Is &Amp;Quot;Extreme Chef&Amp;Quot; The Beginning Of The End For The Food Network? - "It's Only Food" Blog at - 241249

"It's Only Food"

Is "Extreme Chef" the beginning of the end for the Food Network? 
Jun. 26, 2011 8:54 am 
Updated: Jul. 3, 2011 7:53 pm
I just saw a promo for Extreme Chef-where contestants make a dinner on a car engine during a hurricane or an omelet in the middle of a bullfight-mindless entertainment like that. 
Instead of educating and informing, the "Food" Network has resorted to one more  mindless competition,  altogether lacking in susbstance, and with  the unrepentant intention  of dumbing down this particular medium.
It was bad enough when the camera cared more about the feckless and arrogant judges and the culinary personalities other than the skills and acumen of the chefs themselves.  
Ladies and gentlemen, has The "Food" Network sold their souls and completely jumped the shark?  
I believe it has, and we are in for an endless buffet of   Mako Meatloaf, Sand Tiger Tacos, Great White Waffles  and Hammerhead Hot Dogs; all cooked up in a curry me mum made and grilled with Pablano peppers and EVOO that that are off the hook from a recipe I got of the back of a Kool Whip can while vacationing in Florence Italy when I wasn't throwing a party in my beach home on the Cape.

If I ever see Snookie in a chef's hat I will shoot my TV!
Your comments are appreciated on this topic
Chef John
Lets get this party rollin!!!!!  :} 
Jun. 26, 2011 8:58 am
Just for the record I am just trying to be funny, not offensive, I am just a purist at heart, Julia is rolling in her grave, but she would be the first person to stick a knife between her teeth and jump of the boat to wrestle an alligator to win the competition. Just don't get it. Thats all. And I also understand ratings and TV, so I want to stay away from that chestnut too. Lets just have fun.
Jun. 26, 2011 12:26 pm
I so agree with you. I used to love watching Food Network but it's off-putting to turn to it and see these screaming, raving lunatics berating people. Please bring back the "normal" people, even if they do entertain on the "cape"!!! LOL.. remember that episode with Ina where her "friends" made a beach scene for her with planted palm trees, pillows, and the wind was blowing so hard.. sand in the clams!
Jun. 26, 2011 4:13 pm
I also agree. We don't need more "extreme" TV and "un"reality shows. This may be an extreme thought - but how about we just teach people how to cut up a chicken - how to cook a chicken - how to use leftovers to make chicken and noodles. We don't need extreme anything - but a lot more basics everything. I teach a cooking class for young mothers. I've been asked how to make coffee - how to cook a chicken - how to mix ingredients. We don't need profanity yelling "super star" "celebrity" chefs - - just common sense cooking from a basic standpoint from a chef who doesn't make the "everyday" person feel inept because they can't make all the french mother sauces - - - - come on - - let's get back to basics.
Jun. 26, 2011 5:12 pm
I used to watch foodnetwork daily. I learn something every day about how to cook. I have very little intrest in foodnetwork today. It seams that they have totaly forgotten why they started and now go for the "intertainment" element. I suppose they will have Bart Simpson on The Next Food Network Star.
Jun. 26, 2011 5:44 pm
I must agree with the preceeding comments. If they are making so much money from competitions, maybe they should open an additional channel for food sports. Maybe they have move the good shows to The Cooking Channel? Dunno, I can't get that one.
Jun. 26, 2011 5:47 pm
Excellent comments all!
Jun. 27, 2011 5:32 am
Here are some show ideas: 'The Real Housewives of Hyde Park' 'The Crisco Shores' 'Big Broiler" 'Keeping Up With The Crustaceans' 'Corn on the Cob Wives' 'Sauteeing With the Stars'
Jun. 27, 2011 6:05 am
The image of Snookie on a foodie show made me gag. I also like your title of Keeping up with the Crustacean's!
Jun. 27, 2011 6:14 am
That is one proud father!
Jun. 27, 2011 6:31 am
I totally agree with everyone. I used to love watching the Food Net but as of late, forget it. People like Rachael Ray and Paula Deene have turned into Ms. Hollywood and are far too over the top for me. I liked them better when they were toned down a bit, now everything is so exaggerated. Well, I could go on and on about other things I dislike about the network but not enough space or time.
Jun. 27, 2011 7:18 am
I think once they get their own brand of cookware on the market they forget their roots. Don't get me wrong, I am glad for their success, but success used to be owning a restaurant, now they are treated with superstar status. Pretty bad when a chef gets celebrity treatment. used to be a free beer after work was enough
Jun. 27, 2011 9:44 am
Not only will I not watch Extreme Cooking (and I am sucker for cooking competition shows) but I won't wath ANY of the cheftestants they have on "Food Network Star". I think the Director of programming is spending too much time primping to be on "Food Network Star" than they are actually looking at the programs they are greenlighting.
