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Wednesday, May 7

New Show, Same Theme

Food Network's got something new coming up called Ask Aida. It's billed as an "interactive cooking show" in which viewers can upload "creative and interesting" videos highlighting their culinary challenges to foodnetwork.com/aida and cooking expert Aida Mollenkamp will answer them on the show.

Why do I feel like singing Whitney Houston's "Same Script, Different Cast" right now?

"From recipe and ingredient issues to advice on kitchen machinery and tools, Aida can even offer guidance for impromptu parties, feeding a crowd, make-ahead dishes, and time-saving tips. Food Network is looking for viewers with burning culinary questions to be featured on the series, which is set to premiere on Saturday, August 2nd."

Firstily of all, let's forget the fact that the idea of answering viewers' "cooking challenges" is a standard feature on a number of other shows, both past and present. I'll give the network some credit for adding this "interactive" element, despite being about 5 years late on that front. YouTube is rad, man!

My problem with a show like this is that the entire concept rests too much in the hands of regular people.

No offense to the "regular people" of the world (myself being one of them), but there is nothing worse than watching a regular person who, despite being incredibly boring, thinks he is interesting. Typically it'd just be the casting people who'd have to sit through the onslaught of boredom, but by adding this "interactive" element you're certain to get a bunch of people uploading videos who just want to be seen on Food Network's website, many without any real "culinary challenge."

I don't know. Maybe I'm just being a sourpuss. Aida was trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and served as CHOW.com's food editor, so she probably has the know-how. That's enough to at least tune in once.

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At 5/07/2008 3:02 PM , Anonymous Jeff said...

Remember, Giada deLaurentiis graduated with honors from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. (Ingrid Hoffman's mother studied at Le Cordon Bleu, as well. Will that do?)

At 5/07/2008 3:08 PM , Anonymous oatmeal cookie guy said...

OMG! Bring back Sara Moulton...remember her show "Cooking Live"?

At 5/07/2008 6:18 PM , Anonymous dan said...

haha dont worry, you dont need to rely on "real people" cause im pretty sure danny booms people arnt real the kitchens look like sets and I swear Ive seen one in that soy milk commercial with the apprehensive mothers. im sure FN will round up some extras to film the pre written question segments

At 5/07/2008 6:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

hopefully Aida has more charisma than Sara Moulton. Sara knows her stuff to be sure, but it was (and still is, on her new PBS show) like listening to a socially uncomfortable college professor in full lecture mode drone on and on without end watching her shows.

At 5/07/2008 10:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


They're scraping the bottom of the barrel for this concept. I TOTALLY agree with you about the people who will submit their inane videos just to appear on FN.

Thanks for your blog, by the way. I really enjoy reading it!

At 5/08/2008 1:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 5/08/2008 6:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

She looks like she just OD'ed her lips on Restyline. Or collagen or whatever it's called.

At 5/08/2008 7:45 PM , Anonymous Robert said...

EEK - she looks like she's shared a certain doctor with Michael Jackson.

PS: Add me to the chorus of folks who miss Sara Moulton. She was just too smart and low-key for the new infotainment-style Food Network.

At 5/09/2008 2:41 PM , Anonymous Jeff said...

Perhaps wannabe TV chefs/cooks should do like "The Professor," Alton Brown, who was a cinematographer and video producer/director before going back to culinary school to gain the expertise he needed to host Good Eats, Iron Chef America, and Feasting on Asphalt.

At 5/16/2008 10:25 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


nice Blog. I found a really nice Food & Wine Network. www.garlicoon.com - Is this new?



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