Wicked Wednesday: Who is Your Favorite Celebrity Chef?

MurdermostfinickyWe are celebrating the release of Murder Most Finicky today. The wicked question of the week, in keeping with the theme of the book: Who is your favorite celebrity chef? The cooking show you like to watch?

Liz: I’m probably going to be the worst at answering this question because I don’t watch cooking shows! I’m going to go with Kris Carr. She’s not a traditional celebrity chef, but her Crazy Sexy food revolution is helping people use food as their pharmacy. Via her blog and cookbooks (Crazy Sexy DietCrazy Sexy Kitchen, Crazy Sexy Juice), Kris offers tips on how to eat way better without sacrificing enjoyment. Her recipes are yummy, vegan, and offer gluten- and dairy-free options.

Jessie: I don’t watch cooking shows either. I do love to watch Anthoy Bourdain travel the world and experience other cultures through food. Does that count?

Julie: Jessie, we’ll let him count. I have three favorites. #1, of course, Julia Child. #2 Martha Stewart. #3 Emeril Lagasse.

graham-kerrJuliachildEdith: Ha. I don’t watch cooking shows, either. So Julia Child gets my vote. And does anybody remember Graham Kerr, the handsome Galloping Gourmet? I watched him in high school. I was so impressed that he would pour some wine into his cooking, and then some into his glass (my parents did not drink) and drink it right there on air. Now I AM him. (Look, I found a picture of Julia Child and Graham Kerr together!) And congratulations, Liz!

Sherry: It’s ironic that I’m probably the worst cook of us all and yet I love to watch cooking shows. One of my favorites is Chopped on the Food Network. I love the judges on the show but have a new favorite, Chris Santos. There was a recent episode with military vets, one of them (the first runner up) was having a particularly hard time in life. Chris said he was opening a new restaurant and offered him a job adding that he didn’t do it lightly and thought the vet was a great cook. It touched my heart because I’ve never seen a judge do that before.

Barb: I have to go with Tom Colicchio and Top Chef. It was eleven years ago that I spent Tom_Colicchioa snowy Saturday wrapping Christmas presents and watching a marathon of the first season of Project Runway. I had never watched reality TV before, not even American Idol or Survivor, but Project Runway spoke to me. I’m not into fashion, but I loved watching creative people solve problems to compete in interesting challenges. When I learned the same production team was doing Top Chef, I had no interest. “If you can’t smell it or taste it, what’s the point?” I said to my husband. But nonetheless, around the second season, they got me. I have to say I’ve learned a lot about cooking and a lot about food from Top Chef.

Readers: Cooking shows or no? Who’s your favorite TV chef?


57 Thoughts

  1. I stopped watching cooking shows when they became uncivilized and competitive. I really enjoyed the days of Julia Child when food was treated as a joy. Sign me off as Cranky and Old! But I still love to cook and feed people.

      1. I love that show, although I doubt I’ll every try any of the recipes. So much fun to watch, thought, and it’s not all about beating up the contestants.

  2. I watched Julia Child when she was in black and white! She was great and so was Graham Kerr. My favorite chef is my s–i-l who is not on TV.

  3. I’m with Barb, for the same reasons. I love watching the creative process and people reach for their dreams. Top Chef is my favorite, although, I don’t think Tom is my favorite chef. I really love Rick Bayless (Top Chef Masters) and Emireil. I enjoy seeing past contestants return to judge – Richard.

    1. Ironically, I did end up watching some show the other night where this guy and his team swooped in and helped reinvent a restaurant. It was actually good, though I have no idea what I was watching.

  4. I watch plenty of TV, but I’ve never really tried any if the cooking shows. Ironic with the number of culinary cozies I read.

      1. I don’t cook, actually. It’s hard to get very motivated to cook for yourself. So I just read about it, actually.

  5. I’m not a regular viewer of cooking shows either, but a few times recently I’ve seen one where grown-up chefs compete against some amazing kid chefs. Odd ball programing. I like it. And then there’s Gordon Ramsey. Now, that’s cranky for you Edith!

    1. I think I just don’t like when people are nasty to each other for no reason. I’ve watched clips of some of those competitive shows and they seem so cutthroat.

    2. I watched some of Gordon Ramsey’s early shows where he was wandering around the UK doing turnarounds on restaurants run by people who never should have been in the business in the first place. It was always, “I hate food, I hate people, so I decided to invest in a restaurant.” I found it hilarious. However, I lost track of him after that.

