I don’t watch Food Network as often as I once did, and it pains me to say that because one of my goals has been to work for them, beyond freelance. I love everything for which the network stands, under God, indivisible, with ingredients and cooking lessons, for all. But when I went to culinary school, things changed.
I was watching the most recent winner of the Next Food Network Star, Aarti, in her show debut, last week — Aarti Party. I enjoyed the show; she was great on camera, and her stories about growing up in India were interesting. Then she used a dry measuring cup to measure milk. I changed the channel.
Up until that point, I thought she had something to teach me about Indian cooking. Maybe she did. But, when I realized she didn’t understand the basic elements of foundation cooking (and that Food Network was OK with that), it didn’t matter to me any longer. I’ve experienced similar with other Food Network talent — I’m engaged and interested in what they’re doing, and then they do something silly, like hold their knife the wrong way. I think that’s why I don’t have the close relationship I once had with Food Network — I know more than what they’re teaching, and what they’re teaching isn’t always correct.
Can we get back to good, Food Network? I miss the balance of entertainment + cooking lessons you once had with Emeril and Mario. I’ll pop by at 11 to watch Alton, but if you need me before then, I’ll be at PBS watching Julia and Jacques.