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Long Live Celebrity Chefs!
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Thread: Long Live Celebrity Chefs!

  1. #1

    Long Live Celebrity Chefs!

    Like them or hate them, whether they have legit cooking chops or not, celebrity chefs are the reason a lot of people are going to the restaurants of the BOH people here and buying the best ingredients to cook at home.

    In my profession idiot celebrity therapists like Dr. Phil, Dr. Laura and Toni Grant are terrible listeners who jump to conclusions and dispense lousy advise. But they've helped make seeking mental health treatment acceptable.

    When I see any therapist on television my BS antenna goes up.
    "Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough." —Mark Twain

  2. #2

    knyfeknerd's Avatar
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    Good analogy Craig. See , you understand.
    If "Its" and "Buts" was candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas
    -Cleon "Slammin'" Salmon

  3. #3
    Senior Member Seth's Avatar
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    I wonder what contribution Kenny G. makes to the world of Coltrane listeners? The dumbing down of American culture - it's difficult to see the plus side on this one. Couldn't there be a Food Coltrane that could step in for Rachael Ray and do more than just get people to go to better restaurants?
    Everywhere you go, there you are.

  4. #4

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    I watch very little of foodnetwork and similar channels. their primary function is to entertain people who are only interested in the appearance of education. There's nothing wrong with that...it's just not what I'm after.

    Alton Brown's Good Eats is the only thing I have followed since about 2002ish. And in the past couple of years even that has gone downhill...I didn't realize how much until catching some older episodes recently. His Feasting on Asphault and Feasting on Waves shows were good too. Can't stand him on Iron Chef though...actually can't stand that show at all.

    I also watch America's Test Kitchen on PBS...but that has lost of lot of interest for me lately, not sure why.

    Anyway, I view these celebrity chefs as being primarily entertainers...and maybe education/skill/talent somewhere around priority #7.
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Seth View Post
    I wonder what contribution Kenny G. makes to the world of Coltrane listeners? The dumbing down of American culture - it's difficult to see the plus side on this one. Couldn't there be a Food Coltrane that could step in for Rachael Ray and do more than just get people to go to better restaurants?
    I don't completely get the analogy of bad jazz being a gateway to good jazz.

    For me, Hendrix was. In about 1970 I transposed numbers ordering a Hendrix album from the Columbia record club and got Coltrane's My Favorite Things instead. It was great so I got Love Supreme next and on went on to Charlie Parker, Les Young and Coleman Hawkins. Good food for the soul.

    Rachel Ray admits she's no chef but if she uses fresh ingredients that's a good thing. Who is that blonde tv cook with the nice figure that makes horrible concoctions from packaged food? IIRC she's married to Chris Cuomo or somebody famous.
    "Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough." —Mark Twain

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mike L.'s Avatar
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    Some celebrity chefs are to kitchen pros as "wrasslers" are to real athletes.
    Another day, another band aid.

  7. #7
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    I read a book a while back on the economics of a winner-take-all society. It was interesting, and I think a lot of it applies to this relatively new phenomenon of celebrity chefs. Many of the 'celebrity' markets are winner-take-all. Basically, the A-list actors, number one golfer, top celebrity chefs earn a disproportion amount over the second best alternative.

    The worst things about these types of markets is the distortions that are created. If you are making a movie or (in this topic) a cooking TV show, for instance, it is better for you to get the A-list celebrity chefs over the second best chef who is really good but not known as well. It sort of covers your butt if the show fails. It is better to fail with Flay than an unknown. So there tends to be a path dependency in hiring certain personalities even if they aren't the best fit for the program, movie, etc.

    On the other hand, the wildly lucrative examples (the Tiger Woods, Bobby Flays etc) cause regular Joes to invest improperly and waste time and money. People often misinvest in education, and I think you see that now with culinary schools. That's one of the downsides with these markets, a lot of people are chasing a very few high-reward positions at great personal expense.

    So even though these chefs might inspire to cook, the food networks and them have also inspired tens of thousands to waste money on culinary schools. And the outrageous winner-take-all 'value' of some chefs means we are ultimately getting a more homogeneous, lower quality television product.

    That's my take at least, but I don't know crap. I long for the old days of Pepin.

    k.
    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  8. #8

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    Well-observed K. Penn & Tell did an interesting episode about our need to "have the best"...and treating it like it's a 1-dimensional metric. I think that's one of the dynamics at work in what you describe.
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  9. #9
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    I like stuff that makes me laugh,Sanford and Son,I Love Lucy.Same at work,pressure of putting out multible parties,busting your butt,like to work wt, guys that are funny,lets off steam.

    I kinda like the Barefoot Contessa,Have you seen that waihini wt, tons of makeup,tatoos,enough jewlery to sink a ship,wt. a fake Italian accent,quality stuff would not miss it

  10. #10
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    Not sure how people seeing celeb chefs on TV and wanting to be like them differs from people seeing pro athletes, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, etc. As with everything else, the top positions are available only to a very small minority of the people vying for those types of jobs. As far as people rushing to culinary school, at least a lot more people will have a clue about cooking then my generation has (or the next one or two generations after mine). I would not consider that a total loss.
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    David (WildBoar's Kitchen)

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