Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Robin Miller visits the WaPo

The Washington Post today had three solid hours of food chat, and who was the meat in the middle of that foodie sandwich? None other than the Food Network's Robin Miller (click here to read the full chat).

Now I'll be the first to admit, I've never seen her show or read any of her books and I don't know what her credentials are, but she looks pretty generic so I went into her noon chat with low expectations.

To be honest, they were met. Though I'm critical in my comments, I do think there's a need for Robin. I think that the majority of Americans can give a shit about whether pre-fixe menus are too long these days, or about the sustainability of their seafood. Robin Miller works for them, she just doesn't work for me.

Here are some excerpts from the chat (my comments are in italics and her words in bold font).

New York, N.Y.: Hi Robin,

Thanks for doing this chat. I really like the concept of your show where you make several batches of something to use it in later recipes.

What do you think the direction of the Food Network is going? It seems like they are cutting back on the regular shows to bring in more diverse, upbeat, and "interesting" shows. I hope they plan on keeping the standards!

Robin Miller: Thanks for the nice words! I'm not sure exactly where the direction is going. There HAVE been many changes, I guess to shake things up! I'm sure there will always be the "go-to" shows for people who want mealtime solutions each week!

Go to the Food Network website and look at their line up; it's almost all "go-to" shows from people who have never set foot in a kitchen. You either love or hate the food network. I grew up watching it, and I don't like the fact that they've chased out (or completely ruined) a lot of the actual chefs they've had.

It's also a little disturbing that Robin seems to have no clue what's going on at the Food Network.


Georgetown: Have you been to D.C.? Have any favorite restaurants here?

Robin Miller: I have - and I love DC. Haven't been since last year so the dining scene has probably changed. I also love atmosphere and really enjoyed the "waterfront" area (not sure what it's called, but it's on the water - great restaurants).

Are you kidding me? I understand you're on a publicity tour, trust me, I know how that works, but you've got time to read up on one of the best food cities in the country. There's some important work being done here, and there are more food blogs and publications that cover it than I care to count or could ever read. Take five minutes and read up on it.


Tysons Cubicle: What's your favorite ingredient to stretch?

Robin Miller: Good question - I don't think I've met an ingredient I HAVEN'T stretched! I think because chicken is so mild in flavor (AKA bland!), it takes on many forms and flavors without feeling like leftovers.

I'm a writer, not a chef, but I don't think chicken is bland. But hey, what do I know?

Did anyone else get a chance to read the chat? Thoughts?

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