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The Next Food Network.."Star"?


Old Timer
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You asked:

Did anyone bother watching this tripe?

I reply:

NO

Ray

Wrong.

"Food Network also aired its highest-rated series premiere ever on Sunday night as the third season debut of The Next Food Network Star (9p) delivered 4.7 million total viewers and a 0.8 rating among A25-54." - Cynopsis (a TV industry newsletter).

It seems the more egullet folks say FN is dead, the higher the ratings get. Hmmm....

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Guy's new show "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives" is pretty good.  Monday nights at 10 eastern.

I like diners and can honestly say that I've eaten some of the best meals of my life in tin-roofed truck stops that scared the everloving crud out of me (mostly in New Mexico), but this show consists almost entirely of its host fellating the patron saint of mediocrity on cue while he rolls his eyes back and feigns ecstasy. I'm sure it makes the public feel better about their cooking skills when some thick-necked biker covered in neo-nazi prison gang tattoos elicits such an orgasmic response from what they've been led to believe is a culinary authority figure every time he melts a pat of butter, but come on... We can see the food.

Most of what Guy enthusiastically deep throats in his close-ups looks like sub-Denny's swill that any idiot with a frying pan could plop on a plate if you gave him a mound of vaguely breakfast-related ingredients, and I refuse to believe that anyone would keep sucking it all down in so pornographic a display if there wasn't any money changing hands. If the goal of a Food Network star is to out-whore Rachael Ray, then he's certainly doing a pretty good job in that regard; wouldn't be surprised if he'd dislocated his jaw a few times in the corporate office.

The Ham on the Street guy is a total tool, too, but he at least seems like he has an actual personality, is probably pretty genuinely funny in his everyday life, and might even be able to cook something if he took his gloves off. Guy is just a copy of a copy without an original who has more than likely damned himself career-wise by attempting to bypass the whole "chef" part of "celebrity chef" with little more than a collection of in-your-face bowling shirts and home hair frosting kits. I just hope he has a "throwdown" with Bobby Flay before he gets his pink slip so as to erase any doubts about the entire thing being a thoroughly rigged PR stunt. Best night ever!

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I just watched repeats of the first two episodes today. What a poor show.

I do local cooking segments on the ABC affiliate in my home town, so I hope I'm pretty experienced when it comes to cooking on TV.

I also appeared in what was really the first 'reality' show about cooking that ran on US television-MasterChef USA on PBS six years ago. MasterChef still runs on BBC today and is highly popular.

It was a 13 week series showcasing 27 amateur cooks from around the country, ultimately naming the top amateur chef in the USA. I survived to the top 3 but didn't ultimately win. Like all the cooking shows on PBS-we kept the food and the cooking as the main focus-not the personalities of the contestants.

I'm a food purist-I watch cooking on television to learn about food and cooking plain and simple. While it is important that I connect with the host when I watch a cooking show, it makes no difference to me what shape, size, age, sex or tone of voice that the host has.

I certainly loved Julia Child's crazy, high-pitched voice and her tendency to weild huge cleavers at sides of beef or ugly monkfish. But that wasn't why I watched Julia. I watched her because she was a good teacher of cooking and told us about food and ingredients. That is what I think we captured on MasterChef USA-the 'reality' show tag was simply a hook, but I think we maintained our integrity as cooks by showcasing the ingredients, the food, the preparation and our talents in the kitchen.

I understand why this show is popular with viewers and why the Food Network pushes it. I imagine it is because it gets good ratings. Good ratings mean a lot of people watch. If a lot of people watch, then the Food Network can raise the cost of a commercial because they can tell the advertisers that a lot of people are watching their commercial when it runs during this show. WHile I do like many of the shows on the Food Network, I don't like this one.

The reality show has become mundane, ordinary and anything but unique. The formula is basically the same whether the show is on CBS, NBC, Bravo, Fox, MTV, VH1, ABC or Food Network. Take 'everyday' people and put them in a setting like a hotel or a fancy rental home. They seem to spend lots of time drinking and deciding who sleeps where.

