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Crave with Troy Johnson Canceled?

Troy Johnson of CraveTwo months ago I did a review of a new series on the Food Network called Crave which was hosted by senior editor at Modern Luxury’s Riviera magazine Troy Johnson.  The host’s Dennis Miller-ian dry, brainy humor was the perfect venue for exploring the perfect versions of the foods all of us crave.

Since the show began I’ve tweeted a number of times with Troy and the other day he had sad news, Food Network has decided not to pick up Crave for a second season.  Hopefully you will find this just as disappointing as I do.  As I said in my review:

As far as the show itself, Crave has many of the best elements of previous food/travel shows like Unwrapped, The Secret Life Of and yes Triple D.  It will also appeal to fans of nerdy (for lack of a better word) shows like Food Detectives and the recently mothballed Good Eats.  That is where Johnson’s pension for meticulous research pays off for the viewer.  He covers each episode’s theme from both a historical and a scientific perspective.  And best of all he does it with an irreverent (dare I say raunchy) sense of humor not scene on the Food Network since Anthony Bourdain.

To be perfectly honest, I kind of saw the handwriting on the wall before Troy told me the bad news.  I don’t feel that the Network really gave Crave a chance.  Look at it’s time-slot, Mondays at 8:30PM.  In case that doesn’t jump out at you that means Crave was up against CBS’ highly popular comedy line-up, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and the ratings juggernaut Monday Night Football.

Further evidence lie in the lack of re-broadcasts.  For the unindoctrinated, Food Network usually shows four hours of prime time programing most nights which are usually repeated immediately after the original broadcast and then once or twice more that week.

Take for instance Iron Chef America which airs Sunday nights at 9PM, is rebroadcast again at 1AM Monday morning, Thursday it again airs at 9PM then again 1AM Friday and finally it airs again on Saturday afternoon.  That’s five broadcasts in one week of each new episode – two in prime time, two in late night and once Saturday afternoon.  Often in runs a second time on Saturday during prime time but not always.

Conversely, Crave received only three airings – once in prime time, once in extreme late night (3AM on Tuesdays) and once on Sunday afternoon again against another NFL game.  It was never given a fair shot.  In the restaurant world we would call that “setting it up for failure.”

This irks me because it was such a smart show and they wouldn’t air it in a time slot where people might see it and then canceled it after one run while ratings duds like Big Daddy’s House ran for six seasons.  Hell, The Barefoot Contessa is still on the air and star Ina Garten is on record as hating children with terminal diseases.

The ideal time slot for Crave  was Friday nights at 9:30 PM right behind Heat Seekers.  That seemed an obvious pairing but apparently someone at Chelsea Market couldn’t see it.  Hopefully the Network will have a change of heart or at the very least send Troy over to the Cooking Channel for a second season.  It might help if we all stop by the Food Network site and leave a comment saying, “Please bring Crave back.  It didn’t suck at all.”

Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen Returns To Cooking Channel

One year ago I sat down for a conversation with Nadia G of Bitchin’ Kitchen.  The resulting interview was one of the most entertaining I’ve ever done.  Nadia knocked me out with her authenticity, energy and positivity.  That’s why I was thrilled when I got the following press release from the Cooking Channel:

Season Two of Original Series Premieres Wednesday, November 2nd at 10pm ET/7pm PT and Delivers Nadia G’s Fresh Take on Haute Cuisine with a Side of Stiletto-Sharp Wit

Nadia G Bitchin' KitchenNEW YORK, NY – September 27, 2011 –  Cooking Channel returns to the wildly popular world of Culinary It-Girl Nadia G this November, with a second season of the comedy-cooking show Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen slated to premiere on Wednesday, November 2nd at 10pm ET/7pm PT.  Just as skilled in strutting in stilettos as wielding a meat cleaver, Nadia brings her savvy chef know-how and rock star attitude to the series while sharing recipes and cooking tips for both beginner and seasoned at-home cooks.

With themes from “Bitchin’ Booty Camp” offering healthy dishes for staying in shape, and “Girls Night In” for a decadent evening with cocktails, to “Getting the Romance Back” for couples who want to reignite the magic, Nadia G’s Bitchin Kitchen serves up platefuls of killer food and wicked entertainment.

In the second season premiere, “(Dysfunctional) Family Pizza Night,” Nadia throws a make-your-own pizza party and shares her family recipe for Rustic Pan Pizza from scratch.  She whips up her childhood favorite Potato Pizza with Onions and Herbs, and follows it up with a masterpiece Pizza with Salami di Genoa, Calamita Olives, Pecorino and Fresh Spinach.  After the leftover dough is fried to make Fritelle with kid-friendly Chocolate Nougat Fondue, Nadia riffs on family dynamics and embodies the rock-star fantasy most parents had to abandon along the way.   After the premiere of her “Flavor of the Week” music video, Nadia is joined by her cast of food correspondents – Panos, The Spice Agent and Hans.

Nadia G has a sharp wit, killer style and can cook up a storm in three-inch cherry heels.  She looks at the funny side of everyday situations and turns them into occasions worth celebrating – with great food and big laughs.  Focusing on accessible haute cuisine, fresh organic ingredients and a hands-on approach, Nadia’s recipes are rooted in the Casalinga-style Italian cuisine she grew up with and infused with the culinary influences of her beloved hometown Montreal.

Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen began as the short web program “Bitchin’ Kitchen.” The series was a runaway success winning numerous awards such as Favorite Mobile Series, Hottest Emerging Brand in Canada and a nomination for Brand of the Year 2009.  In 2010, the series had its television premiere on Food Network Canada and Cooking Channel.  Nadia G is also releasing a new book “Cookin’ for Trouble” (Ballantine), which will be available beginning October 25th.

Now check out Nads in her new music video singing “Flavor of the Week.”

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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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