The Katie Brown Workshop

Katie Brown

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The Katie Brown Workshop

Copyright © 2013 Douglas W Jerving.
All Rights Reserved.

This review first appeared on

I am one of those people who joined Yelp just so I could add my 2 cents to this conversation. I couldn't help it! When I saw the number 3 status on Google I figured there were a few people besides me that are amazed by what a dunderhead Katie Brown appears to be.(My wife and I both refer to her as Krappy Brown). I have never seen even one of her TV shows. The commercials on PBS (we don't have cable) say it all.

First, I am bowled over by her pretentiousness in the one commercial that assumes that anyone would even care less why she was given a Create TV show, assuming that she is advertising to people who have never heard of her. Next is the stupid craft-crappola that you see in the commercials. In one she is painting a plain old rectangular piece of plywood (lots of talent there). Then you see her decorating a dollar store vase with a bow, and cutting out a piece of metallic green material; and finally, we see her lifting a stencil of a plant shape she has just sprayed over to reveal a bright green and quite uneventful blob. Worse than any of her Krappy-Krafts however, are what she passes off as fine dining. She should be the head chef at Guantanamo. I will only mention the one thing that stands out as most horrific from the commercials. I think maybe, just possibly, it is a piece of flank steak stuffed with God knows what. But in all seriousness, it looks to me like a burlap bag sewn on both ends and stuffed with some sort of scrambled eggs. I could just about hork every time I see that so called delicacy! French cooking's got nothing on her!

As for honorable mentions and runners up for worst TV cooking shows, 2nd place goes to another "Crappy", as in Crappiole and John. From the beginning it was obvious that these two people hate each other but can't find success without their neurotic dependency on each others' put downs. I imagine that after the show is over and the cameras stop running, Capriole goes into a Shannon Doherty "this is your brain on drugs" mode, using John as the object of her frying pan emplacements!

Next has to be the inane "I am more important than you think I am" attitude of the "master-chef" nobody really wants to study under, Joanne Weird (ah, I mean Weir). If you want to learn how to cut an onion, she can show you how, but don't count on learning much else. And, yeah, I really have to agree with all the posts that sense something truly weird is going on behind the scenes between her and her guests, although I cannot imagine why anyone would want to experiment with their food in ways that only George Castanza on Seinfeld would have found intriguing.

There are some truly great chefs on these forums however, and I cannot end without at least recognizing them. Andreas Viestadt of New Scandinavian Cooking is amazing. Simple, elegant, traditional Nordic food (I am Norwegian-American) with a great twist. The blond gal before him was good too, but the dishwater dingbat after her is a ditz-sickle.

Lidia Bastinavich is a great teacher of Italian cooking, whether traditional or American. Cook's Country and American Test Kitchen are great sources of both inspiration and solid science behind great cooking, even if Chris is a bit strange. Steven Raichlin is always interesting if not a bit repetitive. He does tend to be a tool for Weber sometimes, but I always learn some new tidbit for my own grilling. Jacque Pipan is the man for French, if you like Continental, and Julia Childs was great before she went senile. I love the show from her zombie years where she drops a pan of flames on the floor and continues as if nothing ever happened. After that, she was apparently only allowed to let her guests do the cooking. But I would still offer my pound of butter on her altar (as in the movie about the gal who worshipped at her altar). Last on my list of greats, but with no less admiration, is Rick Bayless, who proves that Mexican cooking really can be gay, even while on occasion bringing in his younger hot pepper daughter for the sake of our heterosexual fantasies. The recipes are awesome, and I even almost believe that the guests at their dinner parties are real friends of theirs, and not just well selected actors.

All in all, I understand that cooking shows are not just about how to cook. They are really about entertainment. Maybe Katie Brown could learn a little from some of the latter mentioned. But I doubt it.


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