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Who cares what the food tastes like? Did you see the shirt the cook was wearing?

November 27, 2007

In their never-ending quest to remove all programs of substance from their network and replace them with mindless fluff, the good folks at the Food Network have cancelled Emeril Lagasse’s flagship show, Emeril Live.

They will likely be replacing Emeril, a celebrated chef with ten restaurants under his belt, with a “food personality” such as Ingrid Hoffman, Giada De Laurentiis, Sandra Lee, Robin Miller, or any one of a hundred interchangeable, inoffensive females chosen as much for the way they look in a low-cut V neck as their cooking abilities. Giada may look stunning on a beach in Greece in her two piece swimsuit, but when it comes to actually teaching me something useful in the kitchen? Give me back Emeril.

I’m sorry, but hosting a food porn show on Food Network does not make you a chef. Running a restaurant kitchen makes you a chef. So say what you will about Emeril, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali and the other legitimate chefs astoundingly (and, most likely, temporarily) still on the network, but give them their due here. And no, Tyler Florence, whoring yourself out to Applebee’s doesn’t quite count.

The way I see it, there is only one possible person to blame for this decline in quality on the Food Network: Rachael Ray. Ever since she came out with her insipid “30 Minute Meals” (which no one but she can cook in 30 minutes), the network has gone steadily downhill. It’s now a race to the bottom of the food barrel between her and the other “hosts” of “cooking” “shows” on the network. Who can save you the most time? Who can be the most creative with a tub of Cool Whip and a jar of cherries and a store-bought shortcake shell? I can learn more about cooking in 10 minutes of Emeril than I could in a week of these new hosts.

As someone who in the past few years has started to really enjoy cooking, I find myself almost never watching the Food Network anymore. Call me old school, but I still want to learn something about food when I watch Food Network, and not just Giada’s swimwear preferences.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Lizzie permalink
    November 27, 2007 11:05 pm

    What perturbed me the most was Rachael’s “Thanksgiving in 60.” Thanksgiving is not meant to be made in an hour. Travesty.

    I agree about (Giada’s) Boobs and Rachael.

    …but how do you explain Paula Dean?

  2. Ashley permalink
    November 28, 2007 9:22 am

    Oh thank god there is someone else out there than can’t stand Rachael Ray. Everyone is obsessed with her because she is so run of the mill ordinary. Anyone who seriously likes to cook can make any of the stuff she comes up with from their own general knowledge.

    Give me more Alton Brown, who explains WHY you cook something the way you do or Mario Batali who explains the history of food.

    The Food Network was much better when it was directed towards those that actually wanted to learn about food.

  3. andy permalink*
    November 28, 2007 9:34 am

    Giada De Laurentiis sounds like a venereal disease. Two “i”s? Seriously?

    MTV started this trend back in the mid 90s, and plenty of networks followed. G4 and TechTV used to be two digital cable channels about techno gadgets and video games. Now they are one channel about serving the lowest common denominator of sedentary pubescent boys.

    Spike TV? Am I the only one who remembers when this was The Nashville Network? It then switched to just TNN, then it tried to call itself The National Network, then The New TNN, and now it’s Spike TV…a channel that shows Star Trek and MacGuyver re-runs when it’s not counting down the 100 hottest babes of the week.

    When a niche channel becomes popular it abandons its format to service the lowest common denominator of TV audiences. It’s even happened to ESPN. They show fucking POKER all the god damned time. A SPORTS NETWORK SHOWS PEOPLE PLAYING CARDS. All. The. Time.

  4. Rob permalink
    February 24, 2008 3:37 pm

    I agree in part–I could do without the “tasty travels” and “weekend getaways.” They seem less about food than a narcissistic attempt to show everyone how great their lives are. I know the shows are kind of about food, but most people just want to learn about cooking, not what kind of food they serve in Fuji. But as far as low-cut shirts go… Giada is an excellent chef, and if she wants to show some cleavage, that’s just fine with me. The quality of her work isn’t diminished by it. I still prefer Alton Brown though, hands down. Without the cleavage, please.

  5. James permalink
    March 1, 2008 12:48 pm

    Actually, I’ve found Giagia’s recipes to be excellent. She can definitely cook and I’ve tested many of her creations, all of which were delicious. But Sandra Lee? What a bunch of junk she peddles. My step-parents have one of her cookbooks and it reads like an advertisement for Betty Crocker foods. I have not tried any of Ingrid’s recipes, although I don’t find her show to be that bad. It’s mildly entertaining and if she wants to show off her natural assets I’m OK with that.

    Racheal Ray should be taken out back behind the shed and shot.

    I never got the Emeril thing. I just didn’t like his incessant “Bam!”.

    Alton Brown has always been, and always will be, THE MAN as far as I’m concerned.

  6. Rick permalink
    March 19, 2008 2:22 pm

    It always amazes me that women will attack other women for looking nice. I’m betting you don’t.
    Giadia is actually a very good cook that happens to look very nice.
    As for Emeril Lagasse he is very talented but when he started cooking dishes that cost more than I make in a week he lost his relevance to me. Mario Batali is an excellent cook and I still enjoy him when I can. Alton Brown while great at showing you why you do something and has great shows is not a chef or anything like it. He can read and follow a recipe and has great personality.

  7. April 12, 2008 10:34 pm

    Actually, Giada is a hell of a better cook than Emeril is. Emeril is a clutz.

  8. Jack permalink
    June 10, 2008 2:47 am

    wow, are yall a buncha pruiny barren old “ladies” who watch tv to actually get something from it? when will old people learn that if you’re gonna be on tv you gotta be hot and actually have boobs, dont hate on the hot italian cuz she looks better than you

  9. Reality Check permalink
    December 11, 2008 7:49 pm

    You guys crack me up. For one, Giada has been on food channel for quite some time now, and she is a fucken outstanding chef. If anyone has seen her catering show, they’ll know that not just horny old men think giada’s got something going. I’ve made a few of her dishes myself and they’re incredible, she definitely knows what shes doing. And besides, look at Giada De Laurentiis next to Heidi Klum and you will realize she doesn’t fit the stereotypical mold for beauty. Shes gorgeous, but unique looking. We all find her smokin hot because shes attractive on top of having an amazing talent and fame.

    Oh, and by the way, Emeril Lagasse may have a few restaurants, but you watch that man cook and you can tell hes more concerned with the reaction of his crowd than the fucking meal. Hes an entertainer, plain and simple. And for someone to bash another entertainer on the foodnetwork just because she has breasts, exquisite breats at that, makes the basher a sexist.

    Humble Eater

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