Inside the Food Network

Friday, October 11, 2013

In October 1993, the Food Network debuted to little notice. Twenty years later, it is in 100 million homes, approaches a billion dollars a year in revenue, and features stars who have become household names.  Allen Salkin discusses how the channel and shows featuring Emeril Lagasse, Rachel Ray, Julia Child, and Bobby Flay have influenced hwo Americans think about cooking and food. He goes behind the scenes in his book From Scratch: Inside the Food Network.


Allen Salkin

Comments [10]

Cate from Brooklyn, NY

We stopped watching FN when the night time programming became all about stupid 'reality' competition nonsense.

In the ridiculous desire to plead for the hetro male 19 to 34 demographic, they forgot the viewers who supported them for years. We used to watch the FN daily - but now I can't remember the last time we tuned in.

Its ridiculous. because we're the people who actually SHOP for food/cooking products. But we're not young men - so we don't count!

Oct. 12 2013 01:11 AM
JohnM from New Jersey

I like to cook, but I make a point never to watch Iron Chef. It's a food game show. It reflects the American desire to dumb-down things to make them more popular and make more money. I watch Ina Garten, Joanne Weir, Mary Ann Esposito, Jaques Pepin, Ming Tsai, Americas Test Kitchen and Bobby Flay. On these show you learn how to cook good food.

Oct. 11 2013 01:21 PM
janny1006 from jersey city

When my daughter was young, in the early '00s when Emeril and Sara M were the star, we'd only let her watch the Food Network, We got tickets to see a taping of Emeril's show, she loved it! It's way too over the top now, too much about 'celebrity' food. Not that our early censoring did any good, she loves all the trashy reality shows on TV today.

Oct. 11 2013 01:08 PM
Andrea from Philly

There's a great English show called Master Chef that's been around at least 5 years. We don't really get it, hard to find it to download. It's not about the personalities, more about the food. I don't enjoy the reality TV feel of the cooking shows in our country. Our mainstream is unhealthy, simplistic and uninteresting compared to the mainstream in Britain, for example, it seems. That's my public radio listener response.

Oct. 11 2013 01:03 PM
Robert from NYC

Neither is the saltimbocca at Lupa really saltimbocca. Mario too has fallen off the wagon.

Oct. 11 2013 12:58 PM
Robert from NYC

Lidia and Rachel are cooks... at least Rachel admits to that. Lidia too is a cook from probably the least Italian of the Italian regions. How she became the Mamma of Italian cooking amazes me. That title should have gone to Marcella the late and great Marcella.

Oct. 11 2013 12:55 PM
Robert from NYC

Bobby Flay is a hamburger griller! Blech! I can't believe he's a "celebrity" chef! I can't believe most of the "celebrity" chefs are celebrity. Jacques Pepin, now there's a celebrity chef

Oct. 11 2013 12:53 PM
Robert from NYC

Whatever else you say about the Food Network it's become just another crappy "reality tv" thing, for lack of a better word. I much preferred the cooking shows who made the celebrity chefs who they are. It's really crap today and probably has a larger audience.

Oct. 11 2013 12:48 PM
susan from Manhattan this guest... I think it's really unprofessional to call someone out and say you "don't like" them.
Why bring that onto the air?
Sounds so junior to say that.

Oct. 11 2013 12:46 PM
Susan from NYC

I stopped watching the Food Network after they switched to more entertainment style programing.I began to notice most of their recipe shows, were loaded with unhealthy ingredients. Tons of fat, sugar and flour. I wished they had at least one show that showed gluten free, vegetarian or other alternative cooking, but I think it's about keeping the corporate food companies happy.

Oct. 11 2013 11:17 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.