I'll admit I'm totally obsessed with shows on the Food Network, Travel Channel, and Cooking Channel. In fact, I recently upgraded my cable service (and bill) in order to get the Cooking Channel when the free trial period ended -- just so I could watch Emeril tour the USA and Nadia G. vamp her way through a carbonara recipe.
Even with a slew of shows that I love, I can't help but wish that the new year brings some special programming... something a little edgier even than people eating bugs or giant racks of ribs.
With that in mind, I decided to play network programming executive and list a few shows I'd love to see added to the Food Network roster. If anyone from Scripps Network is reading this... call me. We'll do lunch.
Celebrity Chef Smackdown
2011 saw celebrity chefs playing dirty and calling each other names. First Anthony Bourdain called Paula Deen "the most dangerous person in America." Then Bourdain took a swing at Michael Symon and Mario Batali. Then they all hit back.
A war of words is too tedious. And cookoffs are passe. We say put the chefs in a cage and let them duke it out the old-fashioned way -- with uppercuts and headlocks.
2011 also saw lots of lawsuits involving restaurants and chefs. Who could forget the employee who is suing Morton's in Boca Raton for alleged sexual harassment with a vegetable? Or the one about Dennis Kucinich suing the owners of the House of Representatives cafeteria for selling him a wrap with an olive pit in it? And now we hear Mario Batali's being named in a butt-slapping lawsuit, according to TMZ.
Everyone should have his day in court -- especially restaurant workers. Hence Chef Court, presided over by Judge Martha Stewart. Why Martha? She's clear-headed and smart, and she's been through the legal system.
Man Versus Bizarre Foods
We've all seen Andrew Zimmern eat still-squirming insects, scorpions, and small varmints. That's all well and good, but what if the animal were a little larger -- like a grizzly bear or a lion? I propose sending Andrew Zimmern out into the Serengeti or the Alaskan wilderness, armed only with his wits and a camera. Will it be man eating tiger..or a man-eating tiger that emerges victorious?
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Real Restaurant Sex
Even though it was more than a year ago, Clean Plate Charlie reported on an adult film that was being shot at a local pizzeria. And let's not forget Ron Jeremy's foray into the rum business and food truck sexcapade. In fact, only recently pictures of a naked Anthony Bourdain surfaced. Sex sells, so how about a late-night show focused around sex and restaurants? Topics could range from how to have a quickie under the table to not getting burned while fooling around in the kitchen.
We love Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs on Discovery. Who wouldn't envy a man who gets to clean elephant cages, swim in raw sewage, and help cows give birth (oh yes he did!)? But the dirtiest job title has to go to the person who inspects restaurants. Can you imagine the fun and intrigue as we comb the backs of questionable kitchens for rodent droppings and cockroaches? Every week, we can thrill as The Inspector (no real name or face is revealed) finds furry stews, leaky toilets, and the remnants of something once-living in the back of some takeout place in Lauderhill.