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Wednesday, August 27

Gratitude Journal: Five Things on Food Network I'm Thankful For

Strong feelings are being unleashed in the comments lately, which I think is fine. But sometimes it's nice to try and remember some good things and stop bickering... for a few minutes until Paula Deen says something or Rachael releases a new product with her face on it.

So get out your virtual Oprah Gratitude Journal and think of five things on Food Network that you're thankful for! I'll go first:

1. Mary Smith on Ace of Cakes

I've already written extensively about my love of Mary Alice and commented on viewers' growing infatuation with the adorably deadpan Geof. But now it's Mary Smith's time to shine! Just look at home cute she is in that coat, delivering the guitar cake she spilled paint all over! When not spilling things, she's a very talented cake decorator with a great, laid back sense of humor

2. Sandra "Aunt Sandy" Lee

So much to complain about, but why bother? She's not going to stop so the least we can do is enjoy it, right? Some people call cooking shows "fluff" or "guilty pleasures," but I disagree. I find Semi-Homemade a true pleasure. Aunt Sandy makes me laugh wayyyyy more than some episode of Two and Half Men, where most of the time you're just wondering why Charlie Sheen is fathering yet another child. You can assert a cooking show isn't supposed to be funny, but I assert a sitcom should be funny... and I'd much rather watch an unintentionally funny cooking show than an apparently intentionally unfunny sitcom.

3. Ina Garten

The Queen. No explanation needed.

4. Dave Lieberman

His reruns are just baaaaarely holding onto that Monday morning timeslot, but he's still there! Still doing gigs for Macy's, Dave will probably resurface with some other project soon.... we hope. In the meantime, you can win a trip to Minneapolis and the chance to cook with him.

5. Rachael's Influence

You don't have to like her (or like the persona she presents on TV), but Rachael Ray has done a lot not for just cooking shows, but the "celebrity chef" culture in general. Anthony Bourdain admits "the celebrity chef phenomena and even Food Network have empowered chefs in a way or given them a prestige that’s been good for all of us."

Her wildly popular cookbooks, magazines, and other products helped ignite an interest in cooking that got people into the kitchen and out of the McDonald's. In turn, many go on to learn about more complex cooking techniques and purchase more books, more magazines, and more products that some never would have touched if it hadn't been for Rachael's initial influence.

So are there five things you're thankful for? Maybe at least happy about? Things that give you a chuckle from time to time?

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At 8/27/2008 10:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can think of three things about the food network that I am thankful for:

1. INA! Everything she does.

2. Ellie Krieger's show. I actually really like it, but not a lot of people talk about it. So I guess I am in the minority.

3. The fact that it inspired this blog that I love!

At 8/27/2008 11:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Good Eats
2. ICA
3. Feasting on Asphalt
4. Feasting on Asphalt 2
5. Feasting on Waves

At 8/27/2008 11:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Alton Brown, and all things he does.

2. Ace of Cakes

3. Ingrid Hoffman

4. George Duran

5. Glutton for Punishment

At 8/27/2008 11:16 AM , Anonymous Gen said...

I'm thankful for you and your blog, Jacob!

My top five would hafta be...

1. Ina
2. Everyday Italian
3. good Eats
4. Pawler
5. Ina

At 8/27/2008 11:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Alton (Good Eats, ICA, Feasting on...)
2. Flay
3. Giada and her blissfully low-cut shirts
5. Stoners and Fondant...some of you call it "Ace of Cakes". It's kinda grown on me over time. And for some reason, I've got the hots for Catherine.


At 8/27/2008 12:38 PM , Blogger greenbean said...

Thanks Jacob! I say, enough with the FN bashing. Quit watching if you don't like it.

1. Bobby Flay enjoying his cocktail buzz as he cooks
3. DD&D
4. There's always something on tv, especially at 7am Saturday morning
5. The fact that I've picked up some pretty cool and random food facts along the way

At 8/27/2008 12:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to previous poster's comment:
"5. Stoners and Fondant...some of you call it "Ace of Cakes". "

LOL! I thought I was the only one that thought that! I was watching Ace of Cakes a few days ago, and my uncle said "How come everyone on this show always looks and sounds like they're high?"

My guess is that they've got a special oven for the pot brownies :o)

At 8/27/2008 1:06 PM , Blogger Mise En Place said...

