I grew up watching an old show called The Galloping Gourmet with Graham Kerr. I loved how at the end of the show he invited a few folks from the audience to come onstage and eat what he had just cooked.
I love to watch Food network but often the shows on there don't inspire me. So many of the shows are about professional chefs competing for prizes. They cook what I call "foo foo" food - little piles of stuff artfully arranged on a plate that no normal person will ever eat. I prefer shows like Guy Fieri's Diners Drive Ins and Dives which appeals more to regular people who can't afford expensive gourmet restaurant food. I learn a lot from watching the chefs on that show.
I like food that normal people eat - spaghetti, meatloaf, fried chicken, steak, lasagna, chicken casserole, etc.
So why can't there be a cooking competition show aimed at folks like me?
I posted this on Facebook the other day:
I'm doing an unscientific poll and I'd like your opinions if you either 1) like to cook or 2) like to eat. I watch Food network all the time, but I don't like the shows where professional chefs are cooking for a panel of professional food critics. I like shows like Tricia Yearwood's show because it's more like the kind of cooking I do for my family. So I'd like to write a blog and send Food network a show idea and here it is - let me know your thoughts in a comment: Three normal people who are NOT professional chefs compete each week in a category [like "Best Spaghetti Casserole" or "Best Chicken Pot Pie"] and they are judged by 6-12 NORMAL people [different ages and backgrounds] primarily on DOES IT TASTE GOOD? DO YOU WANT SECOND HELPINGS?! Each week the winner wins a nice prize, and at the end of the season they bring back all the show winners to compete for a grand prize. That's a how I'd watch every week. What do you think?!
Sixteen people liked the idea. Comments included:
"That's a good idea, Dee. I hate the competitive shows where the judges act like executioners and make some of the contestants cry. I'd much rather see everyday cooks compete with recipes we can all attempt."
"I find most of Food Network's shows to be unrealistic. Those panels where they give them weird ingredients and 3 minutes to make something are just plain ridiculous. I prefer Tricia. I also like "Everyday Italian" and shows that introduce me to dishes I'm unfamiliar with."
"I agree on the unrealistic ideas on current shows...I watched Pioneer Woman the other day and she made a great meatloaf, twice baked potato meal that I feel I could recreate. As a mother on a fixed income, I like meals that don't have too many ingredients and are lower cost too..."
Not everyone agreed with me. That's okay. It's okay to like shows like Chopped, but why not have shows that are not so cutthroat?
Listen up, Food network people. I am doing your work for you. Give my idea some thought. Real food cooked by real people and judged by real people.