Chefs to Watch and Learn from?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by manofgirolles, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. manofgirolles

    manofgirolles

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    Hey guys!

    Quick question. I was wondering if there were any chefs I could watch and learn from online? I'm a line cook with 2 years experience. Reading a lot, experimenting at home but want someone to watch and learn from. Something I used to do when playing semi-pro tennis.

    Would Gordon Ramsay count?
     
  2. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    It depends on what you want to learn.  When I watch Eric Ripert on Avec Eric I learned that he is slow and clumsy with a knife and not at all suited for line cook haha.  Of course I'm just a home cook and I don't know what goes into being a line cook but I know that slowness isn't useful. 

    I learned a lot from watching Gordon Ramsay cook.  I learned the most from Jamie Oliver though, he's my favorite.  I learned that I can use my hands to toss a salad, that I don't have to be afraid of cooking, and to really go for it.

    What are you trying to learn?
     
  3. someday

    someday

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    Uhh, I'll just say that Eric Ripert is one of the best chefs in the world, and I have no doubt that he, at least at one point in his career, could have cooked any of us under the table on his worst day. I think calling him slow and clumsy is a bit...silly. I've watched him quite a bit and haven't noticed anything like that. 

    Sometimes the best chefs don't make the best line cooks...line cooking is a skill that takes practice and it's easy to get rusty as you move away from it everyday. Anyways...

    Gordon Ramsay has lots of good videos online. There are lots of good chef shows on Netflix as well...Mind of Chef, A Chef's Table, etc. They are definitely worth a watch. Less about actual cooking and more about philosophy and style/art, but still worth it. His BRITISH (emphasize on the British) version of Kitchen Nightmares is excellent stuff...he's way less "ramsay" and the episodes less dramatic and more about actually helping the business. There is still some drama and yes, GR is still a bit of a...jerk, but the information is great. His show "F Word" is excellent as well. Good techniques on that one. 

    There are some older videos by Marco Pierre White on youtube...he cooks for his mentors and does demos for the camera. He's definitely a wild man...his recipes and techniques are a bit dated now days, but just watching him talk about and handle food is inspiring, kind of like watching Monet paint or something, lol. 

    I think you can find old episodes of Molto Mario on youtube. Say what you want about MB, he knows his Italian food and the man isn't afraid to talk about it...a lot. MM is a great resource for learning Italian food philosophy and cooking techniques...he comes off as a bit cheesy on his shows sometimes (less so on Molto Mario) but his knowledge can't be disputed. 

    That's all I have for now...honestly there is so much out there it can be hard to sort through. 
     
  4. mike9

    mike9

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    Some of my favorite chefs to watch and learn from are:

    Raymond Blanc

    Michel Roux

    Marco

    Gordon

    and of course - Jaques Pepin

    Interesting that both Marco trained under Raymond Blanc and Gordon trained under Marco and both trained under one, or both of the Roux brothers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  5. scott livesey

    scott livesey

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    first get in the 'WayBack' machine and find videos of Graham Kerr (The Galloping Gourmet) and Jeff Smith (Frugal Gourmet).  Both went into the how and why of cooking.  Rick Bayless for Mexican, Mario Batali for Italian, Martin Yan for Oriental.  finally 'Good Eats' with Alton Brown.
     
  6. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Oh you haven't?  Silly me, did I say slow and clumsy?  I meant slow and clumsy and BORING.  But try not to listen to a silly home cook like me.
     
    mike9 likes this.
  7. someday

    someday

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    I'm sorry I hurt your feeling by disagreeing with you. 
     
  8. mike9

    mike9

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    Eric is good, but his TV show is instructive.  Watch the episode of him and Anthony working back at Bourdain's old place - it's a hoot.  
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  9. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    You did not hurt my feelings.  You angered me by calling me silly.  Disagreement is natural, constructive, and objective where as calling someone silly is demeaning, personal, and inappropriate.
     
  10. someday

    someday

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    That's the same thing.
    If you find the word silly demeaning and inappropriate I don't know where to go from here. It's certainly less "offensive" than a vast majority of other words I thought about using, not to mention that I specifically chose that word to not be offensive and come off as someone being demeaning or inappropriate. I don't know how you would get through a day in any way by being so easily offended.

    But, you're obviously free to feel however you want. 

    Nothing personal was meant. 
     
  11. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I wonder how Eric Ripert would feel being called slow and clumsy and BORING?
     
  12. french fries

    french fries

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    Nobody told Eric Ripert he was slow and clumsy and boring.
     
  13. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I don't dislike ripert. I just don't find him interesting to watch on tv.

    This is not about a difference of opinion, it's about being respectful to people despite a difference of opinion. Everything you pointed out about Ripert in your first post may be a valid point, one I am interested in discussing, but calling me silly aims to make your opinion righteous while making mine trivial. And I don't allow people to speak to others like that whether it's me or someone else. The fact that you took extra special care in finding a word that would not be too offensive is ironic. Don't ask me how I get through my day, you didn't get through your day without being offended by someone's opinion of a celebrity chef.

