Friday, September 21, 2007

Prime Time Chefs

I have to give an open opinion on chef television shows. We are inundated with reality shows right now featuring chefs. Right now they include, Top Chef, Hells Kitchen, The Next Food Network Star, Cooking Under Fire (most people miss this one as it is a PBS show). My issue is that we have all missed out on a large amount of sit-com based chef shows and I don't understand why. I'm hoping you all can give me some incite. I'm going to list the shows here and give you my synopsis of each one an hope that maybe I can get some feed back. I wrote a paper on this as well a couple years ago for an English class, maybe there is a thesis topic hidden in here somewhere.

CHEF! - An English BBC show, lasted three seasons, if you watch it from season to season, one can tell that they had comments and made VAST changes, and after the third season which obviously had a large budget failed, one has to think is simple better?

EMERIL - Voted as a poorly written show, but honestly who wants to watch a fake show about Emeril making his real show, but not really, and he has family, but not really cause it isn't his and he is really a chef, but playing a fake chef... I'm confused, are you?

Kitchen Confidential - A ridiculously good show release in the Fall of 2005, but it was at the same time that there was a major controversy in Iraq. I'm sure many chefs tried to watch this Anthony Bourdain inspired show when it aired, but it was only for 4 weeks, and duh, um you change the time and we get annoyed. It's not the show it is the way you market it. They taped a full season and released it on DVD and wow, it is good.

These are only a few of the examples of chef shows that have aired, but these were the notable ones. Why do they fail? I wish I knew but the answer is a mystery still. I tend to think it comes from pretty faces are not reality in the industry. We have our moments, but most of us are not "hot." You try siting in a 110 degree kitchen for 12 hours a day 6-7 days a week and see how your complexion and body survives. SMaybe we chefs take issue with the "model" faces, but also I think the public takes issue with reality. I don't think the public wants to know about the people who make their food. These shows have all shown the "bad" side of cooking especially in fine dining and seeing this can be bad for our public.

You may have differing opinions, but I enjoyed these sit-coms, but I know why they didn't work. These reality shows though are also promoting bad stereotypes. Shall we find a way to make chefs proliferate on tv? Then I will have to audition for Top Chef.

I'm a Top Chef fan and considering auditioning, but still look at the members of this show and the others seeing that there are so many that are on these shows not for culinary prowess but for "air time." I would love to go on this show and cook to my hearts content. So maybe this message has given me a sort of inspiration to announce my plan to audition for Top Chef's next season. Maybe someday when I become famous though (the notion hurts my stomach) I will make my own sitcom.

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