1. Alton Brown
2. Alton Brown
3. Alton Brown
4. Alton Brown
5. Alton Brown

I think that covers it ;)

At 8/27/2008 1:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

annonymous 11:03 stole my thunder! :-D

So, I'll expand my list:

1. All things Alton (he can do no wrong in my book)
2. Ace of Cakes (my daughter's fave)
3. DD&D (maybe I've got a thing for blond spikey hair??) Guy's exuberance reminds me of a friend of mine
4. FN website for recipies (it's my homepage)
5. the Iron Chefs, collectively and individually. (Can't wait for ICA on wii and DS!)

At 8/27/2008 1:11 PM , Anonymous Matt is Lost in TV said...

Jacob, I'm so glad you're doing a post like this.

As you might expect, I'm so with you on Aunt Sandy. Bridging the gap between food theme and tablescape with a cocktail has never been done with such unintentional comedy before. Meanwhile, there's been talk of hosting a Semi-Homemade themed party at Lost in TV HQ in the near future which I'm sure will be very boozy and hilarious.

At 8/27/2008 1:53 PM , Blogger Wine Dine Whine said...

1. The entire staff of Ace of Cakes
2. The fact that I never have to follow a plot on a cooking show
3. Agree on all the Alton lovers above
4. Mike Symon representin the Midwest
5. The Chairman on ICA

At 8/27/2008 2:02 PM , Anonymous Jenna said...

Great idea for a post! I agree that people should be able to say whatever they want on here but also agree that comments have often been snarky and mean lately, especially concerning Giada, Rachael, and TNFNS. Reading them was a downer because I don't watch FN to make fun of people for things they can't control.
Here goes:
1. Alton Brown
2. Ina Garten
3. Jamie Oliver
4. Tyler Florence
5. The fact that I've learned how to cook from watching FN

At 8/27/2008 2:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ina is the best. I also like Bobby, Tyler, and Giada but not thankful for the rest. I cannot watch Aunt Sandy..........

At 8/27/2008 2:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss Emeril. Caught his new green show and liked it.

At 8/27/2008 2:33 PM , Blogger Cristina Mathers said...

1. Anthony Bourdain
2. Alton Brown
3. all the food challenges
4. Ina Garten
5. Anthony Bourdain

At 8/27/2008 2:52 PM , Anonymous Chris said...

1. giada de laurentiis rack. im a gay guy but even i love to stare at her delicious, supple tits.

2. aunt sandy's cocktail time. come the fuck on. who doesnt love cocktail time. its the only time on semi-HOmade that shes EXTRA happy.

3. rachael ray. yes the whole rachael and not just the idea. rachael is so happy all the time. she may not be a chef or may not be the greatest fucking cook, but homegirl is doing her thing. we have to admit that.

4. IRON FUCKING CHEF. and not america. iron chef america blows. THE ORIGINAL IRON CHEF. sakai, morimoto, etc. that iron chef.

5. paula deen. that old bitch is so dirty, i love her. she made an asian spread on her new show and the end she called it "her happy ending" i was lolling.

At 8/27/2008 2:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Ace of Cakes and the Food Network Challenges.

I must say, though, that I believe the reason for FN's success is not RR or any of the other individuals. I believe it is because FN and food in general provide us with some nice happy escapism from the crappy things going on in the world.

It's a giant comfort food binge for the nation.

At 8/27/2008 2:54 PM , Anonymous Ava V. said...

i've been without food network for a week and half now, because i just moved to a new place. this post made me miss it so much. so i called the cable company right away to remedy the situation.

At 8/27/2008 3:10 PM , Blogger Lord of Light AZ said...

1. GOOD EAT'S !! I have episode 1 saved on my DVR.
2. ICA, except it is time for Mario to make an appearance pretty damn soon.
3. Unwrapped
4. DD&D
5. Cleavage, be it Giada, Aunt Sandy, Ingrid, or Aida. Don't even want to think about what I would like to do with Cat Cora.

At 8/27/2008 3:35 PM , Blogger Randy said...

1. Alton Brown and all of his shows
2. Dinner Impossible
3. Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
4. Jim Connor episodes of Secret life of...
5. Lisa Garza NOT being the Next Food Network Star.

At 8/27/2008 4:20 PM , Anonymous Harry Martin said...

My list:

* Bobby Deen and his George Clooney-esque -- is he or is he not -- aura.

