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Monday, September 26, 2011

"The Chew" Debut Brings More Food to Daytime TV

Posted By on Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 2:30 PM

click to enlarge The Chew Crew: Clinton Kelly, Daphne Oz, Mario Batali, Michael Symon and Carla Hall (l-r)
  • The Chew Crew: Clinton Kelly, Daphne Oz, Mario Batali, Michael Symon and Carla Hall (l-r)

Only a few hours after the ladies of The View gabbed around the table, ABC debuted The Chew. The name rhymes and the concept is similar, although food-centric: everyone brings something different to the table.

The mother hen that fills the Baba Wawa shoes at the table is Mario Batali. The rest of the crew is less impressive. Clinton Kelly, formerly of Queer Eye for The Straight Guy What Not to Wear, is the decorating and entertaining guru. Carla "Hootie" Hall, known for wooting and not winning Top Chef, sits beside pork know-it-all Michael Symon. The daughter of TV's Dr. Oz, Daphne Oz, is there as the good health authority.

For the first episode, Batali didn't bother to show up except via satellite. Kelly asked the question we were all thinking: "It's the first day of the biggest food show launch in the history of daytime television and you're playing golf. What's up with that, yo?" Apparently, he was at a charity event.

Symon cooked the first dish ever on the show: pork and beans supreme. He threw in an ingredient to represent each of the co-hosts. (Kelly was the well-dressed dish, of course.) The meal was made in five minutes, allegedly, and for less than $4 a person.

The audience then got a chance to try the dish and were probed with this leading question, "Tell me why you think this is delicious?"

The responses were generally, "I love this whole thing, it's just so delicious." Eloquent.

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.

Hall, who had her southern mama in the audience, taught us how to make her favorite fried apple pancake rings. They actually looked incredible with apple cider syrup drizzled on top.

Another great-looking dish were the hors d'oeuvres made by Kelly. He had mini BLTs minus the bread on hearts of romaine, and one bite pork schnitzels to be dipped in applesauce mixed with whole grain mustard. Kelly is so right, one hand for one-bites and one hand for cocktails is always best. Don't wanna sound too Folsomy, but we're pro double-fisting!

The man of the hour finally made his second satellite cameo, making his classic pizza on the golf course. Batali explained that the ideal pizza crust has a crunch like biting into a light bulb and then a bagel pull to finish it. Clearly this man has the words we've been waiting for (mmm, light bulb.) He also gives his secret to perfect pizza. Right after it comes out of the oven, it gets more fresh basil, a drizzle of olive oil and a crackling of black pepper from an enormous pepper mill.

The Chew is taking the place of All My Children and as far as daytime television goes, we're not spitting it out just yet. We'll continue to chew, marinate, stew and any other corny food pun we can think to do on this new show.

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Carina Ost

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