Review: 5 Ingredient Fix

April 13, 2009 at 7:13 am

Originally published on Edible TV on April 12, 2009.


Upon seeing the first few trailers for Food Network’s new show 5 Ingredient Fix I had the same thought that many others did, “It’s another 30 Minute Meals.”  After having digested it a little I am now left with the impression that, “It’s another 30 Minute Meals,” sort of.


Host Claire Robinson has that cute perkiness one associates with Rachael Ray, she even has the gravelly voice that Ray has developed over the past few years.  However there are major differences.  Though Robinson has the cool, gruff voice her speaking pattern is quite monotone, it lacks the emotion that her genuine facial expressions convey.  She also does not employ the heavily choreographed hand gestures that on occasion distract Ray’s viewers from her message.


FYI: the “five” does not include salt & pepper since the host suggests all of us have them in our pantry already, or at least should.


The “5 Ingredient” communicates the same you-can-do-it attitude as 30 Minute Meals but with no time limit.  However long it takes to cook, is how long it takes.  At first I was put off by the limit of just 5 ingredients.  I am as much a fan of simplicity as anyone but at the same time I also adore foods with complex flavors.  Fortunatly, I have found that I still learn from the show and, to me, that is the most important thing in food programming.  I prefer to learn rather than being entertained.  Of course it is best if I can have both, but I’ll take substance over shiny objects any day.  5 Ingredient Fix gives an ample mix of both.


For those wondering where the newest FN cutie came from the answer is from behind the camera.  According to Robinson’s food Network bio, she is a Southerner whose background is in television.  She graduated from The University of Memphis in ‘99 with a B.A. in Communications.  But don’t worry; she isn’t another cog in the personality-driven engine that has developed at the network of late.  Robinson is also a 2005 graduate of The French Culinary Institute, which also produced Bobby Flay.


Robinson’s early career with programming includes stints with WREG-TV, WMC-FM radio (both in Memphis) and as a producer on hit shows like Food Network’s Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello and PBS’ Everyday Baking for Everyday Food.  She has the look, she has the hook, and most importantly Robinson has the chops for a long career at Food Network.


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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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