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Showing posts with the label Food Network

The Daily Beast: "Chopped: Why I’m Obsessed with Food Network’s Reality Competition Show"

Food Network’s Chopped returns for its fifteenth season. I write about why sea cucumbers, speculoos, and lacinato kale--on the surface, ingredients which many of us have never heard of--matter. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Chopped : Why I’m Obsessed with Food Network’s Reality Competition Show," in which I I write about my insatiable obsession with Food Network's Chopped , and how the competition show brings a deeper and richer awareness of food and culinary diversity to the public at large. When the Food Network, the culinary-themed cable network available in approximately 99 million American homes and 150 countries around the globe, launched Chopped in 2009, no one could have imagined the eventual impact the show would have. And by no one, I mean me. I was initially less than enthusiastic about Chopped—a culinary competition show featuring four chefs squaring off by cooking an appetizer, entrée, and dessert from various mystery basket

The Daily Beast: "TiVo’s Top 20 Shows Watched Before Bed: Jimmy Fallon, Lost Girl, and More"

Just what are you watching before bed? Do you tune in to watch a 10 p.m. drama? A late-night talk show? Or reality television? At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "TiVo’s Top 20 Shows Watched Before Bed: Jimmy Fallon, Lost Girl , and More," in which I examine data obtained from TiVo about the top 20 shows that people watch before they go to bed, from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Revenge to Chopped and NCIS: LA . It’s no secret that many Americans turn on the television as part of a nighttime ritual before bed. But what is surprising is just what they’re watching before their heads hit their respective pillows. According to data provided by TiVo to The Daily Beast, the top program watched at bedtime was NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, while TBS’s Conan was the most-watched cable show before bed. “Perhaps it’s not surprising that many late-night talk shows are watched before bed,” Tara Maitra, TiVo’s general manager of content and media sales

The Daily Beast: "Sweet Genius: Ron Ben-Israel is the Scariest Man on Television"

Ron Ben-Israel may be a renowned pastry chef in real life, but as the host of Food Network’s cooking show Sweet Genius, he terrifies me. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "The Creepiest Man on Television," in which I discuss just why Ben-Israel freaks me out and review his Food Network show, Sweet Genius , a bizarre and often head-scratching mishmash of styles, tones, and freaky weirdness. The scariest man on television is obsessed with cakes. Ron Ben-Israel, the host of Food Network’s bizarre culinary competition series Sweet Genius, absolutely terrifies me. Watching the show reduces me to cold sweat, imagining that Ben-Israel has forced me into the Saw-like confines of the Sweet Genius set, where I must bake a génoise while he cackles eagerly at my misery before murdering me. Sweet Genius is a variation on the network’s highly successful Chopped: Four chefs—pastry chefs and confectionary makers in this case—must cook three courses from pre-select

Test Pattern: What's Your Indispensable TV Network?

We all have the networks--whether broadcast or cable, legacy or newbie--that we gravitate to, but I was wondering this morning about so-called indispensable networks. Given that I write about television, nearly all networks could be said to be indispensable in one way or another, but what I was pondering was that one specific television channel that you can't turn away from, that you automatically switch to when you turn on the television, or which you have on as background while you're doing other things in our multi-tasking obsessed society. Many years ago, that channel was--perhaps not surprisingly for those of you who know me--Food Network, but it was replaced by BBC America around 2000 and for many years that was my go-to network, the one spot on the metaphorical dial that I could always depend on for diverting fare, soothing background noise, or a sense of the familiar and comforting. For whatever the reason, sadly, that's not the case anymore and--shock, horror--

The Insatiable Viewer: Not All Food Shows Are Created Equal

Now is a very good time to be a television-loving foodie, with several networks other than stalwarts Food Network or PBS devoting air time to culinary-themed programming. In fact, it's safe to say that cuisine as a whole has entered the general zeitgeist in a way that it couldn't really have done before the public's embrace of reality programming. But there's a rather large caveat: not all food programming is equal. While television offers a bountiful cornucopia of culinary series, there's still a large difference in the quality of these programs, not to mention a staggering range of subjects being covered. There are docusoaps that focus on cake-makers, competition series pitting chefs against each other, old fashioned cook-offs, food-focused travel series, and product spotlights. While I'd never be able to offer up a comprehensive discussion of all of these series (they are too numerous to even contemplate as a whole), I thought I'd take a look at a few

Channel Surfing: TNT Cans "Trust Me," Showtime Passes on All Pilots, Adam Scott and Zak Orth Get "Wonderful" for HBO, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. TNT has officially canceled freshman drama Trust Me , starring Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanagh. The Warner Horizon-produced series, which launched with 3.4 million viewers and quickly lost much of that viewership, will not be returning for a second season. McCormack himself has already signed on to another project, ABC's untitled Tad Quill comedy pilot. The cabler, meanwhile, has three new series in the works: Ray Romano dramedy Men of a Certain Age , medical drama Hawthorne (formerly known as Time Heals ), and Deep Blue (formerly known as The Line ). ( Hollywood Reporter ) Showtime is now zero for four. The pay cabler has now opted not to order any of its four pilots to series in the last month, deciding over the weekend not to hand out a series order to Tim Robbins-created drama Possible Side Effects , staring Josh Lucas as a pharmaceuticals family scion. Previously, the network had shelved pilots Ronna and Beverly , The L

Set Your Tivo: "Jamie at Home" and "Nigella Express"

There are few things more joyous in this time of wet and cold in Los Angeles than to curl up on the couch on Sunday mornings, a steaming cup of tea in one hand, my TiVo remote in the other, and catch up with Jamie and Nigella. I'm speaking of course about British authors Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson, both as well known for their remarkably cozy cookery series as they are for their amazing and sinfully delicious cookbooks. Both are culinary heroes of mine and my dining room is filled with their books as, typically, my kitchen is overflowing with their delicious (and sometimes quite naughty) recipes. Thanks to Food Network, both are currently running new series at the moment: Oliver has Jamie at Home , a back-to-basics series about growing your own veg and preparing it at home, and Lawson has returned with Nigella Express , a series tied around making fantastic food quickly in an "express" style all her own. When he's not traveling around Italy in a refitted 1969

Kitchen Confidential: "Nigella Feasts" on Food Network

I'm a sucker for food television shows. Especially ones that feature that insatiable British domestic goddess Nigella Lawson, author of such wildly popular cookery books as "How to Be a Domestic Goddess," "Nigella Bites," "Forever Summer," and her latest opus, "Feast." It's the latter book, with its emphasis on celebratory cooking, that ties into Nigella's latest program, Nigella Feasts , which launched yesterday in the US on Food Network. To know Nigella is to love her. And to love her means giving into fat, butter, sugar, and god knows what else in pursuit of deliciously dreamy foodstuffs. If you can't handle a deep-fried Mars bar, this is not the cooking show for you. But if you've got a yearning for chocolate cherry trifle and lamb with pomegranate and feta, Nigella is the gal for you. My girlfriend, formerly hopeless in the kitchen, was transformed by Nigella's "How to Be a Domestic Goddess." Now she makes