Open Letter to Food Network About Programming

Last updated on January 26, 2019 by Liza Hawkins

Dear Food Network,

I have been an avid watcher of your network since 2000, when I moved into a little one bedroom apartment down in Savannah, Ga.

At the time I wouldn’t have considered myself a “foodie,” per-say. I enjoyed eating, especially eating out (and boy, was Savannah the place to do that!), but didn’t really cook.

As in, at all.

Like, burn-a-fried-egg-to-a-pan-and-let-a-bag-of-potatoes-rot-in-a-drawer-because-they-were-forgotten, “at all.”

Then I discovered your little network that mixed both chefs and everyday people up with programs that were user-friendly for novice cooks, and had—gasp! —variety in styles and personalities, unlike your competitors on public television.

Open Letter to Food Network

Fun little shows like $40 a Day were interspersed between cooking demo programs, which ruled the channel lineup.

As the decade muscled on, new chefs and shows were added, along with more and more non-demo programming. I fell in love with some (Chopped, Iron Chef America, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Food Network Star) and couldn’t quite wrap my mind around others.

Then a funny thing happened.

It was like the blink of an eye. All of a sudden the only time you could watch cooking demo shows was if you were home during the day.

And I work during the day, like full-time, away from my home.

The Cooking Channel magically appeared (kinda how MTV2 showed up when MTV stopped airing music videos) full of new, fresh programming akin to the old Food Network. Except my cable provider doesn’t offer it. Yeah, I know—bummer.

And simultaneously, you started airing certain programs with back-to-back vigor. Strings of episodes of the same show for an entire evening.

Gosh, you better really love Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and Restaurant: Impossible, because that’s all your gonna get two evenings out of the week.

So, why the letter, you ask?

Well, I’d like to ask for a program shake-up. Bring back some cooking demo shows in the evening, add more special episodes like The Big Waste, limit evening programs to two back-to-back episodes of what must be if you’re showing them so often fan-favorites.

It’d be a start.

I like watching your Food Network chefs and cooks in action.

I credit them for my foray into home-cooking foodie-dom. I really do.


Liza | (a)Musing Foodie

Hi, I'm Liza — a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting lost in whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life and am always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect fizzy gin cocktail, and time to finish my novel!

12 Comments on “Open Letter to Food Network About Programming

  1. I cannot agree with you more! Back in college, food network basically taught me how to cook! I am never around to watch TV during the days on the weekends and I feel like I miss the good shows. They need to realize that not everyone has a DVR to watch their favorites. 75\

  2. yep, those good old food demo shows done by people who REALLY knew about food. Miss them a lot. Some of these people on FN now are barely food-literate. It’s all about ratings.

  3. Yes, most of my food ideas comes from the food network blogs, I didn’t managed to watch their video clips, but their blogs taught me well, incorporating different ideas about how to cook something.

  4. @Ashleigh – I totally relate (both to the busy-ness AND the kids. 🙂

    @Stef – I can’t tell if you’re joking. Are you joking?

    @Chasing Joy – I certainly tagged them on Twitter! 🙂

    @JoAnn it IS all about the ratings, yet there seems to be a lot of people that agree with me!

    @Catherine I learned a lot about technique too.

  5. absolutely agree! I love me some food network, but not these back to back fluff shows.

    And not the GOOD kind of fluff that involves marshmallows. ::sigh::

  6. Dear food network

    I’m am getting more and more dissapointed with your line up
    in case your wondering what a average viewer may want to watch please read the following
    Why do we have to watch hours of restaurant impossible and drive in dives diner
    I would like to see cooking shows. I thought that was the point of the show
    For the average person at home who wants to learn to cool and new recipes.
    Do you take into consideration that possible how many of your viewers work.
    What halfway good shows you have are on in the am
    I would dare to imagine that even stay at home people don’t have time to sit around all morning watching ccooking shows

    If you care o will list some preferences
    This is on behalf of me, my family, friends and coworkers
    approximately hundreds of nurses
    Please not spoon many cooking competition shows
    love love sandwich King and Tyler ultimate.
    Please just get back to the basics. Real chefs real cooking. And we.do miss 40/day t

    Thank you.

  7. It is time to let Paula Deene back she and I have been punished enough. How many time must we look at Diners and Dives? I seem to remember that Irving lied on his application and yet he is allowed to have a show. Also he is an insufferable bore. His shows are also in the same as dinner and dives boring.
    The only ones I watch are Barefoot, Pioneer Woman, Neeleys, Big Daddy, Sandwich King., Anne Burrell. Those are the top of the list and Guy if not on dinners and dives
    Help give us a break.

    Grace Sinclair
    Winsted Ct. 06098

  8. Agree Totally to limit Diners and Dives. Learned SO much from Ina, Tyler, Paula. Thought Paula was railroaded off. So wrong!! I don’t work during the day, but if I did I would be disappointed in show lineup. Kudos to teaching America how to cook!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.