I have to take real exception with the awful, terrible, embarrassingly bad review that Ingrid Hoffman's show got in the New York Times this morning. It's just not true that Giada "is merely a good-looking woman with a mortar and pestle in comparison." Everything else, though, that Ginia Bellafante wrote is pretty darn accurate. (Read it quick, before they yank it off their website.)
She says Ingrid cooks with her entire body. If you're throwing absolutely everything into it, shouldn't the final product reflect massive effort? Bellafante highlights, in particular, her shrimp, ketchup and brandy dish, saying "no two of (these ingredients) I'd ever consider in concert."
She points out that in Ingrid's little world, EVERYTHING is great, every recipe turns out absolutely "yummy'. We know, from watching, that that's a complete untruth. If you grimace as you're watching her put these things together, then there's no way you can taste them without wincing.
Simply Delicioso is simply another example of the dumbing down of The Food Network, which is why we have to hold tight to the quality that's still there.
Speaking of top of the line...a quick aside about Mike...How did I miss this very nice Reuters interview with Michael Chiarello 2 weeks ago? The most interesting part of it is when he is asked how he feels about fusion cuisine (among my most favorite type of restaurants).
Mike says "When you cook food that has a history and a point of view, it lasts with you much, much longer. If you have a fusion dish, it may taste awesome, but I'm likely going to wake up the next morning and forget what I ate. I don't want mung bean in my marinara sauce."
While I don't agree with him, I do like it when a chef has a definite point of view. I think it only helps the overall vision of his food. But...if he ever asks, just tell him you have no clue what I think about fusion food - and that probably I don't like it that much.
Oh, what we do for those we love...