its a shame there are hardly any chefs left on food network...
Despite the general low quality of the shows, it's kind of scary how many actual chefs are still being broadcast---either in new episodes or as part of the interminable repeats of repeats of repeats.
By "chef" I mean someone who has the training (either formal or on-the-job) and who has earned the right to the title by either owning/operating restuarants, or by alternate career paths, such as private cheffing. Among them would be:
1. All the current and former Iron Chefs but one. IIRC, Cat Cora isn't entitled to it. And, of course, all of the challengers are bonefide chefs.
3. Michael Chiarello.
4. Tyler Florence.
5. Giada diLaurantis
6. Alex Guirnascheli (sp?)
7. Anne Burrel.
8. Guy Fieri.
9. Pat Neeley.
10. Duff Whatshisname (formally trained pastry chef.)
11. With the exception of Nigella Lawson, all the Brits are trained chefs.
Others, such as Sandra Lee, actually have culinary training but went off in other directions.
So, it isn't that there are so few "real" chefs. It's the quality of the programming, and how they use those chefs.
The fact is, too, that depending on the shows a local affiliate subscribes to, PBS can be just as bad. On my local we get Lidia from time to time, a Martha Stewart spin-off (no chefs), America's Test Kitchen (no chefs), and A Taste of History. So what we have here is only 50% of the culinary programing using "real" chefs. Is that any different than FN?
Food programming on the Travel Network is about on a par with FN. They have Anthony Bourdain, it's true. But don't forget that Andrew Zimmerman is also a chef---God help us. Then there are all those recycled shows: extreme this & that, such & such paradise, etc.
The irony is, at a time when there is a great demand for cooking shows, and there is more programming devoted to culinary matters than ever before, the general quality isn't there.
Where is the Frugal Gourmet when we need him?
Everything that is wrong with that channel is summed up perfectly in it's latest "hit".... Bitchin' Kitchen.
The channel is a joke. There are some incredibly talented people on the channel, and I mean no insult to any of them, but the programming itself is terrible.
I understood you believe an owner/operator of a restaurant may qualify as a "chef?"
The well-upholstered Lidia Bastianich is the owner-operator of three restaurants in NYC and one in PBGH and one in KC. She's written five cookbooks as of 2007, (and the family owns a vinyard and winery in Italy, admittedly not a qualification for chefness.) She does the PBS cooking show, too.
I don't understand why you haven't granted her the chef title. Not a challenge, I'm just curious. We have eaten at Lidia Pittsburgh, and it is quite good, though certaiinly no El Bulli.
I understand her husband is a partner with Mario Batali in several restaurants around the country, too. Seems to run in the family
Mike, how did you conclude that I don't consider Lidia to be a chef? I certainly do.
My only mention of her, specifically, was in the short line-up of cooking shows we get on the local PBS affiliate. Of the four shows I said that two (the Martha Stewart spin-off and America's Test Kitchen) did not involve chefs. And I said that 50% of the shows did have chefs. So, by extension, the other two (Lidia's Italy and A Taste of History) are the ones hosted by chefs.
Here are exactly the words I used:
"On my local we get Lidia from time to time, a Martha Stewart spin-off (no chefs), America's Test Kitchen (no chefs), and A Taste of History. So what we have here is only 50% of the culinary programing using "real" chefs. Is that any different than FN"