Ridiculous Things I Never Want to Hear a TV Chef Say Again

Julia Child Kitchen

One of my favorite forms of entertainment is watching food shows on TV. I love the oldies. Julia, Jacques, put on any of the British ones… I’m happy. I love some of the new ones like NewScanCook, Nigella, and ATK. The only ones I really can’t get behind are the competition shows and the ones where they take you to restaurants or fairs where (usually) a man eats enough to feed a family of 4 for a week.  

However, having said that, there are certain things about all of these shows that instantly turn me into the grouchy neighborhood “You kids get off my lawn!” guy. And most of them revolve around things I never ever want to hear a TV chef say again.

Probably the top spot on my list goes to chefs kneading dough. At some point in the process, they will look at the camera and say, as if it’s a brilliant thought that JUST occurred to them, a variation on “Boy, I guess I don’t have to go to the gym today.” Yes. You do. Kneading dough for 5-10 minutes is not a workout. End of discussion.

Then we move on to “add some sugar for sweetness.” RIGHT… And I was going to add the sugar for a meaty bitter note. This aggrvation also entails “add some lemon for tartness,” and “add some pepper for heat.” No kidding, Chef. 

Another frequently repeated phrase that's started to grate my nerves is "give it a good stir" (as opposed to a bad one?). One might suggest “stir it.” But what do I know?

Now, this next one makes me want to turn off my TV. When something needs to be pounded, such as a chicken breast, do they all have to say, “If you had a bad day at work, this is the PERFECT way to get your aggression out.” One, that’s not how you should pound a chicken breast. And two, what did that poor chicken even do to you???

This next one may not bother anyone but me. But… “Scatter the breadcrumbs over top.” Unless I’m much mistaken, the phrase is over the top. 

Broccoli rabe is a bitter green. No question. I assume, if you are going to eat it, you like bitter. Otherwise, why? So would someone please explain to me why at least half of any recipe preparation for this gloriously tasty and bitter green is taken up with the chef telling us how to remove or tame the bitterness? I get it. It’s bitter. Why buy it and then spend all of your time changing it into something else?

I could go on forever. But don’t worry, I’ll stop—with just one more. One that I have to lay at the feet of my beloved Julia. When she basically invented food on TV all those decades ago, she signed off with her now famous “Bon appetit!” So, with that single sign-off, she had the best and only catchphrase. And ever since then, we have been subjected to TV chefs searching for that magical catchphrase that will cement their image in the minds of the viewers.

Happy cooking.

Peace and good eats.

Tutti a tavola a mangiare.


How bad could that be?

…I’ll stop. Even the list is making me mad.

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