Anne Burrell — my culinary alter ego

She’s blonde.  She’s chipper.  She says things like “rockin'” and “bad boys.”  And I absolutely adore her.

Anne Burrell is the kinder and more effective of the two chef teachers on Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America, she’s Mario Batali’s spunky sous chef on Iron Chef America, and she’s also the host of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef.  Clearly, the woman has mad skills in the kitchen.  This is not, however, why I have a crush on her.  Nope — if I’m honest, I have to admit that this is something of a narcissistic infatuation.

I know for certain it’s narcissistic because many of the qualities I love about Anne Burrell could also be applied to Rachael Ray whom I have no affections for whatsoever.  Anne Burrell does these things EB-style, and I get a serious kick out of watching her.

First off, she smiles a lot on her own show.  She smiles like she loves what she’s doing–like there’s no greater joy than chopping up asparagus and onions.  She is having fun.  No doubt.  And while she’s doing it, she teaches–not with silly abbreviations that she’s going to explain fully or multiple pronunciations of the word endive but with the kinds of practical information that might actually make a difference in the outcome of the food.

She also does a happy dance.  Actually, she probably does her happy dance unapologetically and without reservation at least three times during a show.  This is not silly tomfoolery done for the cameras.  It’s not a gimmick.  It is her uncontrollable bodily expression of the pure joy that comes from eating yummy food.  Anyone who sees that happy dance and doesn’t believe it to be sincere and spontaneous (not to mention charming) may need a swift kick to the head.

And let’s not forget her sweet vocabulary.  She likes to “get things rockin’.”  She calls different food parts (like pieces of chicken or diced up bits of veggies) “bad boys.”  And sometimes those come together in silly statements, like “Let’s get these bad boys rockin’,” which is way better, by the way, than the boring alternative “I’m going to saute these shallots over a low heat.” 

This chickpea has spunk.  She’s passionate about what she does and about being helpful.  And she owns her silly geek impulses and works ’em.  What’s not to like?

P.S.:  She also has a degree in English.  Hello.

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