KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites: Cooking With Celebrities
Bay Area Bites: culinary rants & raves from bay area foodies and professionals
Previous Posts
Take 5 with Tony Gemignani
Eggbabies: The Kitchen-Sink Breakfast Souffle
Through the Bloggers, Curmudgeonly
Belly Up to a Bellybar
America's Next Top Project Chef
Cook by the Book: Gordon Ramsay Makes It Easy
Drake's Beach Cafe, Pt. Reyes
Gettin' Goaty
Sushi's Global Takeover
Earl of Sandwich
BAB Guidelines

'Bay Area Bites' is part of KQED's Blog Authors Collaborative. Blog contributors and commentators are solely responsible for their content. If you're interested in writing or contributing to a blog on kqed.org, email us with your idea.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Cooking With Celebrities

This past Monday, Zap2it, wrote a tempting piece about the next, NEXT competitive food reality show, NBC's Celebrity Cooking Showdown.

From the Zap2it article:
"NBC has fired up a five-course culinary competition called 'Celebrity Cooking Showdown' that will air over one week next month. The show, executive produced by Sean "Diddy" Combs, will pair famous people with well-known chefs in a cook-off -- for bragging rights, apparently; the network doesn't mention a prize...On each of the first three shows, a trio of celebrities will compete against one another, aided by famous chefs Wolfgang Puck, Govind Armstrong and Cat Cora ("Iron Chef America"). The winners from each night will take part in a final battle on Thursday, with the winner crowned Friday."

Sean Puff Diddily Daddy Combs' discordantly incongruous involvement aside, what are we talking about here? A bunch of celebrities who may or may not eat, getting in the way of celebrity chefs (or "cheflebrities" as I like to call them) as they compete to crank out artfully arranged plates of tasty victuals. I smell a delightful mess!

Of interest to me is not "Which B-list celebrities who haven't already been on The Surreal Life are desperate enough to be on this show?" but more "What cheflebrities have the patience of Job to deal with preening, prancing, precocious celebrities?" According to the article, two Food Network regulars, Wolfgang Puck and Cat Cora, will be joined on the show by LA cheflebrity, Govind Armstrong of LA's Table 8. My first reaction? Meh. I mean, I love Wolfgang with all my heart. Of course, my love stems more from the fact that I'm convinced my cat would sound just like him if he could talk than from anything else, but I love him just the same. Adorable accent aside, however, he just doesn't light up my TiVo. Additionally, Cat Cora's performances on Iron Chef America and Kitchen Accomplished are also fairly yawnable. I don't dislike her, per se, I just find her a bit bland. Pair those two with Armstrong -- whose on-screen presence I can't even evaluate at this juncture -- and we've got a show of chefs none of whom are compelling enough to make this show as entertaining as it could be.

Who would I pick if I was a Mighty Casting Director in the Sky? Well, as much as I dislike the man, I'd dearly love to see Bobby Flay flail around on Celebrity Cooking Showdown. How awesome would it be to see him either be a dick to the Hollywood celebrities or try so very hard not to be a dick to the Hollywood celebrities? For almost the exact same reason, Gordon Ramsay would be another good pick for this show. Except that you know full well that he's not even going to try not hide his disdain from the Hollywood celebrities. Also, Bobby Flay would almost certainly cut himself, get electrocuted, or set his hair on fire, all which make for good TV. His trio of celebrities would look on nervously as he jigged triumphantly on his cutting board and wonder if this is a new Dancing with Celebrities they weren't aware of. Hell, while we're at it, let's throw Anthony Bourdain at the Hollywood crowd and make them think they ended up on Fear Factor.

Moving on to the softer side of things, Paula Deen is such a delightful television personality that I could see her whole-heartedly throwing herself into and fully enjoying the competition. For her, it would be all fun and games -- she wouldn't even watch the clock as she regaled the Hollywood types with her stories of Georgia and sons and sandwiches. Then when they lose (and they would always lose), she'd just pat her teammates on their perfectly tanned shoulders and whip them up some of her special oyster fritters and chocolate bread puddin' to take the sting out.

Rachel Ray would talk, cook, and drink so fast, her attending celebrities wouldn't know how to help or where to stand. They'd be even more mystified as to what the hell "E-V-O-O" and "spoonulas" were. On the other hand, her team would always beat the clock due to Rachel carrying back-spraining armloads of ingredients from place to place.

Finally, if Marcia Cross' egg-cracking fiasco on Martha is any indication of the cooking calibre of Hollywood stars, this is going to get hysterical.

Look for this show to preheat its NBC ovens on Monday, April 17th at 8pm and continue for five consecutive nights that same week.


