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All We Can Eat
Posted at 06:40 PM ET, 09/26/2011

The critics spit up their taste of ‘The Chew’


"The Chew" may need to chew over its format some more. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)
“The Chew,” ABC’s attempt to turn food into a daytime gab-fest, has been chewed up and spit out by the critics. Here’s a sample of the feasting.

David Hinckley of the New York Daily News:

The show’s goals are ambitious. It wants to present cool recipes. It wants to report the real cost of the food those recipes require. It wants to deliver tips on quick cooking. It wants to promote healthy eating. It wants to show viewers how to rescue dishes from disaster.
It also wants to radiate the casual friendliness of a talk show like “The View,” from which its overly clever title is cribbed.
All this is possible. On opening day, though, “The Chew” too often felt overstuffed, as if its celebrity crew were engaged in a speed-talking contest.
That fast pace, a key part of the game plan, makes it hard to start relating to the panel. We need them to take some breaths.

Sandra Gonzalez of Entertainment Weekly:

It’s far too easy to nitpick a show’s first hour, so I’ll avoid digging too deep into the tiny issues — like the disappointment I felt when Mario Batali decided to appear via satellite in episode 1. (But I will forgive it because it was for charity.) But having sat in the audience at a taping and seen a finished show on-air today, there is one obvious problem facing the “Chew” crew (admit it, that’s sort of cute): There are too many cooks in this kitchen.

Carina Ost of SF Weekly:

[Daphne] Oz headed the next segment, things my dad taught me, with her superfood breakfast smoothie with blueberries, yogurt, psyllium husks and Ester-C. When she went to the pantry to grab the ingredients, she pulled out Dr. Oz, who had roses for his daughter. The embarrassing dad stories then came out: he grabbed a blueberry and said it was the color of Daphne’s cone head when she was born because her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. The mental picture we have belongs on Awkward Family Photos, not daytime television.

Mikey O’Connell from Zap2It:

After an introduction of hosts Mario Batali, Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall, Michael Symon and Daphne Oz and their proposed contributions to the group — Kelly likes shrinking entrees into appetizers because that’s “fabulous” — the motley crew dissolved into an hour of talking over each other and preparing random dishes with no linear thread.
And because it’s always a good idea to take your biggest name out of the mix, Batali actually made his contribution via satellite from a golf course near the Statue of Liberty. (It might actually be part of his contract that he never has to witness this debacle first hand.)
It is, if we haven’t made this clear already, a complete mess. Not that the many ways in which “The Chew” doesn’t work are really even a matter of opinion. The haphazard production would leave even the most attentive viewer wondering what exactly they were tuning into.

Huffington Post published the “Five Most Awkward Moments” of the show’s premiere:

“The Chew” premiered earlier today and it was immediately obvious the hosts need a bit more time to work on their flow.

By  |  06:40 PM ET, 09/26/2011

Categories:  Chefs, Media, Television | Tags:  Tim Carman

 
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