Eyes on Aida, a Review

September 6, 2008 at 8:47 am

Originally posted at Edible TV on September, 2, 2008.

Today I watched my first episode of Ask Aida and I have to say that it is quite good.  It is well conceived.  The flow, the information, everything works well.  And Aida is just adorable.  She really knows how to use her unique brand of sexy/cute to enhance the show.  She also knows her stuff.

Mollenkamp studied Hospitality Management at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, worked at Ernst & Young in Hotel and Restaurant Consulting, and ultimately ventured to Paris to attend culinary school at the legendary Le Cordon Bleu.  More important to her culinary prowess than her trials in the halls of academia, Aida was raised by an Italian-American mother and a French stepmother.  In early 2005 she joined the staff at CHOW.com where she works as an editor, appears in instructional videos, runs the test kitchen, is a lead food stylist, develops recipes, and writes articles.

The most disappointing thing to me about the show was its erie similarity to one of my own show ideas; apparently I’m not nearly as clever as I thought.  Then again, maybe I am; I’m just not as well connected as the person who created Ask Aida.  There, that should sate the old ego for a while.

Mollenkamp is assisted by the show’s resident nerd – I mean tech guru, Noah Starr.  Starr is humorous and his demeanor acts as both Man Friday and Snidely Whiplash to Aida.  He is as an actor, writer, teacher and foodie.  His TV credits include Late Night with Conan O’Brien, E!, AMC, MSNBC, and MTV.  Apparently he is drawn to acronyms.  Noah has also written for Disney, Paramount Pictures, McSweeney’s and World Wrestling Entertainment.  World Wrestling Entertainment?  I might need to rethink that nerd moniker.

I enjoy the fact that Aida prepares more than one meal or variation on the episode’s theme.  That is twice the recipes, twice the inspiration.  Rarely do I duplicate a recipe from TV but usually I am inluenced by them so the prospect of getting two for the price of one intrigues me.  Aside from the bonus recipes and geeky-coolness of the show I appreciate the amount of education that is built in.  They seemelessly teach without beating you over the head with it.  This is a one of the best food shows on TV.

Ask Aida airs on Saturdays at 12:30 PM ET.  If you have questions or would like to be on the show watch the promo below:


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Stuart Reb Donald

Stuart is a celebrity chef and award winning food writer. Donald performs live cooking demonstrations and penned the cookbook Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor."


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