Food TV shows out of control

But before I drive off in a ditch where my wife is liable to drive over me, let’s get back to talking about the glamour that is celebrity cooking these days.

Julia Childs was, I suppose, the first celebrity chef. It was always amazing how that pot roast that needed to cook slowly for

Karl Terry

Karl Terry

three hours in the oven could be turned out in a half hour on Childs’ show.

I remember watching Cajun cook Justin Wilson mostly for the comedy he delivered while he whipped up a gumbo. Extra spice and extra booze was never a problem.

Things went over the edge with TV cooking when Emeril Lagasse decided to “kick things up a few notches.” With his special “Essence” and trademark “bam” Emeril had suddenly made things more about performance and less about cooking.

These days it’s hard to even find poor old Emeril on the TV. That might be because so many other TV chefs and food celebrities have cluttered up the landscape. I think I even have two networks on my TV devoted to nothing but food.

I watch some of these shows pretty regularly — especially the barbecue grillmasters. The shows that crack me up the most are the cooking contest shows. Iron Chef is way too busy for me and the fact that they try to narrate it makes it that much more silly. Food cooking contests in general, even the barbecue guys, are at times unwatchable.

Watching someone hurry through making a fancy dish over and over again gets old pretty quick. Sorta like watching those guys weigh fish at a TV bass tournament. It was great when we first discovered it but it got old.

It all serves to make food way too important. Then I guess I never had any problem with that anyway. For me food is a lot more important on my plate than it is on my television.

Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

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