It’s true. I am a FoodNetworkaholic. Now, I tend to only let this side of myself show around fellow food show freaks. But I think it’s time I let it shine.
I live to watch cooking shows. I talk about the Food Network chefs like I know them personally. I have planned out Halloween costumes with my sister based on our favorite chefs to make fun of (stay tuned: Halloween 2017).
First of all, these shows (aside from being all about FOOD) are hysterical. There’s just too much material there. If I were a stand-up comedian, I could do an entire special based on one episode of The Barefoot Contessa. Don’t even get me started on Sandra Lee’s cocktail time or Guy Fieri’s frosted tips and obnoxious lingo.
Despite all of the comedic perfection and mouth watering cuisine wrapped up in these television masterpieces, cooking shows are not without their flaws. There are flaws. Oh, so many.
To all you fellow Food TV fans who have also thought all of these things, THIS ONE’S FOR YOU:
You’re fooling noone
Please stop. We all know that is not your kitchen. Please stop pretending that your friends are just randomly stopping by for a chat while you HAPPEN to be cooking up a lavish meal. We all know that there is an entire camera crew in front of you who fixed the lighting in this expensive SET kitchen. We know your friends were made-up and fed cheesy lines prior to entering the scene. So please, spare us the “OH, HI JANEEN, WHAT A LOVELY SURPRISE!” ridiculousness (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, INA GARTEN). We aren’t even entirely sure that Janeen is really your friend. It’s more probable that Janeen is a struggling actress looking for TV time and this was the only gig she could get. In any case, there’s a bunch of perfect-looking people eating delicious food on my TV screen, and no matter how staged, I’m still enjoying the hell out of this cooking show.
SPATULAS. Use them.
FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS PURE AND GOOD, SCRAPE THE DAMN BOWL. Anyone else REALLY bothered by this? THEY ALWAYS LEAVE (ROUGHLY) 1/4 OF THE BATTER SPREAD AROUND THE BOWL. It is pure sacrilege. I understand that it’s not proper TV manners to stick your face inside the bowl and lick out the remaining streaks of batter like all of us lay people do. But, AT LEAST let the spatula do its job. It is NOT THAT HARD to scrape the majority of the batter from the bowl. You went to culinary school, so you should DEFINITELY know how to let a spatula fulfill its full potential. My only solace when I see this happen is found in imagining that the entire production crew is allowed to lick the bowl clean off-camera. But, deep down I know that this probably never happens because this world is a cruel place.
Dear Food Network, you’re part of the reason for my trust issues.
“This recipe is SUPER simple, it takes no time at all!” Well, SURE, it takes no time at all when you have EVERY SINGLE INGREDIENT PRE-MEASURED INTO DOZENS OF MINI GLASS PYREX BOWLS. All you have to do is say the name of the ingredient and toss it effortlessly into a larger Pyrex bowl. (I swear, cooking shows single-handedly fund the entire Pyrex franchise. The amount of mini-pyrex bowls they use is astounding.)
TOO BAD REAL LIFE DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT. Unfortunately, I, A NORMAL PERSON, have to actually measure things WHILE I cook. Too bad that when I make food, I empty out half of the cupboards/fridge/spice cabinet onto the counter and measure everything out whilst creating a tornado of flying ingredients. It’s always slightly chaotic and I always end up wearing the ingredients. I think the epitome of this was Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals. Anyone remember that show? 30 MINUTES MY PALE BUTT. That show should be titled: “30 Minute Meals (if you happen to be a professional chef who spent hours planning out how to maximize efficiency in order to have this meal plated in exactly 30 minutes so you can title your show “30 Minute Meals” and, in turn, lie to the general public).” My mom and I tried making her “30 minute” meal one time. It took an hour with both of us. Ever since then, my rule of thumb for whenever they give a time frame is to add ~1 hour to the given time so I can accurately plan out making it in my real life.
There are SO many more I could list, but you have endured my ranting for long enough. Despite its many flaws and annoyances, I will forever love Food Network with all of my heart: recipes, personalities, unintended humor, and all.
If you’re looking for a show that offers humor of the intended variety and showcases phenomenal culinary expertise, go watch The Great British Bake Off (AKA The Great British Baking Show). I’m obsessed. IT IS EVERYTHING. This show is another of the thousands of examples of how the Brits do basically everything better than Americans.
I’ll leave you with this.