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Food Network Iron Chef Boosting Ratings

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Dear Friends:

On Yahoo's home page today there is an article on how competitive cooking shows like "Iron Chef" are boosting the ratings. Here's the link:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/s/usatod...pantopancombat

We have had many discussions on here about how the Food Network caters to the general public at the cost of culinary propriety and how many professional chefs take exception to a number of their formats and TV "chefs", (Sandra Lee being the best example).

I think this position is especially true for shows like "Iron Chef." In my opinion, this is the game-show-meets-reality-TV of the cooking world.

AND, I don't care what anybody says. I don't believe that this stuff isn't staged.

What do you guys think?

Mark
Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
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Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
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post #2 of 17
I don't mind the Iron Chef competitions. I think it's fun to watch the chefs under pressure create their dishes. And I like the reviews by the taste testers. At least it incorporates real chefs, cooking and recipes. A station needs to garner interest to get and keep viewers, so these shows evolved out of the success of other competitive reality shows.

What I object to on FN is the blatant attemps to add "personality" to chefs/cooks on instruction shows. Julia, Jacques, Ming, Lidia, etc. were/are just being themselves and any quirkiness is not put on. Emeril, Rachael, and the like have morphed into over the top sideshows. I can't even stand to watch them and I don't.

And, I think you have a sense of my feelings about Sandra Lee already.
"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." -Lin Yutang
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"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." -Lin Yutang
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post #3 of 17

Got sucked in for a good reason this time

I am still more partial to the chefs that I saw on TV growing up. However, I finally watched an entire episode of Paula Deen. WOW! She made some sort of cake and I got so sucked into her recipe (not necessarily the show) that I lost complete track of what she made. All I remember hearing and seeing was butter, cream, sugar, cream, sugary cream, butter cream, creamy-licious cream essence and more butter and then she poured it over the cake to soak it all up! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
post #4 of 17
markV: couldn't agree with you more. iron chefs is such a put-up job it makes pro wrestling look like a nite at the improv. i can't watch it.
long live Julia and Jaques!!!!!
post #5 of 17
Is that why the FN chefs usually win? Oh, I suspect it's doctored up, but the concept is good and I like watching it every once in a while. I don't mind it as much as I do Semi-ho.
"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." -Lin Yutang
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"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." -Lin Yutang
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post #6 of 17
this is a type of show i desparately wanted to like. i remember watching it when it was all japanese, in japanese, in the early cable days and wishing there was an english version because it seemed like such a cool idea. language is no barrier to this intrepid cook....on canadial citytv saturday here we get farsi, hindi, korean and chinese cooking shows, and i sit and watch the whole thing every week.
was is martin yan who had the 'Wok With (....)' show back in the early eighties?
post #7 of 17

Yan Can Cook

Martin Yan's show (at least the one I watched) was called "Yan Can Cook"--The Wok show that you mentioned sounds familiar, but I don't know much about it.
post #8 of 17
We used to get various foreign language cooking shows. Ahh the good old days of watching Martin Yan and the others, Jacques Pepin, my favorite Pierre Franey.....those were good cooking shows. FN has some good stuff, but I do prefer the way it used to be......................Man I'm starting to show my age :rolleyes: you know back when we lit the stoves from lightning and if there wasn't a storm we ate raw meat....ahh the good old days....hoo boy :cry:
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #9 of 17
As corny as Martin Yan can be, he was entertaining and a super chef. His knife skills alone were amazing.

I like Ming Tsai (novacaine lip) as he also is a master chef and is not unpleasant to look at. :rolleyes:

But, I too miss the good ole days of food shows.
"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." -Lin Yutang
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"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." -Lin Yutang
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post #10 of 17
dang, i noticed that about ming tsai too (too tsai?)...that and you pour a glass of wine in him and the eyelids hit half mast instantly. worse than martha stewart.
that aside the man has a great show. he doesn't do cutesey food and he isn't a cutsey personality. (just cute.) can you imagine what his restaraunt must be like??
i honestly don't think a cooking show needs a big gimmick....just someone who loves the subject and does great food. thats why the competition formats leave me cold....i dont want to see some poor slob cook like a maniac and then lose...it pisses me off! :mad:
post #11 of 17
I figured that Japanese Iron Chef show was rigged but as noted above, the skills and the ingredients held me. The first time I saw the original IC was about 8 or 10 years ago while on a Florida vacation. We didn't have Food TV at home and I was immediately hooked! The first show was the one where they skin the eel while it's pegged to the cutting board- still alive. Gruesome and mesmerizing.

