First, I'm going to tell you why I wanted to like this show. Then, I'm going to tell you why I hate it and why I'm starting to hate Chef Anne Burrell.
I thought Anne Burrell was a cool chef as Mario Batali's Sous on Iron Chef America. She knew her stuff, was fast, and kind of quirky. She can cook. She's in the restaurant business. This is someone who could teach me a lot about real cooking. Not 30-minute cooking. Not 5 ingredient cooking. Real quality restaurant stuff! Unfortunately, Anne's few seconds here-and-there on Iron Chef were the perfect dosage of her personality. In short, she's annoying. So annoying that I have trouble concentrating on her show. I've learned to cook a few things from watching her. She's talented, but you need at least SOME form of delivery and personality to succeed on network TV. It's a shame, because I think she could benefit from some constructive criticism her producers probably aren't giving her.
Let's take a look at the things that will drive you crazy after 3 episodes: 1. Goofy baby-talk. If you want to call a trout "Troutie" or want to say the word "Mushroomy" sometimes, go for it. But it's gotten to the point where she almost never says the real name of something because she's too busy trying to 'cute it up'. Someone must have told her she had a neat goofy personality, and she just took it to the extreme. Half the time I"m watching,I'm trying to decipher her stupid language.
2. Keeping with the theme of "say it every now and then, not every single time", STOP SAYING THE WORDS "Shootin' Match". Watch more than one episode and you'll get sick of "Then we're gonna boil the whole shootin' match" or "Add it to the whole shootin' match". Things aren't funny when you beat them into the ground.
3. Unnecessary acronyms. Rachel Ray coined the term EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil). It was a quick way to say a long phrase and people really liked it. Burrell pushes this to the extreme with "B2B" (Bring to Boil) and "RTS" (Reduce to Simmer). Are these really phrases we need to abbreviate? They don't come up in conversation much, and aren't that hard to say anyway! Furthermore, she is several episodes in, and still feels the need to explain each acronym. That means it's not working. Stop praying it'll catch on.
4. Self-complimenting. At least twice an episode she'll say "Look at me, always thinking!" or "Look at me, always working ahead!". Let other people compliment you. Look at me, hating your show.
5. Some people complain have complained about her weight, which is a little silly and shallow, since she's a food network chef. But if I want to see triple-D breasts i'll go to a different channel. This lady needs to wear a shirt that hides her gigantic hulking bosom.
6. Count the number of times she says "go ahead" and you'll want to cut your eyes out. "I'm gonna go ahead and", "Now we're gonna go ahead". It's a useless filler word and I'm surprised no one in television has told her to back off.
7. Stop talking down to your audience. Every time there's the slightest twist on an ingredient, she says "I know, who knew, right? Look at me always thinking!". She implies her ideas are so cutting edge (pickled cauliflower) that we'd NEVER dream them up on our own! I'm a decent chef and I'd like to be treated like someone capable of culinary thought. Even if you are a step above the competence level of the target audience, the second you get up to speed, this will bug you.
8. For the love of all that is pure, stop saying "Brown food" in that ridiculous Muppet voice. It creeps me out.
9. I realize that saying "Erl" is a cute country way of saying "Oil". It's funny once or twice. Watch the show a few times and you'll see that she says "Erl" about 5 times as much as she actually says the world "oil". It's confusing and really stupid.
10. Stop babbling to yourself about stupid crap that doesn't matter. Stop saying "Hello darling" to your food every 30 seconds. Hell, if Anne would watch her own show a few times she'd probably realize how repetitive and disenchanting her mannerisms become.
OK, I realize this review sounds like it's written by someone who is WAY too tightly wound for life. After all, what kind of person HATES a TV show for these reasons? The problem is that each of these things starts to gnaw at you. Before you know it, Anne can't go 10 seconds without tripping on ONE Of my pet peeves. If you are willing to listen to all the nonsense words and her sad unfortunate attempt at being memorable and likable, she'll teach you how to make some good food. But if you find you can't get past her obnoxious personality, I suggest downloading her recipes from foodnetwork.com This being said, I think this show would have potential. After all, the CONTENT is there. Alton Brown is cheesy and corny as all get-out, but his content is so great I can put up with him! If Anne would realize that her quirkiness should be a little accent to the show, not the main event, she might have a real shot. Learn to build your audience up instead of making us feel dumbed down, let your food do the bulk of the talking, and this could be a show we see for years.
But if this is all we have to look forward to, Anne Burrell, stay in the restaurant and off the camera, please. It's for your own good.
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