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The Food Network: Has it lost its relevance . . .

replaced by food sites like CHOWHOUND, where the content is in sync with what people are eating . . . experiencing . . . and how we are socializing?

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  1. food network lost it's relevance when it dumbed itself down. It used to be a channel for foodies, now its a channel for the busy housewife/husband

    22 Replies
    1. re: thew

      Do you remember when that happened?

        1. re: Phaedrus

          Actually, when I was watching Chefography yesterday (the one about the history of the Food Network), I think it was Rachel Ray who was the pivot.

          1. re: Phaedrus

            For me the tipping point was when Rachel Ray started getting more and more shows which were then repeated on a seemingly continuous loop.

          2. re: MaduraGirl

            When they stopped airing shows like "Two Fat Ladies," "Taste," and "East Meets West," IMO.

            1. re: MaduraGirl

              I've been watching Food Channel almost since it's inception. David Rosengarten, East Meets West, Darryl (from Delmonico's), Sarah Molton, Justin Wilson, etc.. I feel that the whole thing changed when Emeril Live showed and we saw a pretty good chef being turned into a buffoon. Seems like everyone raved about how new, fresh, funny it was and it was down hill from then on. Heck, even good 'ol AB is starting to get cheeser. IMO, Paula Dean has been turned into a Ya-all mush queen and Rachel Ray reminds me of fingenails on a black board. Before the Chow police slap me down for dinigrating TV hosts, remember, I said they were being "turned into" these things. The writers and directors are more to blame than the principals themselves (IMHO). Two thumbs up for public television.
              Bob

              1. re: SonyBob

                All true, SonyBob. I imagine AB has no choice but to say 'how high?' when the suits behind the FN say 'jump'.

                Sad, but indicative of the media overall.

                Long live Julia Child.

                1. re: SonyBob

                  Right on Bob! And speaking of television chefs...And unfortunately we'll never see the likes of a Julia Child, Jeff Smith, Justin Wilson, James Beard, Graham Kerr (Galloping Gourmet days), or Jacques Pépin on FN.

                  1. re: crt

                    Pepin is probably the craziest caricature of a chef personality ever!

                    1. re: Icantread

                      just saw him as a guest on rick bayless' Mexico One Plate at a Time this morning. good stuff, a little corny both guys, but good.

                2. re: MaduraGirl

                  Emeril Live. I have no problem with Emeril but when they over exposed him on his live show and saturated their programing with this one show that was to me the pivoting point.

                  1. re: scubadoo97

                    scub, I gotta agree with you. Emeril and the whole BAM thing got so out of hand...too many shows...to much exposure. FN really took a dive after that. Sure there have been one or two interesting chefs/programs but it's all a bit too loud for me these days. Bright lights, wardrobes, crazy sets....where's the food?

                3. re: thew

                  Are you implying that foodies are more relevant than busy housewives/husbands?

                  paul

                  1. re: paulj

                    Of course! Just kidding. I think this board is comprised mostly of foodies rather than housewives/husbands types. So there seems to be a big hatred of Food Network on this board.

                    I don't hate it but I really don't watch it anymore. I just take what I want from Food Network and would rather watch channels like Discovery. But I think Food Network is probably a great starter for people just getting into food. Some people will be happy there, and others will want something more after a while and switch to other channels.

                    Food Network just realized that they can make more money catering to the masses than to the much smaller foodie group.

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      "Food Network just realized that they can make more money catering to the masses than to the much smaller foodie group."

                      No, I firmly believe that they have missed the mark on where their audience lies. They thought that statement was true. In fact, the "foodie group" is ever expanding and gaining new members from the public at large every day. Instead, FN is becoming less focused and with no particular discernible demographic. The fact that their ratings have declined bears this out. Unlike other channels which lost their way (A&E, Learning Channel, even Sci-Fi) and hardly represent their name, Food Network really caught the crest of an emerging wave that has yet to reach shore. But they Barny'd (it's a surfer term) and made a dumb decision not to ride it on in...

                      1. re: Scortch

                        I disagree. I think the FN realizes that the foodie group is expanding and trying to get some of those people by reairing episodes of shows like A Cook's Tour. However, at this current state, there is more money to be made by airing Rachel Ray and Guy Fieri than catering to foodies.

