One reason I stopped watching most cooking shows is because after a while, the TV personalities start to all sound nearly identical and it becomes somewhat monotonous. A college drinking game could be made out of the Sandra Lee show- ALL she ever says is that her food has "great flavor." There's literally no other phrase she can think of to describe her food and it drives me insane! I literally avoid using 'flavor' in my everyday vernacular because of this. And don't even get me started on her semi-homemade Kwanzaa cake!! [mini-rant]
My love for cooking shows has been revived with most recent addiction, chef Alex Guarnaschelli's show, Alex's Day Off.
She's a celebrity in the culinary world, and is currently the executive chef of two New York City restaurants, Butter and The Darby, but I so dearly hope she gets into the food-writing business!
What I find so refreshing about Alex's show is her incredible way with words. There's nothing like smelling and tasting a dish to truly familiarize yourself with cooking a meal, but when a screen comes between you and the cook, the only two ways to 'taste' the food is through sight and sound. Alex tells a story about the ingredients she uses and the recipes she cooks that's unlike anyone I've ever seen on a culinary show [with the possible exception of Nigella Lawson- she's fantastic!].
Alex has a fantastic way with metaphors. She'll compare mozzarella to a "quiet friend at a cocktail party, who needs a couple drinks before they get interesting." When describing the making of dulce de leche, she compares the process to "a conservative person in their cardigan sweater who minutes later rips off that sweater to reveal themselves." I absolutely love it! My favorite line of hers is "when you pull up your dress just to show a little bit of slip" to describe the bit of cheese that oozes out of a pressed sandwich. Some might find these descriptions a bit garish, but I think they're fantastic! Her way with words gives such an alluring visual of her food, and makes me want to jump right into the kitchen.
I've been waiting for Chef Guarnaschelli to come out with a cookbook, or frankly, any kind of book, because I'm fairly sure she could make burnt toast mouthwatering!