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Friday, February 29

Food Network Addict Review: Rescue Chef

The idea of a handsome chef--armed with the tools and knowledge to save any meal--suddenly appearing in the home of a helpless home cook isn't new. It was the format of such hits as Food Network's Food 911, and TLC's Take Home Chef, hosted by Curtis Stone.

Food Network will test out this concept once again with a new face to American television, when the daytime series Rescue Chef with Danny Boome premieres on Saturday, March 1 at 12pm e/p.

... not that daytime on the Food Network really needs any "rescuing." With reports of slightly sluggish ratings over the past year, a new hit wouldn't hurt, though.

I've already gone over the concept of the show (Danny shows up to "rescue" someone before they make another kitchen nightmare), so I'll get right to specifics.

The "dynamic young chef" Danny Boome definitely fits in with the Food Network's lineup of charismatic, attractive hosts. It's hard to not make the Jamie Oliver comparison. Both are cute Brits who seem to know a lot about cooking, and have even cuter pronunciations for common ingredients. Shallots are "shuh-lots." He's sure to delight legions of viewers.

Since the show airs during the daytime "in the kitchen" lineup, Danny gets right to cooking. In the premiere episode, he teaches Carla, a schoolteacher, how to make the short ribs that were served at her wedding. He also whips up a side dish and dessert.

And in a refreshing turn for the FN, he's not afraid to use big words. In the first episode, I counted three french cooking terms. Not bad for a Brit! My onion, carrots and celery are mirepoix from now on.

The show itself is bright, colorful and cheery to watch. Danny is energetic without being pretentious.

One of the only real problems I had with the show was that I sometimes felt like a third wheel. Danny spends a great deal of time talking directly to his "student" and will often avoid direct communication with the camera. When he does speak to camera, he seems to throw out a pointless, space-filler phrase like "always pre-heat your oven."

Rescue Chef goes against the concept of the "traditional" cooking show in which the host gives his or her full time and attention to the viewer. On this show, Danny's intention is, after all, to teach his guest how to cook. In turn, the viewer is sometimes left unsure of his role. Am I here to be entertained? To learn how to cook? To ogle a new British chef?

That's not to say a balance can't be achieved. Danny apparently has the chops and resume to back up a great show. Let's just hope such experience (pulled directly from his bio) as a "freelance chef working for the Estate of the Sultan of Oman in Paris along with many other high-profile executives in both England and Europe" aren't just Irvine-esque fibs. He'd need more than a knowledge of cooking terms to be rescued from that.

Watch tomorrow and let me know how you feel about the show.

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At 2/29/2008 1:18 PM , Anonymous Pat said...

To be fair, Emeril uses the term mirepoix pretty often. And for the record, I don't think Ina has ever used it.

Just wanted to throw that out there in anticipation of someone using the "french cooking term = pretentious" attack in a comment.

At 2/29/2008 2:00 PM , Anonymous Janine said...

It was reported on TMZ.com that Robert Irvine has been fired by the Food Network: http://www.tmz.com/2008/02/29/food-network-cans-impossible-chef/

Did anyone hear or read about this from another source?

At 2/29/2008 2:05 PM , Blogger Foodie73 said...

Alton uses French terms mirepoix and mise en place often.
AB also tosses around the scientific words too :D
I'd like to hear Chef Boome discuss Polyphenols, then I might be impressed! ;)

At 2/29/2008 2:41 PM , Blogger jacob said...

I didn't mean to imply that "mirepoix" had never been used before on the network. The network's focus on "quick and easy" had kind of let terms like those fall to the wayside though (See Mario's comments), so it's just nice to see certain terms reemerge.

At 2/29/2008 2:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't care if Danny spends most of the time focused on helping the person he is sent to help, just watching him do that while speaking in that accent will be more than enough vicarious thrill for me.

Va va voom, DB is HAWT. Jamie Oliver is nice in a cute, boy next door way, but in the end, he is really just so squeaky-clean, isn't he. Now Danny...oh Danny, please come rescue me from my dilemnas, culinary or otherwise.

At 2/29/2008 3:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm actually excited to see this new show! Food 911 was always a favorite of mine and this new guy is definitely easy on the eyes! LOL! Thanks for the review, J!


At 2/29/2008 4:50 PM , Blogger Tablebread said...

Ok, I don't want to be the constant negative here there are actually some good shows on FN but come on you guys. Danny was a model, then a photographer THEN a chef. Now I know what you are saying, "Well, at least he is a chef that's more than most of them can say" and I agree with you there.

