Author Topic: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza  (Read 13277 times)

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Offline November

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #40 on: September 26, 2007, 11:33:36 PM »
I absolutely love that series along with his Good Eats shows. Robert Irvine/Dinner Impossible, and Throw Down with Bobby Flay, they are my top 3 on foodnetwork.

Throw in Iron Chef America and those are the only shows I watch on Food Network, at least consistently.  Food Network "specials" that get my attention are based entirely on the specific food topic.


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #41 on: September 26, 2007, 11:41:51 PM »
As I see it, the Food Network took the not-for-profit PBS cooking shows model and put it on steroids--with celebrity chefs and high production values. The original purpose from the standpoint of the celebrity chefs may have been to sell cookbooks and to promote their restaurants, but today the money seems to be more in licensing their names to be used in new restaurant ventures, on food products (usually highly overpriced) to be sold to ordinary people in their local supermarkets, and merchandize to be peddled on QVC and elsewhere. They also have their own websites to promote themselves and to push their merchandize. They are like living infomercials. One wonders where they find the time to do any cooking.

More out of curiosity than anything else, I have tried several of the Wolfgang Puck supermarket offerings, including one of the new (reformulated) Puck frozen pizzas (the one with the uncured pepperoni). I was not impressed with any of the Puck products. I actually liked the crusts and pizzas I have made from the Jiffy pizza crust mix better.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 26, 2007, 11:43:44 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline November

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #42 on: September 27, 2007, 12:00:07 AM »
Peter,

More out of curiosity than anything else, I have tried several of the Wolfgang Puck supermarket offerings, including one of the new (reformulated) Puck frozen pizzas (the one with the uncured pepperoni). I was not impressed with any of the Puck products. I actually liked the crusts and pizzas I have made from the Jiffy pizza crust mix better.

I could not agree with you more.  Puck's frozen entree items are quite horrible in my opinion, but have you ever eaten his cooking, or at least something from one of his restaurants, not the stuff that's being marketed in stores with his name on it?  Also, if you follow his recipes from his show, you generally produce good results.  He didn't come out on top on the Iron Chef America pilot series for nothing.

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Offline Bryan S

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #43 on: September 27, 2007, 12:12:55 AM »
Throw in Iron Chef America and those are the only shows I watch on Food Network, at least consistently.  Food Network "specials" that get my attention are based entirely on the specific food topic.
Yes, But there's one show I forgot. Not a cooking show per say but Dinners, Drive In's and Dives is pretty good show to watch. I just love seeing all them Silver Dinners come back to life, since I ate at so many of them here, growing up  in PA. We still have several of them around but many are long gone, but I hope they were just moved to somewhere else and someone else is sharing in my joy. They really cranked out some Damn good grub.  ;)
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Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #44 on: September 27, 2007, 02:48:33 AM »
Interesting that Wolfgang Puck has no high-profile show on the Food Network, but he's a semi-regular (as himself) on plain-old network TV... "Las Vegas"!  I've never eaten in any of his restaurants, never tried his frozen stuff (and won't, based on several comments here) but i sure do enjoy his personality on "Las Vegas"...where he's not COOKING, just grousing, mostly... too bad that personality doesn't translate to the Food Network!   :-D

~sd

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Offline Garlic head

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #45 on: September 27, 2007, 02:59:45 AM »
I really like Alton Brown too... and sorry I missed the episode... wonder if any of them are on Netflix yet??
You Tube has plenty of his episodes.
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=alton+brown&search=Search

Pizza: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=alton+brown+pizza&search=Search

Kevin

Offline November

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #46 on: September 27, 2007, 03:40:19 AM »
Interesting that Wolfgang Puck has no high-profile show on the Food Network

They are very low profile shows, but his Food Network shows are "Wolfgang Puck's Cooking Class" and "Wolfgang Puck's Celebrity Cooking Class."  The second of the two shows is sometimes very interesting.  He tries to teach celebrities how to cook.  I have a copy of him teaching Kelsey Grammer how to cook using a wok that I really enjoyed.  I also have a copy of his cooking class entitled, "A Different Look at Pizza."

