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Sandwich King: All Sammiches All the Time!


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#31

orchidgal

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 3:33 PM

No one on the FN really has ever ventured into bread making territory come to think of it, except Alton Brown and maybe one or two others?

The real problem may be that TPTB at FN believe that their target audience is dumber than a box of rocks and utterly incapable of the 'complicated' task of making bread from scratch.
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#32

rustyspigot

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 3:38 PM

His accent is really thick isn't it?


Yes, especially in the restaurant with other Chicago folks. But, hey I won't knock accents as I have a pretty big Wisconsin one.

I didn't like the beginning when he was looking at the invisible interviewer, but that was a minor gripe.
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#33

WhyTheFace

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 3:43 PM

The real problem may be that TPTB at FN believe that their target audience is dumber than a box of rocks and utterly incapable of the 'complicated' task of making bread from scratch


Knowing them probably, but it also might be an issue of convenience as so many say usually because they have never actually made bread and the thought of measuring out things scares them. It also may be the chefs and cooks who do not want to try to make bread either because of the effort or inability to pull it off.

Baking seems to be the Achilles heel to so many chefs and cooks on television especially and I wish I knew why.

I think sandwiches are often benefited by homemade bread myself, the best of both worlds.
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#34

starglow

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 3:43 PM

I loved his show. Jeff is a natural in front of the camera. I found it fast-paced, interesting and fun. I hope the show ends up in primetime. I have a feeling we're going to be seeing him for many years to come.
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#35

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 4:01 PM

I have a feeling we're going to be seeing him for many years to come


Maybe so, but in that case he will have to expand and go outside his sandwich comfort zone.
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#36

irisheyes11

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 4:11 PM

His accent is really thick isn't it?


Too funny - the midwestern accent is the one most broadcasters use...I don't even hear Jeff's "accent" as I am from Chicago! :D

I thought going to the Elmwood Italian Beef place was actually cool, and more interesting than most of the show, but fyi - Chicago Italian beef sandwiches are NEVER served shredded. (kind of like how Chicago Vienna hot dogs are NEVER served with ketchup - blerg!)
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#37

orchidgal

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 4:12 PM

I think sandwiches are often benefited by homemade bread myself, the best of both worlds.

Agreed, WhyTheFace. So if the celebrity chef/host won't or can't bake bread from scratch, then they should at least suggest seeking out good local artisan bread to their viewers. Most communities are blessed with good bakeries these days.
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#38

irisheyes11

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 4:20 PM

Surely the FN can afford a panini press for him. A bacon press really is not the same, there is no way a bacon press can grill a sandwich and it comes out as thin as his sandwich did, not without putting a lot of pressure on that bacon press. Yet, he came across as if he couldn't afford a panini press. We all know he didn't have to buy his own cookware.


I agree - I thought that the "Hey I'm just a regular guy and can't afford a panini press, but just happen to have a bacon press handy" (and who has a bacon press???) a bit trite.

There's no need to explain. That seasoning is a great asset to the kitchen. I don't use fresh herbs and the blend is just what it says it is. Dried parsley, oregano, basil and a variety of other herbs with no salt or odd filler ingredients added.


But he didn't explain what was in it - and for anyone who doesn't know...how long would it have taken to throw out a three ingredient tag?

Jeff is all about sandwiches, that's the core of his show and to me that falls more into the category of a 5 Ingredient meal or Melissa's show 10 dollar dinners, the concept to me is way too compact and there isn't enough wiggle room for them to do as much as they could with their idea


I agree, although I think Melissa and Claire have a greater range in the kinds of items they can make - ie: both often make a entree, a side and dessert or appetizer. Jeff makes sandwiches.

More power to him, but I don't see myself tuning in again.
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#39

ellyd

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 4:28 PM

So if the celebrity chef/host won't or can't bake bread from scratch, then they should at least suggest seeking out good local artisan bread to their viewers. Most communities are blessed with good bakeries these days.


