Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Cooking With Who?

Over the past three or four years, the Food Network has gone really downhill. Those "Making Of" and "Food Challenges" specials are a total bore. And they even managed to make a reality show that took itself so seriously, it made you want you want to hurl at the goody two-shoe contestants and the producers "Bob" & "Susie" who seriously do not know what people want to watch on the Food Network.

However, one of the chefs I do like is the Barefoot Contessa. Although, she has so many annoying habits like her constant self-congratulatory rhetorical questions and her weird cackling laughter that makes her seem like she's braying like a horse. So many, that I kind of have a love-hate relationship with her. I do love her house, especially her kitchen. And she does make really good, albeit sometimes kind of plain, food that's accessible to us normal folks without a kitchen the size of a studio apartment and a carefully manicured garden that grows enough veggies and herbs to feed an army with upscale food tastes.

But what I don't love are her annoying little moments of hard-core Hamptons behavior. In each episode of the Barefoot Contessa we have to endure more countless forays to quaint little shops, where Ina lumbers about, air kissing everyone including the hired help, and promising to invite them over. We also get to meet Ina's bizarre universe of friends who seem to fall into two camps: 1) mummified, ungrateful, spoiled adults or 2) flaming, and I mean FLAMING, gay.

The other day I caught an episode called "Cooking with Tess." I had seen bits and pieces of this episode, but I kept missing the intro and thus had no clue who the hell Tess was. As I watched, with great anticipation, I kept wondering who this magical Tess was. I had never heard of any "Tess" in the "foodie" world, and yet Ina couldn't stop talking about Tess's love of baking. I'm thinking she's some Julia Child protege or something. "Tess" even rated a field trip moment to Williams-Sonoma to purchase piping tips. Then, finally, the secret is revealed. Who slunks in but some gawky teenager. WTF? Who the hell is she? She sure didn't come across as any baking wizard. Ina and this supposed big name superstar baker were playing with some piping for a tart they were frosting. Well, Tess showed no skill whatsoever with the piping, or really ANYthing in the kitchen. Then Ina gives Tess the pastry bag and some tips ("the large ones, Tess.") that she bought earlier so Tess can frost her own cakes. I had to laugh. Tess is probably still pissed at that gift and looking for the iPod.


Tom said...

I watched Food Network a lot three years ago. Then Rachael Ray started getting way too much attention. (If I hear her say "E-V-O-O" one more time…) "Good Eats" got cut to 30 minutes. (Wacky as it is, it's really informative. Come on, topics like oatmeal deserve a full hour.) And, there's just never enough Ty Flo anymore.

Mr. H.K. said...

I just can't get into these cooking shows...

Now eating? I can do that!

tim said...

I saw that episode with Tess. I felt the same way. Who the fuck was this hack cunt who couldn't frost an empty tray?!?!?! I bet the only pastry she eats is Ina's, if you know what I mean. What a fucking crock.

Okay, I had to get that out because that show pissed me off.

teahouse said...

I think I commented on someone else's post a few months back about how the Barefoot Contessa freaks me out because of those scense where she takes a candlelit bath before dinner...and she gets in and the water almost overflows...why would anyone show that on a cooking show???