Mike Buzzelli

Column Mike Buzzelli

Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and published author. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine, and an active board member of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, the Carnegie Arts Initiative and the Carnegie Screenwriters. His book, "Below Average Genius" is a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column here in the Observer-Reporter.

Getting behind Chef Hines

January 25, 2013

I’m being a good Pittsburgher and watching some celebrity cooking show, only because Hines Ward is on it. I was mocked when I avoided “Dancing with the Stars” during his winning season, and I thought I better get on board with this to avoid being kicked out of my fair city. They take their football heroes very seriously here, but you guys already know that. I find black and gold banners up to the West Virginia and Ohio line. I’ve even found a Steelers store in Breezewood, which is more than two hours and fifteen minutes away. If you go with my lead-footed brother it’s only an hour and forty-five minutes away, but the centrifugal force will push you from the front seat into the trunk.

On the show, celebrities compete for their charities. They got some good talented people on this show: Kathy Najimy, Carnie Wilson, Gilbert Gottfried, and the aforementioned Ward. There’s also a guy whose biggest claim to fame is that he married someone famous, but he’s rapidly turning out to be one of my favorites. Let’s call him Mr. Tori Spelling, because I forgot his real name. He seems like a really nice guy, but I am rooting for Kathy Najimy because she makes vegetarian stuff. Luckily, she and Hines are on the same team. So, I’m not actively rooting against him. I believe if I was rooting against him, pitchfork-wielding villagers would be storming my front gate.

The show is hosted by the super-cute, sometimes annoyingly so, Rachael Ray. The other host is Guy Fieri, who sort of looks like a troll doll with a bowling shirt on. He’s pudgy and he’s got spiky hair. Seriously, troll doll material. I bet he squeaks when you push him in the tummy. Another weird thing about this capital-G Guy is that his last name looks easy to pronounce, but, apparently it isn’t. It sounds like they’re saying “fetti,” like confetti, and not Fieri like fiery. It really confuses me.

I probably shouldn’t make fun of him too much, because he has led me to some fantastic diners, drive-ins and occasional dives. Check out the Dor-Stop in Dormont. I had a really great omelet there.

I have watched a bunch of stuff on the Food Network and, while I really like it, I’m no closer to being a better cook. You would think I would have picked something up by now. I think it’s sad that I watch a cooking show and I can only make spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, and scrambled eggs (not at the same time). The best thing I make in the kitchen is a call for delivery.

I am, however, often seen in a kitchen. Perhaps, I’ve been seen in a kitchen too much to know so little. Something from these Food Network shows should have transferred over, some trick of osmosis. At the very least, I should be better at boiling the water for the mac and cheese.

There is a rule in aviation; any crash you can walk away from is a good one. My rule for cooking is very similar; any time I come out of the kitchen without having to use a fire extinguisher, is a good day.



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