Jun. 27, 2011 10:43 am
LOL, I didn't know what you were talking about, but I was just watching tv & saw a commercial for it. They are cooking outside & a huge rainstorm hits. You can add acid rain to your titles, lol! Yeah, I'd want to eat something cooked outside w/no covering in the pouring rain . . . NOT!
Jun. 27, 2011 5:42 pm
I agree with you and all the above. They lost me with Meat and Potatoes and the grilling show. And where did Alton Brown's show get sidelined? They have devolved to a new low.
Jun. 27, 2011 5:51 pm
Alton Brown, one of my favorite cause he gets back to basics and the science of cooking.
Jun. 28, 2011 3:53 am
And all the guys running around practicing for the diabetes triathalon-shoving food in their face, eating burgers as big as their heads. And all within 5 minutes while people cheer you on "Whoever pukes first wins man"! Now Thats entertainment!!!!
Jun. 29, 2011 6:07 am
The up side of the decline of the Food network is that people who know how to cook can now aspire to teach others in "at home" cooking gatherings. The more surreal the networks become, the better the "real" world...even the kitchen becomes. TV's weather channel ... on mute... is about the best fare our there, in my opinion.
Jun. 29, 2011 6:31 am
The need a good crime show with a chef detective Maybe something like "Escoffier and Hutch" or "Culinary Minds" or "Slaw and Tartar"
Jun. 29, 2011 6:34 am
Try the "create" channel. Ming Tsai, Lydia Bastianich, Rick Bayless, Cooks Country, BBQ University, Scandinavian Cooking, Julia and Jacques ( I would watch an hour of Jacques Pepin just cutting up stuff )Chef Paul Prudhomme and many others. Just food and cooking "a la Julia"
Jun. 29, 2011 8:47 am
I so agree w/ you chefjohn! Snookie on a cooking anything would make me gag! And to see any of the "Jersey Jerks" as celebrities makes me laugh. "Keeping up w/ the Crustaceans" is still making me roll on the floor. I miss more of Alton Brown. And dig up some Julia for peat sakes!
Jun. 29, 2011 8:50 am
Totally agree Chef John! I used to be able to have the Food Network on non stop on the weekends and love every episode. Now not so much!
Jun. 29, 2011 9:24 am
You know, we were watching Chopped last night, and I get so irritated at the judges...they give these contestants 4 random ingredients, and have them cook an appy, entree' and dessert in 20-30 mins, and all the while acting as if the end result is complete garbage b/c it's not perfect. I would LOVE to see the judges given the same task, time limit and ingredients, and see how well they do it. They were griping about pasta being undercooked last night, and they had 20 mins to cook takes that long for me to get water to boil!!! That is my 2 cents...I will step down from my soapbox now. :)
Jun. 29, 2011 9:37 am
That should have read that they have to cook each course in 20-30 mins. :)
Jun. 29, 2011 9:56 am
I certainly agree with everyone here. I have no interest whatsoever in any of the "reality" shows. Every where you look it's competitions! Can't we just get back to basics and good food. Not these off the wall, weird ingredients. And I don't even have words for how much I dislike the competitions to eat the Biggest, richest, fatest ANYTHING! Thanks,Chef John, for bringing this subject to the forfront!
Jun. 29, 2011 10:19 am
OMG...I have been thinking this for about a week since I saw the first trailer for the show. Its unbelievable what they are putting on as a "culinary" show. I was just at a taping of Hells Kitchen last week and supposedly the contestants had ONE hour to prep their meals. When asked how long her ribeye had been marinated, one contestant said - 4-6 hours. How is that possible? Reality TV, I think not. TV cooking as it is today is also RUINING the minds of young culinarians. I attend a culinary school with a bunch of kids HALF MY AGE and almost every one of them thinks they are going to be a TV star when they finish their 9 month program at school. Mind you, most of these kids don't actaully know how to cook at all. They grill and make potatoes and call that cooking. Its crazy how everyone thinks there's a shortcut to a comfortable living by becoming a TV star chef. ARGH! Great blog.
Jun. 29, 2011 10:32 am
I'm so sick and tired of TV nowadays - - - commercials, drama, commercials, hype with drama, more commercials. Saw the promo, husband & I exchanged glances, shut off TV, and went out for a walk. Much more enjoyable :)
Jun. 29, 2011 10:47 am
I hate to say "ditto", but all of you who are bad rapping the Food Network lately have my vote. I used to spend hours watching and learning. Never mind ...
Jun. 29, 2011 1:26 pm
And if I hear the word "amazing" one more time to describe something I am going to scream. Say it enough and nothing is amazing anymore.
Jun. 29, 2011 2:01 pm
I think the Food Network is going the way of TV in general... catering to the lowest common denominator. Most of it is mindless garbage. Ugh. Whoever mentioned the Create channel is right - now there's some serious food TV. Love it.
Jun. 29, 2011 4:02 pm
I like "Culinary Minds" ... that actually could be a cute show. And I agree w/you completely about the overuse of "amazing" and other superlative descriptors. What's left? It is something I am trying to guard against in my own speech...the overstatement factor.
