Accidental Hedonist had a post the other week about the Food Network being dumbed-down. The good cooks like Sara Moulton and Mario Batali are being replaced by the Sandra Lees and Rachael Rays. Not only that, but their programming schedule is being filled with, well, filler, like Paula's Party and Rachael's 5 million shows. I don't watch the Food Network to learn about the best steakhouse in San Antonio or how to make an appetizer using only Velveeta and marshmallow fluff. I want to know how to make things from scratch using fresh ingredients and how to apply my knowledge of cooking techniques learned from making one dish to dishes I'm making for the first time. The number of people with actual knowledge on that network is really lacking. Don't get me wrong; I don't hate every show except Good Eats, I just wish they would have more of a balance. I love Paula Deen, but I don't feel that she's an expert. I highly doubt she'd do well making traditional French cuisine. Alton, on the other hand, understands the science that goes into cooking as well as the art, so he can be more informative. I don't learn many useful tips when I'm watching Paula or Rachael or Ina.
I suppose I can't really blame the network. They're just providing the public with what they want: fast and easy. No one sits down to home-cooked family meals anymore. Maybe I should be more disappointed in our society. Next thing we know there will be a cooking show featuring someone going through McDonald's drive-thru and then bringing it home and arranging it artfully on a garish tablescape. Uh oh, I better not give Sandra Lee any ideas.