Sunday, July 29, 2007

Comments on Ingrid Hoffman

I've been receiving a lot of comments agreeing with my initial impressions of Ingrid Hoffman. Unfortunately, I was traveling yesterday and couldn't see her last show. Anonymous suggested I take a look at Ingrid's Red Bean Beach Salad. I did check it out and Anon is absolutely right, it's gross.

Ingrid uses "sweet pickles" in the recipe. I'm surprised that she didn't save herself the chopping and just use hot dog relish, a equally disagreeable ingredient (except on hot dogs).

She says to use either a yellow onion or a red one. Well, there's all the world of difference between them, especially if you're using them raw. Letting the whole nasty thing sit overnight DOES soften the bitterness of the yellow onion. But it ALSO gives that strong onion taste enough time to permeate every other ingredient, so that after you eat it you will broadcasting "RAW ONIONS" for days after. And a half teaspoon of cloves seems like an awful lot for this amount of bad salad.

Making me even more churlish was the fact that it took me far longer than it should have to find this great recipe on the wonderful new Food Network website.

Anonymous sent a long comment about yesterday's Simply Delicioso show and instead of posting it after a Simply Delicioso blog entry, I wanted to highlight it here. (I just corrected a few mispellings...)

"I have to share my indignation with you. I watched as Ingrid made a scallop ceviche yesterday for her beach picnic show. Oh my God! I couldn't stop myself yelling at the tv in horror. Here is what I posted on the FN website:Ingrid mentioned many times in this episode that this ceviche was like the traditional ceviche from Peru and Ecuador with her own unique twist on it. I am from Peru and I can guarantee this version doesn't even remotely resemble a ceviche from Peru, Ecuador or even Mexico.... First, there's no such thing as coconut milk on it. Those ingredients are not a staple from these countries, as a matter of fact they are never found in Peruvian cuisine. Second, there are not coconut flakes on it either. Raisins on ceviche? are you nuts? Most Peruvians will take offense at your carelessness at showing something so far from the real ceviche. You are showing America! At least be true to the ingredients if you are going to call it ceviche from Peru. Also, we don't submerge the raw seafood or fish in lime juice. We dress the seafood/fish with lime juice with other seasonings and onions AND NEVER drain it!! you drain the wonderful flavors of the fish/seafood. This recipe is wrong in so many ways. And yes she calls it Snappy ceviche and not Peruvian ceviche but she mentioned that is like Peruvian ceviche and guess what IT"S NOT! not even close. Rating the recipe as a seafood salad (Thai style) I also give it zero stars since the combination of ingredients does not work. It's not Peruvian, it's not exotic is crazy crap!Oregano is not a ceviche ingredient either!!The other recipes were not good either, they all have odd combinations of ingredients and all together as a meal just did not work. Her bean salad combination is the perfect craving of a pregnant women...yikes!

I reread the ceviche recipe many times over. It does seem strange on many levels. Raisins!!!??? Plus, Anon is so right about not draining a ceviche. And WHAT is COOKED sweet potato doing in a ceviche?! AND what the heck do you do with it, after you've cooked it? The recipe says to set aside and never refers to it again. That's probably for the best.

So not only does Ingrid appear to chop raw vegetables on a meat contaminated cutting board, use the words "baby" and "Wooshie sauce" annoyingly and inappropriately, consider liquored-up jello to be dessert, but, NOW, we learn that her dishes are unauthentic, pseudo-ethnic and, basically, poorly conceived.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree! She is like Aunty Sandy in so many ways.

Anonymous said...

Yuk! no there's not coconut anything on ceviche or raisins.
We got another looser on FN.

Sue said...

Ditto.

Anonymous said...

I missed that episode. I am glad I did.

Anonymous said...

She also picked oregano leaves saying "he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me..."
Pathetic!

Sue said...

Crrrazy.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to say that I don't care for this show. I find her to be corny and quite annoying to watch. If she is irritating and her food is not true to its supposed origins than I think food network needs to encourage some changes.

Anonymous said...

OMG!I just got done watching an episode where she is cooking shrimp with ketchup and brandy!? What was FN thinking? It's RR all over again...

peachfuzz said...

ingrid hoffman, is muy, muy, delicioso to watch. her show is really different and she's passionate about every dish she prepares. sometimes its not about technique or what is "standard". it's about putting yourself in and tuning other people's perceptions out.

Sue said...

Anon,
I'm writing about that episode this week. Watch for it.

Peachie,
You should read EVERYTHING I've written about Ingrid. I'm sure she's a lovely person. I'm sure she'd be really fun to go clubbing with. I'm sure she's a wonderful television personality OUTSIDE of the kitchen.