Blogger shuna fish lydon said...


You know what I love about this word? When it enters the vernacular there are going to be people trying hard to pronounce it nonchalantly like Woody Allen did with the "word" poloponies.

I love you. I wanna be your groupie. I don't care about your husband. I met him and I think he'd be fine with it.

3/16/2006 12:13 AM

Anonymous Patrick said...

I'd love to see a high-falutin' celebrity paired with Bourdain only to watch his take-no-prisoners, swearing, chain smoking attitude reduce the celebrity to a sobbing mess.

3/16/2006 2:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

At our house we call them "celebrichefs"...

I am not a fan of reality tv. I think it's designed to bring out the worst in people and I usually opt to tune out.
That being said, I will watch (from time to time) Nanny 911, and the one where the 2 English ladies come in and clean peoples FILTHY houses. I don't know why, but I really enjoy those shows.

But this one? This is definitely a reality show I will be tuning in for! As long as Paris Hilton isn't involved...

-referred by The Grub Report

3/17/2006 12:01 PM

Blogger Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic said...

Hah, "celebrichefs"! Now that's a mouthful. Ew, Paris Hilton? How would she be able to cook with all that pouting and posing she needs to get in 24-7? Plus, she might drop her overbred pet-of-the-moment into the sauce.


Awww! I do declare that I'm all overcome with blushes. My husband thinks you're awesome, so he would be totally fine with it.

3/17/2006 12:33 PM

Blogger Diner Girl said...

Let's have Sandra Lee take a crack at it so she can demonstrate how to dump spice packets on shit while letting alcohol poisoning set in!

3/18/2006 5:33 PM

Anonymous Celebrity Me said...

Huh, better sad chefcelebrities :)

Paris Hilton could be used as a plate, when you serving the hot food.

3/19/2006 4:05 AM


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Locate CP Restaurants:
Check, Please! Google Map
KQED Food Sites
Check, Please! Bay Area
Jacques Pépin Celebrates!
Jacques Pépin:
Fast Food My Way
Jacques Pépin:
The Apprentice
Jacques Pépin:
The Complete Pépin
KQED Wine Club
KQED.org Cooking
Weir Cooking in the City
Tasty Food Sites
Chowhound SF
Eat Local Challenge
Edible San Francisco
Food Network
Food Talk
Group Recipes
Hungry Magazine
Leite's Culinaria
Mighty Foods
NPR: Food
Om Organics
Serious Eats
SFGate: Food
SFGate: Wine
SF Station: Restaurants
Slow Food SF
Top Chef
Wikimedia Commons: Food & Drink
Yahoo! Food
Yelp: Reviews
Tangy Food Blogs
101 Cookbooks
A Full Belly
Accidental Hedonist
An Obsession with Food
Anna's Cool Finds
Becks & Posh
Between Meals
Bunny Foot
Butter Pig
Cellar Rat
Chez Pim
Chocolate & Zucchini
Confessions of a
Restaurant Whore
Cooking For Engineers
Cooking with Amy
Cucina Testa Rossa
Culinary Muse
Denise's Kitchen
Eater SF
Feed & Supply
Food Blog S'cool
Food Musings
Food Porn Watch
I'm Mad and I Eat
In Praise of Sardines
Knife's Edge
Life Begins at 30
Love and Cooking
Mental Masala
Moveable Feast
Organic Day
Passionate Eater
San Francisco Gourmet
SF City Eats
Simply Recipes
The Amateur Gourmet
The Ethicurean
The Food Section
The Grub Report
The Petite Pig
The Wine Makers Wife
Vin Divine
Wandering Spoon
Well Fed Network
Word Eater
World on a Plate
Yummy Chow
Search BAB

