What's Your Favorite and Least Favorite Cooking Show?

Categories: Chow Bella

Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail laura.hahnefeld@newtimes.com. Miss a question? Go here.

Whether it's for education, entertainment, or a dose of "reality," most of us have our favorite go-to food and cooking shows. But for Valley chef and restaurateurs, those who live the drama every day, what do they watch? And which shows are they the least likely to tune into? I asked a few of them and this is what they had to say:

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Chef Donald Fawcett, Renegade Canteen

Favorite: The British version of Kitchen Nightmares. It's different from the American version. Ramsey seems to actually care, and you get to see what trials European kitchens go through.

Least Favorite: The Next Food Network Star. Most of those people haven't been properly trained or paid their dues in stressful commercial kitchens. Before you can make it to that level, you should be required to put in your time and gain the respect of your peers.

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Justin Beckett
Chef and owner, Beckett's Table

Favorite: Jamie Oliver's Jamie at Home. I love the fresh, homegrown garden ingredients that he uses. I think the recipes are easy enough for the home cook or great to expand on. He has a great outlook on how to treat simple ingredients

Least Favorite: Hell's Kitchen. I can't stand the way they're set up for failure, and the "reality" is not all that realistic in a real restaurant kitchen.

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Giovanni Scorzo
Chef and Proprietor, Andreoli Italian Grocer

Favorite: La Prova del Cuoco on the RAI because they follow the tradition of Italian cooking.

Least Favorite: Iron Chef because they make me feel like I'm watching food being prepared in a mechanic's garage.

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Amy Binkley
Owner, Binkley's and Cafe Bink

Favorite: The original Iron Chef because the voice over is so campy and funny and the dishes are more exotic.

Least Favorite: Iron Chef America. It just irritates me because it's not the original.

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Dana Mule
GM and Partner, Hula's Modern Tiki

Favorite: I love Chopped because it's interesting to see what good chefs will do with a seemingly unrelated (and sometimes unpalatable) combination of ingredients and flavor profiles. Also, it's fun to watch the judge's faces as they take that first bite of the finished dish.

Least Favorite: Kitchen Nightmares. You really don't need Gordon Ramsey to tell you why your restaurant isn't doing well -- your food sucks, your kitchen is filthy, your service is abysmal, and you're a lazy, absentee owner. Some people just weren't cut out for the hospitality business.

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