- red.november

EDIT: Earlier in the Kelsey Grammer cooking class episode which I was able to watch, but unfortunately not record in time, Wolfgang also taught Kelsey how to make a pizza in his hearth oven.  Attached is a scaled frame from the end of the show where he's cutting the pizza.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2007, 04:11:31 AM by November »

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #47 on: September 27, 2007, 02:23:49 PM »
Kevin,
Thanks for the You Tube links!  Didn't even think to go look there!  That was a good episode! (But do you really think that the average [non-pizza-freak] joe is going to hunt down and special order SAF instant yeast? Seems I recall that SAF instant is not sold on grocery store shelves where joe would go to buy his ingredients...  or am I mis-remembering something, like ppl of "a certain age" do?   :-D )

~sd
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2007, 02:56:15 PM »
sourdough girl,

You may want to take a look at this post: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5328.msg45137.html#msg45137. I used to see the 3-pack SAF Gourmet Perfect Rise yeast in a few supermarkets but it has been a while since I last saw them, which leads me to believe that the SAF Gourmet is in the process of being phased out. Another indication is that I found the SAF Gourmet 3-packs in a dollar store for $0.49.

Peter

Offline pcampbell

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2007, 03:42:31 PM »
I looked all over for IDY in grocery stores.  I only see small packets of active dry and "Rapid Rise" (not sure how that compares to IDY... remember reading that it is similar(?)), but...the prices in the grocery store are a quite high ... $1.50 for 3 small packets, I think totalling 0.75 oz.  So $2 per oz, $32 per lb. 

For $12 including shipping I had a 1 lb. brick mailed to me from King Arthur.  I don't know if this is the best price but it seemed reasonable comparatively and I received it in 2 days. The "use by" is in 2 years from now.  :chef:
Patrick


Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #50 on: September 27, 2007, 04:09:42 PM »
Peter,
After reading the comments at the link you posted and reviewing the Alton episode, I'm guessing that the SAF red, which is apparently the "professional" yeast, that he suggests using and the SAF gourmet that you mention are, basically, interchangeable except that the gourmet is ceasing to exist? 

But my real question is:  has the SAF red (with citric acid added, as he mentions) ever been available in the bulk bags that he also suggests, in a non-specialty, regular grocery store?  If my assumption is correct, then, IMHO, he should have mentioned that it needs to be mail ordered or some disclaimer to that effect because if he's trying to reach the guy who answered the door at the beginning of the segment, that guy is gonna get really frustrated when he can't find the yeast that Alton preferred!  In fact, Alton went even further than just pushing SAF red, he pooh-pooh'ed fresh (your goldfish is gonna die anyway!) active dry (sea monkeys...must activate!) and the rapid-rise in packets (mutant yeast!) which would make the average consumer watching the program think that if they can't find the proper yeast, it won't work, so they may as well not even try....   I know it's being nit-picky, but after having dealt with customers for so many years, you have to make sure they get the WHOLE story, otherwise, they get mad!   >:(   :-D

TIA!
~sd
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Offline Bryan S

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #51 on: September 27, 2007, 04:22:53 PM »
Peter,
After reading the comments at the link you posted and reviewing the Alton episode, I'm guessing that the SAF red, which is apparently the "professional" yeast, that he suggests using and the SAF gourmet that you mention are, basically, interchangeable except that the gourmet is ceasing to exist? 

But my real question is:  has the SAF red (with citric acid added, as he mentions) ever been available in the bulk bags that he also suggests, in a non-specialty, regular grocery store? 
~sd
SD Girl. Never seen the 1lb or 2lb bricks of the SAF Red in a regular Grocery store. I know you can pickup either one really cheap at Costco. Sams might hav it also? My local BJ's does not carry any yeast. :(
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Offline Garlic head

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #52 on: September 27, 2007, 04:50:37 PM »
But my real question is:  has the SAF red (with citric acid added, as he mentions) ever been available in the bulk bags that he also suggests, in a non-specialty, regular grocery store?  If my assumption is correct, then, IMHO, he should have mentioned that it needs to be mail ordered or some disclaimer to that effect because if he's trying to reach the guy who answered the door at the beginning of the segment, that guy is gonna get really frustrated when he can't find the yeast that Alton preferred!  In fact, Alton went even further than just pushing SAF red, he pooh-pooh'ed fresh (your goldfish is gonna die anyway!) active dry (sea monkeys...must activate!) and the rapid-rise in packets (mutant yeast!) which would make the average consumer watching the program think that if they can't find the proper yeast, it won't work, so they may as well not even try....   I know it's being nit-picky, but after having dealt with customers for so many years, you have to make sure they get the WHOLE story, otherwise, they get mad!   >:(   :-D

TIA!
~sd
You make a good point SD Girl. When I first saw that episode about 4 years ago I decided to try it out. I'll never forget the "hunt" for the instant yeast he said to use. I went to many stores in my area and settled for the stupid envelopes at the time. My pizza was a failure and I gave up on that until I found this site and discovered that Fleishmanns instant yeast is stocked at my local BJ's! I'm with you, in that, he probably should have mentioned that the good stuff (in bulk) is not in grocery stores.

