April 29, 2009

Catholic Foodie Readers on TV Cooking vs. Real Cooking

Catholic Foodie Readers on TV Cooking vs. Real Cooking

Last week I posted this article on The Catholic Foodie page on Facebook: TV Cooking vs. Real Cooking. The article generated some good discussion, so I figured I would share it here.

These are the thoughts of those who commented on the Facebook page:

Christie Martin:
On television, the audience sits politely on chairs, in mine the audience of children, husband, and friends are involved in the act, tasting, kibbutzing, and peeking. I guess the dog might be like the camera: always watching, in the way a little, and hoping for a dramatic spill!

Daniel Burns:
The foodnetwork kitchens always have the most wonderful bowls, plates, glasses, etc. We don’t. A foodnetwork kitchen is always clean. Our’s isn’t. A Foodnetwork kitchen always has all their ingredients pre-prepared. Our’s doesn’t. And have you noticed that in a foodnetwork “trinity” or mir poi everything is precisely the same size and exactly cubical…heck, you would have thought Picasso did the chopping.

The Catholic Foodie:
Yes, Danny. My kitchen is nothing like FoodNetwork. Definitely not as clean. Not as posh. The chef isn’t as good (me), and THERE IS NO SOUS CHEF. The most tedious part of cooking is the prep. Now, thankfully, I love cooking, so it is not much of a burden to me… unless I am in a hurry.

Karin Coll:
Oh, it may not be as fancy or well stocked but I can put out meals that make my family happy….and ironically, not many come from FN…so yes, there is a big difference! We have kids that have to like what they are eating…just a little bit! And about the divine in meals… Amen, amen I say. Jesus was always at the table. I find it interesting that families that eat together have better lasting relationships…there was some study years ago about this…we eat dinner together about 5 out of 7 days. I always sit with the kids when dad is not in town! community is in all we do!

Daniel Burns:
The foodnetwork is pretty awesome. It is virtually all we watch. I wonder if some study has been done to see if and how it has revolutionized cooking in the standard American home.

Christi and I are lucky in that we both come from families that are very proud of our culinary tradition (both of us are some mixture of Acadian and Italian), but the Foodnetwork has exposed us to other ethnic cuisines that we may have otherwise been either ignorant of or only tried in a resturant.

Roy Petitfils:
Thanks for sharing that Jeff. I’d never heard of him. I read Andrew Knowlton and Michael Ruhlman’s blogs, but I like Bittman and Bittens. As to the point of his blot.

I tend to agree-to an extent. Actually, in the early days of the network they filmed episodes with plenty of imperfections. Bobby Flay messed up as did Mario Batali. That’s all gone now, and so seems to be Batali. Emeril was probably one of the worst with the prep stuff on his live show. A team of people making his food come together. I always wonder how good it really tastes.

That being said, most of them have actually spent years in commercial Kitchens slugging it out. Nowadays there’s a bunch of pretty newcomers whose ears are still wet from culinary school wanting the celeb status that has found the Flays, Emerils and Batali’s.

Have you read any of Michael Ruhlman’s books? “The Soul of a Chef”, “The Making of a Chef” and “The Reach of a Chef”? The making of a chef was my favorite since I really did want to go to culinary school. One of my life’s only regrets. He spends a year at the CIA and chronicles his journey. Great read, by a great writer. “Kitchen Confidential” by Anthony Bourdain is rather profane, but interesting. Again, a good writer.

So, what about you? How does your kitchen measure up to Food Network?