Soon thereafter I met Giada and Ina. I loved their shows because they were beautifully filmed in gorgeous white kitchens, and their food was fantastically simple. Admittedly, I was mesmerized by Giada's beauty and history (did you know her entire family is/was in the film business?). Her food also looked good, and since I've always been a fan of Italian, I was eager to try her many dishes. Unfortunately, they tend to look better than they taste (for the most part, not all), and it wasn't long before I found her overly Italian pronunciation of words like "spaghetti" and "parmiggiano" irritating. Also, does her cleavage HAVE to be on every single episode??
But Ina... oh Ina Ina Ina. I am in LOVE with Ina. She is everything a good cook should be: warm, motherly, pleasantly plump (I do not trust skinny chefs... AHEM Giada), and sweet as pie. Furthermore, she has an insanely gorgeous home in East Hampton and an adorable husband. And her food - oh the food! It's SO GOOD. I've never been disappointed in a single Ina dish. Ever! Her cookbooks are my absolute fave (note to self: must ask Mom to mail them asap), and I highly recommend them to both budding and seasoned chefs. (My friend Steph even got me an Ina cookbook signed by the Contessa herself!) The only downside to Ina's dishes is that they can get expensive. She insists on high quality ingredients (which is fair), but I once made one of her lasagna recipes and spent, like, $40 on different cheeses. Also, she uses her fair share of butter and cream, but it's nowhere near as obscene as that Paula lady with whom, btw, I have never gotten fully on board. Ina's just my fave, and I literally scream every time I actually catch her show on TV.
Fast forward to me now: my birthday gift to myself was to purchase a used TV off Craigslist for my petite NYC palace. I'm already paying for cable (the apt has a bundle plan), so getting a TV made sense. I've turned on the FN every day since and have been appalled to see that 90% of the shows are either reality/competition-based OR filled with annoying chefs (and I mean even more annoying than RR!) What happened to my FN?? Has anyone else noticed this awful shift? I can't wait to get my DVR (now rescheduled for Saturday... grr I hate you, Time Warner Cable) so I can record every single episode of Barefoot Contessa and never be forced to watch The Next FN Star or Down Home with the Neelys ever again. (No offense if you like those shows...)
As for the boys, well, I am IN LOVE with Tyler Florence and actually met him at the Food & Wine Festival in Austin many, many years ago. (I also asked him if he was single, and yes, my boyfriend at the time was sitting right next to me.) I equally ABHOR Bobby Flay. He's annoying, not cute, way too "I'm a MAN!", and never shall I dine in one of his restaurants.
And with that, I'll leave you with some food porn, Ina-style.
baked eggs with cream
mac 'n cheese