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  • The Next New Cooking Show

    January 18, 2009

    The other night, as I was flipping through the channels before giving it up to the sandman, I happened to come across this show on the Food Network called The Ultimate Recipe Showdown.  It was so fascinating I couldn’t turn away.

    It seems that they take four average people who like to cook and they each make their own unique version of a given dish, like a hamburger, and they have to make it in 30 minutes.  Three professional foodies,  chefs or food editor type people, provide useless play-by-play commentary as they closely watch the competitors feverishly chopping and dicing.

    At the end of the 30 minutes, the judges taste each of the four dishes and give the wanna-be-chef feedback about what they did and didn’t like about their dish. And then they huddle and vote.  Somehow or another, one of the four amateur chefs emerges as a winner and gets $25,000 or something. Can you tell I wasn’t paying that close of attention?

    As I was watching this competition, I was thinking, what is the big deal? All of the ingredients and equipment they need are on hand and ready to go. Where’s the challenge in that?

    No, the show I’d like to see is where they take a couple of amateur chefs, drop them into MY kitchen and let them scrounge around in the pantry and fridge and try to concoct something edible out of whatever they can find in 30 minutes.  Now THAT would be a challenge!

    Food Network!  Call me! I’ve got your next big show idea.

    28 Comments »

    1. Jeni says:

      That WOULD be an interesting show! Most nights it takes about ten minutes of perusing the pantry & freezer to decide what we’re having. A lot of times it’s some sort of invention, starting with thoughts like, “OK, I have cream of mushroom soup…and ground beef…and I think there’s still some rice…”

      January 18th, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    2. Trina says:

      That show has come and gone already. It was called something like Doorknock Dinners. In fact, that show is what gave Paula Deen her start in television. Great show – maybe they’ll bring it back!

      January 19th, 2009 at 12:23 am

    3. Heide says:

      Last week, I made a vegetable curry out of a bunch of leftover vegetables and an onion and some spices; later in the week, I took the leftover vegetable curry and a couple of cans of beans and made a soup. (It was very tasty, if I do say so myself.) Can I compete on your reality show??

      January 19th, 2009 at 12:42 am

    4. Shoe says:

      Paula Dean went with the tall British due that produces most of the shows in the early days of the FOOD CHANNEL and they knocked on random doors. She then cooked a gormet meal from what was their refrigerator and freezer. It was interesting! I always wonder what they would think of my house. Depends on Gormet. I’ve seen them make gourmet macroni and cheese in a competion on their. I like the Food channel with ALTON BROWN of Good Eats being my gru! He ain’t right.

      January 19th, 2009 at 1:03 am

    5. Antique Mommy says:

      I had no idea there was already a show like that! Solomon was right. There is nothing new under the sun. And if there were something new, I’d be the last to know anyway! ~AM

      January 19th, 2009 at 1:10 am

    6. Krista says:

      Hey, they should just have recipes with lots of possible substitutions! I never seem to have all the ingredients on hand to make any of my favorite recipes… you’d think I’d have figured that out by now!

      January 19th, 2009 at 2:06 am

    7. Alice says:

      Yeah, but did Paula Deen do it with two kids rolling around on the kitchen floor asking “Is that an onion? I hate onions. I’m not eating anything with onions.” Did she do it while talking on the phone and trying to keep said kids from killing each other?

      Now that’s a reality show.

      ***
      And did Paula Deen try to dice that onion (that had probably been in the refrigerator drawer for at least two months) with a knife that had once been chewed up by the garbage disposal and has only half of a handle? Now that there is some cookin’ skill people. ~AM

      January 19th, 2009 at 10:46 am

    8. Teresa says:

      That show could step it up a notch by requiring the contestants to shop for the ingredients with four young kids in tow, then prepare the food in the house with those same children who have missed their naps. That’s reality TV.

      January 19th, 2009 at 10:52 am

    9. Teresa says:

      Oh my, apparently Alice and I think alike!

      ***
      One of the traits all my readers have in common is great minds! ~ AM

      January 19th, 2009 at 10:54 am

    10. k&c's mom says:

      HA! I love the “Did Paula Dean do it when…” comments. Our local newspaper used to have a “What five things are in your refrigerator?” column once a week. Now there is a telling piece! The only green thing in most houses was a jar of pickles.

      January 19th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    11. VanderbiltWife says:

      I would DARE Paula Deen to try to make something gourmet from what is in my house. If she doesn’t trip over the dog food, vaccuum cleaner, blender, two crockpots, toilet paper, two cake carriers, one big salad bowl, silver platter, box of cookie cutters, vegetable tray, and fourteen vases trying to get into my pantry.