I think most viewers would look for the best bread possible. Our local supermarket has a fresh bread bakery right in it and we can buy all sorts of great artisan bread without going to a separate bakery.

(and who has a bacon press???)


I do. In fact, I have 3. I've never used them for bacon though! :)
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#40

WhyTheFace

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 4:31 PM

So if the celebrity chef/host won't or can't bake bread from scratch, then they should at least suggest seeking out good local artisan bread to their viewers


I'm on your side, but yet so few do as far as I've seen. If you can't bake the bread yourself then find a professional to bake it for you, it's worth the trouble and the little extra money you might have to spend. Especially if you want the best quality controlled sandwich you can make.

But he didn't explain what was in it - and for anyone who doesn't know...how long would it have taken to throw out a three ingredient tag?


There are also different blends of Italian seasonings as well at different prices, so which is best and why? I also think it's helpful to encourage people to make up their own spice blends if possible, that way they know exactly what's gone into it and if it's to their own personal taste and liking. It's a simple way to make cooking that much more engaging I think.

I agree, although I think Melissa and Claire have a greater range in the kinds of items they can make - ie: both often make a entree, a side and dessert or appetizer. Jeff makes sandwiches.


Very true, I was speaking more that they can get into a hole easier than other shows because they have the limitations of only 5 ingredients or the menu must be capped at a mere 10 bucks, but yes they do have a fairly large range of options and dishes they can still make anyway.

But Jeff isn't just stuck with a bad concept, to me, he's stuck with a single dish which is just craziness in my opinion. Not to make a bad pun but a show solely about sandwich making is bound to get stale sooner than later.
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#41

givre

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 4:36 PM

Italian seasonings is hardly in the Sandra Lee category and is a handy thing to have when I am seasoning with amounts that are too small to need to take all of the separate bottles. I think it's fine for beginner cooks as well as advanced cooks such as myself.

As for faulting someone for not baking bread - really? I can't imagine anything that would really be a major turn off to most people than the idea that one has to start by baking bread - and I actually bake but rarely bread because the stuff I can buy around me doesn't warrant my spending the time and effort when I can use my limited time for something that makes more sense for me.

Which is not to say that if someone enjoys baking bread they should go for but even some really fine restaurants don't bake bread on premises but rely on good bakeries. Every grocery store in my area stocks La Brea Bakery bread - and even their less expensive private selection is perfectly fine for a sandwich.
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#42

larapu2000

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 4:49 PM

I wouldn't dip the entire sandwich in the juice (maybe break off a piece of the bread).


Try living in Chicago, where you have to REQUEST the bread not being dipped in the jus. I think it's a dude thing, since my brother and father both dig on the submerged bun thing. Ugh.

I thought going to the Elmwood Italian Beef place was actually cool, and more interesting than most of the show, but fyi - Chicago Italian beef sandwiches are NEVER served shredded. (kind of like how Chicago Vienna hot dogs are NEVER served with ketchup - blerg!)


I think you tend to see the shredded Italian Beef in home preparation, where you don't have a meat slicer to cut a roast super thin.
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#43

starglow

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 5:20 PM

Try living in Chicago, where you have to REQUEST the bread not being dipped in the jus.


I loved the part where he stated that living in Chicago one must know all the different ways to order the sandwich, and then he went on to cite the different ways. That was cute. As one who has never heard of this sandwich that is dipped in jus, I really got a kick out of that.
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#44

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 5:41 PM

The good news is that I found Jeff less irritating here than I did for most of his time on The Next Food Network Star, though that's a fairly low bar. ;) I have an admitted pet peeve against "comedians" who try so painfully, obnoxiously hard to be funny and rarely are, but thankfully that aspect of Jeff was at least somewhat reigned in here.

His whole "story" about eating beef as a kid, which consisted of him eating beef, liking beef and telling his Mom he liked beef fell awfully flat for me, but then again, I'm used to hearing pointless non-story stories on The Food Network!

I thought that the "Hey I'm just a regular guy and can't afford a panini press, but just happen to have a bacon press handy" (and who has a bacon press???) a bit trite.


