Shows The Food Network should have

6 Apr

Dear Food Network executives:

First, let me start by saying that I love your network. I love the variety of shows that you provide, and it has completely changed the way I look at food. Who knew that food could be such art or that Guy Fieri would turn out to be one of the most entertaining hosts on TV? However, I have a slight bone to pick. Your programming, while entertaining and educational, isn’t really geared towards a majority of the population.

Sure, Rachael Ray can make a 30 minute meal, but can she do it while helping with homework, stepping over toys, breaking up fights and all before your 4-year-old has a breakdown? That’s the kind of show I’d like to see—a real person in a real situation cooking a real meal with ingredients bought from a regular supermarket.

With that in mind, here are 4 shows I suggest you add to your line-up (hosts and title are negotiable):

The Kindergarten Kitchen— A how-to cooking show, but for kids. While chefs like Jamie Oliver and bloggers like Mrs. Q at Fed Up with School Lunch are campaigning heavily (and effectively) for school lunch reform, there needs to be a program that teaches the basics of cooking for kids. This way, we can start moving away from after-school snacks like Easy Mac and frozen pizza bagels and towards healthier snacks like fruit pizza (admittedly, still not as healthy as a regular piece of fruit but better than frozen pizza bagels). There are many benefits to teaching kids to cook, such as enforcing reading and math skills and enhancing self-esteem. I know a really cute 3-year-old that would make a wonderful cast member!

Bake Sale Bites—Don’t get me wrong, I love Ace of Cakes as much as anyone. But what the Food Network really needs is a show that helps moms (and dads) with easy to make, inexpensive and quick (really quick. Like 9:00 at night and “Mom, I need cookies for the bake sale tomorrow” quick) ideas for school/church/team, etc bake sales.

The Beginning Vegetarian—Food Network, this is the one area where I am disappointed. In all of your programming, I cannot find a single show devoted solely to vegetarian cooking (although some of your hosts do have vegetarian meals). Lots of people are starting to switch towards more vegetarian cooking and currently, there’s nowhere to turn. The resources on the internet are wonderful and comprehensive, but insanely overwhelming. A show on your network might help those too overwhelmed by the internet to begin their journey into vegetarian cooking. And just as a personal favor, please don’t use tofu too much; it’s gross.

Dinner at My House—Here’s where you can really hit is big. The aforementioned situation with Rachael Ray? Make it a real show. Every week, cameras would go into one family’s home (invited, of course. Uninvited would just be creepy) and watch as they prepare dinner. You get to see the good, bad, ugly, smelly, edible and inedible. You also get to see what a real family looks like as it sits down to dinner together. It’s a great way to encourage families to cook and eat together, and get new recipes that no professional chef ever would have come up with (think the Duggar family recipe for Tater Tot casserole).

Well, Food Network, those are my ideas. I think with the right advertising and some glossy sets (with the exception of the Dinner at My House show. Those are filmed at real houses, preferably messy ones), these could be some big hits. In the meantime, I will keep watching your network. Because I love it.


7 Responses to “Shows The Food Network should have”

  1. Jackie S. April 8, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    These are great ideas!

  2. Emily April 8, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    This is awesome! I really hope they pick up that Dinner @ My House idea. Without the tater tot casserole, tho. 😀

    • janalynch April 8, 2010 at 9:24 pm #

      thanks! i’m pretty disgusted with tater tot casserole but i like the idea of using a family’s “unique” recipe.

  3. Jennifer April 9, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    Good ideas, I agree with real food from real grocery stores! Not everyone has a Whole Foods around the corner, or the mula to shop there! I definately would not watch if tater tot casserole was featured though!! Much as I love the Duggers, their recipes are straight out of the 80’s church cookbook!lol!

  4. Tara April 12, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    Great ideas! I am transitioning to being a vegetarian and would LOVE a vegetarian cooking show on Food Network. I would love some step by steps on what to do with tofu because I haven’t quite mastered the art of making it as tasty as the things I’m trying to give up.

    Cooking with and by kids should definitely be included as well. If parents are too busy and uneducated, maybe we should go straight to the kids. Healthy microwaveable afterschool snacks would be a great place to start. Alton Brown does tons of fun experiments, kick out the kid actor he uses and put in some real kids from his neighborhood.

    Sadly, Food Network is also tied to it’s sponsors. If they start talking about how bad pre-packaged foods are, there goes their funding. Apple growers don’t buy as many commercials as pizza bagels do.


  1. An unexpected vacation « The Empty Kitchen - May 24, 2010

    […] Shows the Food Network Should Have–shows I think the Food Network should have in their rotation […]

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