Food Network’s answer to the demand for cheaper, edgier programming: Canadians
American kids don’t seem to connect with Paula Deen and Emeril, so the owners of the U.S. Food Network is getting hip with the young ’uns by launching an all-new cooking channel—creatively titled the Cooking Channel—on May 31. What’s interesting here is that in an effort to find “grittier” and more “low-key” programming, the Cooking Channel is importing a wok-load of Canadians.
Food Jammers, the Toronto-based show on which the three hosts make insanely complicated machines to perform simple cooking tasks, is on the schedule, as well as Laura Calder’s French Food at Home. Other Torontonians given a slot are David Rocco (David Rocco’s Dolce Vita) and Roger Mooking (Everyday Exotic). Tattooed Montrealer Chuck Hughes’s Chuck’s Day Off will also be aired.
(We’d also like to point out that the channel’s general manager shares a name with the host of Chef at Home and Chef at Large, but that’s pretty much where the resemblance ends. Chef Michael Smith looks nothing like the Cooking Channel’s Michael Smith.)
The New York Times interviewed Nobu Adilman, one of the Food Jammers hosts, about the amount of CanCon on the new channel. “The question is whether a show about three guys who are happy to be hosers in a very Canadian way will work in America,” he tells Times. “We feel there are a lot of hosers in the U.S. waiting to find themselves on television.”
The Village Voice’s restaurant critic also calls the influx of imported programming a “desperate” move on the Food Network’s part and says that it should have been packaged as an international food channel.
Great idea. We have the perfect name: Food Network Canada.
• Newcomer to Food Television Tries for a Little Grit [New York Times]
11 thoughts on “Food Network’s answer to the demand for cheaper, edgier programming: Canadians”
I always cringe when anything is deemed “hipper and edgier,” but I’ll reserve judgment until I see it. I used to watch Food Network religiously (especially back during the days of the original Japanese version of “Iron Chef”), but these days they seem bent on edging out the cooking demonstrations in favor of “reality-based” shows. And I despise Guy Fieri, who seems more interested in cultivating his own “hipper and edgier” image than he is in food.
Anthony Bourdain (whom I am a pretty big fan of) was asked by the Chicago Tribune what he would change on the Food Network if he had his druthers. He responded:
“I’d bring back “Molto Mario” right away. I’d have Mario Batali do a standard instructional show that would be the cornerstone. I would make it more chef-centric, of course. I would make sure Sandra Lee was never allowed near any cooking utensil or food item. Immediately. I’d have a long talk with Rachael Ray. I’d say, “Look, Rachael, you’re bigger than food now. You’re in Oprah territory. You don’t have to cook anymore. Move on.”
“I’d give Ina Garten more time, because I think her food’s good. I might try to do some Asian, Latino and be more inclusive, with cultural culinary programming. They also used to have a great show called “My Country, My Kitchen.” And of course they canceled it because it was so excellent. That’s a show I’d bring back.”
No wonder the food network is losing its popularity, on one hand you bring in melissa deGerissimo (sp)of the $10 dollar dinners and she is superb. And on the other hand you have a girl on Bitchin’ Kitchen who is so hard to take and understand, not to mention her so called accent. Is she trying to be hip??If so, she falls very flat in my humble opinion. Get rid of her. I love Chopped, but the judges are something else, especially the woman. They come across the tv set as if they are there to be totally served by pros, and deserve only the best. I realize it is a contest, but lets get some nicer judges.
Foodjammers is the WORST show ever
Bring back David Rosengarten.
I have to agree, there are some programs currently on the Food Network that are out of touch with its audience. Personally, I think they completely missed reading their audience with the new show Bitchin’ Kitchen and I still don’t see how Matt Dunigan’s Road Grill constitutes as a “cooking show.” Hip and grittier programming doesn’t mean silly and loud.
The obvious thing is that Canada’s Food Network is much better and superior than any of the American cooking networks. Canadian TV is just more simple and natural, I guess. You could tell right away by just comparing our home-grown cooking shows on the Food Network, with the American cooking shows that are played as well. Bitchin Kitchen? Please! She is trying too hard and is lacking class. The Cake Boss is borderline but is not as appealing as our own Canadian shows. However, even with Canadian shows, we have our own that should be scrapped and that is Chuck’s Day Off. UGH! *vomit vomit*
I agree with Anthony Bourdain re: Rachel Ray….I enjoyed her far more when she just had her 30 minute cooking show.Now, 1 hour of her yelling is more than I can take and she is into everything except cooking which takes last place on her show. Give it a rest already, Rachel. We have all the hamburger recipes we can use right now anyway.
I like the Barefoot Contessa…calm, cool, relaxed and easy to watch. Her cooking is wonderful. I would like to be able to access her recipes that are shown on her show.
I can do without the chef contests too. Keep out all the drama queens/kings.
When I watch Giada I spend my time staring at her impossibly tiny waist and never get a recipe, but boy do I love watching Lydia Bastianich. Wonderful cook and easy to listen to.
I hope we get the real professionals and not the wild and loud chefs stuck on themselves. I will look forward to seeing how it’s managed.
There’s not been a comment here that I can disagree with. I just came on this site today to find out what happened to Bitchin Kitchen….the hope was to see that it has been cancelled. I don’t know what programmers were trying to do here but the set looks like its a small restaurant trying to be cool with all its oddities hanging everywhere. Can we say “visual diarrhea?” OMg it’s horrible. The accent is enough to get on your nerves and the side kicks need to be kicked off the set. When you’re doing a cooking show – I would think that the food, the chef and the techniques should be forefront, not some canned personality with an annoying accent.
Simple shows like “Two Fat Ladies” are great and I happen to love Jamie Oliver (although I think he uses more Olive Oil than the entire population of Italy)
Please get rid of BK…..it really sucks and I have to change the channel every time the commercial comes on.
so lucky to read your post, i will read your post time to time,thank you!
For one, I love Bitchin’ Kitchen. Nadia G’s style and knowledge of the Italian kitchen is so refreshing to see and some of her recipes are really unique. I wish they would bring her back. Seeing the re-runs all the time is getting boring. I loved her on the web, and I would love to see her on tv again…no one asked me before they cancelled her show… bring back Nadia G!!!!!!
No wonder the food network is losing its popularity, on one hand you bring in melissa deGerissimo (sp)of the $10 dollar dinners and she is superb. And on the other hand you have a girl on Bitchin’ Kitchen who is so hard to take and understand, not to mention her so called accent. Is she trying to be hip??If so, she falls very flat in my humble opinion. Get rid of her. I love Chopped, but the judges are something else, especially the woman…..www.hangsangaccessories.com
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