Heh---yeah, Jeff's "I ain't a millionaire" felt like the show was trying way, way too hard to be all "don't y'all just love and relate to what a regular, JUST LIKE YOU guy he is?!" And (*whispers*) I'd honestly never heard of a bacon press before watching this episode!

I'll say this, though: while Jeff will never be a favorite of mine, I do believe he's genuinely enthused about food (as opposed to believing he's enthused only about the opportunity to be on TV, though he certainly enjoys the 'I'm an entertainer!' aspect as well). And while I agree with the myriad valid points about the potential limitations and/or turn-off factor of his concept (i.e., spending hours to prepare a food that's popular in large part BECAUSE it's so quick and easy), as a sandwich lover I find myself strangely intrigued as to what else he might show us.

So, overall, my feelings are mixed, but my TiFaux and I will give it at least another couple of episodes.
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#45

heebiejeebie

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 6:33 PM

I don't get why male hosts get to be bloated, untucked and generally pasty-faced ugly but the women all have cinched cleavage barring Ina as Ninja Nana and Drunken Dean. Granted the process that gives us Lard Weasel Fieti and Sammich Tool (but without the actual tools to make that sandwich) Jeff look like they live in their parents basement and are waiting to LARP the hell of a weekend this fall, seems to provide the slightest hint of male attractiveness as something Suze Fogel would dry hump in an instant and comes off dumb as rocks. But still. Can't they cast something that dangles instead of dimples that doesn't look like the neighborhood should be given an alert as per the pervert laws. This is FN's determined lowest common denominator show after all. Eye candy of the male variety is sadly lacking and Jeff only lowers the average considerably. I know that shouldn't be a factor overall, but he doesn't seem to actually offer something to me that can't be found elsewhere. Mostly from simple common sense and the ability most of us learn as our first culinary venture no matter how fancy a twist he looks like he will struggle to provide each week.

Really borrowed from the impractical Sandra Lee meme which could at least redeem the show in terms of snark but anyone so charmless for me that thinks he is so charismatic just comes off unwatchable. I wonder if they will let him break from the hammered rules from the contest? It was so awkward watching him do each and every thing they stressed as a "winning" combination.

I thought giving the name for the foccaccia sandwich was idiotic. But then why ruin a good foccaccia by pressing it and yet not actually melting the cheese? But then why not actually show you can cook a real pot roast and then show how you would use it either as a whole or as leftovers? Really poorly executed concept. I'm guessing FN is hoping that star personality rockets him to pop culture and lame game shows fast.

I might have to stick to reading the board though just because after watching his knife skills, seeing him slit his own wrists, gory as it would be, could be worth a laugh. The rough cut of the onions was an amusing joke, but damn, I know people like to think cutting peppers should look fancy but who send the knife at an angle right at the unprotected flesh while the knife is unsupported? Even Sandy Lee can cut better than that.

Brilliant of FN to decide that a limited concept that actually seems to waste food (why not actually cut and cook the onions correctly to get all the flavor and utilize, well the food you just spent money on -- oh right because sweaty lopsided adult Campbell Soup Can Kid Jeff wouldn't know where to start).

At this point with the advent of Frontier woman I think if Food Network produced a show I could sit through for five minutes nad not think is too simple for my ten year old nephew who doesn't cook, I'd drop dead from shock.

Edited by heebiejeebie, Aug 21, 2011 @ 6:38 PM.

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#46

WhyTheFace

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 6:42 PM

I don't get why male hosts get to be bloated, untucked and generally pasty-faced ugly but the women all have cinched cleavage barring Ina as Ninja Nana and Drunken Dean. Granted the process that gives us Lard Weasel Fieti and Sammich Tool (but without the actual tools to make that sandwich) Jeff look like they live in their parents basement and are waiting to LARP the hell of a weekend this fall, seems to provide the slightest hint of male attractiveness as something Suze Fogel would dry hump in an instant and comes off dumb as rocks. But still. Can't they cast something that dangles instead of dimples that doesn't look like the neighborhood should be given an alert as per the pervert laws. This is FN's determined lowest common denominator show after all. Eye candy of the male variety is sadly lacking and Jeff only lowers the average considerably. I know that shouldn't be a factor overall, but he doesn't seem to actually offer something to me that can't be found elsewhere. Mostly from simple common sense and the ability most of us learn as our first culinary venture no matter how fancy a twist he looks like he will struggle to provide each week.

