5 Reasons to watch Bitchin’ Kitchen

This past week, Bitchin’ Kitchen made its TV debut on the Canadian Food Network — and I had absolutely no idea what it was.

I honestly thought I was pretty on the ball when it comes to internet trends.  While I may have my occasionally embarrassing days where I’m posting links on Twitter that everyone a year ago — have you seen that guy who improvises piano songs on Chatroulette?  I mean, wow! — I generally like to think I’m on top of things.

But Bitchin’ Kitchen hit me straight from left field, and while I’m disappointed that I didn’t find out about it sooner, I’m glad I caught on eventually.

If by some chance you haven’t seen it before, this should help:

It’s okay if you want to go explore the web series.  We’ll be here when you get back.

It’s a bit nerve-wracking to imagine a video podcast jumping into the world of half-hour television, particularly when the internet has proven that some concepts really do work better five minutes at a time.  But if the first episode is any indication, Bitchin’ Kitchen has figured out a way to do it smoothly, while still holding onto the charm and timing that made it successful.

It’s a show worth supporting, and we can think of five really good reasons why:

1.  The Host

What?  She’s cute!

But on top of that, Nadia Giosia is funny and utterly comfortable in front of the camera, playing “Nadia G.” as somewhere in the middle of stereotype and a genuine character, whose show is not always entirely in her control.

When you consider how many shows are on the Food Network feature people who’ve been on television for YEARS and still can’t laugh on camera without sounding utterly artificial (yes, we are looking at you, Ina Garten), having a host with Giosia’s energy is welcome.

2.  The concept

It’s a cooking show with jokes.  You wouldn’t think that was revolutionary, but there it is.

There’ve been lots of shows out there with a slightly ridiculous bent, to varying degrees of success.  On the one extreme are the programs based entirely on the goofiness of the host (like Bob Blumer’s various efforts, or any that all seemed to happen in the 90s and featured a bickering couple); on the other, there are instructional shows that use scripted humor that doesn’t always shine, usually featuring over-sized props.

But the focus has always been on cooks who were (at one point told they were) funny, rather than comedians who could cook.  What makes Bitchin’ Kitchen different is that it built by the latter, and keeps its priorities fully in mind.

3.  They didn’t play it safe

This is a show that looks VERY different from everything else on the Food Network:  from the set to the host, the music to the random appearance of mini-sketches featuring a small group of cast-mates.

Consider that the average dose of humor on the Food Network is Ina Garten chuckling to herself about adding an extra quarter-teaspoon of vanilla (“And Geoffrey will never know, a-huh-huh-huh-huh-huhhhhh”).  Perhaps then you can see the risk in a character with an unpronounceable Israeli name (so his voice is piped in to say it whenever he’s mentioned) to discuss spices, or a greased-up, Speedo-bearing muscleman who often simply flexes at the screen.

And yet there they are, singing about hangovers and regret-sex in a Food Network promo, and somehow it all makes sense.

It would’ve been easy for Bitchin’ Kitchen to tone down its weirdness to fit into their new TV home, but instead they went for it whole hog — their characters, jokes and personality are what got them this far, and they’re playing them for all they’re worth.

4. They’re Canadian

I gotta represent.

5.  They’re different

After any amount of time on Bitchin’ Kitchen’s website, you’ll get the drift that  you’re watching the construction of an empire in progress.  The content is all very clearly targeted at an age group that punches a wall every time Rachel Ray says “EEE VEE OHH OHH”, and has never lounged in rooms like the ones in Giada’s house, somehow bathed in both sunshine and soft candlelight all day long.

Indeed, it feels like Bitchin’ Kitchen knows exactly who they’re interested in entertaining:  people who like food, but feel no connection with those celebrity chefs whose teeth are whiter than their dishes.

I was about to say, “Young people, in other words,” but I don’t think that’s strictly true.  Rather, I think it’s that same audience that’s getting tired of the parade of pretty faces, cooking from packages and telling you no-one will notice — it’s really anyone who will appreciate a cooking show that admits it’s a farce, and then has all kinds of fun with it.

Again, I may be entirely behind the times on the web series, but it’s fascinating to be right here and watch as it jumps over to television.  All the goofy spirit of the online shows has held so far, and it’s well worth tuning in to see if they can keep it up.

RATING:  Watch!

  • http://www.aperfectversionofmyself.wordpress.com Tara

    I caught the first episode of this and really liked it. I don’t know if it will make it on my PVR list just yet, but I wouldn’t change the channel if it came on.