But this is THE FOOD NETWORK, after all, and really she can't cook. Wait, let me revise that, she can sort of cook well enough, but NOT well enough to have a COOKING show.

AND there are many of us that would loved a Latin show with authentic GOOD QUALITY recipes, not jello shots and tequila with lemon soda.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with some of you here. I think Ingrid is wonderful and I actually tried arroz con pollo this weekend and my husband and I loved it!

Sue said...

Anon,
I am pleased that you felt that none of those ingredients went to waste. And I'm happy that you enjoyed your dinner.

Anonymous said...

I agree with all of you going off on her. Food Network has hit a home run with just about all of their hosts/chefs, but they SERIOUSLY dropped the ball this time.

Forget her (non-existent) culinary skills, she is fingernails-on-a-chalkboard personified.

"It's about bringing sunshine into my life, and into my kitchen...and also into yours."

Man, is that broad annoying...

Rant over...

Anonymous said...

P.S. ...and what's up with that stupid snapping thing she does?!?!?

ggrrrrrr.....

Melissa said...

i'm watching her right now and damn, i want to slap her. i found this site trying to figure out just exactly why she thinks she's a chef. Cordon Bleu-educated mother, no mention of her father, but she seems to have some wealth involved somewhere, since her first venture seems to have been a luxury fashion boutique in Miami.

Anonymous said...

Being Latin American, I was initially excited that the Food Network was finally showcasing a Latin American cook / chef on one of their shows. Ingrid has a bubbly, over the top personality but many of her dishes appear to have been created during rum-soaked show meeting sessions. I understand (and live) the whole "Spanglish" approach: combining classic Latin American cuisine with an American twist. I just wish Ingrid would stay true to this concept. However, as she states in a video on the FN website, she is inspired by her "moods" and whatever ingredients she has on hand (I gag just thinking about the raisins in the ceviche recipe). I am also appalled by the amount of oil she uses in her recipe and KNOW from experience, that she could easily cut down the oil by 50-75%. I will continue to use her recipes as a guide - revising, tweaking and eliminating odd ingredients along the way.

Sue said...

Sept. 2 Anon,
I find her cooking annoying, and that makes me find HER annoying. Buit if she were in a non-food setting, she might be easier to take.

Melissa,
Luckily, I don't think even Ingrid considers herself a chef. Apparently she's made a name for herself in the Latin community and the FN wanted to capitialize on that. But you would have thought that they would have looked into her cooking skills a bit more, before giving her her own show.

Sept. 15 Anon,
THAT's what irritates me - that the Food Network squandered an opportunity to highlight an exciting, interesting and popular cuisine. I would have preferred 12 shows by 12 different PROFESSIONAL Latin CHEFS, showing us the best they have to offer. This is just grade school cooking.

Anonymous said...

I'm Colombian and am very disappointed that FN chose her to represent what is otherwise a very exciting branch of the epicurious tree. She may be perfect for soaps or talkshows on Univision (unfortunately) but the pairing is so uncomplimentary that she comes off as a bit of a cartoon character on FN. (Univision News, however, is great.) I hope she doesn't turn any one away from Latin or Colombian cuisine. She doesn't represent us all...

Sue said...

Hi Colombian Anon,

It IS such a shame that the FN gave up this opportunity to highlight an important cuisine. I can't imagine anyone really believing that what she's doing is in ANY way authentic. Authenticity aside, it's just plain awful.

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of these posts. Ms. Hoffman is a fraud. A few weeks ago, she made plantain soup with yellow skin, obviously ripe plantains. That's a big NO-NO. What really bothers me is that there are REAL latino cooks out there, like Daisy Martinez, whose show on PBS was canceled, that will never get an opportunity on FN. What a shame!

Disappointed in Food Network said...

I have so much respect for the concept of Food Network, and I am an avid viewer. However, whomever allowed for this "Simply Delicioso" show to be aired is seemingly doing someone a favor.
A relative of Ingrid Hoffman perhaps? The host lacks personality and skills. I expect so much more from your producers as they've proven with most of the shows. This is not quality programming. I do understand the idea of trying to expand the viewership with a latin concept. It even looks like the Food Network was trying to make a latin Giada de Laurentis of her, but failed miserably. I've given the show and Hoffman a long time to change my mind, but so far it has failed. With so many amazing latin chefs out there, certainly you could have chosen one who had better culinary skills and who was much more engaging.

Anonymous said...

Well, I just think she is absoutely gorgeous and she can make milk and cereal and I would still watch her...... :)

Patty said...