* Ina's fab-o Hampton's life. I was at the produce market yesterday and waited on by an unfriendly cashier. I walked out muttering, "This would never happen to Ina in the Hamptons."

* My newest drinking game -- watching Sandra Lee and taking a drink every time she says "nice."

* Watching Jim O'Connor "Secret Life" reruns just to renew my crush on him.

* Watching Giada get bossy when she's teaching someone to cook.

At 8/27/2008 4:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

American Festivals (miss that)
Ham on the Street
Secret Life
Feasting on Asphalt

Say no to Giada, Sandy, Paula, and Ina

At 8/27/2008 5:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Alton Brown
2. Ace of Cakes
3. Ina
4. Mike Symon
5. The Chairman and his backflips

At 8/27/2008 6:09 PM , Anonymous Court said...

I'm most thankful for...
1. All Good Eats has taught me.
2. Tyler's Ultimate. If I could choose any chef on the network to make me a meal it would be him. His food looks so fantastic (and I'm trying his fajitas tonight).
3. The travel shows, especially Triple D. I know some think there's too much of them, but since I love to travel I love some good tips on where to eat.
4. The Next Food Network Star. It's something my fiance and I enjoy watching together and then we can debate on who's better!
5. The free recipes on the website.

1. That there's still a total lack of ethnic food shows. It's too bad Nipa sucked because I would LOVE to learn how to make some good Indian food.
2. Too much Sandra Lee. I can't stand her and fugly table scapes! I don't get what even the laziest of cooks would see in her.
3. Aaron's show. I just don't like it. But I'm not sure if I would have liked any of the contestants this season (maybe Adam).
4. Ugh, Gina Neely. I'm sure she's a fine person, but I'm gonna have to start hitting mute when she talks.
Don't have a 5th! FN is great for the most part.

At 8/27/2008 6:10 PM , Blogger Constance the 14,000th said...

i forgot about jamie deen. he's the new matthew mccaughney for me.

At 8/27/2008 6:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jamie Deen is pretty but stupid as hell.

At 8/27/2008 7:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ina, Tyler, Ellie and Giada all great. Tyler's new show is REALLY GOOD. WHY? WHY? do some of the bloggers use such FOUL language. These are good people and they are just cooking shows. Jacob why would you even show that blog!!!! I know where these people are going in their next life!!!

At 8/27/2008 7:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be so judgemental. I know where judgemental people are going in their next life.

At 8/27/2008 8:16 PM , Blogger Elle said...

Thanks for this post - great idea!

1. Ellie K - awesome show and very inspiring- would love to see more.
2. Ina - like her style and relaxed manner.
3. Good Eats -fun and educational
4. Ace of Cakes - just hilarious
5. All the different Cake challenges - some real food artists out there.

Hope to see more of all of these! And thanks to you for keeping us up to date on FN.

At 8/27/2008 8:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 5 favorites:

1. Alton Brown
2. Tyler Florence
3. Bobby Flay
4. Michael Symon
5. Marc Summers

And by the way, Bobby Deen is like George Clooney and Jamie Deen is like Matthew McConaughey? No offense, but is Paula writing this stuff? If George and Matthew binged on butter and lard for a few months, maybe...but not even close. JMHO

Great blog!

At 8/27/2008 8:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

George Clooney and Matthew McConaughey would also have to drop at LEAST a hundred IQ points to be on the Deen Brothas level.

At 8/28/2008 12:15 AM , Blogger Alex ~ The Food Diva said...

Thanks Jacob!!
1. Jamie Oliver
2. Tyler Florence
3. Ina Garten
4. Giada de Laurentiis
5. Iron Chef America

At 8/28/2008 3:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1.Nigella is so SEXY
2.Alton Brown
3.Aaron McCargo
4.Pat & Gina Neeley
5.Bobby Flay

At 8/28/2008 1:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

the new drinking game should also include when aunt sandy say's she's going to "pop" something in the oven, the bowl, the sink, or the whatever. drives me nuts!

At 8/28/2008 1:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

the new drinking game should also include when aunt sandy say's she's going to "pop" something in the oven, the bowl, the sink, or the whatever. drives me nuts!

At 8/28/2008 1:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget "keep it SWEET". Gag me.

At 8/28/2008 1:44 PM , Blogger Becca said...

Your new drinking game should be whenever she says something will add "great fllllllllavor."

