Thursday, March 22, 2007

Food Media

First of all, I am coming out as a total softie because I was verklempt at seeing Sandra Lee's Chefography. While I would never make any of her recipes, I totally understand her investment in the semi-homemade concept. For those of you who didn't see the Sandra Lee Chefography, she had a fairly harrowing childhood. Her parents divorced early and she was shipped off to her grandparents' house. Luckily it sounds like her grandmother really loved and cared for her, especially when it came to making food. But as soon as she had a stable home life with her grandparents, her mother upped and got married and tore Sandra away from a huge positive force in her life. Sandra made the best of it with an abesentee mother and oodles of siblings and stepsiblings and ended up being the de facto parent for all of her siblings. Sounds like she was good at it. But as soon as she got into a groove of caring for her siblings. Her mother and stepfather divorced and the family of siblings Sandra created was torn apart. Sheesh, you gotta shed a tear for Sandra.

She really did claw her way to the top with a little encouragement from family members (except for her PARENTS) and a lot of can-do attitude. Once again her style is completely not my own but dear god she owns it. For her window treatment infomercial, does she try and be all hip and edgy about it? Hells no. She goes after FLORENCE HENDERSON. And who does she hang with in her spare time? MARY HART.

While I think Sandra enjoys many a four star meal, I just as easily believe she's at home making cupcakes out of a box and It's understandable to see her investment in semi-homemade. It's how her grandmother cooked for her. The one constant source of love for Sandra who probably did all of the semi-homemade cooking that Sandra espouses is probably the source of her success. Of course she's going to defend it tooth and nail. It's funny to hear that she went to the Cordon Bleu and whined that they were doing everything from scratch when you could just as easily use Bisquick. Before seeing the Chefography, I thought there was something phony about Sandra's "me and my girlfriends" schtick. After seeing her life story, I think Sandra makes cupcakes from a box and Boboli pizza for her girlfriends.

On the subject of food media. Who do people think of the new Washington Post food section. I am conflicted. On the one hand it's nice to have all the recipes in one place. On the other hand, I like having the recipe with the story. Also, it's good to know which stories have recipes. It's hard to concentrate on the new format when my attention is focused on the cover article that writes about Michel Richard teaching two girls to make a gourmet meal for their father. Two half-Asian girls cooking? SOOOOOOO cute. Add a gourmet chef who looks like Santa Claus. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO cuter. If they threw in a hedgehog, I'd be in cute heaven.


Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said...

Now I know why every time I see her show, she constantly talks about her grandmother. I've been taping some of the chefographies. Haven't watched any yet but will get to it this weekend I hope. First up will be cutie pie Tyler Florence.

Metrocurean said...

Too funny. I just set Tivo to record Sandra Lee's chefography in hopes that it might humanize her and make me less disgusted in the show. I'll get the tissues ready.

JudesMommy said...

Her show was not one I'd ever really been drawn to but after seeing a portion of her Chefography spot, I have a new respect for her. I probably won't be so quick to change channels next time I bump into her show.

BTW, love your's great to read about local cuisine.

Dancer in DC said...

Well we watched it, and I have to say my opinion of her really hasn't changed. I at least understand the point of her show. But my frustration is that she passes these shortcuts as creating a finished product that's "just like the real thing." And I'm sorry, but a creamy rice dish made with the powdered cheese in the green canister is NOT risotto.