The 'candidates' come loaded for bear as we say out West. In other words, this is their moment to get on TV, so they come dressed in trendy clothes with trendy glasses, goatees and spiked hair and they will tear down anybody who gets in their way. The one lady on this show that walked in dressed in a hot pink suit and knee length hot pink leather boots didn't look like a serious cook to me.

When I was on MasterChef I was simply competing with myself to present the judges the best food I could prepare. I was not competing against anyone other than myself, and that's how I survived.

The 'candidates' seem more intent on creating drama and conflict among themselves than keeping focused on why they should be there-the food and the cooking. I'm not doubting their abilities as chefs nor their knowledge of food, but they don't get it. They don't realize that food comes first-not the personality or the 'shtick' entertainment value. From what I saw on two shows I didn't see any of them being able to do a 30 minute show on Food Network. Yes, there is way too much 'shtick' on "Emeril Live," but what keeps Emeril going is that he is at the heart of the matter a good cook and he knows food. Doc and the Band aside.

Of course, Food Network encourages the feeding frenzy. The formula of the reality shows is to focus on the arguing among the candidates so that we'll identify with 'good guy vs. bad guy' from the start. Remember how Marcel was set up to be the villain from the start on last year's "Top Chef." Right, you kept tuning in to see who would blow up at Marcel next. You loved it when Cliff hog-tied Marcel and got kicked off the show. And you loved it on the last episode when Sam slammed Marcel's leadership in the kitchen in front of the judges. That's right, Sam had to bring up the fact that Marcel left some of the ingredients in the walk-in cooler. Then in a moment of "you can't write that," Marcel took credit away from Sam that the dish with the missing ingredients was changed at the last minute-and the judges actually loved it. Sam was pissed he didn't get the credit for the dish because he was the one back in the kitchen who told Marcel what to do to make up for the missing ingredients.

So that's just one little example of how they edit these shows, along with snippets of candidate interviews, a few clips of raised eyebrows, under the breath comments caught on mike, that sort of thing. It raises the excitement quotient, but lessens the respect for the food and the cooking.

Hey folks, did you learn to make a wedding cake on that episode today? I didn't think so.

Now, just to add one more critical comment to my rant, (I've gotten stirred up now), let's talk about that wedding cake competition. Some of those people didn't even know what fondant is. They didn't know the cakes at their work stations already had a 'crumb coat' on them to make the final icing coat go on smoothly. They didn't know because they had no idea what a 'crumb coat' is.

I'm not saying that you have to know the definition of a crumb coat to be the good host of a television show about cooking. What I am saying is that if you don't possess a basic knowledge of food and pastry and you are so naive that you don't know what fondant or crumb coat means, you are in trouble. You won't last on a Food Network show or anything other cooking show for that matter. Maybe they'll end up being famous for being famous and not for cooking. I think some some of these people wouldn't know a Sea Bass from a Snapper-and most of them are professionals in the food business.

Oh well, I supposed between clicks with the clicker I'll tune in again just to see whose survived the latest 'challenge.' They've got me roped in, a little, even though I hate them for it.

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I agree with you WiscoNole; Salmon's dish was much more appealing because of the herb trick. I thought the judges were pretty excited about it. If the ribs normally take 4 or 5 hours, I wonder how tender they were after 90 minutes. I think they fell in love with the grilled cantaloupe because it makes a great picture and is different. I believe the ribs were cooked in the oven and this was supposed to be an issue on grilling albeit with a twist. (I probably should keep my comments to myself until I see the July issue of Bon Appetit.)

I'm getting sick of the Food Network; I certainly won't waste any more time with this show.

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I agree with you WiscoNole; Salmon's dish was much more appealing because of the herb trick. I thought the judges were pretty excited about it. If the ribs normally take 4 or 5 hours, I wonder how tender they were after 90 minutes. I think they fell in love with the grilled cantaloupe because it makes a great picture and is different.  I believe the ribs were cooked in the oven and this was supposed to be an issue on grilling albeit with a twist. (I probably should keep my comments to myself until I see the July issue of Bon Appetit.)

I'm getting sick of the Food Network; I certainly won't waste any more time with this show.

Don't you think the choice of ribs, knowing full well they take 4-5 hours, was a stupid one?

