- laura calder - this is what i want: i want laura calder as my bestie. i want her to ride her bike over to my house in a flowery sundress, carrying fresh bread and cheese and herbs in her little wicker handlebar basket, and i want her to cook cassoulet and gaillet du roi for me and get me drunk on good french wine and tell me stories about when she used to live in paris with cami and all the parties they would throw for their french fashion industry friends. of course, i realize how ludicrous this all is. for one thing, poor laura calder would die of hypothermia before she even got to my house. and even if she made it to my house this would happen: laura calder would say "amy, where is your mandoline? your flan pan? your copper pot?" and i would say "laura calder, i don't have any of those things." and then she would probably cry, because she got such terrible hypothermia biking to my house in her sundress and i don't even have the proper cooking utensils. then she would take her french wine and steal my sorels and she would leave, walking her bike to the end of my driveway and waiting for the 4 neebing to come by, and i would watch her waiting out the window, and it would take two hours because that's how often the 4 neebing comes down my street, and the whole time she would be crying and calling out for cami. so basically what i'm saying is, it's best that laura calder just stays where she is and i watch her on french food at home every day at 6pm. so that's what i'm going to do.
- michael smith - i'll be honest, there is a possibility that i only watch michael smith's show to get a glimpse of the atlantic ocean. and it's true that i still find michael smith to be kind of like a giant awkward sasquatch in the kitchen. but the awesome thing about michael smith is he's all "recipe? what recipe?" which is basically the way i cook all the time. michael smith just says, "this flavour goes well with this other flavour" and "this is the best way to cook this ingredient" and "this is what i'm going to use here, but YOU, AMY JONES, YOU USE WHATEVER YOU WANT, OKAY?" and then you kind of freak out a little (mostly cause MICHAEL SMITH JUST SAID MY NAME ON NATIONAL TV) and think "can i really do this?" but don't worry, cause that's the exact moment that the chick singer from the theme song comes on and whispers "you can do it too!" and then you think "you're right, theme song chick, i CAN do it too." then you do it and it turns out just mediocre, but that's okay because at least you tried, and michael smith and theme song chick would be so totally proud of you.
- brian boitano - I LOVE BRIAN BOITANO'S SHOW! okay, things i love about brian boitano's show: a) it's called what would brian boitano make? I MEAN COME ON THAT'S HILARIOUS. b) the premises for his shows are also amazing. observe: "in a jam, brian's good pal kristi yamaguchi asks brian if she can move her family gathering over to his place. brian politely obliges, but can he really feed 15 yamaguchis?" "after sharing post-game bacon martinis with an all girl roller derby squad, brian invites the team to his house for a dinner party. all of brian's simple and succulent recipes are created with the ladies' favorite ingredient - bacon!" i mean, WHO ISN'T friends with olympic figure skaters and roller derby teams! i only wish i could be that cool. c) it is a combination of the two best things you can have in a tv show: cooking, and camp. i swear to god, throw in joel mchale, a few wedding dresses, an indie rock soundtrack and a choreographed dance routine and you basically have my dream tv show. wait. HOLY CRAP I JUST WON TELEVISION!
oh. i'm sorry. i mean joel mchale AND PUPPIES!
- claire robinson - i used to like claire robinson okay. i had a bit of a girlcrush on her when she was on food network challenge, and i like the whole five ingredient fix thing, even if sometimes the five ingredients are SO BATSHIT CRAZY that they basically count as fifteen ingredients (i mean, OBVIOUSLY i have duck breasts, ruby port, and black cherries on hand. doesn't everyone?!) i even made her wine-braised beef short ribs, to mediocre results (this is before i owned a proper dutch oven. i am convinced that, were i to make them again in my new dutch oven, that they would turn out perfectly. when in doubt, blame it on the pot!) but when i really fell in love with claire robinson was when i saw her on this episode of the best thing i ever ate when she talked about this bbq pork sandwich at payne's bbq and she was talking about the owner, ms payne, and the camera guy was like "her name's flora, you know" and claire was like "NO. SHE IS MS. PAYNE." anyway. that bbq pork sandwich looked like the best thing i ever ate, and i didn't even actually eat it.
- giada de laurentiis - giada is cory's favourite food network chef, for two reasons, neither of which are her food (he also really likes padma lakshmi, but she doesn't count as a chef. but still. go food network!) so for a while i kind of hated giada. "why, giada?" i would ask (to the television screen, obviously). "why must you cook in such low-cut blouses? are you not afraid that a little sizzling olive oil, a little creme fraiche, a little parsley and mint, are going to eventually find their way down in there?" (in retrospect, i'm pretty sure that the same thing i feared for giada was the very thing that cory hoped for). but then one day i was watching and it basically happened! and she was so blase about it like, whatevs, food in the boobs, happens all the time. and then i realized i was just projecting MY OWN food in the boobs fears onto this poor, adorable, talented television chef. which totally isn't fair.
