My name is Karen and I am a food TV addict.
I'll watch pretty much anything: Hell's Kitchen, Top Chef, Chopped, Dinner: Impossible, Man vs. Food, Kitchen Nightmares, No Reservations, Iron Chef America, Food Network Challenge, the Next Food Network Star, Chefs vs. City. Although I haven't yet watched Cupcake Wars. I do have to draw a line somewhere.
I admit to being particularly partial to Top Chef, but Chopped is a close second. Chopped really shows whether a chef can cut it or not: the contestants are given a basket with different items and have to create a dish out of it. Sound easy? Well, not so much if you get the trout, the maple syrup and the popcorn basket. And then they only have 20 minutes for the appetizer and half an hour for entree. Why some think they can make a risotto or a stew in that time, well, don't they ever watch the show?
Gordon Ramsay is one crazy guy and what's with all the shouting? He shouts and cusses on Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, and he's got a new Master Chef show starting at the end of the month, so I'm wondering if he'll shout and cuss during that one, too. Although the commercials show perhaps a kinder and gentler Gordon.
Top Chef is our antidote to Hell's Kitchen, which my husband always says makes him want to take a shower afterward. Top Chef is civilized, with actual, real chefs who have some real talent. Although we can't figure out how Padma got involved.
Tony Bourdain has been a favorite since I read Kitchen Confidential. I loved his show Cook's Tour on Food Network and watch No Reservations on the Travel Channel religiously. I saw Bourdain speak at RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison when the companion book for Cook's Tour came out. He was hilarious in person and talked about how in every country they'd find a little kid and make him tell the camera "I hate Emeril," and then they'd send the tape back to Food Network, which never mentioned it.
The Travel Channel also features Man vs. Food. Adam Richman can't keep this up, though. I mean, those food challenges will kill him. A ten pound omelet? With hot sauce? Sushi that's so hot he's sweating with the first bite? We watch, riveted by his stamina and iron stomach. I always wonder what's going on after the camera stops rolling.
I know I'm not the only one watching these shows. They're hugely popular, and now cable has even introduced the Cooking Channel. I haven't watched much on that, yet, except for a show about drinks. But it didn't have the same appeal.
Do you watch food TV? What's your favorite show?