Really borrowed from the impractical Sandra Lee meme which could at least redeem the show in terms of snark but anyone so charmless for me that thinks he is so charismatic just comes off unwatchable. I wonder if they will let him break from the hammered rules from the contest? It was so awkward watching him do each and every thing they stressed as a "winning" combination.

I thought giving the name for the foccaccia sandwich was idiotic. But then why ruin a good foccaccia by pressing it and yet not actually melting the cheese? But then why not actually show you can cook a real pot roast and then show how you would use it either as a whole or as leftovers? Really poorly executed concept. I'm guessing FN is hoping that star personality rockets him to pop culture and lame game shows fast.

I might have to stick to reading the board though just because after watching his knife skills, seeing him slit his own wrists, gory as it would be, could be worth a laugh. The rough cut of the onions was an amusing joke, but damn, I know people like to think cutting peppers should look fancy but who send the knife at an angle right at the unprotected flesh while the knife is unsupported? Even Sandy Lee can cut better than that.

Brilliant of FN to decide that a limited concept that actually seems to waste food (why not actually cut and cook the onions correctly to get all the flavor and utilize, well the food you just spent money on -- oh right because sweaty lopsided adult Campbell Soup Can Kid Jeff wouldn't know where to start).

At this point with the advent of Frontier woman I think if Food Network produced a show I could sit through for five minutes nad not think is too simple for my ten year old nephew who doesn't cook, I'd drop dead from shock.


I wish I had something truly constructive to add to this post but really I just want to dress this statement up and dance with it at my wedding. Spot on heebiejeebie, spot on.

Edited by WhyTheFace, Aug 21, 2011 @ 6:42 PM.

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#47

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 6:52 PM

I did not watch NFNS. I think it's a steaming pile. So I had no pre-conceived notion of this guy. Nor did I seek out this show. I just happened to turn to FN when it started.

I found him off-putting. His personality/attitude grated; he really came off as smarmy, that "hey, how you doin'" big city obnoxious, in-your-face, aren't I a big-shot d-bagishness. Not a fan.

I also thought, hasn't RR already covered every single type of "sammie" on her worthless show? What is he bringing that's new or original?

As for the actual food, who hasn't utilized left over pot roast to make a quick sandwich the next day? Why didn't he have a panini press? And really? Mortadella and cheese pressed between foccacia with a fig spread? Wow. Earth-shaking.

But who knows? Guy Fee-Asshole made tater-tots on one of his first shows, and he's proven that being an obnoxious douche-bag is no impediment to success on the joke that is Food Network.
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#48

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 6:55 PM

I guess "normal" people don't necessarily fit into the FN chef line-up anymore.
But this guy comes across as kindasorta normal.
Whatever - I like my food in sandwich-form (bread/tortilla/lavosh etcetc), so I'll watch this.

(not a vegetarian, but also not into giant slabs of bloody uber-expensive meats - sorry)
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#49

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 6:59 PM

I forgot to add earlier, that I found his story about being able to wander away from his school for lunch to be a bit disturbing. According to him, he was allowed to do this as a young elementary student and there just happened to be a sandwich shop across the street, lol. Guess even as a little guy, it was worth risking his life to cross the street just to get a sandwich.
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#50

irisheyes11

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 7:17 PM

I don't get why male hosts get to be bloated, untucked and generally pasty-faced


We do tend to suffer from the "King of Queens" inequality - men only have to be funny, hail-fellow-well-met, how you doin' schlubs, and the women have to be glamorous - even Anne Burrell, who is not little, is "done".

