Friday, September 29, 2006

Jean-Robert "dissed" by "Yokel" 12!

The Dish co-host Meg Galvin with Cincinnati Symphony Maestro Paavo Järvi and Jean-Robert (March 31, 2006 show)

That's what the Cincinnati Enquirer's TV critic John Kiesewetter says about the unexpected news that WKRC, to be known forthwith as "Yokel [not local] 12" by this blog, has canned the highest profile chef in this town from the eponymously titled, The Dish with Jean-Robert de Cavel. The Cincinnati Post's Rick Bird ("Jean-Robert cooked", 9/26/06) writes:
Channel 12's local cooking show "The Dish," airing 9:30 a.m. Fridays, debuted a new season last week with Cincinnati's star French chef Jean-Robert de Cavel gone from the show.

Produced at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State, the show premiered last year hosted by institute chef and faculty member Meg Galvin and de Cavel. As the show enters its 47th episode, Channel 12 and de Cavel had "a good parting," according to Sehring.

De Cavel, the former chef at the Maisonette, now owns Pigall's and runs three other highly-praised area restaurants.

"He's got so many irons in the fire and so much going on that for him to do this on top of everything else was getting to be too much," Sehring said. "The show will evolve with Meg and other hosts."

Sehring said the station is open to looking for another vehicle in which to feature de Cavel.

Galvin's new co-host is Storm Bennett, a radio personality from WKFS-FM (107.2) with guest chefs expected most weeks.

How special! No offense to Meg, but she's not exactly a name on the tip of local foodies' tongues -- and, puhleeze, I am REALLY not sure why we should be expected to care that an FM d-jay (who?) is a new co-host. I mean, what is the purpose of even having one whose knowledge of cooking and dining are non-existent except to make a little cutesy "happy talk"?

But let us not forget Mr. Kiesewetter's contribution to the mix here:
'The Dish' parts with de Cavel (9/27/06)

Jean-Robert de Cavel has been dissed by "The Dish."

The part owner of Pigall's and three other area restaurants has been dropped as co-host for the second season of the weekly TV show (9:30 a.m. Friday, Channel 12).

"It came to me as a bit of a surprise a few weeks ago. I really don't know what the reasons are exactly," says de Cavel, 44, who speaks with a thick French accent.

"I thought maybe it was they (viewers) didn't understand me, but then they (Channel 12) offered me another show," says the Newport resident.

No longer will the entire half-hour be devoted to making one meal with a celebrity, says Wayne Jung, Channel 12 integrated marketing director.

Chef Meg Galvin - de Cavel's co-host last year - will be "far more informational," teaching proper use of kitchen utensils, and creating healthy meals for families, he says.

Midwest Culinary Institute chefs and students, and DJ Storm Bennett from KISS-FM (107.7), will appear.

"We all agreed Chef de Cavel's talents were not being fully utilized in a format like this," Jung says. The chef also was very busy with his restaurants.

But de Cavel says that's not true. "I'm a busy person, but I enjoy doing TV because it was a change of pace for me."

Jung says he's talking to the chef about "a more free-wheeling" weekly show, or monthly or quarterly specials.

This whole thing reeks to high heaven to me. From the beginning, the show was produced with what looked like public access quality production values, despite the state of the art kitchen studio at Cincinnati State. And the graphics! How cheeseball. Just look at that logo and tell me students at the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning couldn't have come up with something more professional and classy looking??

With the locally-produced programming coming out of Yokel 12 these days consisting solely of news and local sports shows, maybe it was too much to expect that they could produce something worthy of Chef de Cavel's talents. Of course the brilliant scheduling move Yokel 12 made of placing it on the grid on Friday mornings at 9:30 am (!) instead at a more demo-friendly Sunday morning where foodie fans might actually be around to see it was just another blunder that cannot be blamed on Chef.

Maybe this was the best thing that could have happened though. I mean, Scripps-Howard, parent company of The Food Network, is located in downtown Cincinnati, only a couple of miles away from Cincinnati State's studio. And I imagine somebody at the FN might be really happy to snap Jean-Robert right up for a new show there!

Word to the wise: Jean-Robert's recipes for the first season are still archived HERE if you want to browse!


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