Review: Big Daddy’s House

Originally posted on August 5, 2008.

What can I say about the premiere episode of Big Daddy’s House starring NFNS winner Aaron McCargo Jr?  There was nothing special about it.  The same problems that plagued Aaron during the contest are still there – he is hard to understand, seems fake when he tries to force energy, and he still is not friendly with the camera.  His kid was cute, though.

The menu was nothing special.  He coated chicken tenders with crushed tortilla chips.  That’s the first time I’ve ever seen anyone do that . . . again.  Seriously, any idea that has ever graced the pages of one of the those $1.00 cooking mags at the check out of your local grocer has no place on the Food Network.  Plus, TFN already has one show that derives its menu from those, Semi-Homemade.

At one point, he spent about 15 seconds with his back turned to the camera while he fished through a utensil drawer talking to the back-splash.  Not all of it was Aaron’s fault.  The editing seemed choppy.  Maybe they did the best they could with the takes they were able to get, I don’t know. It felt like a rookie show, with a rookie host, and a rookie production team.  Aaron took a pot of steaming broccoli off the stove and when he removed the lid he let out a whoop like he had just popped the top on a boiling vat of Cajun crawfish.  Steamed broccoli is tasty, but there is little about the steam to get one excited.  This was a classic case of Aaron trying to force personality and it just came across as strange.

I will venture to say that Aaron actually gets more than six episodes.  FN will try to spin the show as “well received” and allege that it “earned” a second season.  This is only window dressing because there has been so much made of the shady nature of this year’s contest and the fact that they have only found one true star in four tries.  And who knows, it may get better.  Giada was a little hard to watch at first, too, but now she is a star.

The bottom line: I’ll watch it if nothing else is on, but it will not earn a slot in the old DVR.

UPDATE: Despite poor reviews and worse ratings Big Daddy’s Kitchen has been renewed for 13 more episodes.  Read HERE.

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Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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