That shows the eoman is a ditz. I bet she's gone in the next show.

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when some thick-necked biker covered in neo-nazi prison gang tattoos elicits such an orgasmic response from what they've been led to believe is a culinary authority figure every time he melts a pat of butter, but come on... We can see the food.

since when do having tattoos make you a neo nazi biker? :blink:

guess I'm a neo nazi.

anywho I enjoy diners, drive ins, and dives and yes guy fieri is a little annoying but he grows on you after a while

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
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I enjoy watching this show; I watch it with my kids 5 and 11, we critique (sounds better than make fun of) the food and the contestants, and offer suggestions by yelling at the TV. Good family fun :biggrin:

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Well, like a stubborn mold, this show also continues to grow on me I guess. :raz: I have to keep watching just to remind myself of how inane the judges are and how, contrary to what they want folks to believe, this show has absolutely nothing to do with being an expert in anything culinary.

For instance, in the last episode one of the challenges was for each contestant to prepare food for their own food cart for the fans at a New Jersey Nets game. One of the two that got the boot was who I'll call the "Yoga Lady"--nice, real mellow and laid back--unfortunately too laid back for her own good since she used jarred cheese sauce (aka Cheez Whiz) for her nachos so that she could "concentrate on the pineapple salsa." :hmmm: Anyway, she got the boot for that and for messing up another challenge which was to create a dish using chocolate, make an on-camera presentation, and give one tip about chocolate. One judge, Susie Fogelson, FN marketing VP, shaking her head and looking disgusted, criticized her for getting "really loud" and yelling when she gave her tip about chocolate, specifically saying that "being loud does not convey confidence." :blink: Now, that would make sense except for one thing: exactly how does the Food "Nitwork" explain......

!!!!!RACHAEL RAY!!!!!

I mean you just can't make stupid stuff like that up! :laugh:

I know I'll hate myself in the morning, but I gotta keep watching.

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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Funny that no one has commented on the latest episode. [and funny that someone was when I was writing this]

Colome, who got kicked off, should have been kicked off just for not actually cooking anything. She made nachos, but only made the salsa -- didn't make the chips, didn't make the cheese. Meanwhile, she had extra time after prep, and Josh/JAG was able to complete his dish and make a cheese sauce.

He's my clear favorite -- good personality and can actually cook.

Edited by Reignking (log)
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Funny that no one has commented on the latest episode.  [and funny that someone was when I was writing this]

Colome, who got kicked off, should have been kicked off just for not actually cooking anything.  She made nachos, but only made the salsa -- didn't make the chips, didn't make the cheese.  Meanwhile, she had extra time after prep, and Josh/JAG was able to complete his dish and make a cheese sauce.

He's my clear favorite -- good personality and can actually cook.

ITA about JAG Reignking and his cheese sauce looked quite luscious.

Another point of completely unintentional hilarity is the ongoing insistence of the judges that when people tune into the FN, they always expect to see show hosts demonstrate that they are food/culinary experts. Really? They're kidding, right? :rolleyes:

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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Another point of completely unintentional hilarity is the ongoing insistence of the judges that when people tune into the FN, they always expect to see show hosts demonstrate that they are food/culinary experts. Really? They're kidding, right? :rolleyes:

Unfortunately, I suspect they're serious, dead serious.

Interesting how the contestants are expected to show and convey that they can:

a) cook a knock-your-socks-off dish that actually tastes good

b) do a magazine worthy plating each time

c) do a verbal presentation worthy of a (Daytime) Emmy

d) project the image of a food "authority" (whatever that really is)

e) let their "real" personality shine through

.......all in 30 seconds to 3 mintues :hmmm:

HELLO.....most people I know can't even do that in 3 years, let along the artificially short time frames these people are being given :biggrin:

It's just so Food Network. Good grief they let Nikki do 2 episodes wearing stilletos in the kitchen. Now SERIOUSLY folks...do you know any chef that would 1) wear stilletos while working (what they do on their off hours is their business) or 2) let any of their employees wear stilletos while working a station. FNTV must have really good liability insurance. And how deliciously and wickedly catty was Giada?

