Please note there was an error in yesterday’s note – the Stand Up to Cancer telethon will air tonight, September 7 on multiple networks at 8 p.m. Sorry for the confusion.
ALL MIXED UP
Friendly Rating: All ages, but mostly elementary age and older
Safety Rating: Advertising issues – the secret ingredients are nationally known products
Quality Rating: Surprisingly engaging, even if it’s the same old, same old
First of a three-part series airs tonight at 7:30 p.m. on Lifetime.
So I’m looking at this show with less than boundless enthusiasm, because frankly, it is yet another cooking competition show. Worse yet, the three judges are reps for the companies’ products that will be used as the secret ingredient the competing cooks have to build their dishes around.
But, but, but…
Somehow, it became engaging. For one thing, the show, hosted by Chef Ralph Pagano, was missing a lot of the trash talking that goes on with some of these contests. You only had three cooks to concentrate on and they were confident, but not terribly jerky about it. Okay, one was bordering on it, but you didn’t have to listen to him too long.
And while I wasn’t too thrilled about having the products being talked about, the challenge given to the chefs turned out to be pretty interesting – they had to make three appetizers, one based on each of the three products: Formaggio Cheese Caprese, Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate Morsels and Kozy Shack Rice Pudding.
The results were fascinating, too. These kids – students at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Florida – really stepped up. Nor were the judges unnecessarily critical.
Now, this is only a half hour, so you didn’t get to see to much of the actual cooking, which wasn’t so great, but it was still interesting to think of all the things you can do with rice pudding besides eat it.