Food Network Maraton: 11:30-12:00, Hot Off The Grill with Bobby Flay


Bobby Flay presents another Food Network problem. If my first major critique is that too much of Food TV is filler and fluff, my second major critique is that just because someone is a star chef doesn’t mean that they should be a star.

Being a great chef involves many skills–dexterity, intelligence, leadership–but does not necessarily require charm or humor beyond what’s required in the business world. Being affable does not mean that you belong on TV. Such is the case with Bobby Flay.

First, there’s his speech pattern which reminds me way too much of Steve on “Sex and the City.” His Rs and Ls are Ws, and he speaks gruffly and impatiently. He looks like he’s really uncomfortalbe on TV, and that’s probably why the producers padded the show with “colorful” commentators, like this lady who sits on a couch and banters with Bobby.

That banter is painful.

Bobby: “I love butter…I wish I could put butter on everything!”

Woman: “Oh Bobby, are you trying to get free butter from the butter people!”

This, however, is not ultrabad FoodTV. Bobby is incredibly talented—his food looks great. Today’s recipe was peppercorn crusted veal. I’ve eaten at The Mesa Grill in NY and loved it. Bobby knows his stuff but he can’t anchor a TV show. Other Food TV shows solve the problem with format: think of the Iron Chef. You can sit back and watch the chefs do what they do best which is cook, not banter. Bobby’s actually been on the Iron Chef and there he was–well, slightly obnoxious: he stood up on the cutting board in a victory pose and disgusted his competitor. But at least he wasn’t talking. And that, my friends, is a good start.

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