Kevin

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #53 on: September 27, 2007, 04:55:25 PM »
sourdough girl,

I believe you meant to say ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), not citric acid.

I did a quick check at the SAF website, at http://www.safyeast.com/catalog2.html, and the Gourmet Perfect Rise yeast is still shown there, so it may still be a product they carry. If so, it may be their retail level IDY intended to be marketed to home bakers. The SAF Red may be their IDY targeted to professionals. Both the Gourmet Perfect Rise and SAF Red yeasts contain the same ingredients, including ascorbic acid. The Rapid-Rise yeast which Alton Brown disdains is really an IDY yeast, although it is not so identified as such in supermarkets. As best I have been able to learn, the Rapid-Rise yeast, which is a Fleischmann's product, is a somewhat different strain of yeast than is sold to professionals. It is the retail level product intended to be used by home bakers to make yeasted doughs quickly, usually in a matter of hours, not days, although it can be used for that purpose much as we use any IDY. The Red Star counterpart to the Rapid-Rise product is the Quik-Rise yeast. The yeast that is sold in the supermarkets as bread machine yeast is IDY, but not so identified.

So, you make some very valid points. Unless one is educated on the various types of yeast sold in the supermarkets, it will be easy for one to be confused when confronted with all of the possible choices. It's taken me years to get things straight, and I may still not have it exactly right. The customer service people at the yeast producers, and even companies who sell their products, like King Arthur, are usually ill equipped to answer technical questions concerning yeast, and they are not tapped into the technical departments when you call or write with your technical questions. More than once I have found myself myself educating them about their own products.

Like Bryan, I have never seen the SAF Red IDY sold in any regular markets, although eiither the SAF Red or the Fleischmann's IDY for professionals can be found at the big box stores like Wal-Mart and Costco's, usually in one- or two-pound bags. I believe the large bags of ADY, which I think is a perfectly good form of yeast, is also sold at the big box stores. The ADY forms of yeast are just about the only ones identified as such in the supermarkets.

Peter

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #54 on: September 27, 2007, 05:49:18 PM »
Bryan, thanks for the post!
I realize that part of the problem with finding the various yeasts may also be regional, but I know that this forum is spread out all over the country (world, actually), so that helps solve that problem!  Of all the money I've spent at Costco, I've never bought yeast there... gonna have to look next time we go!  Fortunately (or not) our area up north of Seattle is growing fast (that's why we left Kirkland...the original home of Costco!) and now we have a brand new Costco only FOUR miles north of us!!  Just think how broke I can go NOW!    ;D

Kevin, thanks!  Your story sounds very familiar from my younger, pre-foodie days when I didn't know (or care) about the differences between ANYTHING on the grocery shelves!  As long as I had meat and potatoes on the table, all was good in the ex's world and he didn't take a shine to any kind of messin' around in the kitchen!  Had I decided to be bold and try making that pizza, I would have quit before I ever started if I couldn't find the correct yeast!

Peter, thanks so much!
You are correct, my mind made a quick connection (vitamin C = citrus fruit = citric acid) which it shouldn't have made... I DO know the difference, just mistyped in my haste.  Thanks for catching it. 
Of all the ingredients in pizza, to me, the yeast is the most confusing.  Thanks for your help in sorting it all out.  I really hope that if Alton revisits pizza, he will stick to products readily available to the mass consumer, not pizza junkies like us who know (or can easily find out) where to look for the products he recommends.  Right now, I have Fleischmann's Bread Machine Yeast, Red Star ADY (both packaged in glass jars) in my fridge... the only packets of yeast I ever buy are for wine-making... (gotta use up that fruit in the back yard!)...but I will be checking out what's available at our shiny new Costco!

