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Hell Hath No Fury Like a Martha Scorned

There was a time when Martha Stewart ruled the airwaves with helpful hints and creative ideas for the kitchen.  But that was a long, long time ago.  Today Martha can be seen on Halmark (which is Martha Scowlingapparently a TV channel).  Or make that Martha was last seen on Halmark.

The Martha Stewart Show is being canceled by Hallmark in May.  Why?  An average audience of just 225,000 viewers for starters.  That’s less than Polish stock car racing gets.  Extremely high production costs is another.  Adding salt to the wound, Home Depot is dumping Martha Stewart-branded paint and the value of Martha Stewart Living’s stock is plunging.  Finally, moving into to Martha’s old studio at Chelsea Market is Rachael Ray.

Rachael RayYes, the very same Rachael Ray that Martha once described as, “more of an entertainer than she is, with her bubbly personality, than she is a teacher like me,” on ABC’s “Nightline.”  She went on to say that one of Rachael’s cookbooks was “not good enough for me.”  The same Rachael Ray who’s show long ago replaced Martha’s as the “go to” lifestyle show.  I guess “bubbly” is Martha-speak for likable.

Well, apparently seeing the newer, younger, hipper version of herself was too much for Martha last week when she and “RaRay” just happened to dine at the same Bond St. hot spot, Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria.  A witness of the event told the New York Post that, “Martha was staring Rachael down as soon as she walked in with a group of friends. Martha looked disgruntled. You could definitely feel Martha’s heat in that kitchen.”

Rachael, who was accompanied by Time magazine food writer Josh Ozersky, became quite uncomfortable with Stewart’s evil eye and elected to get her entree to go.  Stewart’s camp denies their matron was even aware that Ray was on site but according to everyone who was at the restaurant it was obvious that Stewart was aware as she was, “noticeably glaring in Ray’s direction throughout her meal.”

Stewart once condescended of Ray, “I don’t know if she has a garden; I don’t think so.”  Well, one thing Rachael does have that Martha doesn’t is a TV show.

By the way, I asked Josh what was in his doggie bag and he told me, “short ribs, of course!

Good Eats Moving to Cooking Channel

Alton BrownBy now most people have heard the word that Alton Brown has called an end to his award winning series Good Eats after 13 years and 250 episodes.  Now comes news (that’s a loose interpretation) that Cooking Channel, Food Network’s younger but better looking brother, is going to add the complete cannon of GE to its prime time line-up.

The move seems a no-brainer and I’m guessing it took few by surprise.  The Cooking Channel is about cooking (thus the name) and few shows in history have been better at teaching people to cook than Good Eats.  Brown mentioned the move in an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on August 26th.  In the article AB said, “I feel after 250 I can walk away from that library of work and feel good about it and know it’s had an effect to some degree on somebody besides me and those who worked on it. And it will hold its own for awhile. We wanted to make sure they were dense, juicy and succulent and last a long time.”

Brown also revealed that the motivation for ending his run with Good Eats was the sheer time involved in doing the series.  It was keeping him from exploring new projects like his as-yet unnamed  mini-series about the influence food has had on history quipping, “Cod actually changed the world!”  And of course you can still find Alton manning the commentators podium on Iron Chef America and hosting the Next Iron Chef.

Good Eats begins airing on the Cooking Channel Friday, September 30th, 8p-10pm ET.

Hungry Girl Leaves Cooking Channel for Food Network

It had to happen eventually.  Some show from the Cooking Channel would eventually make the move to the big network.  It’s easy to equate such a programming change to a pitcher being called up from the Triple A farm team but that doesn’t make it accurate.

Hungry Girl moving to Food NetworkThe reality is that the best cooking shows are on the Cooking Channel not the Food Network.  However, most of those cooking shows are geared towards cooks with advanced skills.  The cooking shows on the Food Network are geared for newer cooks.  As I wrote in my April review of Hungry Girl, “All though this may not be the kind of show to inspire professional chefs it is a great instructional series for the home cook.  It’s the kind of show that sister Food Network was built on.”

Is it arrogant to describe yourself as prophetic?  Yeah, I agree.  Anyway, here is part of the press release about the August premiere of Hungry Girl on the Food Network:

NEW YORK – July 5, 2011 – Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien indulges in summer’s most delicious treats, Hungry Girl Style, with less calories and less guilt but never sacrificing flavor, when season two premieres on Food Network August 7th at 10am ET/PT with 16 all new episodes.  There’s no challenge this New York Times Bestselling author and creator of the renowned Hungry Girl newsletter can’t take on – from overcoming potential date night disaster dishes to what to order when you want to scream for ice cream.  All 30-minute episodes begin with an eating situation that might otherwise result in an over-the-top calorie fest and Hungry Girl proves there’s no craving she can’t satisfy with creative, lower calorie options.

“There’s no better time than the hottest month of the year to show my fans how they can indulge in their favorite foods of all time and still look and feel their best this summer,” says Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien.   “The show allows me to bring my newsletter to life and take the cameras with me as I search for lower calorie treasures at the grocery store, whip up treats in my kitchen and order off the menu at my favorite restaurants.”

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

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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