Jump to content

The Chew: We'll Trade You Erica Kane for Mario Batali & His Crocs


  • Please log in to reply

1343 replies to this topic

#451

tisha

tisha

    Couch Potato

Posted May 13, 2012 @ 7:03 AM

No, I'm actually talking about her culinary skills. I watched her both seasons of TC and, wherever TC might be at its best, at its worst, it's a format for third tier chefs to plod through despite any depth of skill or savvy, using their personalities instead--this is precisely why Alton once claimed, erroneously for that season, as it turned out, that TC was about sous chefs making good (he said that immediately before the Kevin/Jenn/Vataglio bros. season, which was much more about high quality chefs than any previous one).

Frankly, to be ahead of Clinton and Daphne in terms of culinary skills is faint praise, indeed: neither of them claims to have any. And Daphne's presentations in the culinary segments are light years ahead of Carla's, without all the bug eyes, the overdetermined catchphrases, the pre-rehearsed down-home homilies, the frenetic, unfocused energies, etc. The world has lots of people who can do both modern southern cuisine and basic pastry cooking, and do it better.

The best thing about Carla on this show is that her segments are so brief, so she can't fuck it up in the way she could in the early days of the show, when she got almost 1/5 of the air time. Now, if she gets 5 minutes every other day, as she normally does, it's not enough to throw the whole show in the toilet.
  • 0

#452

Jon N

Jon N

    Fanatic

Posted May 13, 2012 @ 7:36 PM

But she makes mistakes (like talking over people, not asking consistently focused questions of guests, not getting to the point sometimes, not looking at the camera at the right times, etc.) But that's more of a media training issue.

Importantly, she adds balance and variety to the knowledge base on this show. Unlike Michael and Mario, she ISN'T grounded in Mediterranean cuisine. She does much more American, soul food, and pastry chef work than those guys know. And she knows the catering/non-restaurant side of things. I think all of this is important and valuable for a show like this. (Same for Daphne adding the vegetarian and nutrition angle.)

I completely agree, if Carla lacks anything, it's definitely interviewing and media skills. I also agree that she adds an element to cooking shows that are often overlooked, catering. While Mario and Michael only function within the world of sophisticated culinary, Carla goes the other way and is more of a mom and pop/local and homely type of cooking, which I can really appreciate.

Besides, she really is the only pastry chef on there, I remember an episode where Michael was saying that he only makes desserts that are really easy because that's all he can do and then asked Mario to add the baking soda (which was obviously supposed to go into the flour part Mario had in front of him, while Michael was whisking some sort of egg mixture), and Mario just dumped it into the egg mixture Michael was whisking, I just rolled my eyes and can't believe that he didn't even know that. And then it got funny because Michael wasn't sure what to do and kept on whisking at the same time, and glared at Mario, and they ended up asking Carla if that was ok. The whole thing was really kind of funny, but yeah, Carla is an essential element to this, and I love how genuinely excited she is about craft corners.
  • 1

#453

scout56

scout56

    Couch Potato

Posted May 13, 2012 @ 8:37 PM

I love 'Clinton's Craft Corner, (LETS CRAFT!) My grandson and I have done a few, and we will definately do the mosaic tray as a nice gift for his mom, (my daughter) I just love Clinton!
  • 0

#454

Haveahabit

Haveahabit

    Fanatic

Posted May 14, 2012 @ 5:27 PM

I agree with the Carla love. I've adored Carla from the first "Wootie." Moreover, I respect her enormously for actually owning her loss in the final of her first season on Top Chef. Yes, she needs seasoning with hosting. But for sheer enthusiasm, great cooking skills and over-all niceness, I'll take Carla over Batali anytime.

Edited by Haveahabit, May 14, 2012 @ 5:29 PM.

  • 1

#455

Notmuchofacook

Notmuchofacook

    Couch Potato

Posted May 15, 2012 @ 12:01 PM

There are a lot of recipes on this show that I would like to try. In fact, last week I made Michael Symon's chipotle pork shoulder and it was phenomenal. Even the guests who have winning dishes have interesting recipes. I am enjoying this show more and more. One thing I have noticed is that Mario rarely, if ever, says he likes something someone has made. That's not cool.
  • 0

#456

maggie010

maggie010

    Fanatic

Posted May 15, 2012 @ 8:18 PM

I've noticed Mario doesn't usually comment as well Notsomuch. But I decided he is really just thinking about the dish, techniues, flavor etc and misses the opportunity. And he does eat more than a bite. If they all rave over every single thing it becomes meaningless, to me anyway.

He was very interested in how Clinton added bits of butter to his scrambled eggs yesterday, for example.

I think Mario is a good sport, and has a great sense of humor. I especially love him interacting with Michael, and that he gets into the crafts.

But I especially love him this week with his involvement in NYC with the food stamp program. Especially since his family is doing 7 days of meals this week for $124. I had not noticed he wasn't tasting food this week because he wanted to keep to the this is the way it is reality. Plus his "sacrifices" like canola oil - not EEVO, and the having to plan, plan, plan and go to several stores to make the budget work. His sincerity really touches me because there are rumblings about doing away with the program or cutting it in half as he explained it.

I was never interested in his FN shows but love him on this show!
  • 0

#457

Notmuchofacook

Notmuchofacook

    Couch Potato

Posted May 15, 2012 @ 9:50 PM

Maggie010, I agree. I like that Mario is doing the food stamp budget with his family. I hadn't noticed that he wasn't even tasting the dishes until today's show. I record and watch after its on and I'm on the West coast. Having said that, I generally like Mario and his enthusiasm for food and cooking. I have, however, noticed that previously he doesn't comment on anyone else's food. I would love to see him embrace someone else's recipe. I still love to watch him, though.
  • 0

#458

BlueSapphires

BlueSapphires

    Fanatic

Posted May 16, 2012 @ 9:43 AM

Interesting how we all like something different. I could without ever seeing another craft. And I think both women are pretty useless. Daphne just sits and eats, and Carla is just too muppet for me.
  • 0

#459

Haveahabit

Haveahabit

    Fanatic

Posted May 16, 2012 @ 5:46 PM

I'm not craft-y but Clinton is so enthusiastc (LET'S CRAFT!!!) that I actually enjoy Clinton's Craft Corner (LET'S CRAFT!!!). It's funny to see Michael and even Mario work on the projects. It also helps that the segments are pretty short. It makes for an amusing segment.

I could do without most of the guests.
  • 0

#460

itsmejessica

itsmejessica

    Fanatic

Posted May 16, 2012 @ 8:39 PM

I agree most guest I could careless about.The draw for me is these hosts all of them.I am not a baker but Carla's recipes are gold so wonderful.

I admit Carla Daphne and Clinton are my faves but MS and MB are great chefs.

Edited by itsmejessica, May 16, 2012 @ 8:46 PM.

  • 0

#461

scout56

scout56

    Couch Potato

Posted May 16, 2012 @ 8:41 PM

I love the fact that Mario is so committed, (his family also) , what a good man! And Clinton's Craft Corner (LET"S CRAFT!) may not be the most riviting t.v., but it's cute and sometimes their are good idea's.
  • 0

#462

chessiegal

chessiegal

    Fanatic

Posted May 16, 2012 @ 10:47 PM

Good for Mario for highlighting what it's like to live on food stamps by walking the talk! It made me realize I would not want to live on a food stamp budget for even a day, let alone a week. And his family took the journey with him. Kudos all around for the Batali family. I'm glad he has this platform to talk about an important issue.
  • 0

#463

whydoiwatchtv

whydoiwatchtv

    Video Archivist

Posted May 16, 2012 @ 11:43 PM

Continuing to love this show. I like all of them at this point. I think they all play off of one another quite well. They seem like they are genuine and are really becoming friends. Mario's the know-it-all master chef with a witty and snarky side while Mike is just awesome with cooking and his fun, easygoing personality. Carla is the lovable goof that adds to the show by making me feel comfortable with her knowledge. Daphne, whom I hated before, is the young one who can take some joking her way while trying to add healthy options and Clinton is just an absolute joy that holds it all together.
  • 1

#464

Jon N

Jon N

    Fanatic

Posted May 16, 2012 @ 11:58 PM

I have to say, I really like the craft corners because it's usually very interesting and unique since I would have never thought of using some things that Clinton used, i.e., the whole cactus inside a mason jar, that was unique. And then making one's own ornaments using paints, swirling on the inside.

