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Who is your favorite celeb chef?

post #1 of 186
Thread Starter 
Okay, since we have been talking about Emeril and celeb chefs in general - and specifically :p - who is your favorite celeb chef and why?

I like Alton Brown because he focuses on technique and explains why he uses certain techniques. I don't always agree with him, but he usually has some interesting points. Besides, he is pretty entertaining.

p.s. I like Emeril's recipes, I'm just tired of watching him.
post #2 of 186
Well, I'm another Aalton Brown fan myself, his show, Good Eats, is terrific. I especially like his 'housespouse'(shamless attempt at PC) method of showing people how to cook, and the research that goes into each episode.
post #3 of 186
Yep, Alton Brown gets my vote, too. The more a cook explains, the more I like. And boy does he try to explain. I like his corny jokes, too, and the funny chicken inhis kitchen. I don't agree with everything he does. But I do like how he has food scientists on his show.

I learned how to cook from television (Madeleine Kamman, Jacques Pepin and Julia Child all on PBS). In the 7th grade, I used to cut school just to watch cooking shows. This continued in college, too, when the TVFN made it's debut.
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post #4 of 186
Julia is God. Also I learned great things when I was a kid from Chef Tell and The Galloping Gourmet (he was much better when he still drank).

Todays winners are Mario ("MULTO MARIO!") and Ming Tsai. Also, while some of his stuff is condescending **** , I really enjoyed Bobby Flay's tour of Ballpark food.

When will we get an American version of Iron Chef?

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Peace,
kmf



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post #5 of 186
Kurt, check out the posting by thelogg, it's just a little further down the latenight cafe page.
post #6 of 186
Definitely Julia, forever!

:rolleyes:
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post #7 of 186
Thread Starter 
Truthfully, when I started this thread I wasn't even thinking of Julia Child. Julia is an icon and doesn't belong in the same category as Emeril and Alton, et al. As I have been thinking about it, I haven't come up with another chef to put in with Julia. Maybe Jacques Pepin?

[ May 21, 2001: Message edited by: nancya ]
post #8 of 186
Alton Brown, I love the show Good Eats. He's down to earth and I enjoy the science behind the cooking.
Svadhisthana
post #9 of 186
In actuality I love to watch all of the chefs and cooking shows on tv. Having had no formal cooking education, I am always grateful for the opportunity to learn something new.
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post #10 of 186
I used to watch Chef Tell and got a kick out of the way he would waft the steam rising off a pot towards his face, and his signoff, which I still use on the way out the door to the kitchen crew, "Ok, We see you." If anyone feels like doing their own show, a lot of local cable companies might be willing to talk. I had my own show for a while called The Grouchy Gourmet. The whole point of it was to cook dinner in half an hour and we shot it unscripted, unrehearsed and unedited. This does imply a rather thorough mise en place, but it was fun.
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post #11 of 186
Pierre Franey and Jacques Pepin belong up there with Julia in my mind. But Julia does stand alone in her monumental achievement of getting a wider portion of the American public to pay attention to what they are eating out and preparing at home. Think back (those of you whose experience goes back this far) to the supermarkets of the 1950s and 1960s. No salsa, no mangoes, no fresh pasta, a very limited variety of fresh fish, no artisan breads.... instead, plenty of Velveeta, baked beans, Wonder bread and Swanson TV dinners (oy, vey!!). We were all excited when we managed to find Tabasco sauce, for heaven's sake! Someone who knows a lot more than I do about Julia's contributions could say it better, but without her unique style and appeal, this site might not even exist, for lack of enough people to care about things like fresh flavors, interesting textures and high quality ingredients.
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post #12 of 186
This is similar to another thread about favorite on FTV Network. My favorite is Jaque Pepin (my Hero!). As I stated before, he is the consummate professional chef with the most understanding and knowledge about what he presents to you. He has vast natural talent too.
Then Julia is the best of what I call professional home cook. The presentation of her knowledge is done in such a non assuming way. It made cooking a doable thing with cookable recipes.
They both opened the way for all the other TV celebs, but with style and class to exhibit the passion and love for the culinary arts.
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post #13 of 186
Mez,

You're so right.