BUT PLEASE FN!!!! Give us substance not flashing Brits with a set of Wusthofs. Give us technique not good looking pots and dishes in the background.

Ok, I'm done.

At 2/29/2008 5:38 PM , Blogger johnned said...

insightful review... I'm looking forward to seeing this show but the thought of possibly feeling like just a voyeur is not so thrilling to me. I like having the FN stars as my imaginary "friends" while watching...especially if they are cute.

At 2/29/2008 6:10 PM , Blogger Foodie73 said...

I don't it hold against Boome that he had other careers before becoming a chef. My fav FN person is Alton Brown and he was in the film business before creating Good Eats

What is sad, for me, is this show is nothing new. Just Food 911 sans Tyler :(
Has FN run out of ideas? :(

I'm beginning to think I'm the only female on planet earth that DOES NOT think Chef Boome is cute. I prefer the nerds. *cough* Alton *cough*

At 2/29/2008 8:17 PM , Anonymous Greg said...

- DB is HAWT.

See he doesn't do a thing for me. Now Dave Lieberman - OH MY GOD. Amazing

Also, the current affair in my mind is with Rami on Project Runway, very very yummy.

At 3/01/2008 12:27 PM , Anonymous Alec Smart said...

Is this becoming a site where the homos come out to declare their love for male FN personalities ?

This is so wrong. I don't mind homos, but this is becoming a bit tough to take. Your site will be branded .

At 3/01/2008 12:52 PM , Blogger jacob said...

we have to listen to you blab about wanting to boink Sandra Lee, so you better get used to it, alec:-)

At 3/01/2008 2:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

if it's ok for straight guys to make suggestive comments about Giada (or Sandra Lee, but meh, I can't imangine anyone finding that over-experienced long in the tooth workhorse attractive, but hey YMMV) then should be ok for gay guys to swoon over Danny Boome.

It's 2008, not 1958. People who expect their rampant heterosexuality to be accepted with comments about the attractiveness of women shouldn't throw fits when gay guys behave exactly the same way towards guys they find attractive.

At 3/01/2008 4:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched this show today, and considering that they were recreating the meal served at her wedding, I found the fliratiousness between DB and the student a bit off-putting.

I also hated the student's hair/make-up, but I guess that's another issue entirely.

At 3/01/2008 5:06 PM , Blogger JordanBaker said...

For the most part I enjoyed it, but I just couldn't get past the fact that she had short ribs at her wedding. Who eats ribs when they're wearing an uber expensive white dress?

At 3/01/2008 5:14 PM , Blogger jacob said...

"Who eats ribs when they're wearing an uber expensive white dress?" I thought the same thing. I wonder if they hired an actress and used the exec. producer or something to play "husband" for the pilot. short ribs and weddings don't mix.

At 3/01/2008 5:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No actress was hired to do the show. And her husband is her husband. I went to the wedding, and watched because I knew Carla was on it. (You eat short ribs with a knife and fork. They aren't finger food.) I have known Carla and her husband for years.

I thought the show was pretty poor, however, and noted that the recipes as posted on the Food Network website do not correspond exactly to the recipes shown, and the differences are significant. I thought that there were major issues with continuity.

And I certainly don't find Danny Boome hot! (Carla's husband, on the other hand - he's something special! However, don't worry, Carla, I'm very happily married.)

At 3/01/2008 11:57 PM , Anonymous Greg said...

-This is so wrong. I don't mind homos, but this is becoming a bit tough to take-

How about this, buddy, I don't give a rat's ass whether you like it or not. But since you've made your homophobia so known, I'll be sure to throw in many more references about hot guys...

At 3/02/2008 4:08 PM , Anonymous Chris said...

I find the concept of Danny Boome's show weird. It's like the Food Network mated Tyler Florence's show (Food 911) and Dave Lieberman's image (attractive, approachable young chef) and birthed Danny Boome. (I suppose the Food Network seasoned with an unpretentious British accent for good measure.) I haven't seen the show yet, but I feel it will not present anything new. I'm keeping my mind open, though.

As a side tangent (and a distraction from the homophobia arguments), I find Danny Boome attractive, but not nearly as much as the other male personalities. Tyler Florence? Yum. And Dave Lieberman? Holy shit, that man is fineeee.

At 3/02/2008 5:56 PM , Anonymous Greg said...

I didn't like it. He tried not to come off pretentous but it really was "Oh, I'm here to set it all straight for you.." It seems they have done that. Plus, I think a show like that is damn expensive - bringing a crew to different parts of the country or artifically picking out a bunch of people in one place.

