July 23, 2004

R.I.P. Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith, a.k.a the Frugal Gourmet, died almost 2 weeks ago and I didn't notice (Seattle Times obit) Shame on me. Do you all remember him? He had this great cooking show and put out a couple of cookbooks I still like to this day. Here are some of his recipes on the net. He came off the air after allegations surfaced concerning his inappropriate sexual contacts with some young boys. Never proven, mind you, just alleged. But that was enough to get him off the air.

I really liked his show. He may have been a little less nice and approachable in person, though:

He made his name and his money on television and in print selling an image as a man of god, warm and generous and the very model of moral superiority. In my one telephonic encounter, though, he all but told me to go Cheney myself, Madam. Thanks to a starstruck editor in the mid-Eighties, I had to approach him for a recipe for a magazine story and it was if I had dialed Tourette’s Central. Suffice it to say he did not end the conversation with “I bid you peace.”

Anyway, Rest in Peace, Minister Smith.

This kind of got me thinking about the other cooking show I used to really like. Anyone else remember Justin Wilson? He is also dead, unfortunately, but was a fascinating man (obit and here), and boy, could he cook.


No, they are both still dead, as is Generalissimo Francisco Franco. The reason for the update is that the second page for the Justin Wilson obit has this great link to listen over the web to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage music broadcasts. I am thinking the day is looking up!

Posted by Random Penseur at July 23, 2004 11:35 AM

I used to like Justin Wilson. His recipes were crap, but I liked how he used to say: I gare-OWN-tee it!

Posted by: Helen at July 23, 2004 11:56 AM

I used to watch the "Galloping Gourmet" when I was little. Yes, I was a strange little girl... *grins*

Posted by: Amber at July 23, 2004 01:02 PM

I don't know that I agree that his recipes were crap, but that's because I don't recall ever trying to make any of them. I did like the show, he was quite entertaining.

The Galloping Gourmet, Amber? What other skeletons lurk in your closet?

Posted by: RP at July 23, 2004 01:45 PM

I'm more of a Jacques Pépin kind of guy. Does it make me a bad person, though, that I can't stand his daughter?

Posted by: David at July 23, 2004 02:03 PM

Totally agree with David that Pepin's daughter is annoying!

Posted by: GrammarQueen at July 23, 2004 02:06 PM

I am currently obsessed with Alton Brown of "Good Eats". He even has his own blog!

Posted by: Mandalei at July 26, 2004 10:18 AM

Mandalei, I share that obsession, although I did not know about the blog. Thanks for the tip!

Posted by: RP at July 26, 2004 10:32 AM

OK - here's the true test of cooking show geekdom - do any of you watch Iron Chef? Now that's a cooking show! Agree with Amanda re Alton Brown - I love the mixing of science and down-home tradition, and he has cool gadgets!

Posted by: GrammarQueen at July 27, 2004 11:25 AM
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