Sunday, November 4, 2007

New Shows: Nigella and Amy

I’ll be honest. I rolled my eyes when I first heard about Nigella Express, indignant and offended that apparently I, a Food Network viewer, had yet again been deemed unfit for cooking that was not easy, simple, fast, or semi-out-of-a-box. The name “Nigella Express” made me think, for some reason, that I’d be getting a sort of express version of Nigella’s previous show. After seeing a couple episodes, however, I realize that the cooking really hasn’t changed much since Nigella Feasts. Nigella’s never been one for fussy, labor-intensive ordeals, and Nigella Express simply adheres to that approach. I do suspect that the Food Network must have had something to do with choosing the new title though. I think their shows are becoming more and more geared toward people (women) who want to throw together a quick meal at the end of the day. Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with that—I happen to be such a woman, in fact. But I do also want to learn something from watching these shows and making the meals, and I don’t really expect that to happen when everything can be done in thirty minutes or less.

Anyway, back to Nigella Express.

I like the show. I haven’t made any of the recipes yet, but I do enjoy watching Nigella. I like her accent, her vocabulary, and her easy approach to cooking and obvious love of indulgence. My favorite part of each episode is the very end when she opens the fridge in the middle of the night and snacks on whatever leftovers she finds.

This, for me, is a nice change from the one-bite helpings that other Food Network women usually serve themselves.

I also love the set.

Those lights are a great touch. I love the layout in general, especially the shelving. And if this is actually an apartment, I want to move into it. I want those pink bowls and that pink couch.

And then, there’s Amy’s new show, The Gourmet Next Door:

This has to be the ugliest set/kitchen I’ve ever seen. Those blue tiles should not be seen outside of a bathroom, and if there’s anything that actually is complemented by brown blinds, it is not this kitchen. The misguided brown/blue combo here is similar to that of the green/orange combo on Rachel Ray’s show, and both just make me want to look away.

I do hope they’ll do something about that kitchen, because I think this show has a lot of potential. Amy wasn’t my personal pick for the next Food Network star, but I’ve been impressed by her knowledge and her recipes. She’s bringing new dishes and new style to the network, both of which are much appreciated, and her recipes are more about great food than they are fast food. Fast food has its place, and it certainly can be good, but the Food Network already has enough of those shows. A touch of gourmet is most welcome.

1 comment:

Miss Scarlett said...

I have always thought that think they coordinated Nigella's show titles with her books. For a while her shows were "Nigella Bites" and that was the same name as her cookbook.
"Nigella Express" is the name of her new book. She seems to run a different taping schedule than the American shows. She does fewer episodes from what I can tell.
I am a RABID Nigella fan and wish she were as omnipresent on Food Network as Rachael Ray. N's kitchen is much easier on the eyes.
That hideous bathroom they've put Amy Finley in is sad....poor girl.