~sd
« Last Edit: September 27, 2007, 08:45:22 PM by sourdough girl »
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Offline dms

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #55 on: October 01, 2007, 08:56:38 AM »
sourdough girl,

I believe you meant to say ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), not citric acid.

I did a quick check at the SAF website, at http://www.safyeast.com/catalog2.html, and the Gourmet Perfect Rise yeast is still shown there, so it may still be a product they carry. If so, it may be their retail level IDY intended to be marketed to home bakers. The SAF Red may be their IDY targeted to professionals. Both the Gourmet Perfect Rise and SAF Red yeasts contain the same ingredients, including ascorbic acid. The Rapid-Rise yeast which Alton Brown disdains is really an IDY yeast, although it is not so identified as such in supermarkets. As best I have been able to learn, the Rapid-Rise yeast, which is a Fleischmann's product, is a somewhat different strain of yeast than is sold to professionals. It is the retail level product intended to be used by home bakers to make yeasted doughs quickly, usually in a matter of hours, not days, although it can be used for that purpose much as we use any IDY. The Red Star counterpart to the Rapid-Rise product is the Quik-Rise yeast. The yeast that is sold in the supermarkets as bread machine yeast is IDY, but not so identified.


I've not been able to tell any difference between Fleischmann's rapid-rise yeast in packet or a small jar, and the bulk stuff (labeled as IDY) I buy at Sam's (two 1-lb packages for $4).  The only difference I can tell is that the single-use packets don't have ascorbic acid added.  As it's used in minute quantities as an anti-oxidant, and not as a dough enhancer, that's not a problem.  I can't get reasonable quantities of SAF yeast (the local foodservice places sell it, but only by the case.) 

Offline TronCarter

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #56 on: November 19, 2007, 04:21:03 PM »
I have to agree that most of the TV chefs are not worth watching.   What I do like about Alton Brown is that his recipes are simple and he explains why things are the way they are.  All of the things he makes are the "basic" recipe that is the perfect place to start for someone trying to learn how to cook. 

In the past few days they had a Thanksgiving special in which all of the hosts got together for a Thanksgiving dinner in which each had to make a part of the meal.  Alton made the turkey.  It was a smoked turkey, made on the grill.  Perfect.  He also made regular mashed potatoes.  Perfect.  Paula Dean made good, old-fashioned, southern stuffing.  Great.  Emeril made corn bread.  Sounds Good.  Giada made something with green beans.  Sure, why not?  Tyler Florence made Artichokes with Pork Sausage, Lemon and Sage.   I'm sorry... WHAT???  That doesn't sound good EVER, but I'm trying to figure out what that has to do with Thanksgiving.   I think some of them are so wrapped up in what is loosely termed "gourmet" cooking that they try to convince you that their food is good and that you are the only one that doesn't think that way. 

I am also not sure what their fascination is with EVOO.  I personally think it is too strong for anything cooked.  It is alright on a salad or something cold, but that is it.  IMO it should never be heated.  If you want to cook with olive oil, just use plain old olive oil for a much milder taste and much higher smoke point.  Perhaps it is because a few of them sell their own high priced brands of it that they push it so much.

I have not heard a mention of Justin Wilson's Louisiana's Cookin'.  I used to love watching him when I was growing up (early - mid 80's).  I never had heard of Gumbo, Crawdads, File, or most of the things he cooked with, but I liked to watch him cook.


Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #57 on: November 19, 2007, 05:19:09 PM »
I, too, enjoyed the cooking...and humor... of Justin Wilson.  He would certainly have a niche on the Food Network as a celebrity chef, but I guess there's no way to recapture his "joie de vivre" without just showing reruns of his old shows.  I was really sorry when he passed away in Sept. 2001.  I miss him, i garontee!

~sd
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Offline apizza

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #58 on: November 20, 2007, 08:15:24 AM »
"How yo'all are".
I worked at a PBS station and saw a lot of Justin. He added wine to his recipes from a gallon bottle. Carlo Rossi I think. My kind of chef.

Offline canadianbacon

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Re: Celebrity Chefs and Bad Pizza
« Reply #59 on: November 20, 2007, 08:22:42 AM »
It's too bad that people have to be unkind, I did a quick search for Justin Wilson
and came across a bunch of clips.

Justin Wilson was not only a chef, but also an entertainer, and I think that people
forget that, and choose to just post nasty comments about him.  :(

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oScmodG_riM" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oScmodG_riM</a>


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