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The Food Network

I confess that I watch it; and furthermore, that I learned how to cook by watching TV. When I was a kid I would sometimes watch "The Galloping Gourmet," but merely for entertainment, not to learn anything. But starting 20 years ago or so, I started watching also to learn.

Some shows I've liked over the years: "Cucina amore" with Nick Stellino, Cajun cooking with Justin Wilson, Yan Can Cook, Jamie Oliver's show where he would invite over his friends, the one where Mario Batali traveled around Italy with his sidekick (Flava Flav to Mario's Chuck D.) and others that I've forgotten.

There are others that I never liked so much, like Jacques Pépin's (except when he cooked with Julia Child), "The Frugal Gormet," Emeril Lagasse's show (bam!), anything with Rachel Ray, or having to do with cakes.

Although I still turn to the food channel, it seems like its educational component has ceded to its entertainment function. There are way too many competitions, on the model of "Iron Chef," where people compete against each other and the clock. So often the stuff they make is too esoteric for me. I'm never going to find those ingredients, much less use them. Bobby Flay is not my favorite either, while he is doubtlessly a great cook, he seems to have a big ego, and his shows are usually these competition things.

Then there is "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives," with Guy Fieri. Now, I like ribs and burgers as much as the next guy, but really, how much barbecue and macaroni and cheese can you take? Meat and fat.

Alton Brown's "Good Eats" is the best thing on the network. He's funny, goofy, and I love the scientific explanations along with the fastidiousness that borders on anal-retentiveness. But he's the exception to the rule. Tune in randomly to the Food Network and you're almost sure to see somebody racing to get their Gorgonzola-Stuffed-Truffle burgers to the judges before time runs out.

Either that or meat and fat. What I would really like to see is a charming and funny chef showing me how to make the best pea soup ever. Enough with the competitions and stop watches already.

Not that I'm going to stop watching.


Wondamous, I Garantee!

I could have said everything you just said, although not as eloquently I'm sure. I too went from Galloping Gourmet, to Justin wilson, and on up to Good Eats and D.D.&Dives!
Being without cable these last couple years has left me getting my fix via DVD box sets of seasons like Universe and Ancient Civilizations and stuff like that. Back to food tho, the next thing on my list is Good Eats. Food should be funny and knowledge is power! So what a great way to combine them.

and might I say...


Re: and might I say...

Thanks, Jim Dandy!


I love Alton Brown's show too, and I've learned a lot. I especially like to watch the food shows while I'm working out...
I learned a lot about cooking by reading cookbooks (that I didn't have to buy) while working slow shifts at Duck Soup, the kitchen store. But pie crusts I learned from Mom!

Re: food

Yeah, mom is not exactly an iron chef, she holds the onion in her hand and cuts it up with a paring knife, blade towards her hand. (why dirty a cutting board?) But you can't deny that she makes a damn good pie!

May 2018



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