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Jul 10, 2013 12:46 AM

Cutthroat Kitchen

Apparently someone decided that what is most wanted in cooking reality shows is more sabotage.....

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  1. I find this concept to be embarrassing and insulting. Less about producing good food, and more about what a jerk you can be.

    Food and cooking should be fun, a thing that equalizes, educates and brings people together.

    This concept is sad and mean.

    11 Replies
      1. re: coney with everything

        I agree.

        Unfortunately, his trajectory mirrors that of the FN in general. More about personality than food. I know this has been going on for a long time, but I hate to see Alton caught in this slide. His food science stuff was so great- informative, a little silly and fun- does he do that anymore?

        1. re: cheesemonger

          I haven't listen yet but he has a newly-started podcast (The Alton Browncast) which has so far featured Justin Brown, Bobby Flay, the FNS finalists. (I just noticed there's one with Hugh Acheson which, yeah, I need to listen to that).

          They are audio podcasts, though, and while he does have some video cooking in the works I'm not sure for whom. But he's said several times he would cook on FN again if they would "let him".

          So he wants to do food television, and food television has gone to a dumb place. I think he's adapting as well as he can, and in this show is feeding the idea that people want conflict and drama in their cooking competitions. Going from backstabbing to frontstabbing isn't a terrible concept imo.

          1. re: ennuisans

            I agree about the wanting to do food telly part, but the concept of this show is so disheartening. I am hoping against hope that the playful aspect, rather than the mean one, comes through. But only a little hopeful.

            The podcasts are terrific, btw. Check them out.

            1. re: nikkihwood

              The podcasts really are wonderful.

              I've heard comedians talk about podcasts being a way for them to do exactly what they want and not have to worry about networks/studios/producers/etc. Brown's podcast really feels like that in response to Food Network. If his options are Cutthroat Kitchen or nothing - then he can cash the Cutthroat and NFNS checks and then put out what he "really wants" on his podcast.

              It's on the Nerdist network, so while I'm sure he's not going to be harsh to his primary employer, but it's not just a Food Network dog and pony show.

      2. re: cheesemonger

        I noticed in one of the fast-action, frenetic preview shots (sorry, producers, but that style is much more suited to your "12-year old boys watching Animal Planet" demographic than a cooking show) that the poster child for mean girls everywhere, Penny, is in one of the episodes.

        Penny was the older middle-eastern woman on Next Food Network Star a few years back. She may have behaved horribly as her "schtick" to get attention (and it worked!) but I don't recall that she had much talent for cooking anything other than middle-eastern food. She did love the camera, though.

        I wish the Food Network would lose her phone number.

        1. re: juliasqueezer

          I noticed her right away too and couldn't remember if she was the weirdo with the puppets on Hells Kitchen or on NFNS.

          I seriously also thought I saw Lovely in a promo but that was probably a gin and tonic induced hallucination.

          1. re: C. Hamster

            Oh dear. Please, not Lovely. She may be a talented cook but I just cannot get past the concept of someone actually naming themselves "Lovely".

            Wait. Maybe we should all rename ourselves! I pick "Brilliant".

            1. re: juliasqueezer

              Just call me "Enchanting."

              Seriously, I *thought* I saw her on a trailer but have no idea whatsoever if that was her.

              It's something she'd do, though. And be good at.

          2. re: juliasqueezer

            This episode had Frank who competed on one of the first seasons of Top Chef. I was surprised to see Antonia judging.

          3. re: cheesemonger

            FN Reality TV, what do you expect.

          4. Sort of like the merger of cooking and pro wrestling. Anything to draw an audience...

            1. It`s not about the cooking anymore, fun and games. contests. We all need to make our concerns heard at the food network.

              9 Replies
              1. re: Ruthie789

                Ruthie789, they don't care. They want ratings, and their audience research tells them that 'we' want contests. Even the Cooking Channel is going down this road. Unfortunately.

                1. re: nikkihwood

                  I'm really surprised at the increase in contest shows on the Cooking Channel. When the Scripps people launched the Cooking Channel, it was supposed to be a refuge for those of us who wanted to watch cooking shows, not contest shows or travelogues.

                  1. re: gfr1111

                    When CC was launched I was reminded of when MTV became so clogged with other entertainment that they launched MTV2 as a music-video-only alternative. It didn't last either.

                  2. re: nikkihwood

                    I`m inclined to think it is cheaper to hold a contest than it is to have a contract signed by a good tv cook or chef.

                    1. re: nikkihwood

                      Sure 'we' want contests. That's what 'we' talk about on this forum. How many threads are there about 'pure cooking' shows? Not many. When we do talk about instructional shows, we talk about hairdos, voices, mannerisms, anything but the substance of the cooking. The only good instructional shows the old ones, the ones we watched when we were learning to cook. Now all the instructional shows are too simple, too dumbed down.

                      1. re: nikkihwood

                        It's important to remember that we are not the target audience.

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          Do they reallllly want the Duck Dynasty audience?

                          1. re: girloftheworld

                            yes, if the advertisers will pay. Isn't 'The Shack' (or something like that) aimed at that demo?

                            Would you prefer that they aimed at the Downton Abbey crowd?

                    2. Alton as donned water skis and jumped the shark.

                      1 Reply
                      1. A contestant and judge from Top Chef?

                        Yes ... I am watching and it's not as bad as I imagined.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: C. Hamster

                          I recognize Antonia but which contestant was on TC? Do you remember what season?

                          1. re: dmjordan

                            Frank was on Top Chef in one of the first seasons

                          2. re: C. Hamster

                            Frank was on Top Chef during the marcel ilan season.

                            1. re: C. Hamster

                              Ah-ha! I didn't start watching until Season 3. Thanks.

                            2. re: C. Hamster

                              I agree that actually on watching I enjoyed the show overall.

                              However, I think the judging process needs to be changed. I'm not sure whether it should be Chopped style where the judges watch the cooking, or if the judging should be blind to the cooking - but I'd like the judging to vaguely acknowledge that they know things have happened.

                              When Antonia asked Frank why he made bread for his sandwich (when it was required of him due to the auction), it wasn't dynamic TV judging. Telling someone, you should have used a light, fluffy roll for this sandwich - when essentially the rules of the challenge prevented that doesn't help anyone. What would have been more interesting is if she's said "I know you had to make your own bread in a short period of time, you should have tried doing xyz instead" or "Given that you had to make your own bread, I guess this is the best that could have happened".

                              The judging is a huge part of Chopped, so I don't know whether or not it needs to be that prominent on this - but Antonia appeared clueless to any restraints in a way that didn't work for me.

                              1. re: cresyd

                                i agree... I think part of the skill is over coming the hand you have been delt... and if the judge is clueless to this you just appear to be bad at what you do.

                                1. re: girloftheworld

                                  Yeah - I understand that part of the show is that essentially everyone is being judged on the same scale. If I'm lucky and get no auction penalties and a competitor gets a Swiss Army knife and has to use powdered milk, then by this competition's design I'm supposed to get an edge.

                                  But I'd rather hear the judge say "if you only had a Swiss Army perhaps Y would have been better" or "you didn't succeed in masking the powdered milk's grainy quality - sticking with this idea and not switching to something new was a bad choice". Having Antonia judge the food just on it's merits seemed overly rigid and serious.