Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Monday was my girlfriend's birthday. To celebrate, she decided to gather all of her friends at her favorite sushi restaurant for dinner that night. None of us knew each other. The only common denominator was her. Everyone got along fabulously over a delicious sushi dinner.

As it turned out, one of the guests was a Pastry Chef. I didn't really get a chance to talk to him because he was sitting on the same side of the table I was on and his girlfriend was sitting between us. However, at one point, I overheard him talking about Celebrity Chefs being more celebrity than chef and this is where I found my way in to the conversation... I gave him a "review" of a cookbook I'd recently purchased.

Last week, I had purchased some new cookbooks. Among my purchases were The Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, Everyday Pasta by Giada and Guy Fieri Food Cookin' It Livin' It Lovin' It. Of course, Barefoot Contessa and Giada were a major score! They are in my top favorites for Celebrity Chefs. As you know, I ♥ Ina Garten! But, the Guy Fieri cookbook was a total waste of money, in my opinion. If I had to give it a rating out of 5 stars, I would only give it 1. And here is why...

(Side Note: I was shocked at how many good reviews the book has received... Just sayin'!)

To me, a cookbook should be passionate. It should not only highlight the chef's recipes and their love for the food but, inspire you to want to cook their recipes. It should give you tips, tricks and techniques to make cooking their recipes easier. If you ever pick up a cookbook by The Barefoot Contessa, she will not only show you tips and tricks, she will also have certain things like What NOT to serve at a dinner party or The top 5 items you should have in your pantry.  To me that is super helpful!

Not Guy Fieri. The first part of the book where a chef would generally open up and talk about what they love and how they feel about cooking and entertaining, Guy Fieri had numerous chapters about his rise to stardom. There were multiple pages written by himself, his family, friends and business associates saying what a great guy he is. He was not speaking from the heart of a person that wants to share his love for food and teach others how to cook his favorite recipes, he was speaking like a man that was boasting about his claim to fame and all the "things" that came with it.

Unlike The Barefoot Contessa giving you the Top 5 things you should have in your pantry to help you cook her recipes, Guy gave you a 3 page list of what HE has in HIS pantry. Instead of the most commonly used appliances best used for his recipes, he gave you a complete inventory of HIS appliances in HIS kitchen. It gave me a headache! Then came the recipes...

Recipes, in my opinion, should have ingredients that are, for the most part, commonly found in the grocery store. Ingredients you've actually heard of! And, the ingredients you purchase shouldn't empty your bank account. Not only did I not know what some of the ingredients were but, every recipe had way too many ingredients! The entire recipe would be 3 pages long and the first page was ingredients only! That's insane! Also, everything in his book was very Southern California cooking. So not my style at all.

So, as you can see, I was very disappointed. This guy is more of a celebrity than a chef. I love watching him on Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off but that's it. He's a great personality, a lot of fun. But to say that I want to cook his food? Ummm, no! It reminds me of a clip I heard in the news a while back about how Martha Stewart commented that "Rachael Ray is not a cook, she's an entertainer" (see link here). At the time, I thought it sounded snobbish and harsh... not anymore. Now, I know exactly what she meant. Not that I was ever a HUGE Rachael Ray fan before but she and Guy are definitely more celebrities than chefs. And I guess that's why they're hosting a show together about others doing the cooking and not themselves.

Here's a piece of advice... If you want to cook any of Guy Fieri's food, don't buy his cookbook, go to his page on the Food Network website and browse there for some of his recipes. You'll save yourself $20 on Amazon and still get what you want.

Until next time...

~Tina, The Other Egg

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