                        1. re: Miss Needle

                          Re-airing "A Cook's Tour" always seemed to me to play on the success of "No Res." more than anything else. It's not advertised for its foodie bent but instead with the Bourdain-despised producer- forced moment of eating the cobra heart.

                          It's so MACHO!

                          1. re: Scortch

                            The decision to repeat A Cook's Tour is made to recoup the money they put into making it. Their ownership lapses sometime this year.

                        2. re: Scortch

                          Reports that their ratings have declined are greatly exaggerated. To many advertisers, it's "demographics," not total ratings. They seem to be on the right track for them (but not for me):

                          http://www.broadcastingcable.com/arti...

                          You'd think that maybe, just out of their goodness of their hearts, they could present a weekly show of the caliber of Julia Child's. But TV land is mainly composed of those who think quantitavely (as in $$$), rather than qualiitatively.

                          1. re: Scortch

                            I thought someone recently posted ratings from the FN that showed they were doing better than ever to a younger, more affluent audience. These were ratings from Neilsen. Whenever I mention a FN show or personality to a friend or family member who isn't food obsessed, they look at me blankly. I don't know WHO is watching. But someone is.

                          2. re: Miss Needle

                            But busy housewives and husbands can still be foodies. That's what irks me about the food network. They paint everyone with the same brush.

                            1. re: Avalondaughter

                              Of course, housewives and husbands can be foodies. Just like foodies can also like McDonalds. I use the term busy housewives and husbands to refer to a certain demographic -- not that they're really housewives and husbands.

                      2. For me it has. I think I can point to continous Rachel Ray loops and finding only Marc Summers in Unwrapped as the turning point. I wanted to watch a real cooking show, and all I found were the industrial age presentation of prepared food, or Rachel chintzing on a tip to beat the $40 a day mark, or not ordering an entree in New York for dinner - just an appetizer. It would have been much better to hear her say "I can't do this on $40 a day in New York unless I eat at a chain restaurant" than to hear her claim she wasn't really hungry, and just wanted an appetizer for dinner. I just couldn't stand the schtick any more. It wears out. As for the Unwrapped show, I don't get it. I guess since Summers is a producer and/or holds a financial interest in a number of shows, he gets to give himself a show. It is the kind of thing they should put on during periods of low viewership. There is no other plausible explanation for why this airs at night, when I find myself searching for something to wind down with. There certainly isn't anything appetizing about watching factories make prepared food for me. If it weren't for Alton Brown and Robert Irvine, I probably wouldn't watch at all anymore.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: RGC1982

                          Although I'm not really a fan of most of those shows... I have to say that the amount of food she hoovers down on $40 a day is really enough for me without causing any form of hunger. Of course, when I go somewhere I may wish (or uncontrollably) to gorge myself... but it's not like her days consist of a few saltines spread with a pat of butter.

                          1. re: Blueicus

                            Two words for Rachel: 10% tips? ...

                          2. re: RGC1982

                            RGC1982 you worded everything I think perfectly. You are so right.

                          3. Thanks this is great. In the 90s -- I worked overnights, and I remember having FN on, in the background, and actually learning something. Overall. Now, the afternoon block -- all the ladies, sound the same -- meaning, they seem to how gone through the FN school of how to perform on tv, coming out on the other end like a Stepford Cook. And the men look tired. The edge. I guess it lost its edge. Think of it, would Julia Child get her own show today on FN? I'm not coming down on them, just upset that there is no variety and as a Latina--MADURA GIRL--I'm upset on how we are represented, and I'm not just talking about Ingrid. THE FOOD! Thanks for letting me vent and talking my question seriously!!!!!

                            1. I don't think the Food Network is losing relevance. If anything it's more accessible. Sure "Iron Chef" cuisine is fun to watch, but it's more realisitc that I'll prepare dishes from shows like Good Eats, Barefoot Contessa, and others.
                              The Food Network is clever for not limiting itself to cooking shows, and branching out to other food-related shows about industry, restaurants, and travel.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: jtpeters

                                I don't see any branching out. I think it's more narrowly defined than ever. I used to enoy Ace of Cakes once in a while. Now, every time I turn FN on, there's a show about a cake competition. Click. Off goes FN. Result? I don't bother to watch Ace of Cakes anymore and the word "fondit" makes me queasy.

