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Wednesday, October 17

The Bore-met Next Door

Okay, perhaps I'm being a bit harsh on Amy Finley's first stab at a regular cooking show on Food Network, but I had to the use the "bore" pun before somebody else did! (And if someone else did already use it, brava.)

It's not to say that Amy, winner of The Next Food Network Star season 3, was boring... more like the show just lacked any energy... or pizazz overall. It's sad to say this, but the thing that kept me watching the most were these super-elastic facial expressions Amy kept using.


I don't know how she does it, but pretty much any time she speaks her upper lip is pulled to one corner, while the lower is stretched to the other. I'm not making this up!

For those of you who actually watched, I think you can attest to this. This wasn't me trying to be clever and grabbing a shot where Amy was making a funny face. It's pretty much the standard throughout the entire show.

Her bistro theme was fine. She did the standard flank steak with red wine sauce (that I think she did on TNFNS), some cracked potatoes, and a pate a choux dough that she used for gougeres and profiteroles.

Amy kind of suffers from the same thing that plagued Giada early on, which is the inability to smile and speak at the same time. Now, as we all know, Giada is the QUEEN of this... but it must have taken some work. Those early videos of GDL were pretty dismal.

Amy's reactions, however, are spot on:



I'm not sure if this reaction came about because the sauce was, in fact, delicious or if she surprised herself by tasting the burning hot liquid before letting it cool. Anyhow, an "A" for Amy on that one.

The oven did trip her up, though. Poor thing.


That top bar isn't the handle, dear. We know you're new here, but come on:-)

Overall, a fine start. The food, so far, is definitely a change of pace for the network. I still think Ina is a lot better at making the viewer feel at ease with difficult French dishes than Amy is. Perhaps she'll get better with time...

...or they'll put her show on at a new time: 7:00 a.m.

right before the Hearty Boys.

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31 Comments:

At 10/18/2007 12:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree the show is kinda boring. I lost count of how many times she mentioned these two words: "gougeres and profiteroles".

 
At 10/18/2007 12:28 AM , Blogger anna said...

Oh, come on! The show wasn't that bad. Amy seemed very genuine. I'm inspired to make her simple but elegant menu, which includes whacking the heck out of a bunch of potatoes with a rolling pin! I'll agree, though, that the lip thing is really distracting, but hey . . . I for one was really looking forward to her show and wasn't disappointed. Sorry, but Ina is a bit too East Coast-ish for me; Amy is more my kind of West Coast gal!

 
At 10/18/2007 1:27 AM , Anonymous AJ said...

Give her a break. I thought she did fine given her lack of experience in front of the camera. At least she was dressed, wasn't waving man hands hands all over the place, wasn't snapping her fingers or making bugged out eyes.

 
At 10/18/2007 2:30 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked her show. I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the fact she did not sound snobbish, and what she cooked definitely reminded me of France (I am an old French woman). Don't get me wrong, I like Ina, but she seems to talk only to upper-class people....

 
At 10/18/2007 8:28 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also found it boring. I couldn't even get through the entire episode. Not alot of enthusiasm. Maybe she didn't want to win. And the food wasn't anything we haven't seen before. I will give it another try though. I grew to like Guy so you never know.

 
At 10/18/2007 10:12 AM , Anonymous Pat said...

I find myself parsing the heck out of Amy's TV commercial ("I have So. Many. Delicious. recipes to share!" How many, Amy?)

"...recipes from all around the world." I.e., "not just from France! Don't worry!"

"...you voted for me." I.e., "I wasn't imposed on you by Food Network."

And then she ends with "If I can do it, you can too." Is that line a FN requirement now? Ingrid Hoffman uses that, too. Amy's whole script reeks of FN branding: "Home cook! Home cook! Don't use words longer than three syllables!!!" Well, I cook at home and I'm equally comfortable with "gougeres" and "grits," thank you very much, FN.

I can't be bothered with "is she snobby or not" because that debate says a whole lot more about each of us than it does about Amy (or Ina, or whoever).

 
At 10/18/2007 1:21 PM , Anonymous Jeff said...

Considering that someone offcamera asked Giada a question about what made the dish she was preparing so special...and that prompted her to launch into an anecdote about her family...someone in charge of taping Amy's show should take note of that and do much the same thing. It might loosen her up.

 
At 10/18/2007 3:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes she may be a bit boring but
thank God she's not Rachael Ray.

 
At 10/18/2007 6:36 PM , Blogger Marc said...

amen, to that!

 
At 10/18/2007 10:36 PM , Blogger amanda said...

Um...UGH. she makes me not hungry at all. (sorry for the negativity.)

 
At 10/19/2007 1:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't think she did a bad job. It was her first show--of course it's not going to be her best. Give her time to get more comfortable with it and I think she'll do great.

 
At 10/19/2007 2:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to actually have a cooking show that is NOT about the host being a hyperactive poodle or making the show a platform for exposing plunging cleavages, but actually for once someone who actually wants to discuss cooking at a basic level.

