Bobby Flay

Food Network Canceled?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04/01/12

POPULAR FOOD NETWORK TO CEASE PROGRAMMING AT MONTH’S END

Alton BrownNew York City – The E.W. Scripps Company announced today that after 19 years in production their popular Food Network will cease programming at the end of April. The move took many in assembly by surprise. The press conference was held at Chelsea Market on 75 9th Avenue, home of the Food Network Studios.

Milton Funderburk, Acting Assistant Vice-Chairman of Cable Programming for Scripps was asked why the media conglomerate was closing the doors on its most popular cable franchise, “The time is right. After all when we purchased TFN back in ’97 we thought it would fail miserably.  That was the plan.

“We acquired the Network as a tax right off. We never dreamed anyone would actually watch it. Our thought was why would anyone want to watch someone else cooking on TV? I mean if they wanted to see someone cook, they could just go cook something.  Apparently we under estimated the American public’s desire to live vicariously.”

Comments from Guy Fieri on Food Network’s pending demise.  Article continues below.

Since the Food Network began programming in 1993 viewership has continued to grow though it was shaky in the beginning.  Those first shows featured chefs who were virtual unknowns like Bobby Flay, Mario Batali and Emeril Legasse.  Now it is one of the most successful cable channels in television history which fueled more questions about why Scripps was giving TFN the axe.

Funderburk explained, “It wasn’t long after we took the Network over that we realized, we may have stumbled onto something here.  Viewership was growing exponentially and other vicariousity networks were springing up.  Not only were viewers watching people cooking instead of cooking themselves but they were watching the Travel Channel instead of going on vacation, eschewing exercise for the Fitness Channel and watching HGTV in living rooms that were literally falling apart around them.  I’ve heard that Time Warner is actually planning on unveiling the Sleeping Channel for people who are too lazy to fall asleep for themselves.

“The trend even crossed over into mainstream media.  Instead of keeping up with politics America was watching The West Wing.  There was no reason to invite the annoying neighbor over when you could tune into Jay Leno.  Why watch fact-based news programming when there was MSNBC?”

When asked about the future of Food Network Canada Funderburk replied, “That’s toast, too.  Not that anyone will notice, it’s Canada.  I know it’s the largest state in the US but hardly anyone lives there.  Let’s be honest if it wasn’t for the band Rush America would have never bought Canada from the Alaskans.”

The ultimate reason Funderburk offered for 86’ing their most popular holding was it’s very popularity.  The demand for food programming is so high that not only have other cable channels like Bravo and TLC entered the market but so have mainstream networks NBC and FOX.

Funderburk, noticeably angry, proclaimed, “If there is one thing I can’t stand it is being copied.  If everyone is going to dabble with food programming then we’ll just wash our hands of the whole thing.  It doesn’t matter to us.  We’ve always got our newspaper division.  That’s not going anywhere.”

MORE ON THIS STORY

Our thought was why would anyone want to watch someone cook.  I mean if they wanted to see that, they could just go cook something.

The Best of SoBe Wine & Food 2012

The events at SoBe are mammoth.  For those not in the know that is the nickname of the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival and it has turned into one of the premiere events, gastronomical or otherwise, in the world.  It is the Sundance of food.

Hang out with all the top Food Network, Cooking Channel stars all weekend long. All your favorite hosts and chefs were here: Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Paula Dean, Melissa d’Arabian, Alex Guarnaschelli, Robert Irvine, Nadia G, Marc Forgione, Sunny Anderson, Anne Burrell, Jeff Mauro, Rachel Ray, The Neelys, Michael Symon, Geoffrey Zakarian and more!

Take a look back at the best that Miami had to offer as Food Network recaps a weekend of sun, sand, BBQ, small bites, sweet treats and tons of starving fans:

Hang out with all the top Food Network, Cooking Channel stars all weekend long. All your favorite hosts and chefs were here: Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Paula Dean, Melissa d’Arabian, Alex Guarnaschelli, Robert Irvine, Nadia G, Marc Forgione, Sunny Anderson, Anne Burrell, Jeff Mauro, Rachel Ray, The Neelys, Michael Symon, Geoffrey Zakarian and more!

Take a look back at the best that Miami had to offer as we recap a weekend of sun, sand, BBQ, small bites, sweet treats and tons of starving fans.

Flay Joins Burrell for New Season Of “Worst Cooks”

Food Network Press Release:

Worst CookNEW YORK – January 3, 2012 – Worst Cooks in America, the hit primetime competition series that turns hopeless cooks into confident kitchen mavens, returns for a third season with two-time undefeated series champion Anne Burrell challenged by superstar chef Bobby Flay on Sunday, February 12th at 9pm ET/PT. The show pits Anne against Bobby, each leading a team of eight “recruits” in a grueling eight-week boot camp designed to transform these culinary disaster-makers into competent cooks. A $25,000 grand prize will be awarded to the winning contestant who achieves the most progress and best performance, in addition to bragging rights and victory for their culinary mentor.

“After two undefeated seasons of Worst Cooks in America, I’m ready for a third,” said Burrell. “Going against Bobby Flay takes the challenge to another level, but I’m ready to whip these contestants into shape and the winner is sure to be from Team Burrell.”

“Anne may have had some early victories in past seasons, but this show is ready for a change and I’m going to bring it,” said Flay. “I’ll work my team until they can chop, filet and grill with the best of them.”

In the season premiere, the sixteen “recruits,” each nominated by family and friends for their atrocious cooking skills, arrive at Base Camp and attempt to impress Anne and Bobby with their own “signature” dish. The chefs then make their team picks and for their first challenge, the contestants engage in a high-stakes breakfast battle – with Anne’s team attempting Orange Pumpkin Pancakes with Vanilla Whipped Cream and Cinnamon Maple Syrup and Bobby’s recruits assigned Bobby’s Blue Corn Pancakes with Whipped Orange Honey Butter and Cinnamon Maple Syrup. But some of these recruits can barely fry an egg, so the chefs go back to basics demoing some simple egg techniques. The contestant with the least successful dish on each team is sent home, while the remaining fourteen competitors cook on.

Upcoming episodes feature an international cuisine challenge, seafood preparation and cooking for a class of third graders – culminating in the series finale on Sunday, April 8th at 9pm ET/PT, where the two most improved contestants are judged by culinary experts David Burke, Marcus Samuelsson and Susan Feniger and the $25,000 grand prize winner is named.

WTVC Exclusive: Flay vs. Burrell – Nacho Throwdown

OK, so it’s not a real Throwdown but still you get to see Anne and Bobby prepare two distinctly different variations on one of America’s favorite game day recipes – Nachos!  Click on the page icon in the video to get the recipes.  Dig it:

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up

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