  • http://sweetness-bakery.com Kay

    You Canadians get all the good stuff! No fair! (sulks off to watch Iron Chef America).

  • http://Thespitefulchef.blogspot.com Kristie

    I’m also pouting that I don’t get the good Canadian stuff. You guys get the best of the US, PLUS the best of the UK PLUS any funny, original Canadian programming. Waaaaaah.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dmcco01 Deanna

    Well, I guess if SyFy can have a cooking show, then Food Network can have a comedy show.

  • mirinblue

    This is such a great site and no=one knows about it! You should post some of your gorgeous food pics on tastespotting and then more people will love you like I do! And all of your recipes really work for me.

  • http://plasticless.com Martin

    “improvises piano songs” – That’s a euphemism I have never heard before

    I just moved onto a place with no TV – I will miss the Italian show where a random tanning bed ho gets to be ‘chef for a day’ and her professional staff do the golf clap thing after she finishes demoing each item that will be on her menu (oh and they all drink a big glass of wine after each demo too) – I actually prefer TV shows where I don’t speak the language – there’s more to think about

  • emc

    Have you seen Chuck’s Day Off? It’s my new favorite cooking show and I admit it’s partly because I have a raging crush on Chuck, but I also find his style and his food really accessible. Of all the shows on FN, that’s probably the most relatable for me. Plus, lots of great shots of Montreal.

    I’ve seen the ads for Bitchin’ Kitchen, but I find rockabilly chicks so exhausting that I’ve given it a wide pass. You do make it sound like fun, though.

  • http://www.bitchinlifestyle.tv Ange from Bitchin’ Kitchen

    Hey!

    Ange from Bk here! Just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed reading this post. It definitely made us all smile.

    XO Ange

  • Mui

    For you disappointed US peeps who don’t get the show : there’s a petition to sign to convince Food Network US to air Bitchin’ Kitchen 🙂 http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=6317886723&topic=13627&ref=mf

  • emc

    Okay, I’ve watched a few episodes of Bitchin’ Kitchen, and I have to say, I’m won over. It’s pretty awesome.

  • Janeace

    “It’s a bit nerve-wracking to imagine a video podcast jumping into the world of half-hour television…”

    Seriously? Nerve wracking?

    • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Mike

      Yes. I am a delicate flower.

      Other things that wrack my nerves:

      Deciding between regular and spicy versions of anything
      When it’s about to rain
      How the cat looks at me sometimes
      Responding politely to comments

  • mimi

    Bitchin Kitchen, the best show on the food network.

  • http://google nancy jacks

    please change the name of your program to a name less offensive. when i saw the name of your show i could not believe it. i have had it with all the bad language on tv and yours was the last straw. i wish you had had more respect for the ears of little ones and people like me that dont talk like that and dont want to hear it. i understand that you want to be different and draw attention to yourself but you picked the wrong title. i know you wont change the title because everything is already set but there comes a time when people have to stand up for what is right.

    • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Mike

      Jeez, if you don’t like Bitchin’ Kitchen, I really don’t know how much you’re going to be into our next project, Anal Sex Pantry.

    • Kristian

      Get a life! Join the other snoots that get offended by “swearing” and get rid of your television.

  • Metalkittie

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Nadia G and Bitchin’ Kitchen! I don’t miss it!

  • GiggityGiggity

    I like Nadia G and Bitchin’ Kitchen but I like Alton Brown better. His breasts are bigger.

  • Alicia

    I tried watching this show a couple of times because I really want to try to give it a chance, but I just can’t do it. Although I can appreciate it how stands out from the crowd, the host seems to try a little bit too hard for my liking and her speech is unladylike. Just IMO.

    • Alexandra

      That’s hilarious, “unladylike” speech! What century do you live in? I haven’t heard that unless it came from an old person, or maybe that’s me being 17. Nevertheless, the show is funny but still a little weird.

  • Seravy

    you have terrible taste. bitchin kitchen is so forced and phony it’s unwatchable. no offence to the host who seems like a nice chick, but the “character” the producers of this show have her do to sell this show is on the same level as making her wear a clown costume or dress up in an animal suit to sell cooking. really. her natural character seems to be urban influenced with italian roots so if she got a “normal” show along those lines, i think it would be 100x better than this dribble.

  • Fontalmadiaon45

    Bitchen kitchen wrecked cooking shows! It was the worst thing that I’ve ever watched. I cannot believe that it’s even on tv so fake and there jokes suck. Please take off air!