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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Why The Food Network Sucks Now

She will descend from Heaven and strike Rachel Ray dead with this edible sea creature

Jen here. I normally don't use someone else's blog work to kick off a new post, but after having spent a lazy Saturday online and flipping between WLIW's excellent Saturday cooking show lineup and the inisipid crap on The Food Network, I floated over to Grub Street where I link-tripped over to the most amazing critique of TFN ever penned....a guestblog piece by none other than that Loki of the kitchen, Anthony Bourdain.

Get thee all IMMEDIATLY to this site and read...and be sure to read the comments.

Then come back here and discuss. Let's just say that I agree with the bulk of the comments.

My 2c in no particular order on the subject:

  • First, the all-necessary disclaimer: I LOVED reading Kitchen Confidential and I would fuck Mr. Bourdain at the drop of a sirloin. He's a crazy-ass badboy who knows how to cook and he's not bad-looking either. I picture a not-romantic-but-very-hot evening involving absinthe, opium, strange parts of strange creatures cooked in strange sauces, and lots of doing the nasty in various muscle-straining, back-injuring permutations before, during, and after consumption of said items.
  • Alton Brown is a saint on earth and will sit at the right hand of Julia Child in G-d's Kitchen.
  • Why does Gordon Ramsay NOT have his own TV show in the States? And can he actually cook? Not that it matterrs much IMHO because after I recover for a few weeks after my Fantasy Dinner with Mr. Bourdain, I would take a British Airways red-eye to repeat a similar experience with Mr. Ramsay. Except I would make Gordon cook me breakfast afterwards. I wonder if he yells "Fuck" a lot when he's, um, plating his entree' as it were...
  • WTF is it with all the bullshit reality shows on FTV now? How is watching some schmuck cater a wedding/decorate a venue a fucking cooking show?
  • Minor Saints in the Pantheon from the Kingdom of Public Television (who will also sit near Alton at Julia's Table in the Sky): Ming Tsai, that Lydia Lady who cooks Italian food, and Jacque Pepin.
  • WHY THE FUCK ARE THERE NO BLACK CHEFS OR ASIAN CHEFS ON FTV PRIME TIME? Shit, they coulda let Reggie win that "Food TV's Next Chef" progam and gotten a Black guy AND a really out gay guy in one large package! PS--those two other gay guys who had their own show for 2 seconds were SO nonthreatening "nice boys" gay that they made me want to gag. Reggie at least didn't scream "stereotypical florist/interior decorator." Sorry, but tokens who pander to stereotypes piss me off.
  • Rachel Ray really DOES fuck over serving staff on all of her bullshit $40/day programs.
  • That cake guy is fun to watch, but his own show? WTF?
  • Nigella Lawson=fun but still, please, can we get some real goddamned chefs on the show already?
  • Bring back the Surreal Gourmet--I love this guy's cookbooks and his whole additude! PS--he's also Jane Siberry's tour manager.

That does it for me for now--gotta eat some breakfast and get in the shower. Rant on! Keep cooking!

Ok. the New Yorker had a massive article on the Food Network and said it was split between food and publicity.

The WORST show: Semi-Homemade with trophy wife Sandra Lee. She likes to slide in shit like velveeta in her recipies.

My favorite show: The Essence of Emeril. Unlike the shlockfest Emeril live, he actually explains why and how to use ingredients for rather sophisticated meals.

Why I pity Rachael Ray: Her husband hired a hooker to spit on him.

One saving grace: Giada De Laurentis is a Cordon Blue trained chef. She's all smiley, but she can cook and cook well.

Stupidest mistake: letting Sara Moulton and Mario Batali shrink from the schedule. They are excellent cooks and explain things well.

Bourdain is an excellent cook, but he's a character and it's clear why he spent only a year at the Food Network. Ramsay can cook, but he's a really strong manager, and I would read any management book he published.

The cake show is cute/boring. It's like he went to CIA and then rounded up his friends. It's a modelbuilding show,and those are on DIY.

Bobby Flay Throwdown is horribly obnoxious. Here he comes as trained chef to humiliate strangers. It's fucked up.

Food Network doesn't know what it is.

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