Saturday, December 5, 2009

December 5, 2009

The Food Network is probably my favourite network on TV. Some people keep sports on in the background, or the weather channel, or music videos (where do you even find music videos now, by the way?), but if I need some background, it’s always the Food Network. I’ve always been a fan of Iron Chef America, dating back to the fact that I used to watch the original Iron Chef, dubbed from the Japanese. Gordon Ramsay’s shows are great, and not the Fox-ized versions of Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, I’m talking about the original BBC Kitchen Nightmares and The F-Word, where you get to see what a great chef and teacher he is, instead of this cartoonish kitchen madman that is created for American viewers.

The reality shows are fantastic as well, from Top Chef to Restaurant Makeover to The Next Food Network Star, and anything with Alton Brown is fantastic. I learn something new every time I watch him. I do, however, want to rip my own ears off every time I see Rachel Ray or Paula Deen, or sassy Canadian Ricardo (who I would love to punch squarely in his smiling French face), but it’s a small price to pay for the quantity and quality of great shows.

In short, I love cooking shows. They make me hungry, they inspire me to cook, and I’ve often found myself whipping something up in the kitchen at 11 pm just because I saw it on TV.

However, I’m starting to realize that there is one trend in cooking shows that is really bothering me, and that is the moment that the host/chef tastes the food. Ok, I get it that you want to have some sort of realism in the segment by having somebody actually try the food, but it’s such a redundant process. We can’t taste it or smell it, we can only go on the reaction of the person on TV, and more often than not, they’re the one who cooked it! And it’s always the same, the eyes-closed, mmm-delicious “This is so good!” groan…so that regardless of whether it tastes like crap or not, they make out it’s the greatest thing they’ve ever tasted.
One of the worst culprits is Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, the show that sees him traveling across America visiting local establishments and seeing how they make their specialties. The concept is great, and he’s a decent TV personality with a good amount of character, but when he tries the food, he always acts like he’s never had anything so good in his life. If you factor in that he features 3 locations per show, and has filmed almost 50 episodes…that’s 150 dishes that he has tried and raved about. Just once, I would like to see him take a bite and go…”Um, not so much.”

Also, while I like Fieri, the one thing that drives me crazy is his insistence on wearing his sunglasses backwards off of his ears, on the back of his neck. Whether it’s him, or just your random person on the street, this is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen. Wear your sunglasses properly, or put them on your head, hat, in the neck of your shirt, in your pocket…anywhere but the back of your neck. Seriously, you look like an idiot.

But I digress, back to the point…

The worst culprit of all is clearly Giada De Laurentiis, who I find ridiculously annoying. Amazingly, her food is quite appealing, but while people find her attractive and sexy, I just don’t see it. She’s obviously using sex to sell her cooking, as her cleavage is prominently displayed in almost every camera shot. Don’t believe me? Check out this website. But when it comes time to taste the food, Giada always bends over so you get a nice good look at the girls, then tastes the food, and acts like she’s having a culinary orgasm. And she’s just too over the top.
Oh sure, there are others, like Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver, that exaggerate their tasting moments, but none as bad as Guy and Giada (that sounds like the name of a French/Italian restaurant). I know it’s an element of the overall concept of the cooking show, but do you find it as insincere as I do?

1 comment:

Matt said...

triple D is the best, and your math is wrong. he tries no less than two dishes at each establishment, bringing the awesomeness of OMG! to > 300 times. Also, wearing your glasses on the back of your head allows prevents them from falling into the food when bending over and taking that heavenly-wish-there-was-smell-o-vision first bite. you might think that would make for better tv, but the produces probably prevent possible problems. you should also take into account his sense or lack there of, of style. SGOTBOTH (sun glasses on the back of the head) is probably something understood by this generation, and accompanies his flair.

As much as i want to turn this into a Ted Allen bash post, i just couldn't find an appropriate angle.