                                1. re: southernitalian

                                  I'm not a fan of the cake design challenge shows either - mostly due to the fact that taste has no role in them, but I think you're just incredibly unlucky when you tune your TV to Food Network. A DVR or TIVO might help by recording more variety.

                                  1. re: southernitalian

                                    The thing that's fun about Ace of Cakes (which I haven't watched for several months, so maybe this is no longer true) is that it *isn't* "all about the cake." It's about the people in the bakery, some of whom are quite charming, and their weekly cake-based art projects. It's a reality show about a scrappy little group of people facing daily challenges. The fact that it takes place in a bakery is really pretty incidental -- it could be about a small press, an auto body shop, or a florist shop without really changing the show.

                                    (Edited to make tenses agree.)

                                    1. re: southernitalian

                                      Ace of Cakes grew out of the cake competition shows. Duff was a competitor (with Geoff at least once) on them before he got his own show. And jlafler is right, in my opinion, Ace of Cakes is at least as much about the people in the bakery as about cake....which is why I enjoy it so much; they're likable.

                                    2. re: jtpeters

                                      Accessible and branching out...I think this is the first time I have heard anyone refer to FN in such a way.

                                    3. i used to have FN on ALL the time. Now i rarely watch it ever. Shows like taste and good eats helped my cooking. Now every show that is about cooking seems to be about very basic stuff and cooking on a budget, and far too many shows are not about cooking at all. I understand why FN made this choice, but I'm afraid it meant I was no longer its target audience.

                                      it was like when MTV switched from all music all the time, to some some music once in a while....

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. I don't think that FN has lost its relevance. I think when it started, it was trying to target the "foodie" group, as in people who love to cook. They originally tried to design programming that would be accessible to this demographic with shows like Molto Mario and the like. These shows were geared towards more experienced, adventurous (i.e. willing to work with ingredients you may not be able to pronounce) chefs.

                                        However, they have realized that while they are accessible for one audience, they are alienating to another. I think that the American family no longer has family dinners the way it has in years past. Parents are working all hours of the day, kids have soccer practices and other activities.. Basically, slaving over a hot stove to cook dinner for your whole family has turned into taking fifteen minutes to cook our microwave-in-the-bag-frozen-vegetables, prepackaged fresh pasta and sauce. Then the members of the family who happen to be present take ten minutes to eat it during commercial breaks of Hannah Montana, and the rest is put on a plate to be microwaved later by the absentees. Either that, or they just get take-out. Watching Rachel Ray throw together a meal in 30 minutes is much more helpful to the average non-cook than watching Julia Child make a perfect roast chicken.

                                        Basically, I wish that the FN (although I'm in Canada, and have different programming [Yay! CANCON!]) had more shows like Good Eats where the educational value was helpful to the beginner cook as well as the experienced ones. But I wouldn't say it has lost its relevance. Perhaps people who take time to cook good food have lost their relevance.... Hmmm...

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: miss_bennet

                                          Cooking well or cooking at all that doesnt require a microwave nor is it hard nor is it like "slaving over a hot stove." I think that is what the fast food industry tries to perpetrate on the American Family and besides so many other things . . . . it's just plain unhealthy. Cooking is not hard, if you know the basics. If you know that anything goes in the kitchen -- only limited by your imagination. That's what I think is missing in the FN. Cooking becomes an EVENT where you need a beautiful backyard a big kitchen and LOTS OF BUTTER. Cue the dog.

                                          Cooking is fun. Cooking is creative. Cooking is how we connect to who we are and I think that is what is missing from the FN. Teach the masses how to marinade and out goes those awful ready made marinades.

                                          Thoughts?

                                          1. re: miss_bennet

                                            "Watching Rachel Ray throw together a meal in 30 minutes is much more helpful to the average non-cook than watching Julia Child make a perfect roast chicken."
                                            ~~~~~~~~~~~
                                            On this, I have to disagree. If you can make a very good (doesn't have to be perfect, but a very good) simple roast chicken, you're pretty much set with dinner after making the sides.

                                            1. re: miss_bennet

                                              To piggy back on Linda's comments. What they are learning from RR's show is the mechanics of make a meal. Julia gives that and more, she gives them the reason for doing what they are doing, she gives them the pitfalls and foreshadows any difficulties that they are likely to face.

