Do I like the food network? That's a question I get a lot. The answer is not really.
My opinion however, has been sculpted by some of the people most notorious for "dissing" the food network. Having read his book, Anthony Bourdain is the most notable, however among most chefs, despising the food network seems like the cool thing to do (wow that's kinda like despising your parents in high school). These chefs are not without reason. For professionals who take much pride in their craft, seeing someone such as Sandra Lee dumb it down so much, is highly insulting.
I will say however, that I would watch the Food Network over Date My Mom, or My Super Sweet Sixteen on MTV anyday. Actually, now that I think about it, perhaps the Food Network isn't so bad, its just the message that some of the shows send. Maybe it's not even the message they send, maybe it's just that I'm looking at this through a chef's point of view, and my pleasure comes not from putting a meal on the table in 30 minutes, but from pushing myself to make the best food possible, regardless of time. A working mom, would likely prefer the Food Network point of view.
But no. I'm not siding with the Food Network that easily. Though my view is quite subjective, as a cook, I have a duty to constantly be in defense of food. I could go on and on, about how the only good that will come out of watching Sandra Lee is how to defrost pre cooked french fries, but I don't want to talk about what she, or any other "food network star" is making. Telling people that squrting cheese whiz on tater tots and calling it dinner is wrong, isn't news to anyone. I would much rather talk about their principles.
Everyone always talks about the grandmothers, and how it always tastes better when they make it, and so on. Then you ask her "Grandma, Grandma, what your secret ingredient?" She responds "But of course dear, it's love." You say "Grandma really, what the secret?" She says "Love. Dont believe me? Ask the dishes. They can sing they can dance after all this is France." Sorry. Back on topic. Maybe granny has a point. What's great about her cooking, and what grandma's are renowned for is making legit, authentic, 100% home made food. You never hear "Semi-Homemade."
When I see Sandra Lee using pre chopped celery, my heart drops. It takes a certain amount of care and devotion and love of food to do the little things. Caring about, and perfecting the little things affects your finished product not only in the sense that it will likely be better if you do it yourself, but also that you will care more about ensuring that it turns out good. What do I mean? If you take your time doing the little things, you will not let the precious time you used to complete these tasks go to waste, and you will ensure that your hard work becomes a satisfying finished product. How can you put Ms. Lee on TV when her appreciation for food clearly runs just skin deep.
That said, I will watch Emeril Live (though there are no new episodes being made), and Giada too, depending on her outfit. I used to watch Iron Chef America before I saw this http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0808,302520,302520,1.html . My favorite however is Good Eats with Alton Brown. Now that is a great show. One of my favorite on TV. There hasn't been an episode that hasn't taught me at least 10 new things.
Forget it, I don't like conclusions. I'll save it for English class when I have to write one.