Jun. 29, 2011 6:08 pm
I think that's the way of tv stations... remember when TLC (The LEARNING Channel) was educational?? Guess the Food Netweork is just following suit!
Jun. 29, 2011 7:14 pm
I miss Julia Child....... wonder what she would say....
Jun. 29, 2011 7:46 pm
Great blog, chefjohn. Cable television and the networks have been seduced by the loud, rude crude fake-reality WWF-type business plan. Go figure. Look at the number of those Real Housewives of WhoCaresWhere shows. But cooking? Go figure. Fingers crossed those shows fade after the summer. Thank you chefjohn!
Jun. 29, 2011 8:02 pm
Well, Chef John, you opened a can of worms (not for eating though) with your opening comments. Most comments agree with you as do I. Remember Graham Kerr as the Galloping Gourmet? Shows like that were shows worth watching. No bad boy theatrics, just good repartee and cooking with clear explanations of what was being done and why. Now, at 70, I still travel a lot to teach cookery, to learn new things from different cultures. Hate it when everybody can only find one word to describe food "It's delicious." This included those on the internet with their "from at home" chefs and recipes. There are many good words to describe what is being eaten but using that word to describe how the product LOOKS or SMELLS is rather ridiculous. Finally, there was a show from England called PIE IN THE SKY which had the main character as a chef/detective. Interesting things happened sometimes. Thanx all. 'nuf sed. plamuk aka travellingchef
Jun. 30, 2011 3:36 am
I am in complete agreement. If you would rather watch something instructional, try "FOODWISHES.COM". You'll rarely see the chef; just the star of the show - the food.
Jun. 30, 2011 3:42 am
My hope is that we will return to "boring" food shows or educational shows on the basics. I work with people who don't even know the basics of how an oven works or how to re-stock items that are low in the didning room. but I have been doing this for 35 years and they are fresh out of college and know how to do everything better.
Jun. 30, 2011 3:43 am
sorry-found another grey hair this morning-least it wasn't in the food :)
Jun. 30, 2011 5:33 am
ditto ditto ditto. I was actually saying this same thing about ESPN (and the Food network). I compared them to MTV - remember when it showed music videos? I do. I remember when t came on - it was nothing but music, and now you have to go to MTV 2 or 3 or 10 to see a video...I have been thinking that there are a few things going on - the reality TV thing has gotten ridiculous, and we don't watch hardly any of it. But I think that with the current ecocnomy what we are seeing is a variety of things converging. From the Channel's corporate perspective - Reality shows are cheaper to produce, get sponsorship, and they have people begging to be on them for free. For the contestant's perspectives, they are a chance to earn quick money, become a star, have the things that they wouldn't ordinarily have a chance at - FAME in a box. And from the (majority) of watcher's it's a chance to be entertained. Cheap, fast, easy laughing entertainment. Oh and you get to feel better about yourself watching other people fail.
Jun. 30, 2011 5:36 am
PS - i think what people really need, is what someone else mentioned earlier - shows about how to use whole ingredients, using leftovers, pairing dishes together to make complete, healthy meals, how to substitute, cut fat/salt/sugar back. I would love to see shows on how to make any recipe taste great and still be heart/diabetes friendly! how many people do we see tryign to cut down on salt fat or sugar and don't know how?
Jun. 30, 2011 5:39 am
I completely agree with you. They add the cooking channel and now they have to fill time with that stuff. Really the world does not need more mindless TV.
Jun. 30, 2011 6:08 am
LOL! I completely agree. The real chefs that 'made' that network have been pushed aside to make room for crummy "cooking personalities" It really makes me ill. By the way, you wouldn't happen to be a fan of Anthony Bourdain, would you? He's been saying that sort of stuff all along!
Jun. 30, 2011 6:14 am
I have to comment on the Snookie remark - obviously you've never seen the Canadian Food Network show Bitchin' Kitchen. It's not Snookie but it might as well be. I can't remember the host's name but she is unbelievably annoying. The first time I saw and listened to her for five minutes, my thought was that Tony Manero and Snookie had had a love child and this was it.
Jun. 30, 2011 7:02 am
I used to watch the food network all the time and now, I agree, too much "in your face" reality shows. Uuuughh. I just want to watch Ina cooking on the beach for Jeffrey :) I do however still tune into Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (it's off the hook!). That's about it though.
Jun. 30, 2011 7:04 am
Also I totally agree with AZ - Food Network is turning into MTV in the way that they don't cook anymore. AND I also agree I would love to see shows about real world situations, like cooking with leftovers, cutting the fat out of traditional dishes, etc...
Jun. 30, 2011 7:09 am
I am willing to bet that this blog has the most intelligent readership of any food blog. Every response has shown clarity, wisdom and thought. Thank you for all your comments and making this a great discussion. And Anthony Bordain is a culinary god!!!!!