                                              While I hesitate to use the metaphor due to the irony content, it is quite apt: Julia teaches them how to fish so they can grow into cooking and learn how to improvise on what Julia just taught them, RR just gives them a fish, frozen, processed, and tasty as a brick.

                                              1. re: Phaedrus

                                                I have to leap to the defense of Rachel Ray in this instance; she may have started out doing frozen stuff....but in her recent episodes she is cooking fresh foods almost entirely. She uses canned tomatoes and beans and boxed broth, but I think most home cooks would concede the canned tomatoes are better much of the year and canned beans and boxed broth are acceptable substitutes in many cases. That is all.

                                                1. re: Phaedrus

                                                  "What they are learning from RR's show is the mechanics of make a meal. Julia gives that and more, she gives them the reason for doing what they are doing, she gives them the pitfalls and foreshadows any difficulties that they are likely to face."

                                                  Well, yes, but as evidenced by being members of Chowhound, I think that we want to learn the "pitfalls and [...] difficulties" of preparing a meal. I think that there are many people out there in NA who just want dinner. Rachel Ray will help them get dinner. Julia Child will help us become far better cooks. And the fact of the matter is, if a family eats at fast food and chain restaurants all the time, even a brick would be tasty, if only becaause it is different.

                                                  I have a 25-year-old friend who can't cook to save her life. She loves watching RR, and through watching, she has learned to make a couple of dishes. I have a fifteen-year-old cousin who HATES RR, and would much rather watch Jamie Oliver because he gets his produce out of his garden. There is no way that my friend will roast a chicken in the next year. However, she may buy pre-packaged chicken breast, grated cheese and tortillas and make herself "homemade" quesadillas. I really think that that's better than her not trying to cook at all.

                                              2. There are a lot of problems with FN, but what ultimately turned me off was the proliferation of shows with a competitive theme, especially since in many cases the competition is obviously set up to produce a particular result. The food recedes into the background, and the (failed) attempt at drama comes to the fore.

                                                1. Just my 2 cents, but I choose not to watch Sandra Lee and Rachel Ray, just as I never really liked Bobby Flays shows, but at least they were cooking shows. Now days every time I see whats showing it’s a contest... Diner Impossible, Iron Chef, Throw down, Next FN Star, and all the strange home cooking contests they have as well. While I probably will never make half the stuff I see in the cooking shows I like to get ideas and pickup techniques. The contest atmosphere is not translatable to home cooking, so thats where it lost its relevance for me.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Dave O

                                                    I wholeheartedly agree with you and yet Bravo still manages to make Top Chef interesting and relavent and it's a competition. It's all in the execution.

                                                  2. Isn't the fact that this post has generated nearly 40 replies in less than 2 days evidence enough that Food Network has not lost its relevance?

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                      Not really. Especiailly if people stopped watching. I think people are just upset at something that started off as a great idea with interesting shows is just now a tired copy of itself, with sites like ChowHound picking up the slack. FN totally lost it for me with the Simple Delicioso show. On a programming side, I think they are just throwing as much up against the wall trying to see what sticks to compete with where everything is going -- on line.

                                                    2. I was an FN addict but now it really is the same tired shows constantly. I just watch kitchen nightmares on BBC with as much iron chef as I can. alton's schtick is getting tired and everything else is just bad. I'd rather try and catch old ming tsai episodes on public access.

                                                      1. Perhaps it is an improperly phrased topic prompt... Relevance is very broad. FN is "relevant" in that they are still on-air, their hosts are still selling thousands of books, and people are still talking about them! Are they relevant to the type of person who is likely to be on this website, that is, is FN relevant to Chowhouds? I would give a qualified no.

                                                        I no longer watch FN because I get nothing out of the transaction, with exceptions. Their hosts are not providing me with any new information (except for Good Eats and hes molecular breakdowns). The recipes are not conveying any new techniques (except for sous vide/smoking/foam in Iron Chef). And, their flavor combinations are not new. How many times can you roast chicken the exact same way?

                                                        However, FN is not going anywhere- and as much as I wished they catered to my needs and wants as a cook/foodie-they will be remain "relevant", for better or for worse to some portion of the population for a very long time!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: AnneBird

                                                          But you can say that about anything the minute it gets on TV with the backing of the network's PR machine. The next thing you know there's a line waiting outside Williams-Sonoma for a cook book that might be opened once or twice, if at all. I guess its because the FN is less about food and more about selling a lifestyle. Based on your definition, I think FN will become irrelevant because people will just not care anymore about that roast chicken and will turn to places like Chowhound for alternatives.