Eye Candy: Food Photos
BAB on flickr.com
Join Flickr for free and share your photos with the Bay Area Bites and Beyond group pool.
Food Books
The Moosewood Cookbook
by Mollie Katzen
Baking: From My Home to Yours
by Dorie Greenspan
Grand Livre de Cuisine: Alain Ducasse's Desserts and Pastries
by Alain Ducasse, Frederic Robertmison
The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining
by Cheryl Alters Jamison, Bill Jamison
Tasty: Get Great Food on the Table Every Day
by Roy Finamore
Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way
by Lorna Sass
The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa
by Marcus Samuelsson
Michael Mina: The Cookbook
by Michael Mina, Photographer: Karl Petzktle
What to Eat
by Marion Nestle
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
by Michael Pollan
Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate
by John Scharffenberger, Robert Steinberg
Romancing the Vine: Life, Love, and Transformation in the Vineyards of Barolo
by Alan Tardi
What to Drink with What You Eat: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea -- Even Water -- Based on Expert Advice from America's Best Sommeliers
by Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page, Michael Sofronski
The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-be Southerners
by Matt Lee, Ted Lee
Bread Matters: The State of Modern Bread and a Definitive Guide to Baking Your Own
by Andrew Whitley
Coloring the Seasons: A Cook's Guide
by Allegra McEvedy
All-new Complete Cooking Light Cookbook
by Anne C. Cain
Modern Garde Manger
by Robert B. Garlough
The Spice and Herb Bible
by Ian Hemphill, Kate Hemphill
The Improvisational Cook
by Sally Schneider
Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children
by Ann Cooper, Lisa M. Holmes
Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia
by James Oseland
My Life in France
by Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme
A Passion for Ice Cream: 95 Recipes for Fabulous Desserts
by Emily Luchett, Sheri Giblin (photographer)
Au Pied De Cochon -- The Album
by Martin Picard
Memories of Philippine Kitchens
by Amy Besa, Romy Dorotan
Simple Chinese Cooking
by Kylie Kwong
An Invitation to Indian Cooking
by Madhur Jaffrey
Hungry Planet
by Peter Menzel, Faith D'Aluisio
Sunday Suppers at Lucques : Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table
by Suzanne Goin, Teri Gelber
Simple Soirees: Seasonal Menus for Sensational Dinner Parties
by Peggy Knickerbocker, Christopher Hirsheimer (Photographer)
The Cook's Book
by Jill Norman
Molto Italiano : 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home
by Mario Batali
Nobu Now
by Nobuyuki Matsuhisa
Cheese : A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best
by Max Mccalman, David Gibbons
Bones : Recipes, History, and Lore
by Jennifer McLagan
Whiskey : The Definitive World Guide
by Michael Jackson
The New American Cooking
by Joan Nathan
by Lisa Yockelson
Easy Entertaining: Everything You Need to Know About Having Parties at Home
by Darina Allen
Cooking at De Gustibus: Celebrating 25 Years of Culinary Innovation
by Arlene Feltman Sailhac
Dough: Simple Contemporary Breads
by Richard Bertinet
Chocolate Obsession: Confections and Treats to Create and Savor
by Michael Recchiuti, Fran Gage, Maren Caruso
The Food Substitutions Bible: More Than 5,000 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment And Techniques
by David Joachim
Recipes: A Collection for the Modern Cook
by Susan Spungen
Spices of Life: Simple and Delicious Recipes for Great Health
by Nina Simonds
Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent
by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid
Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light
by Mort Rosenblum
Vegetable Love: A Book for Cooks
by Barbara Kafka, Christopher Styler
A History of Wine in America: From Prohibition to the Present
by Thomas Pinney
Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years Of Food And Art
by Tom Gilliland, Miguel Ravago, Virginia B. Wood
Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South
by Marcie Cohen Ferris
Washoku: Recipes From The Japanese Home Kitchen
by Elizabeth Andoh, Leigh Beisch
Weir Cooking in the City: More than 125 Recipes and Inspiring Ideas for Relaxed Entertaining
by Joanne Weir
Rick Stein's Complete Seafood
by Rick Stein
The Great Scandinavian Baking Book
by Beatrice A. Ojakangas
Serena, Food & Stories: Feeding Friends Every Hour of the Day
by Serena Bass
John Ash: Cooking One on One: Private Lessons in Simple, Contemporary Food from a Master Teacher
by John Ash
The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook: Eating Well for Better Health
by Donald Hensrud, M.D., Jennifer Nelson, R.D. & Mayo Clinic Staff
Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions
by Fernando and Marlene Divina
The Provence Cookbook
by Patricia Wells
Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World
by Gil Marks
Last Chance to Eat: The Fate of Taste in a Fast Food World
by Gina Mallet
by Thomas Keller
A Blessing of Bread: The Many Rich Traditions of Jewish Bread Baking Around the World
by Maggie Glezer
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
by Molly Stevens
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
by Harold McGee
Entertaining: Inspired Menus For Cooking with Family and Friends
by George Dolese
The Breath of a Wok: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore
by Grace Young, Alan Richardson
Cooking New American: How to Cook the Food You Love to Eat
by Fine Cooking Magazine
The Japanese Kitchen: A Book of Essential Ingredients with 200 Authentic Recipes
by Kimiko Barber
Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food: An Opinionated History and More Than 100 Legendary Recipes
by Arthur Schwartz
Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of M.F.K. Fisher
by Joan Reardon
Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes
by Jeffrey Hamelman
Everyday Dining with Wine
by Andrea Immer
Copyright © 2005-2008 KQED. All rights reserved.