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How well do the food network personalities know each other?

I was watching Ina Garten today and she said something about being annoyed by anyone who talks about "tablescapes" (I wish I would have written down the exact quote). I laughed out loud....could she be referring to Sandra Lee?

So I thought I would ask, does anyone know how well the personalities (I'm hesitant to call some of them chefs) know each other? It seems like Alton Brown's show is based in Georgia and Ina Garten's show seems to be based right around her home also. Many of the shows appear to be taped in someone's home, but I don't know if that is a TV world illusion. I would think they would be spread out across the country, so I wonder if they meet each other. I guess it's not terribly important, but I'm just curious.

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  1. i heard the same ina garten comment you did, and to me it was a wonderful put-down of the pseudo-food program that fraud sandra lee foists off on unsuspecting viewers. i won't watch it, or that other food charlatan paula deen. my guess is that there is a fair amount of jealosy and ego-clashing among the foodnetwork crowd, and they probably avoid one another except when their contracts require them to congregate for "specials" or "holiday parties." my favorite - alton brown - manages to stand apart from the other titanic egos, but then he (along with ina garten and bobby flay) is the only real chef/artisan/craftsman/creative brain on the whole foodnetwork. richard

    1 Reply
    1. re: rkscher

      Giada de Laurentis films in the L.A. area, using different people's homes.

    2. I think most of them are filmed in either New York or LA. Alton's show used to be filmed in a house (not his) in Atlanta, but it was moved to a studio after the neighbors complained.

      I figure some of them are friends. Some of them have never met eachother. Looks like everyone knows Emeril, since many of the other hosts refer to him regularly.

      12 Replies
      1. re: mojoeater

        Which Alton Brown show do you watch? Is there more than one? The only one I have seen is Good Eats. I can't seem to get by the "campiness" of the show for some reason. Wish he would leave the gimmicks alone and just cook.

        1. re: foodseek

          Alton's biggest fanbase if for Good Eats. People like his scientific approach. He started a new show, Feasting on Asphalt, last year. Basically, he road tripped on a motorcycle eating local foods. Wrecked his bike and broke and arm. He also hosts Iron Chef America.

          1. re: mojoeater

            Emeril tapes his show in Chelsea market and Bobby Flay is based in NYC, as is Mario Batali, so they seem to know each other pretty well. I think Mario used to hang out with Tony Bourdain too, given their appetite for larger than life entertainment involving lots of food and alcohol, I am not surprised.

            Alton is happily ensconsced in the northern suburbs of Atlanta. I think maybe Alphareta since AB does a lot of shots at Harry's Farmer's market and the Whole Foods up there. He did do on eshow early on at the Silver Skillet on 14th, north of Tech.

            As for the rest f them, I wouldn't know. But the enforced chuminess is pretty saccharine, which is why I never watch the holiday shows.

            1. re: Phaedrus

              My boyfriend and I went to a Rachael Ray book signing in Philly and she mentioned that she and Giada are good friends.

              1. re: lrebetsky0423

                Mario mentioned that he was going to Rachel's house for dinner.

                1. re: sandramrma

                  Mario and Rachael are friends. Apparently at one her her houses (i believe it is the New York apartment) she is neighbors with Batali according to an interview done with Mario in Texas recently where he discussed Rachael cooking for his kids. They also often seem to assist each other in fund raising and other special promotions.

            2. re: mojoeater

              What was the Anthony Bourdain show with a similar theme where he'd keep it real and eat with a bunch of cabbies after hours or end up in some dude's momma's kitchen. Is it still on somewhere?

                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  Now on the Travel Channel, not Food Network.

          2. re: mojoeater

            A good portion of the shows are filmed at the Food Network Offices in Chelesa Market. Iron Chef, Old Emeril Live, Rachel Ray, Tyler's Show, and a couple others are filmed in the same studio. They set they studio up and film multiple shows per day over the course of a week or two.

            Not sure who knows and who is friends with who.

            1. re: landshark

              love the "landshark" -- "cleverest species of them all." http://www.spike.com/video/land-shark... {;^D.

          3. Just in general, many of the top chefs (and "personalities") know each other. Heck, many chefs in general. It's kind of an an exclusive club in many ways and they tend to hang out with like types. I have been to quite a few tapings of Food Network shows and they are all pretty chummy.

            Also at late night bar / restaurant scenes or parties with chefs and food biz folks it is interesting who shows up and how many know each other, who likes or dislikes whom. There are so many feuds and friends, its pretty interesting (and annoying too.)

            Even more fun is food events and seminars where totally dissimilar, top chefs from different parts of the globe are riffing on each other and joking around, making comments on dinner at so and so's restaurant last night, who goofed up or did great. It's obvious that many know each other pretty well.

            2 Replies
            1. re: JMF

              Sometimes Food Network will have holiday specials with their main chefs coming together or competitions on Iron Chef. It always seems like Bobby Flay and Giada are paired together. I'm convinced they are having an affair. They always seem flirty. ;)

              1. re: Jacey

                Maybe Bobby is just trying to get his wife a job in a movie ;)

            2. I'm really surprised that the network let that comment slip through. One of the Food Network's basic fictions seems to be that all their stars love and respect each other, that they're all one big happy family. You almost never hear anything but fulsome praise of other FN personalities, except from those who have broken with the network.

              1. I think it was "Food and Wine" where I saw an article on Bobby Flay touring Savannah with his wife and he had lunch at The Lady and Sons, owned by his "friend" Paula Deen. (She's a successful restaurant owner and has been for years, so I have to wonder where all of this hostiltiy and comparison to Sandra Lee comes from.)

                I suspect that a lot of this chumminess you see on these Food Network specials is fake. For exmpale Giada is on the west coast and Rachael is on the east coast. How good of a friend can they be to each other? Some of these chefs have restaurants in the same city and have to compete with each other for the tourist crowds. How friendly is the competition?

                The fact that Ina Garten keeps her distance from all of those chummy FN specials tells me she probably doesn't think much of the other FN cooks. they don't show up for her dinner parties either.

                1. I, too, caught that remark some time ago and thought "Ohhhhhhh..M-E-O-W!
                  It was one of the best comments ever on FN! My guess is that the personalities really don't bother with each other--it's a job. If I was working on FN, the two I would like to be friends with are Ina Garten and Tyler Florence--JMHO

                  1. There is some interaction among the bigger hosts. A few times a year they all get herded into Food Network HQ in New York to do press stuff (group photos, promos etc.). Also a lot of the bigger hosts are on the food festival circuit so they'll see each other there and probably get paired together to do events at these festivals as well. And let's not forget the various charity dinners and events that they sign up to do as well.

                    Just as I'm not fond of all of my co-workers it's the same with the Food Network personalities. At the end of the day they are in competition with one another for tv ratings, book sales, endorsement deals etc.

                    WON
                    http://whatsonmplate.wordpress.com

                    1. Didn't Batali help Giada get her FN gig? She thanks him in the credits for her first book, Everyday Italian. I seem to recall reading somewhere that he helped her make the transition from personal chef to Personality Chef Extraordinaire.

                      1. I recommend that anyone interested in this thread read A.A. Gill's excellent book "Table Talk". He's the acid-tongued reviewer for the Sunday Times, and is both profane and brilliant. Because he barely bothers to conceal his identity, he has spent time with a who's who of the star chef world. He has the distinction of having been the reviewer chucked out of Gordon Ramsay's Resto (with Joan Collins in tow), so naturally he's mates with Marco Pierre White (who has the distinction of being the chef who made Gordon Ramsay cry). If you wanted to play a six-degrees of seperation game with chefs, I'll bet his name pops up often.