Jun. 30, 2011 7:19 am
I have to say that the one cooking competition that I enjoy is "Iron Chef: America." Especially when Mr. Morimoto is cooking! Watching the dishes they create is fascinating (I almost said incredible, but then I thought the sarcasm might not come across. :]) As for all of the stupid reality shows- since when did we exalt "witches of a different letter" as in any show that starts with "Real Housewives." Those women are nothing more than back-biting hags. (regardless of how physically attractive they might be, their personalities make them hags.) I just don't believe that we should put them on tv as examples of acceptable behaviour. Back to The Food Network, as a newbie cook/baker I could really use informative shows- I still don't exactly know what braising is- especially ones that would give ideas about how to make a weekly grocery budget last! Individual shows like $5 Dinners don't help when you have to buy so many different fresh ingredients for one weeks worth of meals.
Jun. 30, 2011 8:22 am
They have gotten rid of really good food shows like Emeril and Sara's Secrets, just to name a few, for that kind of cr@p! Great blog!
Jun. 30, 2011 8:48 am
I really enjoy Chopped, it's fun seeing what they come up with and I love Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives but otherwise I don't watch Food Network anymore. I do love No Reservations but I watch that on Travel Channel. Like Shanon above, I miss Emeril's cooking show!
Jun. 30, 2011 10:40 am
perhaps we should send a link to this to the food network people! And I wouldlaso say that i recently inherited a signed original printing of kitchen confidential - talk about off the hook!
Jun. 30, 2011 11:13 am
I could really use some tips on how to cut up and cook wild game meat. :)
Jun. 30, 2011 11:47 am
AZ, I have been thinking the same thing, about sending this link to the folks at the Food Network. "Here's what members of the country's most popular food and cooking website are saying about the Food Network!" Think anyone would care?
Jun. 30, 2011 1:24 pm
Love Love Love this blog ChefJohn! Great comments everyone! I'm so glad someone else said it. I hardly watch foodnetwork anymore. I use to watch it all the time but I stopped for a few reasons top 2 I think are I find the internet a better source for learning and finding recipes tested and reviewed by "real people". Second reason my husband hated it, it always made him hungry and he would get up to eat something at midnight. So since my husband is out of town this week I have been watching more food network than normal, when I saw the commercial I thought what the heck, this, has to be a joke!? I also agree with Doug, I never really watched the other seasons of food network stars cause life is busy (I got 2 little kids). So this week I have been watching it and I am unimpressed, not with the talent of the contestants but the reality tv aspect of it. I didn't turn on a cooking network to see how you plan on beating another contestant with surivior tv tactics? I want to see you win cause you got the talent and passion. I won't even turn on this new joke of a show. That being said, here is what I do like about the food network...Alton Brown, the mans a genius. Even after culinary school and experience cooking at restaurants he is one of the few people I feel I learn alot from. I have never watched his show and not learned something, felt entertained and wanted to recreate the dish he made. Bonus is my husband loves him also. I also love shows like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for the simple fact we are a military family, we move often and I'm already road mapping where I want to go based off of great places to eat that I see on TV. I also love the aspect of seeing real people talk about why the restaurant is so good. I do like chopped and Iron Chef, I love seeing real talent, cooking under pressure, I like to think of what I would make (I so would fail under this pressure I know it lol). I love the challenges and last cake standing, my passion is cake decorating so I love to see people I still want to be like, Collette Peters, Bronwen Weber and Anne Heap. I really love seeing what I like calling the real cooking stars (Chefs from resorts,restaurants and casinos)on TV showing the world what it's really all about. There was a commerical I remember for a cake show, I can't remember what it was but I saw some chick jumping through a water fountain holding a tiered caked and was like wtf is this...thats the I DON"T want to see (anyone know the name of that one?) I don't even get to watch all the challenges I do want to see due to real life keeping me busy. ChefJohn has inspired me to create my own food network challenge idea so here it goes: 8 Contestants, 4 treadmills, watch as old rivals have to team up to win the MOST AWESOME, EXCITING,ULTIMATE CAKE CHALLENGE EVER PUT ON TV!! One contestant must hold a 5 tiered stacked wedding cake weighing at least 50lbs and must be at least 3 ft tall while the other must decorate the cake to please our special guest Snooki. Keep in mind she likes things Fake and Tan, theres your theme, but thats not all every 30 seconds the MPH and incline will be increased. You have 30 minutes to complete your master piece. Will our contestants be able to overcome this challenge or will they all fall flat! I could of done a cooking challenge but on a treadmill? Thats not feasible while a cake is. OFF TOPIC QUEStION: Is there a way to find out when someone replies to a blog? Like how another comment is added after your own, or even to notify you something was added to your own blog? Like a email, anyone that uses FB should know what I mean. I have a hard time tracking posts I like cause I cant check the post often enough. TY!!
Jun. 30, 2011 1:43 pm
Also saw the commercial and thought this was a new low in "entertainment". Certainly not something I am interested in spending my time watching!!!
