This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Culinary no-no #133

Culinary no-no's

In all the years I’ve worked at WTMJ, WISN, WUWM, Milwaukee Public Television, and the state Legislature, I have been fortunately blessed to have met and/or interviewed many wonderful, and yes, famous individuals. Of course, there’s an endless list of celebrities I’ve wanted to but haven’t met. One of them is this guy….


Having dined in three of his 467 restaurants, I’m pretty sure we could have a


Interesting conversation.

Emeril Lagasse is a bona fide star. Countless numbers of fans would dearly love the opportunity to meet him face to face. And they’d do just about anything to have that chance, meaning they’d fork out big chunks of their personal income. The same goes for these well-known chefs: 






Ummm, yeh, I’d like to meet her face to face up close and personal. No kidding.

But at what cost?

The fact is these celebrity chefs make all kinds of money in all kinds of ways:

1) Appearing on their own television programs


2) Their own endorsed products

3) Books

4) Speaking engagements

That’s all chicken feed compared to what these stars can rake in from live performances. So on the road they go, like rock stars, taking their culinary show into arenas where thousands of fans pay hundreds of dollars to sit and watch them cook. They may not ever meet their adored chefs, shake their hands, say “Hello!”  or even so much as sample a bacon wrapped water chestnut.

Are you following the bouncing meatball, folks?

Let’s say that I like Giada De Laurentiis.

I really, really like Giada de Laurentiis.

Would I pay anywhere from $50 to $300 to sit in an arena with 5,000 other foodies just to see her pour pasta into a colander and jabber for an hour?

The reality is that’s exactly what’s happening,

Back in the 1800's, P.T. Barnum had people like Lisa Hechesky in mind. The Wall Street Journal reports, "Lisa Hechesky, a 36-year-old library associate in Nitro, W.Va., has spent more than $1,000 on hotel stays and tickets to see chef Alton Brown perform six times. Mr. Brown is the host of the Food Network's food-science show, 'Good Eats,' and the commentator on 'Iron Chef America.' Each August for the past three years, Ms. Hechesky has gone to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn., and paid about $300 for a package that includes a night's stay in the hotel and a cooking demonstration by Mr. Brown. At the most recent show, Mr. Brown demonstrated how to make a smoker out of a box, and made smoked trout."

Excuse me?

And there are thousands like her all over the country?

Oh, yes!

Let's go back to the Wall Street Journal:

"Ms. (Paula) Deen is among the biggest stars on the live performing circuit. Deeana Healy, of Monte Sereno, Calif., paid about $2,000 last year to go on 'Paula Cookin' at Sea,' a cruise to Alaska organized by Greenville, S.C., travel agency CruiseOne. Ms. Healy's special wristband allowed her into areas of the ship where Ms. Deen attended cocktail parties, spoke on stage and signed cookbooks. Ms. Deen did little cooking during a demonstration, handing off the work to an assistant, Ms. Healy says, but adds that she didn't mind because she was there for Ms. Deen's personality, not a cooking course."

How often is a sucker born?

I don't think I'm misstating my case when I suggest that plunking down $300 to sit in some crummy seats just so I can see Emeril crack some eggs, turn on a blender or mixer, use a ladle, and yank something out of an oven might be comparable to a visit to the neighborhood cleaners. And not even an hors d'œuvre out of the deal?

Then there's the ultimate slap in the face. Your foodie idol is human after all. One more time. The Wall Street Journal if you please:

"Fans can be disappointed if the chef in person seems different from the television personality they have come to love. Debbi McLees, the manager of CruiseOne who put the Paula Deen cruise together, says that some audience members on the last cruise complained about Ms. Deen's bawdy humor. 'There were jokes I wouldn't even repeat to my husband,' says Ms. McLees."

Over the weekend right here in Milwaukee, Wine and Dine Wisconsin allowed patrons to see and hear about three dozen food and beverage experts for about $65, including my dear cousin, Doug MacKenzie of Great Lakes Distillery, makers of Rehorst. 

Sorry, Emeril, but.......


That's my cup of tea.



Good Kitchen Tips from two very famous women


Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of an ice cream cone to prevent ice cream drips.


Just suck the ice cream out of the bottom of the cone, for Pete's sake! You are probably lying on the couch with your feet up eating it anyway!


To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

Buy mashed potato mix. Keeps in the pantry for up to a year.

When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake.

Go to the bakery! Hell, they'll even decorate it for you!

If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant 'fix-me-up.'

If you over-salt a dish while you are cooking, that's too bad. Please recite with me the real woman's motto: 'I made it, you will eat it and I don't care how bad it tastes!'

Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.

Celery? Never heard of it!

Brush some beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.

The Mrs. Smith frozen pie directions do not include brushing egg whites over the crust, so I don't.

Cure for headaches: take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

Take a lime, mix it with tequila, chill and drink! All your pains go away!

If you have a problem opening jars, try using latex dish washing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.

Go ask that very cute neighbor if he can open it for you.

Don't throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

Leftover wine???????????? HELLO!!!!!!!?


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