The Canadian network has all but eliminated the how-to cooking shows and replaced them with food competition and travel shows
FOOD -- Remember when the Food Network Canada use to teach you how to cook?
It wasn’t that long ago when you could turn on the channel at any hour of the day and watch one of many personalities, and professional chefs walk you through how to prepare a variety of meals that would boost your cooking skills, and introduce your family to new creations.
Today, it’s nearly impossible to find a show on the Canadian network that doesn’t involve no-name chefs competing against each other, much less someone giving a 30-minute lesson on making a meal.
The problem could be one of a few things, the network simply doesn’t want to pay to get these shows filmed and aired, or someone at the Food Network believes that 14-hours of shows from the ‘Chopped’ series is what people want.
Ratings have dropped on the network by 13 per cent in the 18-49 age bracket since they fired Paula Deen for her alleged racist remarks, however, long before that the ratings began to cool as shows started to disappear from the schedule.
Since 2012, shows like ‘Everyday Exotic’ featuring Toronto restaurateur Roger Mooking, and ‘Chuck’s Day Off’ featuring Montreal chef Chuck Hughes, disappeared from the network, although the latter can still be seen from time to time airing old episodes on Global TV.
It’s not like these shows really have that big of a production budget, the biggest cost is paying the chef who hosts the show.
However, the cost to have a chef like that host a show is still significantly less than having actors host a show like the Cooking Channel does. The schedule for any given day on the Cooking Channel can feature numerous shows hosted by Tia Mowry, and Tiffani Thiessen.
Clearly the cost doesn’t outweigh the notoriety of the host for this network, but unfortunately this is not available to Canadians.
But, is money really the reason people have to suffer through one episode after another, of a middle-aged man eating his way closer to a heart attack, at every greasy diner across the continent?
On any given day Food Network USA will have a few hours of home cooking shows hosted by famous chefs like Ina Garten, Giada De Laurentiis, and even Bobby Flay. On the Canadian network you may find one or two baking shows by Anna Olson re-running episodes from 2009.
While it’s nice that they give us a Canadian personality once or twice a week helping to make cookies and flan, isn’t it a little silly to have a channel basically devoted to nothing but shows about chefs competing for money, and people going on vacation to eat a lot of food?
That’s right, there are currently two shows on the network that feature ‘Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro and his family traveling America in an RV, and ‘Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives’ star Guy Fieri and his son traveling Europe.
If the reason they’re not airing cooking shows is money, how does paying tens-of-thousands for these people and their families to travel help that budget?
Like many other network executives, they’re clearly disconnected from the rest of the people who are actually watching the informative cooking shows.
Like when Rogers cancelled Canadian comedy Seed and replaced it with some reality nonsense, much to the chagrin of the fans, the Food Network Canada has been doing the same to its viewers over an extended period of time, taking us to the point where we barely noticed the good shows were gone until it was too late.
Many people learned how to cook from that channel, now do they expect everyone to just be automatically proficient or lazy when it comes to preparing a meal?
It’s not just that they took away a learning opportunity for many people, they’ve basically given people trying to prepare meals for their families a signal saying we’re not here for you anymore, so go try the internet.
The rise of the internet has brought many things closer to us through our smartphones and tablets, but scrolling through a recipe and trying to understand cooking lingo may not be that easy to a new cook that’s just trying to make a nice dinner for their date.
Without looking it up, do you know the difference between sautéing and flambéing? Do you know what a brine consists of, or how to properly poach an egg? If you answered no, then maybe that’s why Food Network shows that teach cooking might actually be beneficial.
Too often it’s about the money and things are taken away even when they’re helpful or enjoyed by many people.
How many have gotten bored eating spaghetti three nights a week because it’s quick and easy? Well now that the shows that can teach you what else to make are gone from the network, a few more people might be having spaghetti again tonight.