Powered by i.TV
October 7, 2015

The Five Worst Food Network Shows

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 14th 2010 10:00AM
Food NetworkWe can all agree that Food Network has changed over the years, right? What was once a network filled with shows that taught you how to cook (oh, I still miss Sara Moulton's 'Cooking Live' so, so much) has turned into a channel with more competition and reality shows than shows that teach you anything.

Sure, there are still many shows on the network that show you how to create a meal -- '30 Minute Meals,' 'The Barefoot Contessa,' 'Everyday Italian' and others -- but the other shows get all the attention. There's a lot of great stuff on Food Network (as Allison Waldman noted in her list of 10 best Food Network shows), but also a lot of terrible stuff.

Here are my choices for the very worst of the worst shows on Food Network. I'm not sure what you might be surprised by more though, what is included on the list or a certain show that isn't.

1. 'Ten Dollar Dinners.' The problem with this show from 'The Next Food Network Star' winner Melissa d'Arabian isn't that the food she makes looks bad, but that it seems the same as 20 other shows on the air right now. This wasn't exactly the type of show that d'Arabian envisioned when she was on 'The Next Food Network Star,' and the result is something that is really ordinary and boring.

I also question the whole concept of the show. People are facing hard economic times right now, but it seems like a lot of meals a family consumes are already under this amount and d'Arabian isn't really telling us anything we can't figure out on our own. And sometimes it seems like she goes over 10 bucks.

Oh, and here's a great game you can play. Whenever d'Arabian mentions France or her husband, you get a point. If she mentions both of them -- and she will, probably within the first two minutes of the show -- you get a bonus!

Here's the promo for the show. Does this make you want to watch it?

2. 'Dinner: Impossible.' This whole show just seems like one big gimmick. Now, a gimmick can be good, but this one puts host Robert Irvine in situations that seem epic and "impossible," but there's a lot more scripting and plotted "drama" than there needs to be. Besides, I'm more interested in the cooking when it comes to a cooking show and this show really isn't about that. It's about cooking for 800 people at once.

It's great that the show often does this for charity or other deserving folks, but it's all just too much.

3. 'Secrets of a Restaurant Chef.' What the heck is this show even supposed to be? The title makes you think you're going to learn some incredibly cool tips and tricks from an experienced restaurant chef that you can use in your home. A show based on that concept would be fun and different. But there's very little of that -- this is just a very, very ordinary cooking show.

And then there's the host. I think Anne Burrell is trying to compete with other Food Network hosts in pure annoyance. When she isn't jumping up and down about the food she makes and moving her hands around and saying "mmm-mmm-mmm," she's doing this low growl thing that is supposed to ... well, I don't know what it's supposed to do. It comes out of nowhere and seems really fake. And if it's not fake, it's one of the weirdest things on TV right now.

Here's Burrell making...a sandwich:

4. 'Private Chefs of Beverly Hills.' This show follows several chefs from a Beverly Hills catering company. Yes, it's just as exciting as that description sounds. I can't imagine that people tuning into Food Network would care about how chefs cook for wealthy people in Beverly Hills. It's way too much reality show, not enough real cooking.

Here's the promo for season 2. Should the word "attitude" even been mentioned in a food show?

5. 'Food Feuds.' The only reason this show isn't higher on the list is that there's nothing annoying about the host (Michael Symon) or the concept. But the reason why it is included here is because we really, really don't need this show. Seriously, a show that pits two rival restaurants against each other?

The Food Network certainly didn't need yet another competition show. The show would work much better as a straight travel-to-restaurants show, a la 'Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.' As it is, this show is just too little, too late.

Food Feuds

Now this is the part of the post where you say to yourself, where is 'Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee?!' That show isn't on the list for one simple reason: it's one of my favorite cooking shows on television. As I've said before, I think a lot of people dislike that show because they dislike Lee for some reason. It can't be because of the food she makes because she makes the food that I bet a lot of people make in their home. She's a modern-day Peg Bracken (not her writing but in the way she used packaged foods in her recipes) and I truly respect what she does. And I learn a lot more about cooking from her show then, say, 'Secrets of a Restaurant Chef.'

Something tells me that last paragraph is going to get me more comments below than anything else I said in this post. Have fun!

What do you think is the worst show on Food Network?

[Follow Bob on Twitter.]

Follow Us

From Our Partners