Chipotle's New Web Series Farmed and Dangerous: Terrible TV, Great Propaganda

Categories: Food TV

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Well, Chipotle has proven one thing with its new four-episode web series on Hulu, Farmed and Dangerous: It doesn't know how to make a TV show. Here's the plot of the pilot: Big Bad Industrial Farming has created a way to get cows to eat petroleum pellets, and spin doctor Buck Marshall (Ray Wise, aka Twin Peaks' Leland Palmer) has to sell the idea to the American people. The only problem is a viral video of an exploding PetroPellet-ingesting cow, and it's up to Marshall's daughter, a less charismatic version of Kirsten Bell, to go after the scruffy, handsome, and incredibly dull sustainable farming crusader (named Chip, get it?) who's responsible for spreading the video in his quest to take down Big Ag.

It sounds okay on paper, but the problem is that the show is not created to focus on drama, snappy dialogue, chemistry between actors, or anything else that makes up a good television series. Farmed and Dangerous isn't hung on plot points, it's hung on talking points. It's propaganda, not entertainment.

See also: Chipotle Makes a Beautiful Animated Short That Also Happens to Be an Ad

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MasterChef Junior Pairs Local Kid With Notoriously Nasty Chef

Categories: Food TV

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Greg Gayne/FOX
The cast of MasterChef Junior
Perpetual motion machine Gordon Ramsay has taken a break from cooking in prisons and calling people "f*cking donkeys" on national television to work with children. MasterChef Junior, a new spinoff of Ramsay's Fox series MasterChef, features kids aged 8 to 13 who cook better than most adults, all competing to win a trophy and $100,000.

See also: Bobby Flay Would Like You to Know That He's Not the Screaming Type

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MTV Casting New Cooking School Reality Show

Categories: Food TV

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Are you an amateur chef, baker, or cooking enthusiast with a "big personality" and "fierce appetite for competition"? Well, according to MTV's casting call for its new reality show, Food School, you just might fit all the qualifications to go live in a house for months with strangers as other strangers yell at you about your knife skills and your pathetic attempts at a souffle. Sounds fun right?

See also: The Magic of Making Food Look Good on Television
Bobby Flay Would Like You to Know That He's Not the Screaming Type
See Food: A Guide to Local Culinary Television

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NBC TV Casting: Home Cooks, Step Up (And Tighten Your Apron Strings!)

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Flickr Planet Love Lamb and Pork BBQ
Calling all home cooks! NBC is scouting for a new cooking show with the working title of Food Fighters. Many of the pertinent details are being kept under wraps. Casting Producer Erin Tomasello wouldn't fully dish on the reported "Big $$$$ prize" (for a dish of "bangin' BBQ", no less!) or if any celebs would be involved with this project just yet. Knowing this show is slated for primetime on a major network means that it could offer peeks of real home cooks strutting their culinary stuff, with some famous faces mixed in to keep things compelling.

See also: Read "Food on TV" archives

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Watch Chris Cosentino Make Salad on Good Morning America

Categories: Food TV, Palmer

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ABC
Chris Cosentino on Good Morning America on December 20.
Chris Cosentino, Top Chef Masters winner and owner of San Francisco restaurant Incanto and salumeria Boccalone, appeared on Good Morning America this morning. While he's still largely known for whole animal cooking and specializing in offal, we've often said that this man has an under-appreciated way with vegetables. His GMA segment shows this off really well. He created a simple yet totally creative salad of chicories, pomegranates, and pistachios that even had political correspondent George Stephanopoulos oohing and aahing from the side.

See Also:
- Chris Cosentino on Winning Top Chef Masters and Helping Parkinson's Research
- Cosentino Watch: Top Chef Masters (complete archive)
- Meat Monthly: Sign Your Beloved Up for Boccalone's Salumi Society

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Adorable Pastry Chef Yigit Pura on New Season of Millionaire Matchmaker

Categories: Food TV

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Listen up everyone, important news: The cute-as-a-button pastry chef Yigit Pura of recently opened Tout Sweet Patisserie in Macy's Union Square will appear on the new season of the Bravo show Millionaire Matchmaker. This isn't Pura's first foray into reality TV -- before he opened the bakery, his claim to fame was being the winner of Season 1 of Top Chef Just Desserts. Now he's throwing his lot in with the always-classy matchmaker Patti Stanger (sample quote: "Look how hot you look. You're the first person I wish I had a penis for.") in hopes of finding love.

See also:
- Tout Sweet's Mudslide Relieves a Chocolate Emergency
- Tout Sweet: Get a Sugar Rush at Union Square's New Patisserie

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Chris Cosentino on Winning Top Chef Masters and Helping Parkinson's Research

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Bravo TV
Top Chef Masters winner Chris Cosentino.
San Francisco-based chef Chris Cosentino of Incanto restaurant is the newly-crowned winner of Top Chef Masters Season 4. We predicted as much before the first episode even aired, but Cosentino tells SFoodie that he never felt like he had the competition in the bag as he discusses winning $282,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research and learning more about what makes himself tick as a chef.

See Also:
- Cosentino Watch: Top Chef Masters (complete archive)

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Close Encounters with Ina Garten at the Ferry Building

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Molly Gore
The Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten, made a smiley appearance at the Ferry Building yesterday while filming an episode for the Food Network. According to Eater, she was gathering ingredients for a Napa picnic. We spotted her sifting through radishes, giggling over cherry tomatoes, and apparently smitten with the Mt. Tam cheese from Cowgirl Creamery. She seemed a bit shy of the crowd, and we felt a little sorry for her as she filmed take after take under the giddy gaze of onlooking fans, from whom we heard echoes of the almost universal: "she reminds me of my mom."

See Also:
- See Food: A Guide to Local Culinary Television
- Is There Too Much Food Media?
- Extreme Chef : So Extreme We Had to Write an Epic Poem


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See Food: A Guide to Local Culinary Television

Categories: Food TV, Palmer

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PBS
Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence, a new series on KQED.
The successes of the Food Network and the Top Chef franchise have opened the doors for more food-related television both locally and nationally. Fortunately, with the assistance of DVRs and the fact that certain stations screen full episodes online, gone are the days when you'd have to wait until the weekend to catch all the cooking shows. We've rounded up the best of the Bay Area cooking shows.

See Also:
- Sound Bites: A Guide to Local Food Radio


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Top Chef Judge Krista Simmons on the S.F. Food Scene, and Her Path to the Judging Table

Categories: Food TV

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Felicia Friesema/Fig Studio
Krista Simmons peruses the seasonal produce at the farmers market.
You never know where a passion for food will take you. For food writer Krista Simmons, it was the Top Chef judges table.

It all started back in 2004, when Simmons was a junior at UC Santa Cruz. She took what she refers to as the "obligatory trip" to the Bonny Doon Winery Tasting Room, and was immediately enchanted by the log cabin, then nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains.

"The place was just so strange and amazing," Simmons recalls. "Everyone who worked there was so esoteric and into wine. I was immediately inspired by the innovative approach being taken to wine production and the tasting room itself. I wanted to be part of that team!"

Simmons took that drive straight to the boss and was awarded with the official title of Cellar Door Associate. She began leading the tastings herself, relishing in the opportunity to educate her fellow students and other visitors on the winemaking process. "I was the one who made sure they'd be getting crunk on the good stuff!"

And so Simmons' love affair with agriculture grew, leading her on a journey around the globe with World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), back home to L.A. to pursue her love of food writing, and most recently to Las Vegas, where she made her network television debut judging Top Chef Masters.

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