KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites: Cooking With Celebrities
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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.
 
 

6 Comments:

Blogger shuna fish lydon said...

"cheflebrities"

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.

Shuna,

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

 

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