But my 5 favorites are:
-Ace of Cakes
-And a special thanks to Jacob for writing this blog!

At 8/28/2008 6:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I *HEART* Mary Smith!

At 8/28/2008 6:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea where are they going???? With a garbage mouth like that. All the great words in our english language and we have to read TRASH on a fun blog.

At 8/28/2008 7:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be so uptight and judgemental . I'd rather be stuck in a small space with a bunch of cussers than be around a group of tight-assed , sanctimonious , judgemental intolerant pea-brains.They're a LOT more detrimental !

At 8/28/2008 7:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Besides...Only God knows where we all wind up when we leave this world. NO mere human knows , not even YOU.

At 8/28/2008 8:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. All things Guy. As I tell my granddaughter: "He is my boyfriend; I am going to marry him."

2. The absence of BAM. His 15 minutes was over five years ago.

3. Alton is a god. I take what he teaches and pretend I knew it all along and people think I am brilliant. I LUV Feasting on Asphalt. Waiting to see of FOW will measure up.

4. Paula, except for her Party show. It diminishes the respect I have for her.

5. Ina. Except when she hyperventilates and then pretends to laugh naturally.

At 8/28/2008 8:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael Symon
ICA (where IS Mario???)
Ina Garten
Alton Brown
Triple D

thanks, Jacob!!!

At 8/28/2008 9:16 PM , Blogger Charles said...

Cool post Jacob. My fav five are....(drum roll please...ddddddddddddddddd)
5.) Giada's constant use of the word "and" plus how she stretches it out. I say it all the time now.
4.) Ina, Ina, Ina!!!
3.) As court posted earlier, the
free recipes from the FN site.
2.) Jamie Oliver
1.) Rachael Ray-I f**king love her!

At 8/28/2008 9:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My five reasons:

1. I love coming home from work/school and watching Food Network with my best friends. We always have a great time.
2. Coming home at 3pm on Saturday, and knowing that a new Nigella Feasts/Nigella Express has recorded on my DVR. (Though I've probably seen it already. ;) ) That woman makes my day. :)
3. Seeing Giada's beautiful self cooking on my TV.
4. Seeing who Ina will invite to her rich people party on today's episode.
5. Making fun of Sandra Lee's diarrhea-looking food, and seeing how damn excited she gets about cocktail time.

At 8/28/2008 11:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Iron Chef America
2. Good Eats and all things AB
3. Eye-Candy (ie. Giada's cleavage)(Take note FN, there is NOTHING more persuasive to get heterosexual guys to watch cooking shows!)
4. Jamie Oliver at Home (Best Cooking Show EVER! No one has taught me more.)
5. Any Food Competition NOT involving fondant.

Judges Award of Merit -- Holiday Food Specials

At 8/29/2008 9:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Iron Chef America. While I like and respect the Iron Chefs, it's the JUDGES who can be so hilarious. Jeffrey Steingarten is a hoot!
2. Bobby Flay and his flunkies on Throwdown-- Stephanie and Miriam. You can tell they want to get into the action during the Throwdown, but they're pushed to the side, waiting to see if their creations win or lose. I get special pleasure when Bobby loses.
3. Food Network Challenges -- it's amazing how much work those professional chefs will put into winning a measly $10,000, compared to the $100 K or $1 million the amateur chicken and other food contests award.
4. TNFNS -- I happen to love "talent-based" reality shows, and this one takes the cake. The fact that we get to see where they live and getting woken up at all hours of the night beats American Idol any time.
5. Foodnetwork.com -- it's jam packed with everything I need to cook. No need to go to epicurious or allrecipes when I can go to FN.com instead.
Added #6. Jamie Oliver's lisp and accent. Combined. Yummy!


At 8/29/2008 9:58 AM , Blogger LordJohnWhorfin said...

1. Good Eats
2. Nigella
3. Tyler's Ultimate
4. Giada
5. Anthony Bourdain
Heartily agree with court about Gina Neely. Her voice makes me switch the channel immediately.

At 8/29/2008 4:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael Symon
Michael Ruhlman
Anthony Bourdain

At 8/29/2008 7:08 PM , Anonymous andy and christy said...

1. Ina Garten.
2. The Chairman. He is so sexy and sly.
3. Queen Supreme Paula Deen.
4. Tyler Florence. I want his penis in my mouth and/or any other orifice on my body.
5. All the scandals and gossip about the celebs.

ps. Bobby Deen is a flaming queer

At 8/29/2008 7:26 PM , Anonymous Christy and Andy said...

