I think it was Summer of 2007. TV Guide had printed a sampling of reader comments in response to the fact one of their writers dared take issue with the outfits Food Network star Giada DeLaurentis was wearing. The question was, “Is The Sexy Chef Too Hot For TV?”
Never in a million years when I started watching the Food Network in the mid-90’s did I think we would ever come to that point. I guess I was naive sex appeal wouldn’t plate and serve itself eventually into the kitchens of the chefs whose culinary talents were supposedly broadcast for us to admire…and copy…as best we could.
Those of you who remember the (TV) Food Network in its genesis remember people like David Rosengarten, John Ash, Curtis Aikens, the Two Hot Tamales and yes, Emeril
Lagasse. The shows were all in studio with no audiences to speak of, focused on not just relaying great recipes but also teaching us about the various components of the dishes as well. We learned how to cook. We learned about what we were cooking. Life was simple.
Now, Food Network is all about flash. It started with Emeril. He morphed from a simple down-home Chef into an entertainer – a performer – before live audiences. At that point, it became less about the food…and all about the Chef.
The controversy with Giada’s look back in 2007 pales in comparison to the present. The channel ingredients now are part shock value, circus and competition. I couldn’t think of anything more enjoyable to watch than someone slaving over a giant, one-of-a-kind cake and then watching the whole thing collapse because they have to lug it ten feet.
If you are an old-time Foodie like myself and long for the days when less was more…and you have equal parts appreciation for unfiltered humor and outrageous parody… check out foodnetworkhumor.com. Very tasty only if the Food Network of today is not your idea of…good eats.