                                                        2. While catching a few episodes of Chefography, I'm quickly reminded that I miss the days when FN took its Chefs out of the studio. Wolfgang at farms, Martha on the boat, recently Alton on the bike...these shows were interesting! Chefs/cooks/FN personalities framed inside a studio is BORING! Technical expertise shared, sure...but how many x's need we see slicing/dicing/braising & glazing! Jamie Oliver "at home" is about as outdoors as FN gets of late....!

                                                          Please, FN get out of the studio!

                                                          1. The only shows I ever watch on FN now are Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (I enjoy it), and Iron Chef. I have watched some of the chefography programs.

                                                            1. It's like MTV with videos - if you want to see real cooking instead of yet more "challenge" and "ace of cakes" you have to be up early on a weekday (and it better be Monday if you want to see Mario). Then, afternoons are dedicated to the housewife block.

                                                              That said, Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives is a great show in my book.

                                                              1. Food Network has been very successful

                                                                It started out with a niche audience, so all of it's shows were geared toward foodies, cooks, and gourmands

                                                                but with it's success it realized it had to broaden it's audience, so it had to 'dumb down' the content of their shows. So instead of well seasoned chefs like Tsai, Puck, Batali...they've replaced them with 'stay at home mom' type cooks like Giada, Ray, and that old southern lady. I don't blame them either, most Americans would rather prepare a quick and easy 30 minute meal rather than learn the intricancies of what the former chefs i had mentioned taught.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: attractivekid

                                                                  I think just as many of us have expressed how we'd love to see a mass market meat farm go by the wayside, it's not going to happen. It has a demographic of people it caters to, which is really quite large, who don't care that they aren't getting 'quality'.

                                                                  I believe such is the analogy of the food network, at times. They need, sometimes step by step dumbed down recipes, ala Ray and Lee with with precut carrots and frozen breasts, pastry dough (Okay, I have pie crusts in my freezer) and cans of chilli. Sometimes they just need ideas...and some of them just want to watch food tv. They don't care about 'quality' per se, or maybe they just don't know. And it's really not our place to judge them.

                                                                  My husband knows I'm not the biggest Ray fan, but sometimes he'll watch the 30 minute meal show on a Saturday morning, taking a break from cutting the lawn, come out to me in the garden and tell me his 'girlfriend' is making pasta and hey can we have that tonight. Now I'm not going to run in the house to grab her recipe, but I'll make his favorite tomato sauce or maybe a homemade stuffed raviolli that I made up in batches and stash in the freezer.

                                                                  So yes, the FN has some relevence for DH. And I'm a foodie housewife...I worked for a caterer through high school where I did some cooking, not a lot. But I always loved food. We did two years without cable with we first got married, on purpose, so we would have a family dinner every night and TALK. When our antenna started getting wonky we gave in, got cable, and I was re-introduced to food. I was glad to watch food network, but around the fall, after a few months, I started to see the things other people talked about...the mistakes, the waste, etc. I watch Iron Chef, and Good Eats occasionally, and will flip something on to keep in the background while doing paperwork if it sounds like something I might cook. The dogs and I like the noise.

                                                                  We do a lot of slow food here, for the most part with few short cuts. But my techniques have gotten a lot better in the last year, than they would have been. And I wouldn't have been willing to try things on my own like tripe, tongue, liver, pork belly, etc. While I wish there was something more specialized, I don't think the market is there. Why don't some of you make youtube videos? Otherwise, While FN isn't perfect, I guess I owe them something....:)

                                                                  Sorry this is a book

                                                                2. I think the introduction of Rachel Ray was the begining of the end for Food Network. Up until that time I watched the network religiously, and I admit, I did watch Rachel Ray for a brief period of time. After a few airings I could not stand to listen to EVOO, yummo, or the like. At first I defended her show, as I thought it was something that might get young adults and kids interested in cooking, but little did I know it would become an uncontrollable creature with a mind of its own.