- roger mooking - roger mooking sings his own theme song. nothing else matters other than the fact that ROGER MOOKING SINGS HIS OWN THEME SONG. also, he knows everything about meat. it doesn't matter what his "obedient ingredient" is, because the show is always really about meat. one time he did this episode about cheese. guess what he put the cheese on? that's right. MEAT.
- nadia g - oh, nadia g. should you be on this list? i don't know. and i know i've said it before, but i should have been all over you cooking show: you are all sex and attitude and rock and roll PLUS you are also food. but i was so totally not feeling you, nads. sometimes i'd watch your show and i just want to scream STOP TRYING SO HARD! in fact, i started watching your show all the time just to talk back to you on the screen.
to be fair, nadia g, you ARE kind of the avril lavigne of the culinary world.
then every once in a while i would give a little chuckle. maybe a guffaw. or i'd be like "hey, that thing you're cooking looks really good BUT I STILL DON'T LIKE YOU NADIA G. but hey, what's that recipe again?" then one day i realized i was no longer making snarky comments about you to my stuffed animals--i was actually enjoying your show. you know what you're like, nadia g? you're like one of those sour soothers that are basically the most painfully delicious candies ever. the first few minutes they're in your mouth you want to die, but then once that's over it's actually pretty sweet. and when it's done, you're all "yay let's do it again!" you're a sour soother, nadia g. rock on.
- nigella lawson- true story: the first cookbook i ever read cover to cover was nigella's how to be a domestic goddess. i was working at dal and babysitting in the mornings for the child of a freelance writer and a set designer who had a cool old house that they had renovated themselves with crazy artwork on the walls and the biggest cd collection i had ever seen. they also didn't have a television. so when their daughter had played herself out and fell asleep on the floor (or in my lap, after forcing me to read the grinch who stole christmas over and over and over again to her, even in the middle of summer, until i didn't even have to look at the pages any more to read it to her) i had nothing to do but read whatever happened to be lying around in the living room. after a particularly tumultuous week where i blasted through both volumes of maus in a couple of sittings and the child would wake up to find me balled up on the couch rocking back and forth and moaning, i decided that if i didn't want to be responsible for scarring her for life i was going to have to stick to lighter fare. luckily, there was nigella. "i can't just sit here and read through a cookbook," i thought to myself, but then i started reading and i couldn't stop. i remember going home that night and telling my boyfriend "did you know that you just put cream and butter and parmesan on pasta and it'll ACTUALLY TASTE GOOD?" and he was like "yeah, but not with no-name margarine and fucking kraft grated simulated cheese product, you do realize." WHATEVER. okay, he was right, but nigella would have said it in a much nicer way. then she would have sat me down in her kitchen and made me ricotta pancakes and brushed my hair while i ate them.
- martin picard - make no mistake: martin picard is batshit crazy. i once saw him make this insane shark sushi cone thingie right on the fishing boat seconds after he caught it. oh, and on another episode he also ate basically all of a moose. yeah. all of it. including the heart. AND THE TESTICLES. apparently for the filming of the first season of his show, he and his co-host were completely hammered the whole time, just traveling around in quebec and the maritimes cooking animals over fires and probably beating their chests and howling at the moon. his restaurant serves more fois gras than any other in the entire universe, and he just recently said "fuck you" to the canadian museum of civilization's winterlude dinner thingie because they weren't going to let him serve fois gras (which seems to me like asking young mc to play your wedding and then telling him he can't do "bust a move". oh, click it. you know you want to). the dude is UNAPOLOGETIC. and, to a person who you could steal her cellphone and kick in the crotch and SHE would apologize to YOU, that's kind of an admirable thing.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
you guys know i love pretty much everything the food network does. i love top chef, i love dinner party wars, i love diners, drive-ins and dives. i even begrudgingly love that show with lynn crawford where she tries to be a farmer (the ads for it made her look like a douche. but in the actual show, she is very sweet and charming and totally genuine). but in my heart of hearts, i am a straight-up-cooking-show kind of girl. i want to sit down for half an hour and have a chef who is much more talented than i am make food in front of me and then taste it and go "mmm" and make their orgasm face while the fork is still in their mouth (seriously if there is one thing they teach you in tv chef school, that has got to be it, cause all of them do it EXACTLY THE SAME). and then i want to try to painstakingly recreate that food in my kitchen and proudly serve it to my beloved only to have him douse the whole thing with frank's red hot sauce. THAT'S REALLY WHAT I WANT. and these are the people i want to watch doing it. (and yes, i know this is only nine. not everything has to be a top ten, you know. it's my new year's resolution to lighten up a little bit. you know, mix it up. go crazy. ONLY GO TO NINE). (just kidding, it's not. i don't make resolutions and i never mix it up. i just only have nine favourites. end of story).