Obviously, Food Network has a theme – food.
However, to me, it also resembles the best radio stations of the 60s/70s/80s. The Food Network is a personality station! Most TV networks are not.
That’s not a little afterthought either. Their personalities are cultivated, individually and as a group, to make the channel more sticky to viewers. They become brand extensions. Many broadcasters/cablecasters are scared of personalities, because they can bolt.
Pause –> I absolutely have a vested interest in personality driven TV. I understand that. I have a career built on promoting that. –> Resume.
Most of the Food personalities are quite appealing, though I find a few
Paula Deen is on as I type this. Helaine thinks she’s great. I do not. The same goes for Emeril Legasse.
The one Food Network ‘star’ I find most interesting is Alton Brown. He is a geeky guy, who seems to do more explaining than cooking. That’s OK by me. He references enough history and scientific theory for me to think he’s an intellectual.
As a Renaissance man wannabe, I value deep thought.
Alton Brown is appearing in Niagara Falls this weekend, at a casino. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but casinos have enough money to take chances and try anything to draw more traffic. The Buffalo News interviewed him, It is, as he is, one of the most quirky interviews I’ve ever read.
But he’s not going to go Hollywood. “I refuse to wear makeup, and I refuse to bow down and say, ‘Oh gee I need to look glamorous, and skinny,’ ” he says. “I’m just a guy, and this is how guys look.”
Yes to paragraph one. I wish to paragraph two. I wear makeup, though only to hide my ineffective shaving techniques. I don’t shade or contrast or do any of those more complex things you can do with makeup.
But there’s no place in “Good Eats” for that stuff, he says
“I would rather just illuminate and inform, so I’ve got to get the political part out of me,” he says. “I need to become more neutral, which is hard for me. I don’t feel very neutral these days.”
We agree on that too. I hold myself back a lot – on-the-air and here.
In the fall, I watched a behind-the-scenes episode of Alton’s show, Good Eats. I was blown away by the detail and precision necessary to produce it.
I had never stopped to think about the budget for a Food Network show. We’re not talking Hollywood feature, but it’s certainly not cable public access.
If there was one person on Food Network I could have dinner with, it would be Alton Brown.