Cooking Channel Shows: Bill's Food

This was another show I recorded not knowing anything going in. I’d never heard of either the chef or the show.

1) Holy white kitchen! Everything on the kitchen set is super white, which makes this pasty foreign dude with his blonde hair look really washed out. It certainly makes all the food and pans pop with color, but it’s very unforgiving.

2) According to the credits, this was originally recorded for the “Lifestyle Channel”. Makes sense as the entire set-up did not feel very Food Networky. Bill seems to be a caterer of some sort, or maybe a personal chef that goes to people’s houses and puts on dinner parties for them. I guess that’s small-scale catering?

3) The shooting is kind of awkward. The entire show is shot just from the side like more recent episodes of Ask Aida. They also do strange aside non-sequitors where he’s not really looking in to the camera, but just to the side of it. I feel like he’s talking to someone just off-screen which, you know, he probably is but after getting used to always being engaged, it’s weird to suddenly not be.

4) The show, like old 80s cartoons, is seemingly divided in to two mini-episodes. The first episode involved making crusted lamb chops and potatoes gratin for his brunch buddies. It was very quick direction before dropping in to a “throw everything together” montage over which I could almost hear “You’re Gonna Need A Montage” playing over. Then, we went directly in to a second mini-episode where he had to put together a “light but decadent” meal for a designer client. This was entirely new meal with a chicken and grapefruit salad and scallops. It was a very crowded episode.

5) The mini-episode set-up gives the show a disjointed, thrown together feel. There’s very little direction as to the preparation. This is fine, I guess, but I think he made at least six dishes with each of them getting less than five minutes of screen time. It’s hard to keep up with what he’s doing.

6) Maybe the reason I didn’t get in to the show is because it felt like a “segment” show. Meaning it seemed like the show was built from “segments” off another show. Kind of like if they took three different “What’s For Dinner” segments of the Rachael Ray Talk Show and turned them in to a half-hour show. I like the chef and the dishes looked good. I just couldn’t get in to the format.