Julia, Jacques and Pierre are a wonderful trilogy in the cooking world. I grew up watching Julia. Later came Jacques along with his wonderful technique. And then, Pierre, I taped all his shows. Got all the books.

But Julia was the first and got me going!

:rolleyes:
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post #14 of 186
My current fave is Michael Chiarello. He may only be an SF Bay area celeb chef, not sure. His web page is www.seasonbyseason.com. His receipes are good, has a personality and gets some pretty random guests. A few shows ago he had Jack Blades from Night Ranger and CeCe DeVille from Poison stop by.

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post #15 of 186
Sadly we are down to One, but the Two Fat Ladies were/are a hoot! I'm not sure they qualify as chefs but they are on FoodTV. They never met a kind of fat they didn't like and they sure seem to have an awful lot of fun. :)
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At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.
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post #16 of 186
SeattleDeb....

Haven't been to his restaurant and not sure I'll be able to before I get outta here. We're moving to Denver June 18 so my uncoming schedule is packed and hectic!! Have you been?

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post #17 of 186
We used to live a lot closer to Napa/St.Helena/Sonoma (lived in Sacto) than we do now..so we've visited quite often. The service is kind of hmmm laid back..but I love sitting on the patio outside on a warm night. My favorite dish is very simple: Pasta cylinders with sausage, spinach, potatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and Pecorino.
Another favorite place is Mustards for more casual dining. Then again, there are so many great places to eat in the area.

Tra Vigne also has a nice little delicatassen next door (breads, pastries, their oils, vinegars). Had great macaroons there!

I bet you hate to leave Los Gatos, I used to live right off of Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road.

[ May 23, 2001: Message edited by: SeattleDeb ]
post #18 of 186
I have always enjoyed Jaque Pepin
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post #19 of 186
SDeb...

Sounds like you were in the Cupertino/Sunnyvale area. I work very close to De Anza and 280. Actually, I can't wait to get outta here. With the price of rent, gas, everything here I can't afford to eat at all the great places. And with the amount of traffic it's a pain going anywhere anyway.

I think we are off the topic. :)

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post #20 of 186
theloggg..have you been to Travigne? I like Michael too, I don't have his cookbook but his website has good recipes and we get his newsletter.
post #21 of 186
Jacques Pepin. Hands down. I love his style and personality. His background and technique are impeccible, and he was my inspiration when I was a young culinarian.
(Who is this Julia gal he does things with? Ha.)
post #22 of 186
Mario Batagli because of his passion for the ingredients and the stories behind the food.
Sometimes he is a bit much but I generally like what he cooks and love to hear about the origins of it all.

Close second would be Bobby Flay. His show is entertaining without the Bam! He has good chemistry with his sidekick Jackie. And the guests are almost always informative.
His restaurant, Mesa Grill, is excellent.
post #23 of 186
Dear FRiends:

My most favorite "celebrity" Chef is Jacques Pepin.

I love his cooking as much as his personal style.

:)
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post #24 of 186

My all time favorite is Nathalie Dupree.  I learned to cook from her PBS series.  I filled in the blanks, covering  most of what Nathalie didn't cover from Madelaine Kammen.  I dislike those who are merely combining ingredients - Jeff Smith (who seemed to rely upon his assistants for actual cooking knowledge) and Emeril come to mind in that category.  I like chefs who stress technique.   Of the current ones, I really like Alton Brown and I do learn technique from him too, plus his show is just entertaining - I'd watch it even if I weren't interested in learning to cook.  

 

I find I pay more attention to the "Every Day Cooking" chefs (a Martha Stewart production on PBS) than any others. I get more ideas for the type of cooking I like to do from that show than most.   I like Bayless, but some of his dishes need to be tasted before I declare him "best".  Some of those Mexican ingredients are acquired tastes, IMO.  There used to be a woman on PBS, Ciao Italia, or something like that.  I learned a lot from her too. 

