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Cooking with Gwyneth Paltrow?!


Camille-Beau
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They make a cute couple... :angry:

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Eight years ago I had a magical night sitting around a bonfire on a beach in the Hamptons with Gwyneth and Stella McCartney. We drank crappy draft beer from a keg that one of the Eastman boys brought down. I lit Gwyneth's cigarette. I made googley eyes at her while she coyly turned her head and spoke with Stella.

We all drove back to the beach house in Stella's dad's car. I said goodnight to her and they drove off (rather urgently it seemed), and I went off to bed where I dreamed of the red carpet on Oscar night, private-jetting to exotic locales, famous chefs personally seating us in their restaurants ("right this way Mr. Paltrow"), and the loving care we'd provide our children via a full contingent of nannies.

Call me, Gwynnie... B)

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WETA

Sat., September 20, 2008

5:30 pm

(60 minutes)

Spain...on the Road Again

Madrid

The first episode of the travel series, which features Gwyneth Paltrow, chef Mario Batali, author Mark Bittman and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols exploring Spain's culinary pleasures, culture, art and music, begins in Madrid, then travels to Toledo.

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I found it a whimsical distraction from the numbing boredom of the exercise bike. Basically, a prolonged opportunity for the camera to linger, close up and often, on the faces of two gorgeous women--Gwyneth Paltrow and Claudia Bassols. Plus a bit of scenery and some shtick involving food. The bit I found amusing was Batali's admission on the third morning, that he'd been sick all the previous night from eating grilled partridge breast the day before that we had watched a local celebrity chef make and insist was best eaten essentially raw inside. Paltrow refused to eat it that rare and he had cooked her portion "well-done" on the grill, and she apparently didn't get sick. Or if she did, she didn't say so. The hosts of travel-the-world-and-eat-weird-stuff shows don't talk about food poisoning, as a rule, but I'm sure it happens. (I remember an early episode of Tony Bourdain's show when he fessed to being sick as a dog after eating some bad food in France.) Mark Bittman was annoyingly "been-here-done-this-fifty times" in an artisan Manchego cheese facility, which Claudia Bassols was clearly delighted in experiencing for the first time. And Paltrow and Batali riffed about the daily life of a celebrity as they tooled along in a Mercedes convertible and people did double takes and called out to them--Mario mock-complaining that she was being recognized far more often than he was.

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From the start of the show, they said that the women planned to see the sights and the men planned to eat, so I figured it wouldn't be a serious cooking program. I watched it while drinking a glass of wine and looking through a magazine, and I stopped reading when they got to the food parts. It was entertaining, although I will admit to being easily entertained. I'll try the pisto manchego, and I'll probably try the rice dish as well. There are some nice recipes up on their website.

I got the impression that this program was put together to promote Spanish tourism, and it did make me want to go there. The scenery was beautiful, and the food and wine looked great. I do wish they had shown a bit more of the surrounding landscape, though. I also would have liked to know what was served at the two dinners that did not get described.

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I got the impression that this program was put together to promote Spanish tourism, and it did make me want to go there. The scenery was beautiful, and the food and wine looked great. I do wish they had shown a bit more of the surrounding landscape, though. I also would have liked to know what was served at the two dinners that did not get described.
Jeez, I've been in Spain for almost a week now and haven't seen any of them...maybe they got mugged in Madrid...
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I got the impression that this program was put together to promote Spanish tourism, and it did make me want to go there. The scenery was beautiful, and the food and wine looked great.

How does this show compare to Jose Andres's "Made in Spain"? I thought a Spanish tourism board was an underwriter of the show. If they aren't, they should be. After every episode, I'm ready to book a flight.

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How does this show compare to Jose Andres's "Made in Spain"? I thought a Spanish tourism board was an underwriter of the show. If they aren't, they should be. After every episode, I'm ready to book a flight.

I've watched Made in Spain twice, and I'm with you on booking the flight. On the Road Again seems more into showing all the people talking and driving, and I'm not entirely certain why we are supposed to be interested in that. Maybe it's just for the first show to introduce the players(?) If you cut all that out, there are maybe fifteen minutes or so of good food information, so you might have to be in the right mood to watch it. José Andrés' program, in contrast, is all about the food, and I really like the way they go from production in Spain to in the kitchen with the different dishes. Plus, the website has most if not all of the recipes on it, although that may change when the cookbook comes out.

I watch maybe two hours of TV a week, and I took the time out to watch On the Road Again. I'm not sure I'll do it next week. I am, however, looking up the listings for Made in Spain.

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From NY Magazine interview with Batali:

“My worry is, how many times can you watch me eating something and saying, ‘Boy, that’s good,’...That there’s no real payoff for the customer other than saying, ‘Hey, they’re having a great time, this is a great show.’ The blogs that hate it are gonna be like, ‘Who the fuck cares that he’s eating with Gwyneth Paltrow, she’s a vegan anyway,’ or whatever..."

This encapsulates why I did not bother with this show. And just think, I will get to ignore their trip to Italy as well.

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