Jun. 30, 2011 1:47 pm
I saw that ad just last night and thought, 'OMG who dreamt this up.' It used to be a really classy network with solid cooks/chefs and recipes. I guess if this garbage starts to be the norm, I will no longer watch Food Network. I will not watch that new show.
Jun. 30, 2011 5:56 pm
Hmmmmm yeah...I loved the food network...loved watching Next Food Network Star...then they had to indroduce a person like Penny..and well..what can I say that whole persona turns me off. If I wanted to watch stuff like she puts out I'd be watching the Jersey Shore, which Im not. Could you only imagine if she would actually win??? Yep its the end of the Food Newwork as we use to know and love it, pity.
Jun. 30, 2011 6:07 pm
@ Matilda273, I was thinking the same thing! I don't think anyone would watch her show. Kind of like if we saw Martha Stewart's bad attitude on camera, it would be hard to watch her. I hear shes mean but you don't see that on screen. I don't like Penny but I mainly find it to be the shows fault, placing people in a bad light for ratings. I'm sure there are problems behind the scenes in these types of shows but I don't want to see it.
Jun. 30, 2011 6:25 pm
Just in case the food network ever does look at this, I'd like to second Athenarose's comment about wishing Alton Brown's show was still on. I love to know the science behind cooking skills.
Jun. 30, 2011 7:46 pm
Haha! You told a funny! I don't watch- the shows don't hold my attention. I think Alton Brown is good- I can learn something AND be a little entertained. Something to be said for natural charm of a person/cook. Going to extremes to entertain misses the boat. Gotcha! Good blog. Look forward to your next one :)
Jun. 30, 2011 8:37 pm
From watching Gordon Ramsey's shows I have learned a great deal about food prep,restaurant management, cleanliness, and where the real and Tv worlds draw the line. I am more thoughtful about meat after seeing GR raise his own pigs, slaughter them and feed them to his family. The Tv world is trying to make money and create talent they can bank on. Extreme Cooking is so stupid I was floored it exists. But some cooking shows really educate and that is what I am looking for, not a geek fest. I grew up on Julia Child and Graham Kerr. I don't need cutesy stuff. I respect someone who will close a restaurant that is a Nightmare. If some food is going to kill someone I want a ranting angry host. I prefer BBCs programming.
Jun. 30, 2011 9:43 pm
I compare Food Network to another cable channel. Remember when MTV first came on the air? It was music videos and news. Now its just a bunch of .
Jun. 30, 2011 9:55 pm
Great blog! I used to watch the Food Network every single day...usually with a notebook and a pen handy to take notes. Then it started going downhill. In fact, about a year ago I switched cable providers and to this day I have no idea what channel the Food Network is even on. I guess that says a lot about how disenchanted I became!!!
Jul. 1, 2011 4:14 am
Chefs should never have become celebrity status. Straight teeth and hair are nice if they are a fabricated chef, but most of the chefs I know and have worked with are (sorry if you find this uncomfortable) tatooed, ear ring wearing, ex-junkie alcoholic did time guys that swear and enjoy the ladies. But when it comes down to cooking and getting busy in the kitchen, there is no band of merry pirates I would rather spend a day with in a 25 foot square box of knives, heat and flame. These cutsey people on these reality shows would probably break into tears if a chef really laid into them about their food. It is a tough world with tough demands and takes a certain personality to handle the intense amount of stress involved on a daily basis. If you like Bourdain, then you must read Jason Sheehan's "Cooking Dirty" a true tale of the life of a "real" chef. And I like the idea of sending this to The Food Network, tell your friends to post and when we hit 200 resposes I will send it along to them. Have a great day all. Have a safe 4th and happy cooking!!!!
Jul. 1, 2011 7:05 am
Ooooh John, I love Jason Sheehan! He used to do be the dining critic for Westword, a newspaper here in Denve and his reviews were, as you can well imagine, shockingly fun to read. I'll definitely be picking up his book - I had no idea he had even written one. Thanks for the tip!
Jul. 1, 2011 7:47 am
Oh, what a great blog. I despise the reality shows...on Food Network and on every other channel, too. And they are taking over. Gordon Ramsay deserves a skillet upside his head, and for pete's sake, quit trying to make mediocre people who try way too hard to be over the top into the "next" star. Chopped should be chopped! Give me more Alton Brown! And Alex, you are so doesn't get much more annoying than Bitchin' Kitchen! The comparison to MTV was a very good one for those of you who did that, and chefjohn, you have created a firestorm of like minds! : )
Jul. 1, 2011 7:50 am
They have certainly reached an all time low with this "show". I did watch the premiere episode, my first and LAST time for sure. They need to get back to some serious, realistic, and as you said, informative programming!
