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IS DD&D Xenophobic?

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I don't watch any of those FN shows enough to know, but every time I turn it on it seems to focus on burgers, fried chicken, chili, and a host of standard American fare. When are they going to get to the little place making banh mi, bao, papusas, etc?

Or maybe they could do one of theose 'top ten burger' shows and include Xian lamb burgers.....

Maybe a better question: Is FN xenophobic?

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  1. Well, FN is pretty much geared towards the average American taste. The has been an infinite number of threads devoted to the lack of ethnic cuisine shows on FN. To a certain extent, the Travel Channel is the same way, Bizarre Foods and No Reservations have made what was once exotic more common place but I don't think that was the original intent of the shows.

    DD&D is just serving up what the FN executives THINK the general public wants.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Phaedrus

      I would rephrase that and say that it caters to the lowest common demoninator and not the average, but otherwise, I agree.

    2. I don't think it's xenophobia, just that Guy likes what he likes. I'm no fan, btw. He's way too hyper and jargon-ful for my taste. Back to your question, wouldn't you rather have someone making/showing banh mi, bao, papusas, etc. who really likes these foods? I know I would.

      1. Well. None of those eateries are Drive-ins, much less Diners. I suppose they could be considered Dives.

        Then again, would they/do they need advertising?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Cathy

          I agree. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives imply affordable American comfort food.

          However, the show has highlighted Mexican, Greek, Middle Eastern, Italian and a Chinese-Mexican place.

          1. re: dave_c

            "However, the show has highlighted Mexican, Greek, Middle Eastern, Italian and a Chinese-Mexican place."

            Sure has

        2. I think, by definition, most DD&D places fall into the American fare category. I have seen "Diner" episodes that feature ethnic foods such as Greek, Polish, Vietnamese, Eastern European, etc.

          1. After reading the OP and thinking about a reply two others posted about what I was going to say. Of course many of the episodes of this show feature traditional American foods, just look at the title and this is America after all. But to imply that D, D & D ONLY goes to places that features American food is incorrect. They have gone to a lot of places that feature ethnic food of all kinds. If you don't actually watch the show but just occasionally glance at it from time to time, you really cannot make a judgement as to it's value. (This is similar comment I hear people make about the weather and saying the weatherman 'never gets it right'. Well, you only remember when they get it wrong, not the majority of the time when they produce an accurate weather forecast).

            1 Reply
            1. re: John E.

              I occasionally glance at it from time to time and remember Fieri visiting "ethnic" joints. Last time I saw the show, he went to a place that made mofungo -- quite a far cry from hamburgers and fried chicken.

            2. "Maybe a better question: Is FN xenophobic?"


              2 Replies
              1. re: ipsedixit

                Better question: Can any of the execs at FN spell "xenophobic" without a "z"?

              2. You really haven't watched the show for very long, have you? Jamaican food in Houston, pupusas somewhere in New Mexico where the Mexican restaurant has a Salvadoran chef, Chinese-Mexican tacos from a food truck in Los Angeles, Cuban in Miami using grandma's recipes. Or are you just being picky because there are a lot of American regional cuisines that don't get much coverage any more since the foodie world discovered the banh mi. D, DI and D had pho last week.

                Do some research before you make another comment like this, and try not to be hypersensitive.

                5 Replies
                    1. re: DaveinNorthridge

                      I was wondering when someone was gonna call Steve on it.


                      1. re: Davwud

                        I stopped wondering a year ago.

                        1. re: Davwud

                          Uhm, I 'called' Steve on it about 3 hours after he wrote the post more than a year ago.

                      2. "Is FN xenophobic?"

                        Food Network first and most foremost is a business.

                        1. not to beat a dead horse, but as several others have pointed out, DDD does, in fact, visit a host of ethnic joints. and even if they didn't, it shouldn't be an issue - the name of the show says nothing about ethnic or world cuisine. "diner" and "drive-in" both speak to mostly standard American fare, as does "dive" to some exent.

                          and the network executives choose shows based on what they think will appeal to their viewership. whether or not they're right is a separate issue, and some may argue that the ethnic variety of programming leaves something to be desired, but xenophobia has nothing to do with it.

                          1. this question made me giggle a little bit to myself, I mean was anyone questioning PBS's motives when they broadcast Pennsylvania Diners and other Roadside Restaurantst, or Burgertown - America's Love Affair with the hamburger...or the other special they did about Diners across the United states?


                            1. I will mirror many others' replies. Good grief, No. The theme is "diners, drive-ins and dives" not "ethnic outposts". If you had viewed a representative sampling of these programs, you would have known that he covers various, regional, national and ethnic cuisines, but all within the context of the diner/drive-in/dive paradigm.

                              He just featured a diner owned by a couple in Santa Cruz this week, which actually physically looks like a "classic diner" and which serves "classic diner fare" which the husband specializes in, and an entire range of Vietnamese food, which the wife specializes in. And all of it seems to be appreciated by diners depicted in the episode.

