I just watched Dinner With The Band on IFC. You know, that Sam Mason (WD50 alumni and ex-Tailor chef/owner) TV show. This show will not resonate with a lot of traditional jerk off to food porn types that tune into the food network. But I suspect that IFC watching crowd that watch The Rollins Show, and watched Dinner For Five might have found a new show to glom onto. In fact, I think the show might be a pretty even mix of both, plus… uhm… cooking.
What You Might Not Like
The show is more about the music than it is about the food. It is far from being an instructional cooking show, and if you don’t like the band, you are unlikely to make it through the episode. Right now, this is really a live music show with a chef-host. If it were my show, which it clearly isn’t I would tip the scales to feature a little more cooking. Most people that tune in will know who Sam Mason is and not know who the band is.
What I Really Liked
Inside of the cooking segments are the mechanics of a cooking show I could really love. Mason doesn’t dumb down the food and manages to talk through the food as he cooks it without being instructional. I don’t really know why, but I found the use of graphics/titling is amazing. That’s right, I said the titling was amazing. They define terms as Mason is speaking and label ingredients. It could be the nerd in me, but they are really effective and are every bit a part of the show (think Man On Fire remake with Denzel Washington). Each episode features a meal plus a cocktail/beverage. While I’d like to see more cooking time, what you do get to see is great, no bullshit cooking and very clearly Sam’s food. They also publish the recipes (even the cocktails) online here.
Worth Watching. Even if the music isn’t your cup of tea, the cooking clips are better than just about any cooking show I’ve seen. It does conflict with The Daily Show, but that’s why I have a DVR.