Tonight, while I was making cupcakes to take to class tomorrow morning (for my birthday), I started thinking about something that has been bothering me for a long time, but which I have not spoken about to anyone. See, I watch a lot of Food Network programing. I like watching people cook a lot. I'm not sure why I find it entertaining, but I do. And, for the most part, I find almost anyone entertaining to watch. But there are two groups of people I don't enjoying watching:
1. Emeril. I guess that he is not really a "group" of chefs. But I don't like the guy.
2. (And this is what I really wanted to discuss in this post.) The dilettante cooks. This group includes Ellie Krieger (from Healthy Appetites), Sandra Lee (Semi-Homemade), Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) and--the absolute worst--Giada deLarentiis. There are multiple reasons to dislike all of these women, but the thing that really bothers me, and what all of them have in common, is the super delicate way that they all handle food. All four of them have well-manicured nails (one of the ways you can tell that they are dilettantes) and everything that they do with food, whether it is chopping (which, by definition, is a sort of violent act, right?) to zesting, to stirring, is really gentle and ladylike. Who cooks like that? Seriously? A lot of cooking is sort of vigorous. If you are all concerned about not chipping a nail how can you appropriately mix, grate, mince, knead? Often you need to get in there and work your food. These women don't do that, and that makes all their food suspect. Lesser complaints about these women include: Ellie Kreiger puts lo-fat cheese into everything. That is gross and unnecessary. Sandra Lee 1) uses cans and mixes all the time and 2) ends every show with a themed "tablescape"--which is a word that no one should ever use. My biggest beef with Ina Garten (besides the fact that she is too dainty when she stirs things) is that she has somehow managed to marry a man rich enough to keep her in a nice house and to not have to work so that she can just cook food for all her fabulous gay friends. I am sort of jealous. I want a gay gardener friend, a gay foodie friend, a gay shopping friend, a gay florist friend, just to throw fabulous luncheons for. (I mean, I've got Dr. Awesome, but he doesn't have a whole lot of time for me now that he is busy saving children from disease.) But Giada. Don't even get me started. Who can't boil pasta and make 4-ingredient sauces and salads? There's no talent needed for that. It's ridiculous. I agree with Jeffrey Steingarten that the only reason that she has a cooking show is that she is sort of pretty.
That's it. I feel better now that this is off my chest. But don't take my word for it. See for yourself. It just seems wrong.
(By the way--I made devil's food cupcakes with orange cream cheese frosting, and polenta cupcakes with lime cream cheese frosting. I do not use boxed cake mixes. That's another rant all together.)