Food News: Robert Irvine Returns

By now you know about the “scandal” regarding former Food Network Star, Robert Irvine. If you don’t, it was discovered that Robert Irvine had lied about his somewhat impressive resume and also that he had been flirting with Paula Deen on camera, causing nausea in viewers everywhere. Unfortunately, it was only the resume embellishment that brought media attention, and caused his dismissal by the Food Network. His popular show, Dinner: Impossible, was turned over to the newest Iron Chef America, Michael Symon, and was to be extended to a full hour. Since then, Robert Irvine pretty much disappeared from the mainstream media and has not been heard from since.

He’s back. Last week he put up a brand new blog and is “setting the record straight” about his resume.

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Strategic move on his part, I’d say. Dinner: Impossible is starting up its new season with host Michael Symon and a lot of the viewer feedback is not as glowing as the Food Network would want. Fans of the show say Symon is boring, dry, and his annoying cackle-laugh grates on everyone’s nerves. Another strange thing to note is that the show did not extend to an hour length program as initially promised, but is airing at the original 30 minutes.

Maybe the producers realized Symon would be too boring for an hour long program.

I don’t know. What I do find interesting is the timing of the show being aired, the reception of the new host being not so favorable, and Robert Irvine returning to the media. Right now Irvine seems to be slowly and smartly rebuilding his tarnished image. Yesterday’s blog entry mentioned some interesting themes that seemed all too calculated:

1. Previous television experience before he was ever on the Food Network
2. He had been a successful executive chef before becoming a celebrity
3. He had amazing sous chefs working under him who are now executive chefs
4. Name-dropping Emeril Lagasse

The rest of the entry talks about braising – what it is, what it does to the food, how delicious it is, that it is the “food of love”. In this he is trying to remind us that he really does know about food, and he’s trying to win us back again. The previous entry is trying to assure the public that there was still a lot of truth to his resume, and he’s trying hard to prove himself.

Do I care? I don’t know. The guy can cook and is a very entertaining person to watch on television. He’s proven himself capable of those things. Because of this, Irvine is surely going to win his way back into the public’s favor. Maybe I’m over-thinking this, but I can’t help but wonder if he’s trying to tie himself to Emeril Lagasse because he wants to try and become a part of the Martha Stewart empire? That would be a smart move, but who knows? It’s an interesting theory at best. For now, we’ll watch and wait and see what happens.

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