Why that should be a bad thing is beyond me. It may not make the most exciting of television, but at least it is competent and focuses on the food (for a change on FN) not on the presenter.

And spot on with the comparisons to early Giada. Before she became comfortable in front of the camera, Giada was strictly business in terms of showing how to cook the dishes. In some ways, those were much better shows than the current crop of Giada exposing her assets to draw in petulant males who couldn't care less about cooking and just want a bit of a gape.

 
At 10/19/2007 2:18 PM , Blogger Mark said...

Amy reminded me how boring Giada was during her first season of Everyday Italian. But I still think some of the dishes were really good and worth to make. Amy's recipes look good so far. I was just a bit intimidated by overly said French words.

 
At 10/19/2007 8:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate her 'set'...looks like it should be some god-awful bathroom. In fact, maybe they had leftover tile after constructing a bath/locker/washroom at FN and decided to use it to build Amy's kitchen.

I think she'll get better with time, I only hope she remains CALM. The maind 'strike' against her I think will be that people will compare her style of cooking to Ina. Amy be blessed but Ina holds a special place in my heart! (As does Paula, both ladies walk on water in my house!) :-)

 
At 10/19/2007 8:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the show was pretty good and it was definitely different than anything else I've seen lately on FN. I agree, though, the blue tiled kitchen is...ewwwww. One thing that would have made the show more interesting would be if one of her "neighbors" had come over for a visit at one point while she was cooking (since she is the Gourmet NEXT DOOR). At the very least I thought they should have ended with her husband sitting down to dinner with her since she was cooking for him, after all.

Wasn't there some question after TNFNAS as to whether or not she was still married? She hadn't mentioned him at all in the finale if I recall. She definitely made up for it during this show - she mentioned him over and over again.

Looking forward to more episodes, and hopefully watching her get more comfortable in front of the camera and move to a less Hearty Boys time slot!

 
At 10/20/2007 5:01 PM , Blogger John said...

I saw her that first day - boring as hell. Hopefully it'll get better; sadly, out of all the folks on this third season of NFNS, she was the least irritating (I almost wanted to strangle Paul).

 
At 10/21/2007 11:41 AM , Anonymous Kayleigh said...

Oh come on! Give her a break... it was her first show. I will admit it was a tad bit boring but if it was your first show and you were nervous then you would suck too. Everybody who has a cooking show was boring on there first show.

 
At 10/22/2007 12:11 AM , Blogger John said...

Yes, but most of us don't have our own show. That's why she gets paid the big bucks and we get bupkis. But still, that's why we hope it'll get better. And besides, if a person's got a blob of spinach in their teeth, isn't it better to mention it right away so they can get it out, instead of leaving it there before it gets ickier?

 
At 10/29/2007 2:30 PM , Anonymous Clutch_fan_74 said...

Out of the remaining folks on the next FN star she probably had the most cooking chops but the least personality. Unfortunately, this lack of personality has carried over to her show. I do agree wih the comments made so far in that she could be just blike Giada was in the beginning lacking some gusto from nerves or what ever. I have to say though that it is truly relieving not to see a Rachael Ray type of person doing a show. No spastic flailing of arms or sounding like the poster-child for why smoking is bad for you. Awesome. Hopefully she will get over her nerves and get the proper coaching and get some camera presence without losing all of her identity in the process which it seems that so many of FN's stars have done in order to cater to the TV audience.
Props to Amy though for not coming off as all pretentious and snobby! For me that was unexpected but very refreshing.

 
At 10/30/2007 10:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with almost everyone here. She's BORING! When you only have 30 minutes to capture an audience, you really should be better than this. All that crying during the FN challenge and going on about not being able to do this anymore. PLEASE......it's cooking, not brain surgery.

 
At 10/31/2007 12:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really have enjoyed her show so far. She's a wonderful change of pace for Food Network. They've got toooooo many "cooks" that seem like they want to be our best friend instead of showing us how to cook. I want to watch a cooking show that TEACHES me more about cooking. I'm not stupid, I can read recipes, but I LOVE learning new techniques and I think Amy will do just that!!

Go Amy!!

Shari

 
At 1/04/2008 5:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came to really enjoy "The Gourmet Next Door" episodes and got much more out of them than the usual Food Network half-hour show.

Does anyone know if the Network has committeed to continuing the series or not?

 
At 2/04/2008 11:02 PM , Blogger Jessica said...

This show has been a little boring, but I am giving her a chance, it's her first time. Hopefully she get a bit more entertaining as time goes on.

 
At 4/18/2008 4:13 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personality wise she was my least favorite of the latest crop of wanna bes, but she looks like she knows what she's doing in the kitchen. I have 2 problems with her. 1. She didn't act like she really WANTED to continue in the competition. 2. During competition, she came across like her experiences in France were so unique and special.
If she lived next door to me, we probably wouldn't be close friends, but I wouldn't turn down a dinner invitation to her house.
I hope she loosens up. I have a feeling I could learn from her.

 
At 7/19/2009 9:05 AM , Blogger TheCFiles said...

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