                              If you wanted to set out and discover various cuisines, I submit that by sampling many of the venues that Guy Fieri visits on this show, would be a great way to experience the cuisines, and at a reasonable price. Just remember, there is a mix of cooks behind the stoves in these places, and a diner serving, say Mexican cuisine, would not necessarily have a Mexican doing the cooking. So a lot of this cuisine, while coming from an ethnic or foreign national origin, may be subject to interpretation.

                              Regards of how authentic the cuisine represented by this show, there is no way you can call the show xenophobic.

                              1. Ok, you are all right! I already claimed I did not see many episodes to make a sweeping judgement, that's why I asked the question..... I didn't imply anything, I openly stated what I've seen from watching FN for years albeit irregularly.

                                I just saw an episode from a place in Oklahoma and I really wondered why we were watching the guy make fried chicken and chili that looked dreadful - Guy looked none too pleased. We have officially hit bottom. Dredging chicken in flour and powdered spices like it's a family secret. This was no better than filming me cook, which is not a pretty sight.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: Steve

                                  The Mrs. who does not cook, saw that segment with the guy making his chili, and told me, in no uncertain terms, don't you ever make chili like that! You are correct, that "cooking" was dreadful.

                                  I would supplement my previous post with:

                                  Anything coming out of the kitchen in one of the joints featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" is subject to local interpretation.

                                  1. re: Steve

                                    i haven't seen this particular episode, but i'm surprised they featured a place that was doing such crappy food...the whole point of the show is to highlight *good* food.

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      If we're talking about the same place, the show said that they serve 24,000 pieces of fried chicken a week. They must be doing something right. I agree though that the chili looked awful, essentially boiled beef with canned beans and powdered spices.

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        This might be the episode Steve was referring to. http://www.foodnetwork.com/diners-dri...

                                        And here's the recipe for the "chili" and make sure to read the reader reviews. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ch...

                                        Could not find the fried chicken recipe, however ... now I am totally curious.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          The fried chicken was mixing together flour with garlic powder, onion powder, some cayenne pepper (not much), s&p. Dip the chicken, and put it in the fryolator. That's it. I honestly believe I can easily achieve better in my deep skillet at home, especially since I use a combination of oil and butter. All it takes is a little patience, no skill whatsoever.

                                          1. re: Steve

                                            ok, so while boiling ground beef to make chili makes me throw up in my mouth a little... is it possible that the very simplicity of the fried chicken is what makes it taste good? and/or the fryer and oil combo they use

                                            I tried for years to get my fried chicken like my friend Rorey's mom... and then finally her secret was revealed... she never used 'new' grease. The chicken was always fried in oil or crisco or whatever that had been used to cook something else once before (but never oysters or fish, that gets tossed)
                                            Her recipe was basically the above, only let the chicken hang out in buttermilk overnight dip the chicken and then let that hang out for about an hour before frying

                                            1. re: Steve

                                              Interesting that the only reviewer of the recipe who's eaten there has based his grade on the chicken. But I guess the reviews that coun are those of the people that are eating it there and paying for it.

                                        2. re: Steve

                                          Your post made me catch it last night--first episode: Haitian food, Greek and Thai. It all looked really good to me. No pad thai anywhere. I only caught part of the next one but it focused on food trucks, one Chinese w/ Mexican twist which I thought looked good. Char sui on tortillas, Chimales (Chinese tamales). Sure, not "authentic" but it focuses on melding different cuisines which I think can be done well. And, there was something about Hawaiian plate lunches--would be a great food truck, too. Sure there are things that are plain old, plain old but it's also what often sells.

                                        3. Xenophobia is an unwarranted fear of foreigners. By this standard, of course the show isn't. I'd love to see another Guy Fieri seek out, enjoy, explain, and warmly celebrate those Salvadorean, Senegalese, South Indian, and other "ethnic" secrets. But Fieri's focus is on something else again. As other have noted, he does reflect surprising diversity--like the Vietnamese dishes in Santa Cruz, a Lebanese-American place in Pittsburgh or a place in Hendersonville, TN that served what I remember to be pretty straightforward Middle Eastern/South Asian (can't remember which) to a local country clientele.

                                          1. DD&D isn't xenophobic they sample a wind variety of foods. It is actually very good about regularly getting a decent selection of restaurants and foods on the show.

                                            The question is really is FN xenophobic? I have to say no. They ARE however guilty of being unimaginative, unoriginal, too focused on the bottom line and not quality, pandering to the lowest common denominator, thinking repeatedly that their viewers are morons and interested in 'style' for lack of a better word, over substance.

                                            How many years have people been asking about an Asian cooking show? What to we get?Another Bobby Flay, Giada or Paula show. The closest thing that they have given us is Aarti and her curry powder. They seem to feel the the cake mix $5 diner 'shows' they keep regurgitating will bring in more advertising revenue that a Thai or Japanese show would.

