Food Jamming, Getting baked, and "personalities" who can't cook
I haven't really been watching Food TV lately. I have become disillusioned with the pap they have been serving up as of late. When Anthony Bourdain took aim at the network with a scathing and highly amusing diatribe, he pinpointed and articulated a lot of what I was feeling about the channel, in particular, "the ascent of the Ready-Made bobblehead personalities, and the not-so-subtle shunting aside of the Old School chefs". Bourdain states what he likes and what is redeemable about the shows and people populating FoodTV, but is unmerciful on those shows and 'personalities' he dislikes. I highly recommend you read his post on the Ruhlman.com (via LHB) - for just a taste here is the opening salvo from his commentary on Rachel Ray "Complain all you want. It’s like railing against the pounding surf. She only grows stronger and more powerful. Her ear-shattering tones louder and louder." I shudder at the thought of her getting any stronger/louder. And for more with the man, be sure to check out Raincoast Books for a three-part podcast with Bourdain.
There are a few shows I still do like, Surreal Gourmet and Barefoot Contessa among them (does anyone know how I can befriend these people and have them cook for me? I am always jealous of their guests), but if there is one show that redeems the network at the moment, it is Food Jammers, who have recently started their second season. They are funny, smart, and do really bizarre and interesting things with food. You can check out a few episodes of the show online. Who else would attempt dehydrating a turkey? Genius (even if it didn't work out).
What is really floating my boat at the moment is something I recently found on the interwubs:
Let's Get Baked with Mat and Dave. This weekly podcast/radio show which is produced in Halifax has bands come into the kitchen and bake vegan goodies with the two hosts. They put the recipes online, along with some photos, so you can bake along with them. They has some really great guests, fun food facts, tasty sounding recipes, and a really great theme song. My favourite episode that I have listened to so far has to be the one featuring Holy Fuck where they make a tofu scramble, but my favourite recipe is Christine Fellows' Coffee Kiss Cookies. Maybe if you're lucky I'll test out that recipe on you sometime.
Today I just discovered (thanks to The Most Serene Republic on Let's Get Baked) the vidcast show thingy Ctrl-Alt-Chicken which describes itself "a new form of cooking show... one in which the chefs don't know how to cook!"I have just watched their "minibite" on Artichoke dip and am currently watching their clip show. The show seems pretty good - informal and funny but with surprisingly high production values. They seem genuinely surprised with something turns out and, it seems, occasionally things do not - and we all know that spectacular failure is almost always more entertaining to watch than an easy success. I have some high hopes for it and am looking forward to watching more of their adventures in the kitchen. They like Monte Cristo sandwiches and i just heard the words "adverse chemical reaction". Awesome.
Do check out some of the stuff I've posted above and if you know of something else I might dig along those lines please leave me a comment. Happy eating.