The bra thing yesterday was a little bit weird and out there though, I tried to see the ties it had with the team of one pot, but even Clinton tried to use the word wonder, I don't think it fitted lol
  • 0

#465

ladyrott

ladyrott

    Stalker

Posted May 17, 2012 @ 11:30 AM

I had never watched this program before Tuesday when my sister posted on Facebook that she was going to be on it (she was the lady who made the Artichoke Chicken on Tuesday) and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the show. I am at work during the day, but I am going to DVR this a few times and see if it holds my interest/
  • 0

#466

dimo

dimo

    Couch Potato

Posted May 17, 2012 @ 1:22 PM

I so dearly love this show. The interaction and wonderful humor between them always makes me laugh. I especially like Clinton's little rules of etiquette ie: how to be a good guest, what not to bring as a house warming gift, how to behave at a barbecue etc. My 2 favs were when Mario broke the bed at the faux-slumber party and Mario coming to the bbq with 3 warm beers left in a 6 pack as his contribution then chugging the champagne sitting on the table and having it foam all over him not just once but twice! I can truly laugh out loud just thinking about either of them.

It is a real contrast to The View and The Talk and frankly I need to watch it every day to calm me down after those shit-fests!

I personally took the time to Email ABC and let them know how much I enjoyed the show, which is a first for me.

Bravo Mario on your participation in the food stamp awareness program, I have an all new respect for you.

My only complaint is having guests...they could really drop that, it adds nothing.
  • 0

#467

Kodiboku

Kodiboku

    Fanatic

Posted May 17, 2012 @ 1:40 PM

Continuing to love this show. I like all of them at this point. I think they all play off of one another quite well.


I totally agree.

I never was into crafts but I really like the entire show. I'm waiting for Clinton's Cocktail Corner....Let's Drink!
  • 1

#468

kazza2

kazza2

    Loyal Viewer

Posted May 17, 2012 @ 1:50 PM

I especially like Clinton's little rules of etiquette ie: how to be a good guest, what not to bring as a house warming gift, how to behave at a barbecue etc. My 2 favs were when Mario broke the bed at the faux-slumber party and Mario coming to the bbq with 3 warm beers left in a 6 pack as his contribution then chugging the champagne sitting on the table and having it foam all over him not just once but twice! I can truly laugh out loud just thinking about either of them.


I laughed out loud, too. I also went to a taping which had one of the Clinton's etiquette segments, and it was even more hilarious live. While Clinton and whoever's on camera with him are trying to hold it together (barely), the rest of the cast are just busting a gut, which of course, gets the audience laughing even more.

I have no idea what other daytime shows are like, but during the taping, the cast genuinely seemed to get along. I mean, they're talking and eating food every day so it's not like they have politically charged polarizing topics, but I just get the sense that they're fun people. They'll give each other a hard time, but everyone's got a pretty good sense of self and can take it. ABC got it right with this group.
  • 3

#469

blakec73

blakec73

    Loyal Viewer

Posted May 17, 2012 @ 5:41 PM

Your sister's recipe looked great !!!!
  • 0

#470

scout56

scout56

    Couch Potato

Posted May 17, 2012 @ 6:03 PM

Kodiboku, LOL @ Clinton's Cocktail Corner (LET'S DRINK!) I'll bet Clinton would love that suggestion. I agree dimo, I never e-mailed a show before but I just had to for this wonderful bunch of good humored cast! I like Carla! They say she's always in the audience during commercial breaks dancing away. They all just 'click'! Kazza2, please give us some detail how it is during taping. DOES Carla dance in the audience?