Jul. 1, 2011 7:53 am
Oh, what a great blog. I despise the reality shows...on Food Network and on every other channel, too. And they are taking over. Gordon Ramsay deserves a skillet upside his head, and for pete's sake, quit trying to make mediocre people who try way too hard to be over the top into the "next" star. Chopped should be chopped! Give me more Alton Brown! And Alex, you are so doesn't get much more annoying than Bitchin' Kitchen! The comparison to MTV was a very good one for those of you who did that, and chefjohn, you have created a firestorm of like minds! : )
Jul. 1, 2011 8:10 am
And BTW, the "Chopped" judges DID have a show where they were the Chefs-it was amusing to see the looks on their faces when told one of their dishes wasn't up to par. The winner donated to his/her fave charity, but hearing the negative comments, and having the tables turned...well, it put them in their place. And it was hard to learn that Iron Chef is no more "REAL" than the other shows. They know in advance 3 possible secret ingredients. They have a shopping list and on that day, they know what they are preparing as they have practiced at least 4-5 times to make sure they can complete their dishes in an hour. They even pick their opponent ahead of time. Terribly disappointing...
Jul. 1, 2011 8:12 am
When Food Network introduced the Cooking Channel it seemed that all the informative shows were pushed to that channel and the "game shows" stayed on Food Network. I don't get the Cooking channel any more but I sure liked it much more than what "Food Network" has become. As for "Bitchin Kitchin", I have to say that I think the humor in that show is wonderful!
Jul. 1, 2011 8:17 am
Great read! (I would say great blog, but all the comments are interesting too!) I'm a sucker for Chopped and Food Network Challenge because my kids enjoy them as well, and Guy's Big Bite because it just seems to be the most "real" cooking show on there. Everything else kinda makes me cringe. And want to smack all the pretty little ladies and tell them to pull their hair back and stop wearing poufy long sleeves and the million and one other food safety rules they ignore in the name of "good" tv. Why can't someone make "common sense" cooking interesting? We need more Alton Browns.
Jul. 1, 2011 8:39 am
I have to say that I am one who does enjoy the show "Chopped". I love to see how creative the chefs can be with the crazy ingredients in their baskets. Having said that, I am, however, very disappointed in the quality of the shows that the food network has been producing. This new extreme show has really left a bad taste in my mouth. I won't be watching that at all. To be honest, I used to watch the food network all the time, it was pretty much a given that channel would be on at all times in my kitchen. Unfortunately, that doesn't hold true anymore...
Jul. 1, 2011 9:11 am
Again, I agree with most people in saying that I am disappointed in the content of the shows that the Foodnetwork has been giving us. I have stopped watching almost all their shows and am disappointed that the "good" shows are all gone. I enjoy "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef", sometimes she does go a little overboard though. Bring back the informative, educational and slightly entertaining programs and maybe we will all come back.
Jul. 1, 2011 11:04 am
I watched Kelsey's Essentials on Cooking Channel and she actually did a show on how to properly use a knife and what type of knife for what ingredient. I remember thinking wow, that never happens anymore. That was the only episode of her show I had watched so I'm not sure if her series is more educational or not. However, as someone who loves cooking and has watched cooking shows since I was a small child, it's amazing to see the difference in today's vs yesterday's. I really could benefit more from shows that feature "real" food and the essentials of cooking. I do love Top Chef (Bravo network) but honestly, I'm never going to buy Kobe beef, truffles, or fois gras. Not that I'm against anyone else doing's just I know I'm a mom in good ol SC who has limited funds and has access to only grocery stores and people selling homegrown produce.
Jul. 1, 2011 11:11 am
I agree with all posters who are unhappy with Food Network. Extreme Cooking was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I can't stand the sight of Guy Fieri stuffing his mouth, Ted Allen pontificating, and, don't get me started with Giada cooking with her hair practically falling into the food she's preparing.
Jul. 1, 2011 12:08 pm
I'm not enough of a foodie to be able to sit through most of the "back to basics, witty repartee only" type cooking shows, so I guess I'd be the target audience. That said, I can't stand most of them either. Man vs. Food was fun for about 2 episodes and then it became boring, Hell's Kitchen and it's offspring are too ridiculous to watch and a lot of the shows are repetitive. The closest thing to the Food Network I watch is Anthony Bordain who isn't on the Food Network and whose show is as much about the location as the food.
Jul. 1, 2011 12:10 pm
Oh, and I looked up Bitchin Kitchen because I don't see it much, being an American and all. All I can say is WTF??
Jul. 1, 2011 2:31 pm
Well said, Chef John! I saw the promo for that show and thought "what's next?" I am afraid the Food Network has taken a wrong turn. Hopefully the lower ratings and comments from people who should be their core demographic (us!) will get them back on the right path.
Jul. 1, 2011 5:15 pm
Actually Gordon Ramsey may be an , but he expects perfection and 100% from the chefs, he may not be nice and polite and say please enough. he reminds me of my drill sergeant in the army, he wasn't there to make me happy, he was there to make me a great soldier. Ramsey did just that in HK. But the better show was Kitchen Nightmares. Anyway don't be to tough on the old man he is just trying to pass the torch and make sure they can handle it.
