The Chew: Will You Watch "The Biggest Food Show in Daytime Television?"

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When I first heard about a food-themed daytime talk show called The Chew, it sounded like a Saturday Night Live skit to me -- it rhymes with The View, of course, and can't you just picture 16-time host Alec Baldwin donning orange clogs and making an Italian version of Schweddy Balls as cohost Mario Batali?

The Chew Mario Batali
Mario Batali, The Chew (image courtesy ABC)

But The Chew is real, and it premiered today. Soaps are out on daytime TV -– and this show's producers are betting that food is in. They brought in some big food personalities from the world of cable as cohosts of a lot of different segments.

  • Mario Batali of Iron Chef America and my first-love cooking show Molto Mario. Today, Batali made pizza outdoors, via satellite, at the site of a fundraising golf tournament. Is he too good for his own show's premiere? Will he be seen as The Diva?
  • Top Cheffan favorite Carla Hall (she of "hootie-hoo" fame and the nicest person in reality television, ever). She has a segment called Carla's Rescued Recipes, which takes traditional family favorites and updates them. (Her mom was in the audience and looks just like her.)
  • Michael Symon, also of Iron Chef America: He shared his favorite kitchen tool, a Microplane grater/zester (yawn).
  • Daphne Oz -- daughter of Dr. Oz and author of The Dorm Room Diet. She's a healthy-eating, Alicia Silverstone-looking type.
  • and Clinton Kelly of What Not to Wear, now an "entertaining expert" who's doing a lot of the show-hosting heavy lifting. He made cocktail party nibbles.

My first thought upon seeing the show was that I clearly don't watch a lot of daytime TV -- this show is loud; everyone talks fast; there's a lot of "Whoo!" from the audience. And for me, everything was a little too beginner-level. On the other hand, they pack a lot in and I liked that they flash the price per serving for each recipe they make. And I'm probably not the kind of person who'd benefit most from a daytime show about cooking -- I'm more the kind of person who wants to write her own daytime show about cooking.

I'd like to see them have food bloggers as guests or guest hosts, stat -- it seems like a gimme, with food bloggers appearing regularly on so many morning shows. But with the pace of The Chew's segments and number of hosts, I don't know how they'd shoehorn guests in. I'd also like to see them slow down and debate more food topics, a la The View -- lord knows THAT would be an entertaining hour of television.

What about you? Did you watch The Chew? Will you?


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