Monday, August 27, 2007

Cuchi-cuchi Cooking, Dept.

Simply Delicioso - TV - Review - New York Times

The link above is to a nice little New York Times takedown of Food Network "star", Ingrid Hoffman. She's characterized in the piece in two ways that I found interesting.

First, as "the country's pre-eminent cleavage cook", eclipsing reigning Kleavage Kween, Giada De Laurentiis. Now, regular readers will know my history of odd (and likely disappointed) Google hits on this blog for "Giada De Laurentiis cleavage". Imagine, then, my surprise when I started exclusively getting hits for "Ingrid Hoffman cleavage" after my initial piece on La Ingrid. If any one thing could be considered an indicator of the extent to which this Colombian coquette has wormed her way into America's heart like, say, a heartworm, it's this subtle Google hipcheck to po' li'l Giada.

Second, the NYT reviewer criticizes Hoffman and her program as "less an authentic treatment of Latin cooking than an air of manufactured '70s Latin style." and goes on to invoke Hispanic malaprop jumpsuit goddess Charo.

And that's where I have to object strenuously.

I remember Charo. I watched Charo. I enjoyed Charo. You, Ingrid Hoffman, are no Charo! To begin with, Charo was so kitsch-fab that her very presence could bleach downy lip hair at twenty paces. Charo had va-voom to go with her bazooms. Charo even had actual discernible talents, not least among which was her Segovia-mentored guitar playing. Ingrid Hoffman, by contrast, is a blowsy bottle blonde who desperately wants to make "delicioso!" a catchphrase on a par with "Yum-O!" and "Bam!". She also desperately wants to convince viewers that the crap she's generating in her retro kitchen is somehow--¡arriba! ¡arriba!--"Latino fusion" cooking, when everyone knows that "fusion" is restaurant shorthand for "fuck no, I don't know how to cook this shit authentically, so I'm adding truffle foam and ponzu vinegar to make it, you know, fuse."

Ingrid Hoffman is not a chef, okay? Let's sweep that notion off the table right away. She's a demographic place-keeper designed to attract Latina viewers to Food Network the way Paula Deen is meant to attract fat Southern women (please to excuse redundancy) and Rachael Ray ADD-sufferers with Tourette's. My personal hope is that she (along with most of the on-air poisonalities at Food Network, frankly) will soon be gathered up in the Bad TV Rapture and...excuse me? what's the Bad TV Rapture? More on it at some later date. But trust me, network programmers are going to have some BIG fucking holes to fill in their prime-time schedules.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if opa Hoffman had to leave the Fatherland rather quickley in 1945?

the sobsister said...

Well, she hails from Colombia, not Argentina, but one never knows. Fertile ground for speculation. Thanks for writing.