      January 19th, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    12. Jake's a Girl says:

      This reminds me of a blog I ran across not long ago when I couldn’t sleep. The challenge was a Pantry Challenge to see what meals you could make from your pantry. Only things you were allowed to buy were…Meat, eggs, milk and one more item that skips my mind. *not enough sleep :)*. I thought, No way…I’d starve to death. LOL!

      I love to see some poor soul make a meal worth eating out of my pantry.

      This would make a wonderful addition to the FoodNetwork and help non creative people like me be able to put together ediable meals by working with what you already have.

      Food Network take heed! 🙂

      January 19th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    13. tom says:

      Dang. Alice and Teresa both beat me to it. Trying to get a meal cooked while your four-year-old is holding his rear and shouting that he has to go POO RIGHT NOW! – that is where the challenge comes in.

      January 19th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    14. Iota says:

      My mother had a great idea for a tv show. A host would go into a supermarket, and get two people in the line to switch carts with each other. They’d then have to live the week with someone else’s weekly groceries. Of course tv being what it is, they’d arrange it so that someone with a cart full of organic green vegetables switched with someone with a cart full of junk meals. So there wouldn’t be much real cooking involved. I think it would be a fun show, though.

      January 19th, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    15. jean says:

      You know, I would be willing to stock the food if only someone was willing to come over and cook it for me. I’d even clean up. Just don’t make me cook. Please.

      January 19th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    16. Traci Best says:

      Oh,…and be SURE to ask if maybe *ALTON* can host your special!!!

      LOL I *heart* the Food Network!

      Traci 😉

      January 19th, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    17. Grace says:

      Do NOT wait for the Food Network to call you! YOU need to call THEM! That’s a fantastic idea!

      January 19th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    18. apathy lounge says:

      Absolutely! 3 jars of peanut butter (chunky), two boxes of taco shells, three packets of cornbread mix, tomato soup and a can of Fresca. Now go! Knock yourself out!

      January 19th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    19. Pam says:

      I agree with Alice, there needs to be a small child (or two or more) in the picture who haven’t eaten for a couple of hours, and didn’t nap well. Maybe throw in a pre-schooler that wants to “help”. That would definitely be a show worth watching! Great idea, AM!

      January 19th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    20. Faerylandmom says:

      On top of the kids, there needs to be a husband thrown in there trying to flirt with you, but just getting in the way…

      Just sayin’.

      January 19th, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    21. Sarah at themommylogues says:

      I would watch that show, and I would beg them to come to my kitchen. Always missing at least 1 – 2 ingredients for whatever I can almost make.
      Oh look fam, it’s frozen pizza (hot dogs, scrambled eggs) tonight.

      January 19th, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    22. Overwhelmed With Joy! says:

      I’m with you, I want to see someone come in to my kitchen with my hodgepodge mix of ingredients and figure out a meal for us, with two little ones hanging on their legs, squabbling.

      Now that’s a challenge!

      January 19th, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    23. Kathryn in NZ says:

      Down here in NZ, we did have that reality show: “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, only it was a famous guest due at 7pm, wife of the house sent away to get a makeover while a proper chef had to prepare a meal from whatever (and I do mean whatever) they found in the house for up to 10 people. THe rest of the family helped to get the table ready.

      January 19th, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    24. Quirky says:

      I make fancy dinners like that all the time (noodles ala ramen, side of pop-tart, and a handful of oyster crackers as a chaser).

      And I don’t even have the small clingy children as an excuse.

      January 19th, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    25. Diamond Girl says:

      I’m all smiles. Whatever is edible, teenagers will scarf it down, they inhale their meals,not all teens but the ones that have eaten here in my home. Concoctions a plenty, if it’s Stone Soup, they are grateful,and if you are in the middle of preparing a meal all you can do is TRY to stall the hungrys,they are always ready to taste test whatever is sloshing in the pots and pans!!
      Hamburgers: ground meat of any sort, balled up then flattened, fire both sides, wha-la, <30 minutes I win their hearts!

      January 19th, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    26. ruth ann says:

      Okay – this post made me laugh out loud! And then I read the comments. . . now I’m laughing so hard my side hurts.

      January 20th, 2009 at 11:40 am

    27. Jenni says:

      If someone could come to my house and make a meal that everyone LIKES, they would deserve not only 25K, but the Nobel Peacekeeping Prize.

      January 20th, 2009 at 11:58 am

    28. Jerriann says:

      I love your site. both you and your reader’s comments always make me smile. Thanks guys!

      January 22nd, 2009 at 11:44 am

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