    Eric Ripert has the most beautiful eyes of any chef on tv, I think we can all agree on that.
     
  14. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry, but I have to agree with Koukouvagia about Eric being slow and boring.  I don't agree with the assessment about clumsy though.  Unless Eric has someone like Bourdain, pulling him out of his shell Eric, from what I have seen tends to be more introverted and has a very subtle, quiet style.  Don't get me wrong he's a great chef and can cook just about any of us under the table, but as a "personality" to watch I do find him rather slow and boring unless there is someone with him that can use him as the "straight man" to good effect.  Of course, cooking videos aren't all about personality and he does have a lot to teach, but he can be rather "dry."

    But he does have a vast amount of knowledge to share and some great stories.  He just doesn't have the best personality for the camera.  Now, put him together with Bourdain and that's a show I would tune into every week.  Together they are a riot, usually at Eric's expense, but it's funny nonetheless.

    As for shows to watch, I'll echo what a number of others have said;  if you can catch many of the old PBS shows, they were great and taught a lot of great recipes and techniques.  Also just about anything with Jaques Pepin, Gordon Ramsey (when he isn't doing the Prime time thing), Good Eats, Mario Batali (his early stuff before his ego got too big)
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  15. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Clumsy is not the right word, maybe finesse is a better word.  I think he and Bourdain are doing a show together.  I think training chefs and watching tv are 2 different things so that's why I asked the OP what is it that he's trying to learn?  There are lots of good technique videos on youtube.  But when it comes to celebrity chefs I'm looking for finesse, energy, and style.  You're right, he's subtle and introverted and that doesn't take away from his cooking but he's one of those chefs that intrigue me to follow their recipes but not watch them cook.  I feel the same about Ina Garten who is sweet and knowledgeable but sort of pedantic, or Mario Batali who's love of Italian food comes through yet comes across nerdy and self involved.  I love Ramsay and his food but I think I've had enough of watching him cook on tv. And I don't think the language barrier plays a huge role because there are many non-american chefs who are delightful and intriguing like Martin Yan, Pepin, Viestad, and Nick Stellino.  
     
  16. french fries

    french fries

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    I personally prefer watching Eric Ripert to just about any of those other chefs you've mentioned. If I'm watching a cooking show, I'm more interested in the cooking, less interested in the show. I don't want to watch a "personality" or someone "colorful". I know I'm probably in the minority here. I personally can't stand Bourdain. With Bourdain it's all about Bourdain and... I'm not that interested. If someone talks about food I want to hear what they have to say about food, not how they're saying it. With Bourdain it sounds like he's always going to find a clever way to say things... which turns the spotlight on the form and distracts from the actual content.

    One series I really enjoyed was one of Ramsay's where he describes the recipe using words, not sentences. To the point. No fluff. He'll narrate the videos something like: "Pan. Heat. Olive oil. Garlic: slightly crushed, now sliced, in the pan. 30 seconds. Tomato sauce. Now truss the chicken: string: under the legs, and over the breast, tie. Oven: 350F for one hour. Chicken in tomato sauce. Done." (I obviously completely made that recipe up). 

    So what many of you call boring or dull or dry, I personally prefer to animated, colorful and full of personality.

    Go Eric. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
     
  17. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    Pépin is the technique master, and charming too. The first "Cooking with Claudine" was good. "Jacques Pépin Celebrates" is terrific, but the best shows aren't the hour-long specials; even there, however, he does a bunch of things that involve high technique and complex ingredients.

    The Netflix show Chef's Table is interesting, and you can pick up a lot.

    The old Japanese Iron Chef: keep your eyes peeled and tune out the talking heads, and there's a lot going on. It wasn't staged nearly as much as the US version. In fact, it died as a show because nobody wanted to go on it: they'd lose and that would screw up their businesses!
     
  18. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    For me it has to be a mix of good technique and engaging banter and personality.  I've sat through too many college lectures, on subjects I loved, only to be bored to death by professors that droned on and on and couldn't engage with their students.  It's the same with cooking instruction.  I can only watch, and listen, so long if the person doing the teaching isn't engaging.  I don't care how good their technique is.  Of course, there are many TV "chefs" out there that swing the opposite way and are all style and no substance and that is even worse.  But the best of them combine both skill and style, keeping their audiences, of all levels engaged in the learning process.
     
  19. french fries

    french fries

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    I see what you mean.

    For me it's about being passionate. I am engaged when I feel the presenter/teacher is passionate about the topic. He doesn't have to be animated, have a look, a style, a personality, family stories, etc.... he just needs to be passionate, and somehow I'll feel that passion, and it will inspire me. And I do get that inspiring passion come through with Eric Ripert, albeit at a calm pace. 
     
  20. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    It's not about glitz and glamour, it's about a chef who helps me connect to the food. Some have a gimmick that I enjoy more. I don't connect with "bam" or "evoo" if you know what I mean. But I do enjoy a quick paced style of cooking that charges me with a "go for it" attitude towards cooking. Ripert doesn't have a gimmick or a schtick, that's all.