    3. I call Gordon Ramsey the Energizer Bunny. He’s usually juggling four shows at once, in two different countries, and he-talks-really-fast (what the heck is he on?). Did anyone see the one he filmed in a prison?

  6. Once in awhile I catch one of Gordon Ramsey’s shows. I have two of his books and cook from them occasionally. I am completely obsessed with The Barefoot Contessa. Several years ago I copied a chocolate cookie recipe of hers from House Beautiful and that’s where it began. I now own every book she has written and follow her like a religion. I have yet to see one of her programs, though.

  7. The competition shows are not my cup of tea! I enjoy Lydia’s Italy (PBS) especially the little visits to regions of Italy. Thanks for the memories of Julia Child– loved her! –kate

  8. My husband is obsessed with Chopped! but I always feel pity for the losers. And some of the stuff they are forced to cook with is downright weird. My favorite cooking shows are Ina Garten and The Pioneer Woman. Love them both, as much for the chit chatter as the food.

    I read somewhere that chefs care about food and cooks care about feeding people. I’m the latter category, though I do try to make what I cook tasty.

    1. Ramona, my mother loves Pioneer Woman. She thinks my niece looks like one of the daughters, so that might help.

      I love CHOPPED. It is kind of like writing a book–deal with what you’ve got, try and make it tasty. I love seeing what folks come up with, though I do (often) feel badly for the judges.

  9. OK, you’ve found out one of my not-so-secret vices. I LOVE the cooking shows. And the restaurant rescue shows. Worst Cooks in America is fun. Have you ever seen Mystery Diners? The premise is that when a restaurant owner suspects there’s funny business going on with his/her employees, the show sets up hidden cameras and they catch the employee in the act–stealing food/tips, running some kind of shadow business using the resources of the restaurant (like making their own menu and selling it out the back door ), etc. I count this as research time as I’ve gotten several good (illegal) ideas for things that could be going on in my fictional restaurant, LOL! Some of my favorite celeb chefs are Alton Brown (love his particular brand of nerdy food science), Curtis Stone (for obvious reasons–the man can cook and he’s so nice to look at), and Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman). But my all-time favorite is Julia Child. I grew up watching her on PBS, and later I learned about her fascinating life and true love story before the show was even thought of. I recently took a trip to DC and saw her recreated kitchen at the American History Museum. Oh, and Edith, I also had a little girl crush on Graham Kerr–that hair! Those sideburns! Le sigh.

      1. Ha! I actually don’t watch that much tv. For the most part I only do it while I’m doing other things, like folding laundry, doing dishes (no tv in the kitchen, but I watch Netflix on my tablet), or when I sit down to work on my knitting/crocheting.

  10. The immortal Julia Child, of course. The early Anthony Bourdain, while he was still more focused on the food (“oh, that’s good!”)–one of my favorite fantasies is having dinner with Tony and his buddy Eric Ripert (that accent!). I get exhausted watching Gordon Ramsey. Of course I remember Graham Kerr (I may even have one of his cookbooks), although he kind of lost me when he prepared sweetbreads by putting them between two plates and sticking the bundle under a table leg–to drain? to flatten? Never have tried that! And of course, there was the late James Beard, who I once saw in a small Berkeley restaurant (eating, not cooking–and it was one of my favorite places too).

      1. They seem to have the Great Irish Bake-Off, but it’s not as good as the English one (gasp! did I say that?). But the broadcast we got at the last place we stayed had only about five channels, and we saw a lot of reruns of Midsomer Murders and Murder She Wrote.

  11. The Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) and Lydia Bastianich are always on at our house. But my favorite celebrity chefs are the Macaroni Nonnies. Full disclosure they are my wife, Annette, and her 92 year old mother. They have their own You Tube Channel. Try the Ricotta Anginette Italian Cookies or the stuffed clams! http://bit.do/nonniemacaroni

  12. I love Ina Garten and Lydia Bastianich. You can just tell that cooking ( and eating) are their passion, as they are mine too! It never fails after I watch either one of these fantastic ladies…I have to go cook something.

  13. Although I’m not a good cook, I love to watch cooking shows. I enjoy most of the competition shows also, as long as the contestants aren’t rude and mean to each other (I don’t like Cut-Throat Kitchen). My favorite is The Pioneer Woman…I love her sense of humor! I also like Chris Santos and Aaron Sanchez (judges on Chopped).

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