After getting off of work last night I made the mistake of watching the final few episodes of The Next Food Network Star, including the finale. I have to admit that I watched the entire fourth season and have always wondered why they haven’t canceled this show. Guy Fieri turned out to be a marketable personality, but has the show produced anything else worth while? Season one produced Party Line with the Hardy Boys, which was promptly canceled. Season three produced The Gourmet Next Door, which lasted 6 episodes because Amy Finley thought cooking in front of a camera was way too stressful. Season 4 produced Big Daddy, which was ripped in detail only a few days ago. So this leads us to season 5, where the Food Network decided to punch the idea of trying something new directly in it’s big dumb face.
The decision came down to Jeffrey Saad, a graduate of California Culinary Academy with more than 25 years experience as a restaurateur, food consultant and chef, or Melissa D’Arabian, a stay at home Mom with no formal culinary training or professional experience. I can totally see why this was a difficult decision that required the assistance of some of the greatest chefs in the world. Did I mention that Jeffrey was described by one of the contestants as a Greek god, holds a second degree black belt in martial arts, loves freedom, and volunteers at a homeless shelter on Tuesdays and Thursdays(can’t confirm this). Oh, and Melissa drives a mini van, has 4 kids, a great smile, and was the best at covering up her lack of culinary knowledge. Once again, I can see why this was such a difficult decision. Maybe Guy Fieri chose the winner..
I guess I just don’t see the draw of another amateur cook who appeals to stay at home Moms. I could actually relate to Jeffrey’s passion for food. His ideas and ingredients were something I would give a chance. I like to tune in to the Food Network to have a chef teach me something that I did not know before. I considered my frequent viewings in the past to be learning experiences. I loved watching Mario Batali because it’s obvious that the man knows more about food than I could ever dream of. I enjoyed Emeril because he could teach you about cooking while making you laugh your ass off. It was all about credibility. Mario has now been banished to the Fine Living Network, while it seems that all the Emeril you see now are re-runs. Replacing them now are personalities like Sunny Anderson, whos previous experience includes a stint as Food & Lifestyle Editor for Hip Hop Weekly magazine.
I will always enjoy the Food Network because they always will talk about my favorite subject, but this is getting a little ridiculous. Thankfully, I can still watch Alton Brown who by some miracle has been able to make it through this transition to Mommy Cooks TV. If you are interested, Melissa’s show will premier next Sunday and focus on feeding families of four for under 10 dollars. I can’t wait.