Review: Bitchin’ Kitchen
Thanks to my lofty position as the most famous nobody in the world of Internet-based culinary personalities I occasionally get to see a new series before the average Joe. That is the case here.
For nearly a dozen years now Good Eats has been entertaining while teaching about the art of gastronomy. Alton Brown’s brainchild is as iconic today as it was groundbreaking back in 1999. In all of that time GE has remained an island in the sea of stand-and-stir cooking shows, in a word unique. But if you are successful enough, long enough eventually you see some imitators.
Enter Bitchin’ Kitchen. The Cooking Channel’s latest offering is the first Good Eats imitation to hit the airwaves. You know, imitation isn’t the right word. BK doesn’t imitate as much as it pays homage. Bitchin’ Kitchen and host Nadia G are definitely originals but there is a noticeable Good Eats influence. It’s kind of like how Guns N Roses was influenced by Led Zeppelin, but the two bands sound nothing a like.
Bitchin’ Kitchen is a whirlwind of campy characters swirling in a maelstrom of culinary comedy. There is Panos the Greek fish monger, Spice Agent – an Islreali with an unpronounceable name and Hans the musclebound whatever the hell he is. Together they are the boys.
And of course there is host Nadia G a brazen guidette with enough bling to be a Mr. T stunt double and the chops of a 3 star chef. Nadia is a blonde bombshell with a thick Brooklynish accent that will make you think she is an extra from Grease.
To say that BK is ripe with sexual innuendo is like saying Angelina Jolie likes kids. The racy content is so thinly veiled it’s like they wrapped it in a single layer of cellophane and then they ripped a few wholes in that. Let’s face it, Nadia and her boys are all sexy. Rather than going with subtle hottness like Giada or Nigella, Nadia opts for the in your face sex appeal of a punk rocker. She weaves fetish into her show as masterfully as she folds egg whites into a mousse.
Everything about this show is over the top – the characters, the dialog, the set design, even the wacky recipe names (Get Famous Frittata, Anxiety-Stricken Chicken Soup). In fact it’s so tacky that it’s cool. And the best part is that all of this started out as a 10 minute webcast on youtube. It’s high time the folks at Chelsea Market realized that the Internet is the best place to find up and coming talent (and if Bob Tuschman is reading this please feel free to check out the WannabeTVchef channel at youtube – I could really use the job).
The end result of this furious ball of energy is a show that is both entertaining and informative. There is so much going on that often times you won’t realize how much you’ve learned until later. The entire time you watch an episode of of Bitchin’ Kitchen you’ll be dazzled by bright colors and torrents of information disguised as witty banter. It’s kind of like what would happen if Tony Soprano, Julia Child and Barbie dropped acid while online for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
Like it’s predecessor Good Eats, Bitchin Kitchen never takes itself too seriously. In the annals of cable TV there has always been that one show that put each new network on the map. For Bravo it was Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Emeril Live was that show for the Food Network and let’s be honest if it wasn’t for Steve Irwin hunting those crocodiles Animal Planet would be but a footnote in the history of alternative cable programming. It is my prediction that Bitchin’ Kitchen will be that show for The Cooking Channel.
Bitchin’ Kitchen premieres Wednesday, October 6 at 10:30pm ET/PT on the Cooking Channel. Click HERE for my exclusive interview with Nadia G. In the meantime here’s a little taste of what you’re in for: