What Happened To Food Network!?!
What the fuck happened to Food Network?!?!
No seriously! What happened to Food Network?
I took a bit of a break from cable/satellite TV. A fast internet connection was essential to our way of life. Kids needed it for school. I needed it for work. It made sense to go the Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime route. So, about five years ago I cut the cord, so to speak.
When I left, Food Network was the place one went to LEARN from the professionals! It was entertaining and informative. Food TV was staffed by solid, trained chefs who imparted their knowledge in a way that challenged the casual viewer and engaged the learned. It was the place to go to learn the different knife cuts. It was a treasure trove of knowledge where one could learn how to properly truss and roast a chicken...and yes, there is a wrong way to roast chicken.
And then...what happened?
I leave cable. Then, through travelling for work, I find myself spending a lot of times in hotels. I consoled myself with the fact that Food TV and NatGeo are places I could go to find entertainment on days when Netflix was not doing it for me and there was no Football.
But here I sit. Watching what used to be Food Network. What is on you ask? Some fucking show with four people, strained banter, and teaching us culinary novices how to make…..wait for it….nachos.
Nachos!?! Are you fucking kidding me? Julia Child is rolling over in her grave! The genre of entertainment she largely created has been reduced to talent-less hacks with symmetrical faces demonstrating techniques for creating fucking nachos and motherfucking pita pockets?
No!! That is not what we want!
We want the old days. We want Emeril’s annoying sweaty ass yelling BAM at well-prepared food! We want The Two Fat Ladies slathering shit in freshly churned butter! And we want Paula fucking Deen!!
I know I know, she said some racist shit into a phone, by herself, under a blanket. But shit people, she apologized! Redemption used to be a big deal in America. Let her be sorry, let us forgive her, and let her show us how to make shit with copious amounts of butter and lard! And shame on Food Network for not having her back. Why doesn’t anyone have anyone’s back anymore? Was she wrong? Absolutely yes! Did she admit it and apologize though? YES! Those Food TV pussies did not renew her contract and totally cut ties.
And who did they replace her with? Trisha Fucking Yearwood. GawdDayum! Miserable. Fucking food comes right out of a fucking Betty Crocker cookbook.
Wondering what the interview process was like on that hire. Probably went something like…
Staffer: Hey, Trisha Yearwood likes to cook.
Boss: Really? She’s a household name. Ask her if she has ever said the N-word. If not, hire her ass!!
Ever seen her show? Casseroles and chicken wings. Fried chicken and fried potatoes. Why not just give my mom a cooking show...she cooks hot garbage too!
Like, what the fuck ever happened to Tyler Florence? Ok ok ok...stop...make a mental note. The very next time you want to really make something kickass, Google “Tyler Florence ___________ Recipe.” All of his shit is outstanding. All of it! And what does Food Network have him doing? Running a Goddamn Shittiest Cook of All Time game show. Tyler Florence is the real deal. His skill is impressive.
But it is not just Tyler:
Cat Cora!! What the fuck happened to her? Another chef who is the real deal. But, gone.
Ming Tsai! What the fuck happened to him? His food was outstanding! He showed us peasants how to infuse traditional American fare with an Asian twist. Took my cooking to the next level, that’s for sure. But, gone.
Alton Brown! That dude mixed the science of food with the art of preparation. And, I am positive some people will argue, but I believe the underlying premise of his show was strong. I think what he was always trying to tell us is that you do not have to be an artist to create showstopping dishes. All you really have to do is follow directions and use quality ingredients. He presented the information in a very Bill Nye kind of way that was at the same time fun and consumable. But, gone!
Emeril! That guy was Mr. Foodfuckingnetwork! They built the entire fucking channel around him. And he was everywhere. Network TV, movies, guest appearances, and print. Emeril’s absence from that network is unforgivable. He got pushed to the Cooking Channel, where he dwelt in the darkness of Food Network’s minor leagues until 2016. Gone!
Jamie Oliver! The Naked Chef was a show that really showed me, and I am sure a lot of Americans, that British food is not inherently garbage. He is a brilliant and very successful chef who had the ability to come across on TV as relatable, yet, authoritative. And with good reason! The guy came up in the food business the hard way. No culinary school for him. Jamie Worked his way through the ranks of some of the best kitchens in England and he earned the title of “Chef” by becoming the equal in skill of his mentors. There is no place for him among such culinary luminaries as Trisha Fucking Yearwood and Guy Fucking-Glasses-on-the-Back-of-His-Head Fieri?!?! Nope, gone!
The list goes on and on. And in fairness, these particular hosts may have simply been tired of the grind. Take it from a guy who did a very content driven radio show for many years, constantly having to shit compelling things to talk about and perform is grueling.
I prefer, however, to think that the big bad network tossed these talented people aside in favor of Trisha Fucking Yearwood and that Pioneer broad.
The Evolution of Food TV’s Content
This brings me to my next narrative in the decimation of Food Network’s failure to remain true to their roots. The lineup.
I have already expressed my displeasure with Trisha Fucking Yearwood’s show, so she can sit this section out. No wait! I may not think the food she makes has any place on a network, much less any table I might sit at. But, at least she is cooking and instructing to the best of her abilities. Her show, as shitty as it is, is at the very least, done in the spirit of classic cooking shows. One host, demonstrating her skill for her audience. Narrating and explaining the “why” behind each step in the process is the hallmark of a cooking show! She does that……………….badly. But, she does it.
And THAT type of show is now in the minority on Food Network.
What we get now is Chopped. FUCK Chopped.
We get Supermarket Cook Shit For Guy Fuckwad.
We get Kids Bake Shit For Actress and The Cake Making Dude.
We get Bake Shit In A Hurry For Giada.
We get game shows. That’s what they are! They are game shows. They are giving us game shows.
And if it is not a game show it is that Guy Fieri showing us places to eat...which is actually kind of cool. Guy is a twat, but watching these successful restaurateurs doing their thing is kind of awesome.
Look, I’m not saying that there is no room for the game show or Guy Fieri. Variety is the...you finish the cliche. I’m just saying that your bread and butter is cooking. Show us how to cook proper food...not fruit leather and quints. ←That was another stab at Chopped. Fuck Chopped.
Impassioned plea from me, an honest to God chef who routinely learned things from Food Network. Bring back real chefs who cooked food that we wanted to learn how to make. Teach us technique and process again. Show us what to stock in our cupboards and what tools we need. Show us people who are the best at what they do, doing what they do best. Do those things! Then sprinkle in game shows and Guy Fieri.
I am going to stop. It is late and I told my wife I was going to sleep hours ago. Notice I did not eviscerate Giada, Ina Garten, and Bobby Flay? Well that is because they are the real deal.
Giada is really good at what she does. Educated and has solid technique. A lot of her food is not up my alley, but she is an expert in her craft.
Ina Garten is probably the best home cook I have ever seen. She makes amazing food in the traditional cooking show format.
And, well, Bobby Flay is above reproach. Successful, and fucking NASTY in the kitchen! And just a little bit surly… I dig the shittiness.