(My mother asked today if Jeff had pecs or if he had bosoms. snerg - combo of snark and blerg!)
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#51

orchidgal

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 7:35 PM

I agree - I thought that the "Hey I'm just a regular guy and can't afford a panini press, but just happen to have a bacon press handy" (and who has a bacon press???) a bit trite.

And again I blame TPTB for this meme. However, it is good advice for those of use who do not want or need uni-taskers in our kitchens. Even better would be the advice to use to use a heavy skillet with weights to press down on the sandwich.
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#52

angelita100

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 7:42 PM

I forgot to add earlier, that I found his story about being able to wander away from his school for lunch to be a bit disturbing. According to him, he was allowed to do this as a young elementary student and there just happened to be a sandwich shop across the street, lol. Guess even as a little guy, it was worth risking his life to cross the street just to get a sandwich.


Well I think he said this was unusual and I guess for most people it is. In elementary school, I went home for lunch. That was a 5 block walk for me.

But I also noticed the cheese didn't melt on that pressed sandwich. What's the point of that?

I'm making Anne Burrell's Pasta Bolognese today. I am using store bought ground round, store bought tomato paste, store bought onions, carrots, celery and garlic. I'm cooking it all in my store bought pan, and I'm serving it over store bought pasta, smothered in store bought parmesan. Even though it's been simmering for four hours, I'm glad to know that I'm not really cooking.

LOL..well you're actually putting in more work than the sammich king. I don't need a show to show me how to do stuff I already do. But that's ok. But if a lot of folks learned something good today or was entertained then he'll be around a long time. The best part of the entire show was that restaurant owner telling him not to give up his day job.

Edited by angelita100, Aug 21, 2011 @ 7:48 PM.

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#53

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 9:24 PM

Our area is still recovering from severe electrical storms that occurred over the past 72 hours, so my cable is still a little wonky. I had set the DVR to record this show, but something went wrong (sounds like a good thing), and the show wasn't recorded. I caught bits and pieces as I went about reading the newspaper, etc. I semi-listened to the pot roast or whatever it was he was making. I saw him making the fig spread and saw him whip out the bacon press, which I'd never heard of. Agree that you can use an additional skillet with some sort of weight like a brick wrapped in heavy-duty aluminum foil to substitute for a pannini press.

Jeff is personable, but I don't find that he has a lot of interviewing skills or food discussion skills to be very interesting. Humor is nice, but if I watch a cooking show, I want to learn something, not sit there in side-splitting laughter (which he doesn't deliver BTW.)

I guess that I am on the side of the fence where I don't need to watch half an hour a week about how to make sandwiches. I am already biased because I am not a "bread person" at all. I like the occasional grilled ham and cheese from HyVee deli or Arby's roast beef and cheddar on a sesame bun. I do like Middle Eastern sandwiches in pita bread.

What would make the show better would be if Jeff would come on and say, "Ready for that season-opening football game? Well, I know that in these days, *going out to the ballgame* is expensive, so here's how you can have your own "red Friday" (sorry to use a local example) party right in your own home." THEN, it would be worth it to go to the effort to make pot roast, pulled pork etc., to be enjoyed over the course of 4-5 hours or so.

Still, that would have a limited shelf live.

I guess that TPTB on TNFNS believed that they knew what they were doing when they chose Jeff. I think that unless he can expand (if he is capable of doing so) he will soon get booted into the graveyard slot that is 6:00 a.m. on the weekends.
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#54

backformore

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 9:25 PM

I couldn't have said it any better myself. I just don't understand it, I love a good sandwich but why the heck am I going to spend 2-3 hours on it when I could make a full course meal in half that time that tastes just as good if not better?


Since it's his first show, and he's from Chicago, he wanted to show THE Chicago sandwich - Italian Beef, and how you can make a version of it at home. My husband and sons LOVE Italian beef sandwiches, and we usually buy the sliced beef and gravy at the supermarket, along with the jar of gardinera. I hadn't considered a pot roast for Italian beef sandwiches, but I will now.

