By Ezra Klein
I love What Would Brian Boitano Make. I’ll watch Iron Chef if it’s on. I like the Barefoot Contessa, and I watched the bacon-themed episode of “Best Thing I Ever Ate” on Rosh Hashana. But am I missing something? Or does the Food Network, well, suck?
Their Top Chef knock-off, Chopped, seems like public access television. The rest of the network appears devoted to Bobby Flay challenging someone for the local clam-slurping title, or that fat guy with the bleached blond hair screaming about how much he loves butter. Or maybe that’s Paula Deen? Sorry. I get confused.
Worse, it’s not as if television is bereft of good cooking shows. They’re just not on the Food Network. Bravo’s Top Chef and Top Chef Masters are great. PBS has a bevy of great shows, including the IFA’s beloved Made in (e)Spain! Anthony Bourdain wanders around without reservations on the Discovery channel. All of these shows are better than anything on the Food Network that doesn’t feature a former Olympic skater. And from what I understand, the Food Network isn’t even committed to its single shot at transcendence.
But this isn’t just a rant. I’m an optimist. I believe I’m probably missing some brilliant bit of programming somewhere in the Food Network’s lineup. Aside, of course, from What Would Brian Boitano Make? Tell me where it is.