Jul. 1, 2011 7:03 pm
This blog and the comments are the best I've ever read! Chef john, you're right about the level of education and thought shown. It's wonderful to read posts in complete sentences without misspellings. I really thought that, like the good old days on the Food Network, was gone for good. I love to cook and I learned a lot about the basics of food preparation in the past. Now the Food Network isn't even on my radar any more. I miss it a lot.
Jul. 2, 2011 5:14 am
Everyone have a safe a glorious 4th of July! Happy Birthday America!!
Jul. 2, 2011 9:12 am
I absolutely agree with you! I used to watch Foodnetwork all day long - now, almost never. As a native of Napa,CA and retired chef, I am definitely a foodie, but this stuff on FoodTV now is a bunch of .
Jul. 2, 2011 9:29 am
Count me as another who won't be watching "Extreme Chef." But even Food Network's "normal" shows haven't appealed to me in 2-3 years. (and I've also been burned out on "Top Chef's" gimmicky food prep situations and "impartial judging").
Jul. 2, 2011 12:09 pm
I haven't read all of these comments, but DH and I don't watch T V. We have an extensive collection of videos (yes, videos) and that is what we watch. DH would never watch a cooking program, but I have been curious. Not any more. I can learn much more just coming here to All Recipes. I too have seen some of those old cooking shows and they are really educational.
Jul. 2, 2011 12:10 pm
*they really were educational*
Jul. 2, 2011 12:18 pm
I also agree with the previous comments. I find most of the shows now totally lacking in class, and a complete turn off. Since when did cooking become a combative sport? By the way chefjohn, you have a wicked sense of humour and gave me my giggle for the day! Thank you.
Jul. 2, 2011 1:02 pm
Not long ago I sent a letter to the food network. In it I explained that I am a stay at home mom on a fixed budget with dietary restrictions for myself and my child. I stated I would love to have real recipes that anyone could use. I can't afford truffle oil and Ahi tuna. I also mentioned most REAL people can't or won't get them either, for whatever reason(such as house payments, medical bills, kids' needs and so on are more important than insane gourmet ingredients). I asked if there was any way we could have a return to real cooking shows. My best friend still doesn't know how to stock her cupboards with staples and make spaghetti sauce from scratch. (I have shown her, but she thinks my recipe is to simple) Would it be possible to have a show that showcases pantry cooking on at sometime besides 5 am? (Semi-Homemade) It has been 3 months... as of this date of July 2, 2011 I still have not had a response. I will admit I will watch IC:A and Challenge. And I don't want ALL the shows gone, but it would be nice if they would think of people out there with a food budget of 250 dollars for a month to feed a family of 3. I apologize for the somber tone. I just wanted to share how ratings are more than numbers, in my opinion, they are dollar signs.
Jul. 2, 2011 1:17 pm
(cone of safety...i did not read all of the responses due to time) I never thought i would say it but...the other day i while watching tv i thought "what happened to 30 minute meals and semi-homemade"...and then i chuckled at myself because those 2 ladies used to drive me nuts, but now that i see the contrast i wish i could see them more. (gah i can't believe i thought I do like to see Gordon 'tear somebody a new one' though...cracks me up.
Jul. 2, 2011 1:53 pm
I agree with Sinn, I thought RR was gonna be one of those shows that would help the average non chef learn to cook better but my kids won't touch anything she makes and honestly i wouldn't either. We need more average shows that work with ingredients that most people would have in their cupboards and who are on a very tight food budget. Food network has gone they way of most channels these days, they just don't appeal to us average people anymore.
Jul. 2, 2011 2:48 pm
just an's POBLANO...not pablano...
Jul. 2, 2011 4:27 pm
I miss Alton Brown too! I wish Food Network would get out of the reality TV business and get back to food. Cooking Channel isn't much better. I like learning about cooking real food that my family will actually eat. I can't imagine my 2 year old wanting to eat anything with truffles or truffle oil, especially since I don't want to eat it either. I used to watch a number of shows with my kids, trying to get them more interested in food and trying new flavors. But the cake competitions and cupcake madness have made it impossible. Real food for real people. It can't be that hard, can it?
Jul. 3, 2011 5:30 am
The only thing I watch on Food Network is Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, because I like to see independent food establishments doing thing. I was done with this channel a long time ago. They Rachel Ray'd me out. Couldn't take it anymore. Talk about dumbing down food.
Jul. 3, 2011 6:01 am
The Food Network was great when it started out..But something happened.. It got to be more about the personalities than the food itself. Not even Julia Child saw herself as being bigger than the food. What I love about cooking is that you can never know it all. There will always be something to challenge you. The old channel, "Discovery Home" used to have some really good cooking shows. One of my favorite chefs, Kylie Kwong had a great show and I learned about Asian cooking from her. I would watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives no matter who was hosting the show. I've seen so many cooks and chefs who are so passionate about food they inspire me. I love to see the kind of food being sold on food trucks now. I think it's great that you don't have to go to a white tablecloth establishment to eat fine food!! I think what happened with Food Network, is that "food people" aren't running it anymore.