Yeah, I know it's fixed. But it's inspiring for a home cook to see all the creative approaches with the ingredients. I feel a bit less like whining when I don't have a clue what's for dinner until I walk into the market.
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post #12 of 17

IC rigged??

I'm not so put off by the competitiveness of shows like IC ... in fact i think they are very instructional in terms of how to produce great tasting (and great looking) food in a very short time. it is based on skill with knives and skillets and NOT on pre-prepared shortcuts like sandra lee. isn't that in itself valuable??

and as for being fixed, i read someplace that (or was it on an IC show??) that the IC's usually win not only because they are great chefs, but because they are used to and familiar with the taster's preferences in food. it is like having the homefield advantage in baseball. if you know how a ball will carom off a wall in the outfield, you have a better chance of keeping the single from stretching into a double. likewise, if you know a taster's palate, you can season the food to their liking and the extra point or two can make the difference between a win and a loss.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
To say that it is "rigged" means that there is an actual contest, but the winner is pre-determined. As in a crooked horse race.

I suggest that that the entire production is theatrical. The "contest" is no more real than the process of selecting a winner. The entire thing is staged. It is the "pro wrestling" of the food world and it's precisely our innate need to see it as real that lures us in, and boosts their ratings.

We don't want to see the man behind the curtain. We want him to remain the Wizard of Oz.

Savvy network execs take advantage of this.

Mark
Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
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Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
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post #14 of 17
thats it exactly markv. well put.
drew cary should host....
Iron Chefs! Where the winner means nothing and the points don't matter!

so here we are again debating taste :rolleyes: some of us don't find the contest aspect interesting or entertaining (and are right and are the queen of perfect-land so nyah nyah :D ) and some DO, but aren't buying it for a second :cool: , and a couple are waiting for the tooth fairy to show up with their invitation to the easter bunnys' hot tub party :crazy:
I watch a cooking show for information; entertainment is secondary. ergo my preference. i'm only right for me.
post #15 of 17

Yes, it is TV show

According to the book on Iron Chef (Japan), there was no Kitchen Stadium.
It was nothing more than a TV studio set. And the man who laid out his personal fortune to build "kitchen stadium", Chairman Kaga, was nothing more than an unsuccessful actor who they picked up to play the part.

And now with Iron Chef America, of course it is staged. The kitchen is, again, a TV studio. And the "Chairman" is a 2-bit actor whose films never even made B grade...his name is Mark Dacascos, a martial arts guy who tried to parlay that talent into movie fame, but unfortunately he couldnt act...and he still cant!!! (but he does get to eat free meals)
post #16 of 17

Japanese vs American version

I don't mind flipping back and forth during the Japanese version; I like to watch the end mostly. However, The only thing I like about the American version is the fact that Alton Brown is one of the announcers. I feel like he's my uncle or something. Well, I want him to be my uncle.

Ever since I saw Bobby Flay compete and win, I have held a grudge against this show. He was just so cocky. He stood up on the counter and held his arms up, pandering to the audience. I don't like his show either. He can kiss my ***.

Anyways, Ming Tsai rules! (and he is cute too).
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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Harpua:

I totally agree on all your points. I respect Alton Brown and Ming Tsai tremendously.

As for Bobby Flay, the only thing that exceeds his narcissism is his lack of verbal skills. The man is arrogant, condescending, egocentric, and I mean this as a statement of fact, not as an insult: just plain stupid.

Ever listen to him speak? An 8th grader has a better command of the English language. That's why he needs Jackie Moulouf (spelling?) on his show to be a mouthpiece.

I saw Flay on Ming Tsai's show once and he acted disrespectfully to him.

If Bobby Flay didn't come from a rich restaurant family he'd be a sous chef in a moderately upscale restaurant at best. Who else walks out of cooking school into their own restaurant?

Even learning disabilities and haughtiness are no match for money.

Mark
Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
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Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
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