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Mar 18, 2010 03:45 PM

No Asian Food Network Chefs....why not?

What's up with the Food Network not having any Asian chefs on their roster?
I find it kind of lame (and a bit insulting) that they don't have one program hosted by an Asian person. Anyone who agrees with me should email them about it and mention that The Iron Chef doesn't count. I've emailed them but haven't received a response.
As much as I love BBQ, Fried Chicken and tacos...Food Network's programming and recipes are getting redundant.

Does anyone else agree?

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      1. Cancel your cable.

        Watch PBS instead.

        12 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          Totally agree. There are only a few cooking shows on PBS,but they far outshine anything on food network, with the possible exception of Anne Burrell. The shows are all the same. Sometimes I wonder - who are these people and credentials do they have? Some I know but most........

          1. re: wincountrygirl

            Ming Tsai and Martin Yan have been on FN. But these days only the EVOO chipmunk and Semi-baked blonde are to be found. They cater to the lowest common denominator.

            1. re: pabboy

              @ pabboy, i know it's popular to bash FN for various reasons on this board - i've done it myself more than once - but they still have a couple of shows i and many other fellow CHers enjoy watching, and i'd hardly classify any of us as "the lowest common denominator."

              and in response to the OP, yes it's upsetting. and i think the network is aware that it's a gaping hole because i can't see why else they continued to let Debbie Lee advance in the competition for the Next Food Network Start last summer. she didn't deserve to stick around as long as she did. not that she was a true Asian chef by any means, but still, i think they were hoping she'd somehow pull it off so they could add an Asian name to their roster.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                FN is just like any other network: cater the largest audience possible. How many Asians do you see on NBC, CBS, ABC or FOX? It definitely doesn't represent the Asian population in this country otherwise E.R. , Scrubs and Grey's would have more than 30% Asian cast.

                1. re: pabboy

                  "the largest audience possible" is a much more pleasant way to put it. the term "lowest common denominator" can have a more negative, judgmental meaning, and given the tone of the rest of your earlier post, that was how i read it - as something of an insult.

                  thanks for clarifying.

                  1. re: pabboy

                    the U.S is over 30% Asian? I agree that many (all?) non white ethnicities are underrepresented on T.V., including food newtwork, but the Asian pop. is aprox 4% of the U.S population

                    1. re: karenfinan

                      I'm talking about a hospital hence my reference to E.R., Scrubs and Grey's.

                      1. re: karenfinan

                        Don't know about in your neck of the woods, but in SoCal, you can't swing a stethoscope without hitting an Asian doctor, nurse or technician - I'd say your chances are better than 50-50.

                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      As a major corporation, I trust that FN has done it's market research and has precisely figured out its audience -- down to the very last half hour of each weekday and weekend.

                      Given that FN probably has consciously chosen not to showcase any type of Asian cook or food host, it probably means that its market research has shown that the majority of people watching FN at any one given time are more likely than not of the non-Asian variety.

                      Perhaps the lack of an Asian show on FN says more about the FN audience than it does about FN the company.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I think you're right. I can't imagine that the FN wouldn't have researched this issue to death.

                        Being an Asian, I also can't say that I relate to Ming Tsai's and esp. Kylie Kwong's style of cooking. To me, their style is more Asian fusion than anything else, and that's not what I'm looking for. Martin Yan cooks the way I was brought up, but his shtick got old for me v. quickly.

                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        She may not have been the best, but Debbie Lee deserved to advance much further than "my mother committed suicide here's my food."

                        1. re: stet

                          i didn't think *either* of them deserved to make it as far as they did - the entire season was a train wreck. but that's a discussion for another thread :)

                2. Actually I don't find it lame or insulting.
                  FN's host are all cast from the same mold so an Asian Rachel Ray holds not interest for me.
                  PBS Create is the way to go.

                  1. Well, they don't have any Middle Eastern chefs, and only recently did they add a Mexican show. No German or French either--the only European "chef" really is Giada now that Mario has been booted.

                    Ethnic or remotely interesting cuisine in normal portions is not their gig. "Money" food in huge quantities, competitions, Southern food y'all, and cakes that cannot be eaten (aaah! the horror of fondant!) apparently fulfill the FN mission statement.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: coney with everything

                      A Middle Eastern chef would be interesting. Lots of Middle Eastern dishes are healthy and can be pretty simple to prepare. And ingredients that were once hard to find are everywhere now.

                      They used to have a Latina chef (Ingrid Hoffman?) and Viva Daisy... but now they're both on at weird hours and usually only reruns.

                        1. re: wincountrygirl

                          That would be awesome. Don't know if it would go over well, since there are so many restrictions, and there may not be such a great audience.

                          1. re: cheesecake17

                            Yes but a nice grandma with a yiddish accent making potato kugel would be so nice!!