Edited by scout56, May 17, 2012 @ 6:05 PM.

  • 0

#471

Haveahabit

Haveahabit

    Fanatic

Posted May 17, 2012 @ 6:45 PM

Today's food fights were some of the funniest things I've ever seen on grown-up TV. They should sell greeting cards with a photo of Michael with the cupcake smushed on top of his bald head.

I wish they would put more emphasis on the Batali family's food stamp project this week. I find it troubling that a chef of Mario's caliber really has to work to make the money stretch far enough. What can it be like for real people? I would like him to start a fund to cover the cost of him writing and publishing a cookbook to be given away which has ultra-low cost recipes and shopping tips. And the tips have to be more than just shop at more than one store. Gas is expensive and many people don't have cars or even supermarkets in their neighborhoods. Hunger is my charity of choice and having an icon like Mario Batali as an advocate is huge. But I want him to kick it up a couple of notches. <climbs down off soapbox>
  • 0

#472

itsmejessica

itsmejessica

    Fanatic

Posted May 17, 2012 @ 7:37 PM

ladyrott, Your sisters chicken was delish, made it tonight. This show is so much fun. I love it.I'm glad Carla got to shine today.

Edited by itsmejessica, May 17, 2012 @ 7:38 PM.

  • 0

#473

culturevulture73

culturevulture73

    Fanatic

Posted May 17, 2012 @ 10:08 PM

so dearly love this show. The interaction and wonderful humor between them always makes me laugh.


I think that's it - I've tried The Revolution (poor Tim) and The Talk (I saw Fabio from Top Chef on there with the original hosts and you could see that he was trying to escape; ditto Jim Caveziel and the poor Amazing Race teams who have been stranded there for two minutes(literally)). This crew looks like they're having a great time (of course, food and drink, who wouldn't?) and they've gelled. I'm beginning to see even Mario getting in on it.

It doesn't hurt that they are all pretty quick to pick up on funny lines and laugh at themselves. The barbeque was a riot (especially Mario slinging champagne everywhere and Carla in her risque outfit. And of course Symon would take over the grill). I haven't cooked a thing from the show but I keep tuning in to see what they'll get up to next.

My only complaint is having guests...they could really drop that, it adds nothing.


True, there's only been one or two that have worked and when they have, it's been because they had a special meaning to one of the hosts (Clinton's crushes and I also enjoyed Brian Boitano skating with Carla).

And they can bring back the dancers for the C&C Food Factory any time.
  • 0

#474

Jon N

Jon N

    Fanatic

Posted May 18, 2012 @ 4:00 AM

It doesn't hurt that they are all pretty quick to pick up on funny lines and laugh at themselves. The barbeque was a riot (especially Mario slinging champagne everywhere and Carla in her risque outfit.

I love Clinton's etiquette/tips with the voiceovers, everyone's acting was so sub-par in those segments in one of those tounge-in-cheek kind of way, and I think they're hilarious!!!!!

I too love the whole cast interaction, everyone always say something smart and sarcastic to be funny, this is such a fun show to watch. I agree with the guests thing, Jenna Ushkowitz (?) was so weird, she had zero connection to cooking, just kind of showed up and cook a big and look pretty. At least when Eva Longoria was on, they were making something from a cookbook she had co-written or something. I do love the guests they have on that are famous chefs, i.e., Scott Conant, Jeffrey Zakarian...etc. because they are always willing to joke around since they're friends with a cast member, or even Stacey London, who's friend with Clinton.

This is a paraphrase example of the cleverness/funny in this show:

Michael: My pappy's secret is steps. He walks everywhere, every single step is important.
Carla: Yeah, he's the inventor of the original 12 Steps program.

And they can bring back the dancers for the C&C Food Factory any time.

I want to take both of them home.
  • 0

#475

culturevulture73

culturevulture73

    Fanatic

Posted May 18, 2012 @ 6:39 AM

Today's food fights were some of the funniest things I've ever seen on grown-up TV. They should sell greeting cards with a photo of Michael with the cupcake smushed on top of his bald head.


