It';s hard to believe that the cable channel, The Food Network is two decades old.Thanks to it. we can now get recipes every hour of the day and also get informed about various foods. Yet is it a helpful station ? Can it compete with public television that also offer us good shows about cooking?
The Food Network started twenty years ago as the TV Food Network and was a division of the famed CNN network..The original chefs who signed on back then was the very well known Jacques Pepin, along with Donna Hanover and Emeril Lagasse. A few years later cooking greats Mario Batali and Bobby Flay joined them. The show expanded its' format with the quirky Alton Brown who not only guided viewers through recipes but also offered them fun facts. (think Bill Nye in the kitchen) along with that Japanese classic and cult favorite Iron Chef,
The channel also explored contests such as The Next Food Network Star which launched the meteor like career of Guy Fieri and Aarti Sequeria. Some of the shows have been entertaining. For all her problems, Paula Deene did know how to cook a good Southern dish and introduced a lot of Yankees to the joys of butter and grits..We got to explore the reality show drama of Duff and his amazing cakes long with Rachel Ray and her wealth of recipes and tips. Giada DeLaurentis , exuding both glamor and homey cucina charm showed us how to make biscotti and homemade pasta. All of these are fun yet they don;t have the same gravitas along with wry irony as the two PBS series that features Lidia Bastianich and Chris Kimball. These teach you much more than some of the Food Network offerings.It is a cooking lesson without all the folderol.
As long as there are fans, there will always be a need for the Food Network. It will provide entertainmnet for foodies . Will they learn something though? Possibly but will it make an impression as did the public television cooking shows have done?