Step aside, Sandra Lee. Move over Rachel Ray. There's a new diva in town and her name is Michelle Harris. Fans of Michelle Harris probably are crossing their fingers right now that the Food Network picks her up for a show deal and plasters her face (and body) all over the country.
Michelle Harris is the rising star of the little known AmericanLife Network, an obscure channel available on some satellite networks or cable lineups. She hosts Alive and Well with Michelle Harris, a weekly program devoted to healthy eating, living, and relaxed lifestyles. On any given episode, you might see Harris jet-setting to Paris, getting a message in a bath of rose petals, or making a tofu pumpkin pie.
Michelle Harris is Host and Co-Producer of Alive & Well. Michelle, a Nutritional Consultant, lifestylist, journalist and former radio personality and television actress, is one of the media’s most popular and visible spokespersons on natural and healthy living. A frequent contributor to numerous lifestyle publications; cover stories, interviews and articles with Michelle Harris almost continually appear on newsstands and in retail stores. Michelle's magazine columns include "Live Longer with Michelle Harris", "Celebrity Health Secrets", "Healthy Travel Tips" and "Star Bodies". The press have called Michelle a "celebrity lifestyle diva" and "one of the most influential spokespersons for natural health in the last 10 years". Whether you see Michelle on TV or on the cover of a magazine, you can't help but notice her healthy glow and youthful appearance.
Yes, the marketing copy loves to tout Michelle's healthy glow and appearance since considering that she has been a vegetarian since the age of 14. She seems to contradict the prejudice that vegetarians having sickly appearances or unhealthy low body weights. Quite honestly, I don't see how she manages to look the way she does without eating a juicy porterhouse once in a while. In fact, her recipes are so low in fat and sugar, one has to wonder how Michelle became so well- .... *ahem* .... endowed.
But no matter.
Being a nutritional consultant, it does seem that Michelle Harris is knowledgeable on vegetarian cuisine and health-food lifestyle issues. You can check out one of her recipes on YouTube right now. She has a great instructional for making a low-fat, tofu key-lime pie. It's a pretty good glimpse into what may be to come for the Food Network, should they decide to keep the recent trend of buxom domestic goddesses stacking their daily lineup.
Michelle takes time during the key-lime pie episode to demonstrate the differences between types of tofu, and to showcase a few varieties, such as enriched and low fat. The tofu key-lime webisode was good, but I have a few questions for Ms. Harris. Number one, is that pudding mix soy based? If I am correct, pudding is made with gelatin, which is an animal fat, which would thus de-vegan your Vegan recipe. Number two, when you plate up that slice of pie, is the whipped topping soy-based? Because most whipped topping is dairy based, and that could also negate the vegan title of this recipe.
Finally, does Michelle have any kind of cooking or chef experience? Not that I really care, but when you bake a pie crust before adding the topping, this is called "blind baking," On most cooking shows, this term would be emphasized and called attention to.
The show is very nice and well-produced, although the use of porno style background music gets uncomfortable at times. My big caveat is this: as a man in an apron, I do not approve or agree with vegan or vegetarian cooking on the whole. Some dishes are OK and tasty, but as a lifestyle my beliefs lie with Texas cattle ranchers and other meat-based entities. I also believe that you can be perfectly healthy and still eat meat. Even if it is possible to live and survive on a strictly vegan diet, it still is not much fun.
Michelle is very expressive and very beautiful. I could see her becoming a very big star, and possibly have a healthy eating show on the Food Network. I see it unlikely that Michelle could dethrone Giada as beauty queen of the kitchen, but I think Sandra Lee should probably step aside.
Since winter of 2004, I have been exploring the world of cooking and helping out my fellow men in their quests to better themselves in the kitchen. My name is Adam Byrd, you can learn more about me and my mission on my about page. Connect with me on MySpace, ThisNext, or FoodCandy.