To further upset alec: Tyler is really cute but he is too straight-laced, no pun intended, he just seems like the nice boy in church every Sunday. Dave is about a 15 on a 10 point scale. Sometimes Bobby Flay can be cute when he is not being full of himself, which is not that often. And that guy Nathan from the previous season of NFNS was reallly cute.

At 3/03/2008 12:40 PM , Blogger PJ said...

Why does every FN show feel the need to cook a whole meal? Danny Boome can't fill an entire half-hour show just talking about the ins and outs of making short ribs? Carla really can't figure out a way to make mashed potatoes (a recipe for which FN probably airs daily)? Will Danny help anyone, or just people who can't make all the components of a three-course meal?

FN continues to deliver the same concept with each of its new shows: a moderately attractive host who makes a full meal, who gives us the same tips over and over (e.g., use a wine you would drink, don't use imitation vanilla, here's how you chiffonade basil, etc.) and who ends the show with a catch phrase involving the title of the show.

No wonder the ratings are sluggish.

At 3/03/2008 3:08 PM , Anonymous Jeff said...

I do hope Mr. Boome's credentials are more solid than Robert Irvine's.

At 3/03/2008 3:21 PM , Blogger PJ said...

"Who eats ribs when they're wearing an uber expensive white dress?"

Short ribs should not be confused with spare ribs or barbeque ribs--short ribs are not a hand-held, messy food. They have a great deal of meat on them, and when slow-cooked (braised, for example), they fall gently off the bone using a knife and fork. In fact, many times their meat is removed even before plating.

Short ribs are fairly trendy right now. Often paired with a small filet, they can be extremely elegant.

If you haven't tried them, have some soon. They're fantastic, especially on cold winter nights (which are fast coming to an end).

Bon appetit.

At 3/03/2008 10:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Danny's show was OK, but didn't really stand out as anything special or new. He's handsome, but I'd much rather watch Ina's show, which I'm afraid they've replaced with this one. (B.C. only airs on Sun at 10 now) I'm generally not crazy about the two-people format--I prefer when the host speaks to the audience--Danny's setup went back & forth--student to audience & back. I thought I'd read elsewhere that Ina's contract was renewed through year's end, but now I'm wondering if my fave food show will be off the air soon---have you heard anything??

At 3/04/2008 8:44 PM , Anonymous Gen said...

OH...MAH...GAWD...Am I the only one that noticed that THEY BUMPED INA ON SATURDAY MORNINGS to squeeze in Danny Boome.


At 3/04/2008 9:42 PM , Blogger jacob said...

I think they're just spacing out the new Barefoot Contessa episodes and put Danny in that spot for now, hoping it'd attract the attention of viewers accustomed to tuning in for Ina. Ina will not be bumped for long is my prediction!

At 3/05/2008 5:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

He seemed charisma free, and I thought he talked to the camera too much, unlike some commenters. Three careers, master of none perhaps?

Also, on the petty end of things, I don't care for his accent.

Foot Network, why not give a show to a great chef or several chefs in their own episodes, in the way of the old Melting Pot (except with better chefs than deSpiritless), if you wish to revisit your archives.

At 3/10/2008 7:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Generally people don't eat at their wedding and short ribs are served without the bone.
Danny Boome is great in person, he just comes across a little cocky on screen.
Give him a break and realize that everything on TV is fake.

At 4/06/2008 7:53 PM , Anonymous Alex Lopez said...

Ok..I try to revert back to the belief of "if you din't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all". However, I can't keep this to myself..I am not impressed with DB. I caught an episode in which he was "trying" to rescue some enchillada hopeful..What a mess!! I am first generation Mexican-American, so when I see someone try to re-do my beloved "comida" I cringe. DB made fajitas with bell peppers, and ingredient not used in the Mexican cocina. He made a sauce with raw tomatillos...yikes! Those little guys are tart and need to be roasted or boiled before using them. I wanted to see lucious, rich and heavenly enchilladas with velvety mole or chipotle-tomaot sauce, queso fresco and cream..instead we were served up a Tex-Mex version of gringo style "Enchilada pie"..ay ay ay ..I fell bad for that gal's abuelita!

At 5/03/2008 12:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy can't cook. No seasoning in the green beans, no salt in the potatoes save a tiny pinch in the water? No cream or milk in mashed potatoes? No reduction of the wine in the sauce? Are you kidding me? That said, Carla's husband should thank his lucky stars. She is GORGEOUS.

At 2/25/2009 11:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

where did they find this asshole!

At 6/14/2009 10:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...



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