FN quest for ratings: we are more likely to see Giada De Laurentiis or Bobby Flay cooking “ethnic foods” than we are to see a brown person cooking them.
The author notices some racism there, and I'm not sure I disagree
The network exists to sell advertising, the shows to attract viewers. Those with the highest ratings get the copycats and remain the longest.
There are a number of good cooking shows that are filmed in foreign countries. I watch them and really enjoy their take on cooking.
The problem lies in language, Americans will not watch something that is not in english, even if it is subtitled in english.
You know, my head was blowing up with names of not-white hosts while reading this, but they may be on Cooking Channel. So technically the point would still stand.
But: Roger Mooking, G. Garvin, Bal Arneson, Siba, Judy Joo off the top of my head. Maybe it's true (I haven't paid attention before this) that FN has kept the familiar blockbuster hosts and CC gets the B-listers?
Food Network is in the business of making money. Advertisers will pay more money for higher rated shows that bring in more viewers. You can't expect them to keep a host that isn't bringing in the bucks. And if the contests/reality TV shows bring in the viewers and the money, you can't blame them for adding more.
As far as the addition of two new white women, Trish and Ree. They both brought big audiences with them. Ree isn't that great on TV (IMHO) but she did bring a massive rabid audience from her blog. Numbers make money. I'm guessing if Beyonce knocked on their door and wanted to do a cooking show with her fans she'd be on as long as she'd like. Obviously there are some regular faces on those shows that aren't exactly white male and southern white female, such as Aaron Sanchez who has been around quite some time on Chopped and some silly heat seaking show, Marcus Samuel, Morimoto, to name a few just off the top of my head.
Until they find an ethnic chef that is compelling as a stand and stir (and stand and stirs seem to be fading on FN), I wouldn't expect them to have one.
They've certainly tried in the past.
Personally, I'll watch Ming Tsai on PBS every chance I find him on, because he's a) engaging b) cooks food I want to eat and c) isn't just a boring stand and stir .. he mixes it up with a lot of guests.
Personally, I don't pick a show because of the color of the host's skin. I pick a show because of the food and the entertainment value.