I'm glad I found this blog and realized that I wasn't gaga; Ingrid Hoffman is no chef/cook, is annoying as hell, and should stick to her boutique. And since it's her mother who's a Cordon Bleu-trained chef, it's mum who should have the cooking show! Ingrid is just the fashionista daughter with absolutely no taste nor clue how good food comes together.

Sue said...

Hi All,
Listen, Ingrid may be a lovely person. She's personable, attractive, has a high energy level - all of which would have been a wonderful addition IF she could have cooked. The fact that the FN didn't find all those great qualities AND someone who could cook great Latin food is really disappointing.

I agree that Mom is the best and the only shows (show? I can't remember now) I enjoyed are the ones where Mom is front and center.

Anonymous said...

I just happened to be looking for Ingrid Hoffman's Arroz con Pollo recipe (which is pretty darn good, BTW) and ran across this blog.

Seems there are just a few of you out there that don't care for Ms. Hoffman. My only comment - do YOU have a show on the Food Network?

Sue said...

Hi Anon,
So let me get this straight...Only other Food Network hosts can criticize Ingrid Hoffmann? I guess that means that only heads of state can find fault with the president or others actors or directors can critique films. That would be a strange world.

I suppose you've never read my raves about other Food Network folks - Ina Garten, Michael Chiarello or Bobby Flay. Oh wait, only THEY can write about each other.

Anonymous said...

I just started watching Ingrid's show and I think she is absolutely fabulous. Her attitude about food is passionate, she loves cocktails and I know I do too..I asked a few "white" people their opinions on her and guess what they said..OMG what an embarassment to Latin-Americans everywhere!! Just kidding. Calm down people. Why not be open to new ideas? Just because it isnt "REPRESENTATIONAL" of what is latin? Thats why its called a twist! You feel like we as latin people are being insulted by this woman? Have you tried raisins in ceviche for example? I'd try anything once! I'd hate to host a party with you haters..LOL Talk about no love.
If you were to describe the perfect Latin food chef..what would impress you? Culinary education..heavy teachings of classic foods..lard? Maybe a fat woman with 20 kids?

Sue said...

Well, yes, culinary education WOULD impress me.

If I’m watching a show about Latin cooking, I’d like an expert to host it. I’d love to learn about unique Latin flavors and techniques. I learned more about AREPAS, for example, from a mere half hour with Bobby Flay on Throwdown, than I ever learned about any aspect of Latin cuisine from Ingrid after watching show after show.

Anonymous said...

I am latina and I just hate to watch her cooking. I feel so embarrassed. The latino food is so good and rich in ingredients. And seeing her making a lot of strange mix makes me almost cry. Poor us having her on Foodnetwork!

Anonymous said...

You know what? She is kind of annoying, but some of her dishes (maybe TFN tweeked them before they aired) turned out to be real pleasers among my family and friends (an eclectic combination of white, latin, black and asian people).
I would not trust her seafood dishes, but she does know how to season her beef dishes and vegetables. I am Puerto Rican/American, and our food is very similar to cuban food.Two dishes she prepared that I would highly recommend are the "Ropa Vieja" beef dish and the Latin Lasagna. Though her approach and finished product are untraditional, the flavors come through as authentic.I think mostof the people who dis-like her do it for many (maybe unjustifiable) reasons, such as her accent, the fact that she looks fabulous in her 40's,and that men find her cute and sexy.

Anonymous said...

Ingrid Hoffman: yes, she is absolutely gorgeous and Id watch her on any show. I do love her accent. I agree at times she can use annoying phrases but any woman that looks like that can get away with it. She fabulous to look at even if she cant cook well. THATS why FN put her on---to get the guys watching.

Anonymous said...

Shes fantastic looking and the most beautiful woman on the FN. Even if shes not a great cook.

MB said...

I find Ingrid Hoffmann a pleasure to watch. And if anyone has read about all of her success prior to the FN, you would find that she is an extremely talented individual! Those that criticize so harshly should try landing their own FN show or become a famous boutique owner...."he who cast's the first stone".....

Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm Ingrid Hoffman and I think I can cook!! How dare you all - " fingernails on a chalkboard" ...........Really!!!

Just kidding, I'm not Ingrid Hoffman but, I do agree with a lot of posters comments. By the way, I tried one of Daisy Martinez's recipe and hated it.

LUPE said...

I REALLY LIKE THIS SHOW BECAUSE I HAVELEARNED TO BE DIFFERENT IN MY COOKING. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT LIKE THIS SHOW MUST NOT HAVE ANY WILL TO LEARN AND BE DIFFERENT. WE ALL HAVE CERTAIN TECHNIQUES TO COOK. I LOVE THE SHOW AND REALLY ENJOY IT!!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't think she can cook worth a crap, but she is hot. Most men would put up with her cooking.

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