Why am I reviewing Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen, a cooking show? Not too long ago, the Food Network followed me on Twitter after I watched 10+ extreme chef episodes in a row. I loved it, by the way! This is important, because they have a following number of about 8300, with over 1.3 million followers. This is a ratio of about .006 or 3/500. For them to follow me had to be a conscious choice on the part of whomever is running their feed. With the Food Network now paying attention, it would be a mistake for me not to talk about them, both on Twitter and my blog. Besides, I’ve always been a fan of the Food Network anyway.
However, Bitchin’ Kitchen is not on the Food Network. Instead it’s on their sister network, The Cooking Channel, where all of the Food Network’s cooking shows were banished after the Network decided to focus fully on reality shows. The show originally started life as a web series of three-minute videos that got turned into a full show running on the Canadian Food Network and eventually proved popular enough to import to the US. After watching a few episodes I have to state that Bitchin’ Kitchen is quite possibly one of the worst cooking shows I have ever watched.
Bitchin’ Kitchen is a comedy cooking show with attitude. Nadia G, the on-air personality, is the creation host Nadia Giosia and is a wise-cracking ‘bitch’ who wears gaudy outfits and speaks in snark complete with random Italian phrases. In addition, there’s Panos, the fish guy; Yeheskel, the Israeli Spice Agent and Hans, the shirtless food correspondent; all are as flamboyant as the host. To be honest, it’s very tough to describe this show – it’s just one of those shows that has to be seen to be believed.
As you can see, this is a meta-cooking show, one that doesn’t take itself seriously. Bitchin’ Kitchen is trying to be entertaining as a well as informative, which I can applaud. However, the problem is that the whole thing is forced and Nadia just comes off as annoying and unfunny.
In the episode linked above, Nadia is making a pan pizza passed down “through her family.” At about 5:00, after coming back from a commercial break, she goes off on a tangent about her mother for 30 seconds ending off with “Every time I see the glass half empty, I fill it with Chardonnay,” after which she spends several seconds drinking a glass of wine. The entire segment serves no purpose. It’s not funny and it just comes across as awkward.
The awfulness extends to the cooking segments themselves. A few moments after the wine skit, after mixing a few ingredients, Nadia switches bowls to mix a few other ingredients. You can hear the bowls clink on the counter, to which Nadia quips “The ol’ switch and a slam, eh?” What was the point of that, exactly?
Her cohorts are equally unfunny. There’s a clip on the site called SnuggleYeheskel.com. Yeheskel, after describing Chipotle, says, “Flavors like Tomato….and vinegar will add spice to your dish.” He then winks and says, “But where’s the spice in your life?”
This leads into a fake ad for Yeheskel’s fake dating website, where you send him your info and he comes to your house and “whisks your feet.” The clip lasts a minute. For a twenty-minute show, this is a lot of time to waste on a pointless, idiotic skit.
Bitchin’ Kitchen seems like a parody of a cooking show, a skit Saturday Night Live would do to poke fun at the concept. Unfortunately, it isn’t, since the recipes are real and very tasty if the reviews are any indication. The format might have worked as bite-sized chunks on the web. However, as twenty minute long show, the comedy gets old fast and Bitchin’ Kitchen is nothing more than an annoying, grating mess.
The cooking show hosts that last for years are the ones who are captivating but ultimately don’t upstage their culinary creations, whether they’re on the Cooking Channel or PBS. A good example is this clip of the late and great Justin Wilson:
Justin, like Nadia, starts off with a random tangent, but unlike her, once he starts cooking, he focuses fully on the recipe at hand. He doesn’t break for jokes or skits with others, because the food is the star. Then, at the end of the segment, he subtly weaves the opening tangent back in, giving it a purpose.
Obviously, Bitchin’ Kitchen currently has a fan base, almost certainly hip women in their twenties and early thirties, which is why this show remains on the air. However, I don’t predict this show lasting more than another season or two because the women who watch this will age and no longer have the time or patience to watch a show that is as focused on nonsensical meta-humor as it is on teaching recipes.
Nadia Giosia would do well to learn from hosts like Justin Wilson, because right now, she’s probably just going to be remembered as a flash in the pan.