                                                                  I blame the Rachel Ray phenom for the cooking bastardization known as Sandra Lee. I cannot believe something so horrible is on the air. I sat in disbelief as FoodNetwork aired commercials of people saying they "Sandra Lee'd" thier recipes. What a f$%&#! joke!

                                                                  But really and truly, I think FN jumped the shark when they removed Sara Moulton. It's been nothing but downhill ever since. I loved her, and learned so much from her shows. I just don't understand how the heir apparent to Julia Childs could be canceled from anything called "Food Network." Clearly morons are at the helm.

                                                                  1. The Food Network gives us such stellar hostitutes as Rachel Ray, Sandra Lee, Marc Summers and Guy Ferie (sp).

                                                                    From Travel/BBC/ and other assorted networks we get Julia & Jacques, Mario, Gordon, Nigella, Sara Moulton, Rick Bayless, Jose Andres, Tony and soon Emeril (who is moving Emeril Live to Fine Living).

                                                                    If FN had just managed to hold on to half of the talent they let go (Rosengarten, Ming, Ruggerio, et. al. , it would still be a fine network. Pinheaded bean counters aren't noted for their superb programming skills.

                                                                    Not hard to figure out where FN went wrong. I have my DVR set watch for new episodes of Good Eats, Iron Chef America, and anything by Nigella (what can I say, I am a knuckle-dragging red-blooded male. So sue me).

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. I still watch from time to time when there's nothing else on - it's in my run of channels I surf - but since i rarely find Ina (I know many of you dislike her too but I really like her and have good luck with her recipes and just find her relaxing to watch - she seems like she loves what she does and isn't a caricature) or an iron chef that i like, i often turn it off. but my non-foodie friends LOVE the food network. and they talk about how much they love the shows we love to hate. so i don't think they lost their relevance, just changed their demographic. as much as we might think we are all important - we probably do still tune in from time to time for a few good shows - and there are still a lot more non-foodies out there. so as much as it makes me sad it probably wasn't the worst marketing decision in the world.
                                                                      i just hope that michael symon, who i really like, doesn't sell out and turn into a stereotype of himself. if not he could get me watching more.

                                                                      1. I dislike Symon intensely and I feel that John Besh got robbed. But I guess they needed a headbanger to appeal to the younger folk. I guess I'm just a white-bread american cheese lowlife, but I cannot for the life of me understand the appeal of Alton Brown.To me, he's the kid you wanted to repeatedly punch in the face in high school. ICK! I like Rachael, Paula, Emeril, Guy & Mario. Maybe what they need is two nets just like CNN & CNN Headline. One channel for the purists, and one channel for those of us with no breeding.

                                                                        1. I used to love food network in the early days; Sara, David, Nigella, Jamie, and even Emeril. But now..

                                                                          First, I'm in Canada, so we get a much different lineup. There are, to me, excruciatingly bad Canadian shows like "Restaurant Makeover", where a female Gordon Ramsay-wannabe comes in and storms around as she changes everything, not usually for the better. (They did one at a place in my town, and it hasn't increased its business.), the "Surreal Gourmet" (where Bob Blumer drives around in with an Airstream trailer converted to look like a toaster, and prepares icky food), the "Thirsty Traveler", which is all about alcohol (I'm an ex-drinker, so can't watch), and "Sugar" with Anna Olson, which as a diabetic I also cannot watch. That said, there are some Canadian shows I do like - "Chef at Home" with the 6'6" Mike Smith, "Ricardo and Friends", which features a French-Canadian chef who actually cooks for us, and "The Main", another Quebec-based show that also offers up some different takes on old dishes.

                                                                          As for the American shows, I like Tyler Florence's "Ultimate" and AB's "Good Eats" and "Feasting on Asphalt", and the "Secret Life of.." and "Unwrapped" are usually pleasant diversions. I can watch RR once in a while; I just wish she'd stop repeating her catchphrases so often. (My kids actually bought one of her cookbooks, and make her "stoup" on cold winter nights; it's not bad!)

                                                                          What I can't stand are these contrived competitions, like "Iron Chef" (of any ilk), the cake shows, the BBQ shows (not that I don't love BBQ, but this is nothing about cooking, as no one shares any of their secrets), the eating competitions, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

                                                                          Finally, there should be a special place in Hades for the people who inflict upon us Gordon Ramsay in any incarnation west of Land's End. I blame FN for this most of all.