There are some talented chefs on this network but the programming is really off. Everybody has a favorite and a favorite to rip on. Below I offer a take on some of the shows and/or chefs...
Essence of Emeril- Informative and entertaining but this show proves that the man is on way too much. I do like a lot of the recipes that he makes.
Emeril Live- Fun show but it is on so much it is over the top. Emeril is a good man with a big heart but this show demonstrates that he will just hack his way thru a lot of dishes. Guests are annoying most of the time and the garlic/booze audience responses are silly. No one in their right mind could eat some of the raw garlic amounts that he tosses in his food. Slow down and quit ramming this show down our throats.
Sweet Dreams- Gale Gand is a very nice lady. I met her a few times and I have worked in special functions with her on a couple of occasions. The show is informative and it is educational and she does a good job presenting her dishes. The only negative is she brings her personal life into the show way too much. I hear more about her son than I care to know and when he is on the show goes off.
Cooking Live- Sara Moulton drives me up a wall most of the time. I would love to see this lady get on an actual restaurant line and cook. Her techniques put me to sleep.
Sara's Secrets- A step up for SM because she brings on some very good guests and they show the viewer what can be done and how it is done.
Hot Off the Grill with Bobby Flay- Is there a more arrogant chef on the network? Bobby makes some interesting food and some innovative recipes for his style of cuisine but he amuses himself with his swagger and that is a turn off. He just rolled over Jackie Malouf on the original show and the tension was so thick in the air it was good entertainment but he needs to come back down to earth.
Chocolate with Jacques Torres- Can be a fun show and there is no mistaking his skills but there is no way a home cook is going to put together some of these creations. He is always working with molds and that is, once again, over the top. Love when he hits the road to show us places and people of interest.
Food 911- Tyler Florence is a very good cook and this is a fun show IMO because he cooks with ordinary folks all of the time. I love it when he has the single guy and has to work with those gaudy plastic bowls and such. A real trooper who does no-nonsense food.
Tyler's Ultimate- Another good show from TF. Original and refreshing plus he gets high marks for showing us the different techniques of his guests and his creations.
Molto Mario- This is a fun show and Mario makes it happen with his well-versed knowledge of the cuisine and Italian culture. Fun sense of humor and some interesting guests.
Ciao America with Mario Batali- Excellent show but a bit too serious. It seems like someone whispered in MM's ear and told him to get serious. I just like when the chefs hit the road.
Wolfgang Puck's Cooking Class- Very informative and much better now that he is out of the studio with the live audience. The thing that strikes me is the amount of edits that happen on this show. Wolf is a very successful man but he sure is a hack.
From Martha's Kitchen- Not a big fan of the snobbery but I know a good show when I see it. Martha has great shows most of the time because she has awesome technique and uses the best. Nothing is compromised here from the cutting boards to the fresh ingredients. Everything is top-notch quality. It is funny to watch the tension when some of her guests are on.
30 Minute Meals- What more can be said about the queen of hack? The ridiculous facial expressions and the over exuberance is laughable. This is all about the cute girl next door with the tight jeans and the great connections. It's whom you know folks!
$40 a Day- More of the same. Tight pants, cute laugh and boisterous behavior. I just cannot fathom the lack of tipping and the fact that she orders like a hungry truck driver is just unbelievable.
Barefoot Contessa- I like this show because this lady can cook and she is all about having fun. Sure- we all wish that we can live in the Hamptons and worry about driving the 'Benz in for the daily shopping trip but she makes it look enjoyable without rubbing it in like Martha does.
Paula's Home Cooking- This is another fun show and the food is always down home scratch cooking at it's best. I can get a little turned off when Paula eats her samples and coos like a porn star.
Oliver's Twist- Very original and fun show. Nothing like a culinary imp to get the program going and Oliver can vamp it up.
Everyday Italian- Wrong wrong wrong! Cute granddaughter of a famous director gets her own show. Can this lady enunciate any better? How come she pronounces every Italian dish in the world different than everyone else?
How to Boil Water- OK, I am just not going there.
Good Eats- Another fun show but Alton Brown needs to cook more and leave the HS science spots out as much as possible. He can be scientific without being Mr. Rodgers.
Easy Entertaining- This show is informative but really is the west coast answer to Ina.
All in all, I missed a few but these are the shows that we watch the most. I think Sara and Emeril are on way too much and there should be more shows for wine and something along the line of Great Chefs. The travels and the cooking demonstrations are the best but the over the top stuff is just plain silly...