Clinton and Carla, and then Michael quoting 'In Living Color" nearly put me on the floor. "Two snaps up in a circle!"
  • 0

#476

kazza2

kazza2

    Loyal Viewer

Posted May 18, 2012 @ 12:45 PM

Kazza2, please give us some detail how it is during taping. DOES Carla dance in the audience?


YES! During a commercial break she came into the audience and danced up the aisle and across the second row seats. And she is gorgeous -- amazing bone structure -- in real life, much more so than is evident on TV. Clinton also pulled a woman out of the audience and danced with her to "I WIll Survive." During the commercial breaks they all have great interaction with the audience, and the warmup guy is pretty good about letting the cast know about special groups in attendance or questions people had for specific hosts.

Scott Conant was the guest on the episode I went to, and even he chatted with the audience. One woman asked him who came up with the ingredients in "Chopped", and he said he had no idea but he wanted to know as well. Apparently they tape "Chopped" also in the early mornings (The Chew is taped at 9am) -- as that's the only time chefs have time -- and it can be painful to eat some of those combinations sometimes, especially when he'd just gotten home a couple of hours ago! (I think he was joking.)

Who else... Even before taping started, Michael Symon was already out on the stage, checking on the food. He came over and chatted with the audience a little. One of the women at the Table asked him what she should do if she didn't like the dish, and he told her to always be honest. He was really down to earth, which was cool. Clinton did a little "What Not To Wear" with the audience, too, and pointed out outfits that he liked. Daphne came over at the very end, and while she wasn't as gregarious as the others, she was really nice. I think she may be a little shy and maybe not as comfortable with groups yet.

Mario wasn't there that day.

It was a really fun taping with great energy. If you get a chance to go, definitely go.

Edited by kazza2, May 18, 2012 @ 1:00 PM.

  • 1

#477

Haveahabit

Haveahabit

    Fanatic

Posted May 18, 2012 @ 4:22 PM

Kazza2, how are the folks at The Table chosen?
  • 0

#478

Jon N

Jon N

    Fanatic

Posted May 18, 2012 @ 9:45 PM

And she is gorgeous -- amazing bone structure -- in real life, much more so than is evident on TV.


Thank you for confirming that!! Since she was a former fashion model, I suspected that she had very well defined bone structure, much better that what we see on TV.

I'm glad to hear the casts seem to get along, and very interactive with the audience. Can you ever imagine pompous Barbara Walters willing to do this with the audience while she's struggling to adjust the stick up her ass?
  • 0

#479

CathinAZ

CathinAZ

    Video Archivist

Posted May 19, 2012 @ 8:41 PM

Love this show. I do fast or ward though ome segments if I'm not interested in them, but I do enjoy the interaction between all of the hosts. Maro has a fabulous, encyclopedic knowledge of Italian cooking and I enjoy all the information he shares. I tend to make his Recipies much more than the others.
  • 0

#480

kazza2

kazza2

    Loyal Viewer

Posted May 21, 2012 @ 8:40 AM

Kazza2, how are the folks at The Table chosen?


From what I saw, I believe it's as easy as getting there early and/or asking. When we were in line going through security, one of the production crew members asked me if I wanted to be at the Table, in case "The Kleins" didn't show up. I said yes, and she wrote down my name and said she'd find me. When we got to the waiting area inside, the woman who had been right in front of me in line said they asked her if she wanted to be at the Table, too. She ended up getting the last seat, and since The Kleins did show up, I didn't make the cut. :)

Towards the end of the taping, they offered tickets for the next show, which was taping in just an hour. The group sitting in front of me took tickets, and when Daphne came over. they asked her how they could sit at the Table. She told them just to tell the crew that they wanted to and joked that she said it was ok.

The crew is REALLY nice. I think they really get that people are excited to be there, and they try to be very accommodating.

Edited by kazza2, May 21, 2012 @ 8:41 AM.

  • 0