The real problem may be that TPTB at FN believe that their target audience is dumber than a box of rocks and utterly incapable of the 'complicated' task of making bread from scratch.


I'll give it a couple of shows before I conclude that he will NEVER bake. Maybe he will bake something. But baking bread every week would be kind of boring to watch.

I forgot to add earlier, that I found his story about being able to wander away from his school for lunch to be a bit disturbing. According to him, he was allowed to do this as a young elementary student and there just happened to be a sandwich shop across the street, lol. Guess even as a little guy, it was worth risking his life to cross the street just to get a sandwich.


I went to school in Chicago, and it's pretty common for school to be dismissed for an hour for lunch. Some kids stay in and eat the lunches they brought, some kids go home. No school buses for elementary schools, you walk or ride your bike. High school kids take public buses if it's too far to walk. Crossing streets is risking your life? Kids in the city figure out how to do that pretty early. If you can cross the street to walk to and from school, to your friend's house, to the store, you can cross the street to eat lunch.

Edited by backformore, Aug 21, 2011 @ 9:28 PM.

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#55

givre

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 9:46 PM

I went to school in Chicago, and it's pretty common for school to be dismissed for an hour for lunch. Some kids stay in and eat the lunches they brought, some kids go home.


I hadn't realized that getting out of school and walking where you wanted was considered to be odd so that just seemed pretty normal to me and not any kind of extraordinary feat. I didn't have enough money in elementary school to buy meals though.
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#56

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Posted Aug 21, 2011 @ 11:05 PM

I went to school in Chicago, and it's pretty common for school to be dismissed for an hour for lunch. Some kids stay in and eat the lunches they brought, some kids go home.

Yeah, life was different twenty or so years ago.

I finally got to watch this first episode and I have to say that it wasn't bad. It seems that FN has not gone the way of previous (n)FNS winners' shows and gone low budget and used interns to produce the winner's show this time around.
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#57

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Posted Aug 22, 2011 @ 12:34 AM

That's more the Cooking Channel's speed and even then it takes so much time and effort, people aren't happy his roast takes 4 hours, who is really going to get a cheese curd press or curdle fresh milk?

If he ever does have a cheese-making episode, he need only invite Penny on as a guest. One look from her and the milk will curdle itself.
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#58

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Posted Aug 22, 2011 @ 12:48 AM

I came away from Jeff's show with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I wanted him to succeed, but on the other hand, I wasn't sure he had. Jeff has been one of my favorites, so I looked forward to his show. For some inexplicable reason, though, I was bored.

I think part of it was the Chicago scenes. I've seen countless shows featuring the Philly cheesesteak, and while it's not the same sandwich as the Chicago roast beef, it seemed so, including the visit with Johnny, who makes the best one, how he makes it, what machines he uses, etc. I actually became confused about why Jeff was in Philly! lol My husband liked the idea of the mortadella with fig spread, so I plan on making that for lunch someday.

It seemed clear to me that Jeff's heart is still in comedy. He seems like a good-hearted guy who is trying hard, and I plan on watching again. I think I just need to get used to him.

ETA: Wasn't Jeff's set a sight for sore eyes? Three semi-white walls and one bright green to appease the decorator who is on those ads, one or two old tables, and that was about it. There was no attempt to make it attractive. If I'd been Jeff and seen that set, I'd have thought, "Uh-oh, they don't plan on keeping me here for long!" Maybe if his show makes it, they'll give him some wallpaper!

Edited by Mlle Poilane, Aug 22, 2011 @ 12:55 AM.

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#59

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Posted Aug 22, 2011 @ 1:03 AM

For me, panini press or bacon press = George Foreman Grill!

But I guess they are not making any money off that.
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#60

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Posted Aug 22, 2011 @ 6:43 AM

I didn't like the split screen with the three different shots of Jeff cutting peppers, onions, or whatever he happened to be chopping. Sorry FN, but I only want to concentrate on one skill at a time. It was way too hectic for me watching all three camera angles at once, it was just not enjoyable for me.
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