Dear Food Network, Please Stop Sucking

Dear Food Network,

Yes, yes, I know. You did bring us all Alton Brown (All hail the Food Geek King!). You introduced American audiences not addicted to Japanese television to the unbridled joy which is Iron Chef. You gave us many culinary treats over the years. Mario Batale, Emeril Lagasse (before that excruciating live show), Ming Tsai, Sara Moulton, The Two Fat Ladies, The Hot Tamales, Wolfgang Puck (and his crazy patter), and countless others, even Anthony Bourdain, have done their time at the Big F.

So, how the fuck do you go from that collection of foodgasmic genius to Rachael fucking Ray? Really Food Network?

Aren't you just a little embarrassed by being so emphatically trampled into the dust in your wheelhouse by Bravo's Top Chef and Top Chef Masters? Come on, being beaten on food television by the network who's brought you an endless chain of shows about squabbling, nouveau riche, plasticized harpies? Hell, I'm embarrassed for you; you should be fucking mortified! This is supposed to be what you do best. Hell, it's what you do. It's all you do. And, let's be honest Food, your programming sucks ass in comparison.

They have Tom Colicchio, Anthony Bourdain, Hubert Keller, Eric Ripert, Rick Bayless, Marcus Samuelsson ... need I go on? You used to have an equally impressive roster, albeit spread across the schedule, but they were there. Now, how do you expect to stand up to that bright light of culinary genius? With the Ten dollar meals lady? Oh yes, well she's been to France, so I suppose it's almost sort of as good as having Keller, right?

Is this where I roll my eyes at you, because I'm pretty sure it is?    

I blame the bizarro Wonder Twins of Bob Tuchman and Susie Whateverthefuckhernameis for the godawful mess your once-glorious haven for cooking and culinary big brains has become. Just watching a few moments of the train wreck which is The Next Food Network Star tells you all you need to know about these douchenozzles and their obvious disrespect for the art of food preparation.

For fuck's sake, they decided your next great food mind was Guy Fieri. Once again ... REALLY? A dude whose main skill in the kitchen on display is how big he can open his gaping maw to stuff junk food in, smearing gunk on his bizarrely-coiffed face just before talking at us with his mouth full of aforementioned junk food. From Jacques Pepin to the guy in flip-flops with his sunglasses gracing the back of his fucking neck is quite the aggressive devolution.

Are you working at sucking this hard? Because it'd be a pretty impressive feat if you are.

And, while we're on Mr Spiky-Potato-Head and his driving around and eating skills, is there something you at Food Network have against actual cooking? Or at least showing cooking in a way which will somehow pass along some knowledge of cooking to the audience? How many let's-go-here-and-watch-people-do-stuff-and-eat-stuff shows does one network need? Or thinly-veiled infomercials about various junk food products? Or ultra-drama "reality" contests and the like?

Oh, pink leaping Christ, Food Network, what is it with you and the contests? Gee, not that a small group of anti-personalites battling it out with 7' cake or cupcakes or smoothies or whateverthefuckothercrap isn't riveting and teaches me so very much about cooking. Because it does, it so does. Really ... *cough* And it's not like I don't love you having chefs come to a city to compete, yet not have them actually cook, because gee I do. Chefs cooking is just so ... predictable, right? Better to have them do fucked-up stunts like those funny reality game shows. That's using your on-air talent in the best possible way, really.

And what the fuck is it about your selection process that your contestants for The Next Food Network Star tend to be the most annoying, abrasive, tedious people with a distinct lack of anything resembling presence ... unless you count grating voices, twitchy mannerisms, and giant, frozen fake smiles as presence? I realize you will eventually need to replace Fieri and Ray and Deen, three of the most annoying people on the face of the Earth, but can't you screen a new crop of asshats on your time and leave us all out of it?

Shit, you already have Giada and her giant head afflicting us with her blazingly terrifying tooth-baring. Do you need more teeth? I think not.

While we're talking about your new crop of prospects (and virtually all of your hosts, for that matter), can we actually see "Chefs" who cook dishes which are interesting and perhaps, *gasp*, challenging? Must everything be a 3-4 step overly-simplified recipe apparently designed for those with no clue utilizing ingredients approachable to your average hater of all things not available at your local Wal-Mart? Do you recall when you used to have lots of shows about actual cookery, so many that some could be for beginners, others for mid-range cooks, and yet others for those of us who have achieved an elevated level of skill, yet would still like to grow their talents and palate? I do.

Think it's not so dire there at Food? I have just two words for you ... Sandra Lee. Her execrable presence on a network which calls itself "Food" is obviously not some horrible mix-up, as this abomination against eating has been cursing your channel for some time. I appreciate somebody there evidently thinks she's something special, but do you really need to punish us all for someone over there's penchant for *ahem* the things one must assume she does well (since cooking is most assuredly NOT a part of her skill set)? It's not food she's making, it's biohazards ... please just stop.

Sadly, looking at the upcoming schedule of Food, there will be even more of the same dreck. Lots of product placement, lots of driving around, no cooking. Granted, even your new channel, "Cooking", has an appallingly meager offering of shows actually about cooking, And I suspect that, like the original network, the cooking will be relegated to the late-night/early-morning ghetto to leave the hours most of us can watch dedicated to the guy-Bob-douchenozzle-thinks-is-cool leering at us while he drives around and eats crap and people-you've-never-heard-of-and-never-will competing with their crap none of us has any interest in either making or eating.

My, that's a sound plan ... well, if your goal is to break the land-speed record for reaching epitome of suckage.

Just know that we are out there, people who love food and love making it. People who miss getting great ideas for unique and impressive dishes from the leading minds in their cuisines.

People who will never, ever refer to "EVOO", utter the word "Yum-o", or try to pass off processed crap for food by waving actual food nearby.

People who are sure Paula Deen is probably a lovely woman deep down, but want to bludgeon her until her eyes pop out anyway.

People who are relieved as hell that Vinny and Jon decamped and opened Animal instead. Food is much better served when those who love it stay as far away from the pit of culinary hell calling itself Food Network.

People who rejoice that more and more great food minds are making a break for it, too.

People who are finding increasingly fewer reasons to ever let the dial hit the place which is beginning to feel like a place where food goes to die.

People who are turning to the chefs of the old, useful and informative Food Network ... on PBS.

Because, let's face it Food Network, you have become an embarrassment to yourself. Only you can stop the endless spiral of Fail. It's possible, if you would only take an objective look at yourself and admit what a hot mess you've become. That first step is the hardest.

But you can do it if you really want to. As an enthusiastic fan of all things food, I ask you ... no, beg you ...

Please, Food Network, please stop sucking!

Oh, and can you slap Rachel for me ... very, very hard? Thanks.

Your once and maybe future fan,



**Oh, just a quick heads up ... recipes and food porn next week!**