find the episodes online.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anthony Bourdain No Reservations is by far my favourite food programme as you can probably tell by my avatar.

+1 for that - great show.

He also has a new show on Travel Channel here called The Layover: basically spends 24 - 48 hours in a city and visits all his essential places to eat and drink, it's really good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem with a lot of food shows these days is that they want to try and force some 'lifestyle' crap into them - little vignettes of the chef hosting a party, or going to the shops.

I do however think that The Great British Bake Off is excellent because everybody in it is so polite and happy to be there. The winner of the last one was about as homely and mum-like as you'll get in one of these contests, and you could tell having people enjoy her food really meant a lot to her - and that's lovely to see. Mel and Sue are comforting hosts, the judges are critical when needed without being nasty and it's great seeing the artistry of x number of people all having the same brief (i.e. do something with puff pastry) but all coming up with some amazing - and very different - stuff. And the focus is very much on the cooking, not the person.

I used to like new Masterchef but that started to focus more and more on talking head moments and less about prep and cooking - plus the voiceover really started to aggravate. Australian Masterchef - whilst a very different beast - takes the lifestyle stuff even further (with them doing their little commentary clips). At least they seem to be nice enough people though.

I used to like Hell's Kitchen back when Deyton was hosting (the Vic Reeves moment was fantastic and the original premise was pretty fresh and exciting) because it was amusing to see the arguments, the panic, the stress. And Ramsey going mental. But now, being a bit older, I've really mellowed and don't enjoy watching such deliberately-confrontational reality TV (in any genre). Cooking needs to go back to being about cooking. And besides, the food more often than not is far more appealing to look at than the hosts!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't mind Simon Hopkinson's last series although that was partly due to the soundtrack - admittedly not a deciding factor for a good food show.

You should add Rachel Allen to the good list, pretty much for the same reason Nigella is there. I used to get home from work and watch Rachel followed by Nigella, it was the closest I ever got to watching porn with the ex.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I've been watching 'BBQ pit masters' on netflix recently.

I started watching this based on your recommendation, it's brilliant!

Love the mix of US drama and really good looking BBQ food, it's a cheese fest but it's a good one!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

there was an episode of iron chef I think where a hotel did a dessert of a deconstructed chocolate bar. they created a very impressive kind of grenache that was an amazing consistency, not too much like solid chocolate and not too much like icing either. to use a technical cooking term, it was bendy

would love to try and copy it but almost certainly beyond me, maybe one for the experts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Decent food shows are basically the best thing on TV that isn't HBO etc.

I watched the new Hairy Bikers thing last night with the girlfriend, and wasn't that bothered about watching it, but in the end it won me over. They allow the guest bakers to show off, and then show you how to cook nice, simple, delicious food. All the while having a lovely time. They're really lovely, and make endearing hosts, without bluster and bullshit.

I loved the bake off, despite not really being into baking.

Man VS Food is weird, not much of it looks very nice anymore, just a lot of food. It's pretty easy to watch though.

I find Rick Stein to be a bit obsequious, but pleasant enough.

The Baker Brothers are really twee, but nice and simple stuff. Apparently nice in person too.

The last series of Masterchef really took the adding tension and boring secondments to another level. I really hated the cook cakes for the old duffers episode.

Gonna check out some of these recommendations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.