Since I already posted about Food Network shows I love, I figured I should do a quick set of shout outs to my other favorite cooking shows on TV. Just because that's what I do.
This show really picked up in Season Five, when Fabio and Stephan were members of the cast, in my opinion. In fact, you can go out and buy Season Five of Top Chef at your local Target store, now. Perhaps even other places. While I have not yet purchased the TV show, I have been given the Top Chef Cookbook, and it is by far my favorite cookbook right now. Amazing.
Love. It. Love. It.
Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares
They have an American version that's on Fox now, but truth be told, I miss the BBC version. It seemed like he was so much harder on his own countrymen, and has softened his exterior a bit for American TV. Could be that the personalities he's working with are different, and that might have a huge impact on how his show runs. But I have to say, I miss the British version. I loved watching him run into some purple castle in the North of England and massacring the French chef and all the little underlings who have no desire to be there. It's very fun. I still watch it on BBC America.
Of course, Buddy would not approve.
You are What You Eat
The most famous part of YAWYE is the "table". After she puts you on camera for a day or two, filming what you normally eat, she collects the diary for what you've been eating the last week. And she brings out every single thing you've eaten for the past seven days and puts it on a giant table somewhere in your house. Now, this has never happened to me, but the people who attend these fattie feasts are always repulsed by the smell and the sight of all the junk they've been putting into their bodies without even thinking it. Then, of course, she puts out on a table all the colorful, fresh, wonderful things they will be eating for the next week, and everyone is much impressed.
She's not averse to shock tactics to scare us out of our fat habits. In fact, I once saw her build a chocolate gravestone with the woman's name and "RIP" and a near date on it, to show her that the chocolate she was eating was going to give her diabetes and kill her. She's also made piles and piles of fat in someone's backyard, or made you carry around the amount of sugar you eat in a year. It's freaky. But it works...
Gordon Ramsay's F-Word
The premise of the show is that Gordon staffs his kitchen with novices, trains them for a day, and then they have to do dinner service in his restaurant. There are 50 customers in the restaurant, and each of them are asked at the end of each course whether the food was good enough that they would pay for it or not. Then, these novices get a score out of 150 for the three courses. Obviously, they're shooting for 150, but they never make it. Then, each show also includes a celebrity star and some kind of cook-off with Gordon. I adore it. I love watching novices learn to cook. Not because I like to watch people fail, but because when they succeed, it's unlike any other success you will witness. Think of the first time you sold a story or a book. The first time you got a good critique. The first time you made a dish and someone loved it. There's just something really special about your very first success that will make all others pale in comparison. And, generally, they all succeed in some way. I mean, how could you not, with Gordon Ramsay as your mentor?
So what about you? Do you watch non-Food-Network cooking shows? Have you seen these? What did you like/not like about them? What other shows did I miss that you would have included?