                                            19 Replies
                                            1. re: Withnail42

                                              Ever hear of Ming Tsai? Or do you have a problem with Indian cuisine with "The closest thing that they have given us is Aarti and her curry powder"

                                              1. re: jfood

                                                Who came after Ming Tsai? How many years ago was Ming's show on?

                                                1. re: Phaedrus

                                                  More than 50% after Ming were garbage in my opinion, the Neeley, Paula, Racehl, secrets of...

                                                  the FN would be better off finding better chefs across the board.

                                                  BTW - The show ran from 1998-2003

                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                    BTW how do you figure that I have a 'problem' with Indian Cuisine?

                                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                                      because your entire last paragraph blasts chefs so we're supposed to carve out that you like Ms Curry?

                                                2. re: jfood

                                                  Ever hear of TV Guide? When did Ming last have a show? And what does he have to do with quasi Indian food?

                                                  1. re: Withnail42

                                                    Ever hear of TV Guide? Yes...what's your point?

                                                    When did Ming last have a show? East Meets West Ran from 1998-2003, but you can buy the DVD on line if you would like to see re-runs

                                                    And what does he have to do with quasi Indian food? Hey...look at your post dude. You wrote it.

                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                      Seriously 'dude' your talking in circles.

                                                      Too clarify a fairly obvious point Aarti is no substitute for Ming and or someone of his caliber.

                                                      1. re: Withnail42

                                                        Totally agree but neither are most of the >2003 "chefs"? 90%+ absolutely stink.

                                                        But what drives me crazy is the "How come there are no XYZ chefs?" where XYZ equals an ethnic desire. How about, "how about a good chef."

                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                          "how about a good chef." I am right behind you in that line.

                                                          I only brought up the etnicity examples as this post was about FN being xenophobic.

                                                          1. re: Withnail42


                                                            How sad is this list

                                                            Will Watch - Tylor Florence, Michael Symon, Ina Garten, Giada Delaurentis, Cat Cora, Bobby Flay

                                                            Won’t Watch - Sunny Anderson, Sandra Lee, Robert Irvine, Rachel Ray, Paula Deen + all the little Deens, Neeleys, Malissa D’Arabian, Marcella Valladolid, Guy Fieri, Duff Goldman, Claire Robinson, Brian Boitano, Anne Burrell, Alex Guarnacelli, Aaron McCargo

                                                            Have Not Seen - Aarti Sequeria, Anne Thornton

                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                              Why not Alex Guarnacelli? I used to work with her mother and I know that Alex comes from a foodie background and is pretty successful in culinary circles herself. She seems to know what she's doing in the kitchen. Just curious.

                                                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                She was on the bubble. 95% of her recipes never really get me excited.

                                                                Let's see how to phrase this...she is a great way to introduce people to the second level of cooking...sorta the 201 level course. You've mastered the basics a la Galloping Gourmet and Rachel Ray and looking for the next level course. I do not really learn much from her and the time commitment to learning ratio is not there. 15-20 years ago I would have watched most shows, but just now.

                                                              2. re: jfood

                                                                have to say jfood - i agree with your assessments based on cooking except i can't watch giada because she just annoys me. that said for pure entertainment, DD&D can be interesting and i find brian boitano's show campy and hilarious.

                                                      2. re: Withnail42

                                                        Just to note, Ming Tsai has a current show on PBS, Simply Ming.

                                                        1. re: LikestoEatout

                                                          Plus the Cooking Channel, FN's other side, has some pretty good Vietnamese, Chinese and Indian cooking programs as well.

                                                          1. re: LikestoEatout

                                                            I have not been following the show closely, but isn't Ming Tsai currently a contender in the Next Iron Chef competition?

                                                    2. DD+D wears thin, what with Fieri's hokey routine and the formulaic, schtick-ridden segments in the kitchen and at the counter and tables with customers. Despite the occasional detours to watered-down(dumbed-down?) exotica, DD+D is stuck in the deep(and greasy)rut of low-brow, white trash flat-topped and deep-fried chow that's boring and deadly.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Kagemusha

                                                        guess your not a big fan of Man vs. Food? :-))

                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                          Pointless, embarrassing, makes Fieri sound deep.

                                                      2. There was a great episode in HI, where the focus was on the fresh, local food (well, except for the hot dog place, lol). it made me want to go to HI! :)

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: jujuthomas

                                                          On one of his Hawaiian shows he tried spam musubi, which a food truck here in DC (the proprietor is from HI) offers. I would never have tried it but seeing it in DD&D now I will give it a shot.

                                                        2. It sounds like you're admittedly making a judgment based on a small sampling.

                                                          1. Am I the only person who notices that Guy Fieri seems to be gritting his teeth as he eats some of the greasier crap? Almost makes the show worthwhile.