This show is a train wreck in a fun way. It's so unreal and contrived that it's actually entertaining to see the hoops they'll set these people up to jump through and to see the contestants basically say "how high".

Paul is too, too hyper-kinetic for his own good; he wears me out just watching. I get lost trying to count all of Rory's teeth. I like Michael (like the fish) Salmon, and think he should have won the Bon Apetite cover, but there's something disingenuous about him. Amy? Honey, I've got news for her, I live in San Diego too; the NBA Clippers departed SD for LA 20+ years ago and you won't find a chicken and goat cheese quesadilla with mango salsa at either the Charger's Qualcomm stadium or the Padres Petco Park. So that leaves Jag - if he'd quite trying to prove his cooking chops (he's the only one with them) - and just do Latin fusion, he'd win. And Adrien, who is smooth and engaging on camera, kind of like a Tyler Florence clone.

So yeah, I gotta keep tuning in each week to see how wonderfully weird, whacky and awful they can be. This is the show to watch in all it's campy, kitschy splendor, not the show they winner will eventually end up with, that will, no doubt, be given the time-slot from H*ll and doomed to certain failure.

Edited by kalypso (log)
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aw, poor Tommy and the other low-hanging fruit perfectly ripe for picking off the show. [eta: Where would they be without them? Oh wait, having a contest among qualified cooks with personalities? That didn't make me nauseous.)

Susie Fogelson seems to lack the irony gene or maybe she's been sharing too many cocktails with Sandra Lee.

Heh, and if that's the criteria for having your own show on this network, some pink slips are in order! I'm looking at you, SL and don't start with "see how lovely my pink slip tablescape is? *hic*" I know people watch her for the snarky humor of it all, but just no.

Edited by hsm (log)
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One thing I don't get is how these grown men whined and then cried in the show.  Especially for the Tommy guy who missed his family.  Gimme a break.

I loved Giada's comments. They seemed honest and actually kind of helpful.

Let's take bets on who is getting offed next.

I say the squirrely guy, Paul, or maybe Rory.

Do you think they have in mind the kind of show the want to do next and then pick the person who fits that bill?

I honestly can't see any one of these guys with enough personality or skills to pull off a whole show. And that Amy chick. She says she's a freelance writer but Googling her only brings up two pieces she did for one of thise websites that let people think they can write.

Ugh!

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It killed me when, two weeks ago, they came down on JAG because his dish wasn't something a home cook could or would prepare -- that it was too complicated. I think this was in reference to the Bon Appetit contest, but it seemed to me that they don't value his "advanced" skills for a show, either.

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........ I get lost trying to count all of Rory's teeth. 

OMG, Oh My God, OH MY GAWD! :laugh::laugh::laugh: All of your observations about the contestants are dead on kalypso, but especially this one! I was thinking along the same lines. Actually I find myself oddly uncomfortable everytime she flashes those megawatt piano keys.

And you're absolutely right about the ridiculous demands of the judges, in particular the celebrity chefs' critiques. Anyone who remembers watching the old FN show "Chef Du Jour" where many of the FN stars of today cut their teeth--Mario, Florence, Flay, etc.--should also remember that their performances were often less than polished to say the least.

Yeah JAG needs to truly get over his urge to actually be creative in the kitchen and just concentrate on trying to "kick it up a nahtch" with his onscreen personality. :wink:

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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One thing I don't get is how these grown men whined and then cried in the show.  Especially for the Tommy guy who missed his family.  Gimme a break.

Tommy is from the area, and local news reported that he was told he'd be able to stay in touch with his family, which includes two toddler children. The reporter went on to say they weren't allowed to contact their families and that bothered him, obviously. I'm not sure I'd want to go weeks or days without knowing how my kids were doing, especially if they're that young.

But so much for the whole premise of this gimmick. Where are the first winners of the Food Network Star contest? They're not on anymore....

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GRELLA SIZE

you are right about the first winners, I think they are stuck on sunday mornings at around 8:00....but I don't even know for sure if they are still on at all?

guy is doing way better on the other hand with his diner drive ins and dives and his other show.

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
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