 

PS, I just looked it up.  Ciao Italia is still on, just not our market I guess. 

Mary Ann Esposito is her name.

 

Here I am editing again.  How could I forget Martin Yan??  from Yan Can Cook.  Wow, one of the all time best, IMO.  All my friends ask for my Chinese dishes, and I learned them all from him.  One of my friend's husband asks me to make chinese chicken salad (marinate cooked chicken chunks in sesame oil & rice vinegar, use as dressing) lettuce, green onions and thos fried rice noodles that explode the moment they hit the hot oil.  I add toasted sesame seeds too, but you can skip them.  He LOVES this.


Edited by IndyGal - 12/16/10 at 9:22am
post #25 of 186

IndyGal, welcome to ChefTalk. Good topic to bring back up, especially since the celebrity chef is bigger now than ever.

 

My personal favorite "celebrity chef" is John Besh of New Orleans. He was the runner-up in the first season of The Next Iron Chef, and runs several extremely popular restuarants in New Orleans, the Northshore, and now in San Antonio (thank God).

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post #26 of 186

The question is, what makes a chef a celebrity? Having a TV show? Or having a great reputation in the field? Or being a cookbook author?

 

I reackon now that he has a TV series, Eric Ripart is a for-sure celebrity. In my opinion, if he's not the best chef in America he runs whoever is a very close second. It grieves me greatly that we don't get his show in my area.

 

John Besh is up there too, for many reasons.

 

On the flip side, I used to rank Mario Batali pretty high, but he lost a lot of my respect after the attitude he showed during the Q&A. And it's no secret that I have no use for Alton Brown. I know he thinks he's a wit; I think he's about half right.

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post #27 of 186

I like Watching Lidia Bastianichon on "Lidia's Italy" it's as much a cooking show as it is a trip through Italy...along with Jacques Pepin's "Fast Food My Way", both folks make simple dishes with real food. I get hungry just watching them.

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post #28 of 186

Nigel Slater.

Bill Grainger.

 

My two, current favourites.

post #29 of 186

I had to look at the date when the person toward the top asked when we'd see an American version of Iron Chef :). 

 

I enjoy Alton Brown because he digs into things and explains them.  Once I read "On Cooking and Food", I realized Alton isn't the genius I thought he was.  He does his research though (or someone does), and it's hard to not learn something when watching his shows.  Some of his skits on Good Eats are rather annoying, but I feel like 30 mins of watching one of his shows will take a person further than watching most other cooking shows. 

 

I am consistently amazed by his ability to "announce" Iron Chef America.  I realize that there's a lot of editing and voice-overs that happen, but it seems pretty certain that he's following along with a lot of what's happening during the competition as it's occurring.  My reason for that belief is the interaction he has with the chefs when calling out what he thinks he sees or what ingredients are in a particular concoction.  The fact that the chef even remembers at that point is equally as amazing.

 

I'm starting to like Guy Fieri, which is amazing in itself.  I immediately dismissed him by his appearance and his demeanor.  However, DDD does get into kitchens and see actual recipes being made, and helps give some reality to how a restaurant kitchen operates.  A lot of the shows are based in house-like soundstages which make cooking look like something from the Jane Cleaver era. 

 

post #30 of 186


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gobblygook View Post

I am consistently amazed by his ability to "announce" Iron Chef America.  I realize that there's a lot of editing and voice-overs that happen, but it seems pretty certain that he's following along with a lot of what's happening during the competition as it's occurring.   


I read a blog post from a food writer a while back about attending a taping of ICA. He said that there are several takes of the chairman's introductions, but when the cooking starts, Alton Brown talks from start to finish. He said is was just as impressive as the cooking. Whether or not it's true, I don't know. But the fact is, the man knows his food.

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