We're not done yet!

Things we loathe and despise:

1. Unwrapped and Marc Summers.
2. Pat and Gina Neely. One late night after smoking several rocks of crack cocaine with the couple, Pat sexually assaulted and degraded us while Gina puffed on her glass pipe and laughed loudly. Also, we hate their show.
3. Robert Fraud Sham Irvine.
4. Food Network Challenge.
5. Robin Miller. Never look directly into her eyes.

ps. We love Chefography and Anthony Bourdain.

goood day

At 8/30/2008 9:05 PM , Blogger Charles said...

I wanna know is it Andy or Christy that wants #4 done to them in their favorite 5? LOL That comment almost made me pee my pants! So unexpected and so funny! And smoking crack with The Neelys, LMAO you guys!

At 9/01/2008 11:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If someone gave me a million dollars,I would do Mary Smith. I would only need a half million to do Mary Alice.

I would give someone a few grand to hunt down and silence this 'Charles" fellow.

I heard Rachel took out a TRO on him.

At 9/01/2008 12:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous (11:31) HA so agree with your comments. Ha Ha

At 9/01/2008 1:10 PM , Blogger Lord of Light AZ said...

I have been watching this thread of comments. Of the post listed, not counting deleted posts I did a little counting and messing around with the numbers. I gave credit for order selected and combined shows with celebs. Here is how the voting has gone so far (52 comments counted)
Rank Celeb %
1 Alton Brown 21.98%
2 Ina Gartner 12.66%
3 Ace of Cakes 7.59%
4 Iron Chef America 4.95%
5 Tyler Florence 4.83%
6 Bobby Flay 4.26%
6 Giada 4.26%
7 Guy Fieri 3.80%
8 Sandra Lee 3.45%
9 Nigella 3.34%
9 FN Challenge 3.34%
10 Michael Symon 2.99%

What I find interesting is nobody mentioned Duff, but Ace was rated so high because of Mary.

Michael Symon a relative newcomer made my top 10. (I didn't factor him as being on DI, even though I like the show more now that he is on it.)

Emeril and Mario didn't even get votes (not counting mentions of Mario's next appearance on ICA.

Mark Dacascos got a lot of votes for being able to do somersaults and bite an apple.

I don't even think Bourdain has ever had a show on FN, he's on the Travel Network, LOL

Instead of the Food Network we should call it ABN (Alton got votes for a show that hasn't even aired and I didn't even calculate in his appearance on ICA)

On the love to hate thing Aunt Sandy got votes for her in general so she made the Top 10, whereas Gina got 1 vote with Pat and I bet that vote was really for Pat only, LOL

At 9/01/2008 3:25 PM , Blogger jacob said...

Cool. Thanks for the breakdown, Lord. Bourdain's "A Cook's Tour" was his original Food Network show. It's been rerunning lately.

At 9/01/2008 10:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) Alton Brown
2) Tylor Florence
3) Michael Chiarello
4) Guy Fieri
5) Bobby Flay

All male; pure testorone.

At 9/03/2008 11:46 AM , Blogger Charles said...

Anon @ 11:31am, why u hating one me cuz I'm a fan of Rachael Ray? You couldn't afford one of Rach's pots to piss in so sounds like u need to stfu!

At 9/03/2008 5:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles, Why u spell like u r a retard and stalker boy ? Cuz u r a loser ?

You got a lot of time on your hands in Bum Blast PA, so you sir dickweed, need to STFU.

Tell us about the TRO Chuck.

At 9/03/2008 6:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, leave Charles alone! He's amusing. At least he has the guts to post his name. Or is it? Who cares.

My favorite thing on FN is the Next Food Network Star. Also love AB, all things AB. Imagine how popular he'd be if he were good looking! Wow.

My least favorite thing. Hmmmm. Princess Giada. Can't even stand to look at her anymore.


At 9/05/2008 9:05 PM , Blogger Charles said...

Thx Barbara and yes it is Charles. There are a few on here that really have it in for me and have no idea why but whatever.

To Anon @ 5:13pm, sounds like I'll need a TRO out on you. Seems like your more fascinated with me than the blog site. How many other aliases do you use on this site to target me? Get out of your mom's basement already and get a life.


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