This blogger has produced, hosted, written, sold ad space, booked talent and secured sponsorships for many TV cooking shows and segments for nearly 20 years. I know the ins and outs on how it works and the content you see!
The networks all have budgets per show. Most of the cooking shows you see on the air no matter what the channel or network has to pay the talent, preproduction and post production crews. Ad space and sponsors cover some of these costs however in order for a show to remain on the air well beyond the initial 6-13 episode first run the network has to make a profit per show. Ratings are nice but cash speaks! How do these networks do this?
Well, in politics the saying goes “you don’t want see how laws and sausages are made”, same goes for TV cooking shows! Well, you do want to see how the sausage is being made if your content features meats or smoking foods but the back door happenings is something you aren’t privy to no matter how much of a foodie you think you are!
How many shows claim the best of, greatest ever, blah blah blah? But whilst watching these shows some restaurants or chefs you know of being great aren’t featured? You have a bald-headed man-turtle going fom European town to town saying this is the best? Another white spiked hair hipster has been eating the “that’s money” cheeseburger from coast to coast but in your city you know there are better joints with better burgers? Or the actress, talk show Oprah backed neophyte claiming she can eat on 40 bucks per day?? Sure, you can too if you buy coffee, toast and butter for breakfast, a dollar menu burger and fries for lunch and an item from the appetizer, side dish section of the dinner menu for supper! Totally bullshit!
So the question begs, how do these places or chefs get to be named the best of the best? The greatest greasy spoon ever? Or stupendous heart-burn in your state or city?? MONEY! PAY TO PLAY! GREASING THE WHEELS!
Yes! Money always talks! Cash is king! These networks all have sales departments! I’ve been solicited nearly daily from some salesman with an “opportunity” of a lifetime to appear on some TV cooking show that has no following or ratings! A few years ago Bobby Flay’s folks solicited me to cook with him while he was in Chicago! But the hook wasn’t that I knew more about BBQ & Grilling than that red-headed moron it was about how much marketing money I had to pay them to appear! I told them go screw yourself! My product is great, my knowledge of the subject matter is great and I don’t need to be a paid prop for Bobby!
These marginal eateries and cliché throwing chefs all pay to play! PR mavens puff them up to the networks as amazing (I hate that Fucking word!) but also agree to pay to tape! So, XYZ Grill is great in your city for pink slime nuggets but refuse to pay blackmail ransoms to these propagandists so they book TUV or ABC pink slime fillets to appear (yes, they have some gelt to play!) on these cooking shows even though the health code violations against these rat holes is as long as the Talmud!
In walks Guy Fairytale, rented Firebird in the parking lot, packed house from special invites, shills aplenty boasting how fabulous the mustard and catsup is, party in my mouth lies in exchange for free Cokes! Profits for the networks, a 2 week boost in business for the paying participants until they’re boarded up and closed for remodeling! Or better yet, Greece Lightning for the insurance moolah!
Have you noticed the aftermath on Ramsay’s Nightmares shows? 80 percent are shut down afterwards! On one episode the New York City seafood restaurant was closed for months even before they went back in to tape a show in a wasted space they were selling Canadian lobsters for Maine lobsters! Boarded up afterwards, now a tavern! Total lies! Total heartache for the 3 supposed strawmen owners!
You’ve all watched in amazement the 100 top foods etc programs! Sure, the hundred best at paying for some voice-over actor to bullshit you into going to these hell holes! Scripts written that Dr. Goebbels would be proud of! When I see these places on my TV I avoid them like green pork, liver, hard boiled eggs and mayonnaise! It triggers my dry heave reflex from the shear gall of it all!! Zeig heil Skipps networks and Tony Boredom!
Let the viewer beware!!