Skip to comments.Art Ginsburg, TV Chef Who Didnít Scoff at Cake Mix, Dies at 81 (Mr. Food)
Posted on 11/27/2012 6:28:21 PM PST by Evil Slayer
Art Ginsburg, who billed himself as Mr. Food in 90-second televised cooking lessons attracting nearly four million viewers for each, selling eight million cookbooks and presaging todays proliferation of celebrity chef shows died Wednesday at his home in Weston, Fla. He was 81.
His family announced his death, which The Associated Press said was caused by pancreatic cancer.
Mr. Ginsburg disdained haute cuisine as irrelevant to the lives of hard-pressed working folks in favor of cake mixes and canned soups. His recipes had 10 ingredients at most, and he shared uncountable timesaving tricks. His anybody can do it philosophy held that any home cooking is better than no home cooking. The recipe for his recipes boiled down to this: The less steps the better; the less ingredients the better.
Mr. Ginsburg was the son of a butcher and a butcher himself as well as an enthusiastic amateur thespian and his appeal rested partly on his often goofy, unaffected manner. His syndicated spots appeared on local news programs and talk shows in the manner of weather forecasts, and were distinguished by his tall chefs hat, gray beard and bad jokes, but most of all by his legally trademarked sign-off line: Ooh its so good!!
At his death, his vignettes of which he made 230 a year appeared on 125 local television stations, down from a peak of 168 in 2007. He wrote 52 cookbooks, and each month attracted 1.7 million unique visitors to his Web site. He peddled merchandise that included frozen food products, energy bars and gas grills. He endorsed products like spaghetti sauces and sweet corn. His company, Ginsburg Enterprises Inc., will continue; during his illness, an associate had already replaced him on the broadcasts.
A large part of Mr. Ginsburgs appeal was
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My mother told me that when cake mixes first came out all you did was add water. But the cake mix companies found women bought more if the instructions said add two eggs. I guess it made them feel like they were really cooking.
I thought he was... dead.
Something new with cake mixes now...they are shorting us on ingredients. What used to make a nice layer cake actually takes 2 boxes now or you have little skinny flat layers!!
They did that with coffee too.. no more 1 pound cans on the shelf & the prices are much higher for less coffee!!
I always loved his, “Oooh it’s sooo good!”
Every day the country gets poorer.
I thought I was imagining things!
(And yes, the 1-lb. can of coffee is now 11 oz. Andy Rooney on CBS's "60 Minutes" did a rant about this some 15 years ago.)
Actually, box cake mixes make very fine cake if one uses eggs and butter.