I’m watching Food Network Star right now, which has been in Las Vegas for the past couple of weeks.
But it certainly doesn’t look like Vegas.
Every time Bobby, Alton or Giada — the show’s three hallowed hosts — stand before this season’s contestants to set up a challenge, it looks like they are shooting the episode in an empty room. Or vacant parking lot.
Food Network goes to such great lengths to clear out the ‘normal folk’ during production, Vegas looks nothing like the manic city I have experienced every time I’ve had the chance to visit.
Why go to the expense of using Vegas as your backdrop if you’re going to make it sterile and still? You might as well fake the whole thing at the Food Network studios here in New York City.
The show’s producers must have heard me. They just announced this week’s survivors are coming to Manhattan for the remainder of the season.
That will probably look like Cleveland.
Posted in Commentary, Cooking, Entertainment, Humor, Restaurants, Television
Tagged Alton Brown, backdrop, Bobby Flay, challenge, chef, Cleveland, contestants, cooking, entertainment, episode, food, Food Network, Food Network Star, Food Network studios, Giada de Laurentiis, Humor, Las Vegas, life, location location, Manhattan, manic city, New York City, production, restaurants, show host, show producers, Survivors, Television, Vegas
I’m headed to the New York Wine and Food Festival today. It’s the second annual event, and my second time attending.
Last year I watched Bobby Flay prepare Thanksgiving dinner, and Paula Deen — well, she got carried away talking to the audience and really didn’t cook much of anything…but she was damn entertaining. I had a blast.
This year I have tickets for food demos by Guy Fieri — “Food Network Star” winner and host of “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” — and Jamie and Bobby Deen, Paula’s two sons. One of them is a cook, and the other one works more on the business side of the family restaurant, I think. But does it really matter? They’re funny like their mother and will put on a good show.
I bet a lot of Food Network viewers feel like I do, and maybe the programming bigwigs should take note. Sure, we expect their TV personalities to be part of the food industry, but how they connect with the audience is their main selling point.
Every year during the finals of “Food Network Star,” the judges get all hyper about the credibility of the winner. Will the viewers think they are legit chefs? Does their food taste good? And then sometimes they end up crowning the less TV-worthy cook. (Guy Fieri is a big ol’ exception to that rule.)
Here’s a clue, Food Network — we can’t taste the food they are preparing on TV at home. (Heck, they don’t even feed us at the festival because of insurance reasons.) So the relationship they form with us via their TV show and live appearances is what makes them legitimate with us.
Look at Rachael Ray. She’s not a chef; she’s the first to tell you that she’s a cook. But most importantly, she has the gift of gab — sometimes more than we want to hear — and that gift made her a success more than any cooking credentials.
I bought my tickets to the festival to have a good time, not to read chef bios. And I use my remote control the exact same way.
Posted in Foods, Humor, Television
Tagged Bobby Deen, Bobby Flay, Diners Drive-ins and Dives, Food Network, Food Network Star, Guy Fieri, Jamie Deen, New York Wine and Food Festival, Paula Deen, Rachael Ray