Jul. 3, 2011 6:40 am
I also have not read all posts since there are so many... For those of you who are food t.v. purists and have a cable system or satellite provider who carries the channel - the new Cooking Channel can be your refuge! They re-run old Galloping Gourmet and Julia Child shows during the day and run the cooking shows that the Food Network has abandoned. As far as I know, the only "reality" show they broadcast is the old original "Iron Chef" shows (which my five-year-old loves). TONI1948 - I am pretty sure the Cooking Channel has a show about food trucks. You might check their website. The only show we watch on the Food Network these days is "Cupcake Wars" and that is because my five-year-old likes it. That says a lot about where the Food Network has landed - although I'm not sure the five-year-old demographic was what they were shooting for when they started "dumbing down" their shows.
Jul. 3, 2011 7:59 am
I saw the show once and it was awful.Can't help but hope the advertisers will pull the plug! I like the cooking shows but am selective on which ones I watch. They need to be cooking something that sounds interesting. I love The Melting Pot on Cooking Channel!
Jul. 3, 2011 10:23 am
Alton Brown, where art thou?
Jul. 3, 2011 1:02 pm
Bring back Justin Wilson reruns!!!! I am serious. He was the first cooking show I ever saw and the inspiration for my love of cajun cuisine.
Sue M. 
Jul. 3, 2011 1:32 pm
Had to click on your blog because I agree Food Network has indeed jumped the shark. Guy, Paula, Rachael et al have become caricatures of themselves. For a laugh check out Food Network Humor
Jul. 3, 2011 2:29 pm
Loved all the comments and You ARE RIGHT!!! Now you got me thinking about the good ole days,,, what actually taught me to cook! Now I feel sorry for those who missed those lessons and some very good TV. Has Anyone seen the COOKING CHANNEL? What do you all think?
Jul. 3, 2011 3:35 pm
I have to disagree. If ESPN shows one show for one season about dog whispering or something, I don't feel like it takes anything from them, only showing that they are branching out to broader sports! Maybe I'm into that sport, I'd have never known! Or don't watch that show. Breaking up the constant stream of educational cooking shows (of which my mother had me spend every saturday until I moved out watching) with some fun and silliness is a necessity! It's like recess. All work and no play makes me a dull boy. I think it helps to invite the Food Network into a greater number of homes by offering something both entertaining but still pertaining to food. Soon that person is watching more informative shows on Food Network. And a customer is caught, hook, line and sinker. Why wouldn't we want to reach more people?? I love it. I think it's fun and quirky. I'm probably going to watch it. If they aired the celeb version i'd probably watch that, too.
Jul. 3, 2011 4:27 pm
I see your point. I'm not a fan of reality/survivor shows in general (though I confess I watched the Dinner: Impossible episode where they dumped Robert on a beach and made him build his own kitchen out of hardware store parts). FN is out to make money, and since there is a proven market for this stuff they're trying to take advantage of it. But who knows? Maybe a non-cook will get curious about Extreme Chef or the ilk, then stick around long enough afterward to learn something that inspires them to get in a kitchen. That is, if FN will keep the bulk of their programming where it belongs, which is keepin' it real and about the food, not the pretty faces and personalities.
Jul. 3, 2011 7:14 pm
The problem daniboi is that they aren't breaking up the instructional shows by throwing in something dinner. They've all but abandoned instruction for flash and glitz. I remember as a little girl spending time with my father watching Emeril and being fascinated by the things he was doing. Now all I have to chose between is competing cupcakes, life with cupcakes or competing living cupcakes.
Jul. 3, 2011 7:15 pm
**different, not dinner, man I really need to eat something.
Jul. 3, 2011 7:53 pm
I agree with Psyana's comments on RR. Her cooking style does not appeal to me at all. I do enjoy the Cooking Channel, but I don't like all of the FN reruns and continue to overuse RR, Emeril and Bobby Flay. I am glad that they air shows from Canada, the UK and Australia. I would like to see more new shows. I also don't like how the Challenges all feature chefs now. I miss the shows that used to travel to amateur competitions across the country. This kind of reminds me of how TLC used to be The Learning Channel, but now, but not anymore.
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John Politte

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Leavenworth, Kansas, USA
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Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Kids, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

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About Me
I have been a professional restaurant person for 30+ years. I started out as a dishwasher and worked my way up the ladder. No schooling except for hands on experience in locations around the USA. I am now starting my own business as a consultant and food writer.
My favorite things to cook
Everything-except baking and desserts
My favorite family cooking traditions
Gravy, my side of the family is mostly French , so we love the sauces and gravies.
My cooking triumphs
Starting my own public access cooking show-"It's Only Food". Did 33 shows in 3 years as the chef and producer. It certainly opened up a lot of doors and paved the way for changing the way I look at food.
My cooking tragedies
Missing my family growing up and working 80 hour weeks, but I can say that it paid off. No regrets.
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