So last night I sat down and watched the first episode of this season’s “The Next Food Network Star”. I thought it was going to be another snooze-fest.
Photograph courtesy of The Amateur Gourmet
It was actually pretty good. What I like about this show is that it’s not just about being a culinary genius, but it’s about the personality and showmanship of the cook. What I mean is, it’s unlike competitions such as Top Chef, where it’s really hard for a viewer to feel like they are a part of what is happening because we don’t taste the food. All we can do is guess, based on whatever the producers of the show tell us. With The Next Food Network Star, it’s easier to feel involved because we know what kind of a host we want to watch when we sit down in front of the boob tube. Unfortunately, the food is less important.
Maybe you disagree, so I’ll say this: If food was more important, we wouldn’t have Sandra Lee.
Anyway, the show was interesting. Each host had a very different background and a neat story that made you want to watch them (their own personal hook). The finalists are listed on the Food Network site here. Surprisingly enough, there were a lot of people that I expected to do really well, and did poorly. The ones I expected to do poorly actually did quite well. What was made plain to the audience (and the contestants) is that being a television personality is not easy. It’s hard not to cringe when some of the contestants get in front of the camera.
It isn’t too late to get caught up if you wanted to sit down and catch it on Food Network. So far only the first show has aired, and you can probably catch it again on a rerun if you wanted to see it. It’s not a bad watch. I wouldn’t replace Top Chef or Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares for it, but it’s something different from the usual food reality shows that would be worth catching from time to time.