I realize that not everyone watches the food network, nor is nearly obsessed with food as I am. To help my mom understand why exactly Anthony Bourdain's post was so funny, I wrote an explanation of who the people he was talking about:
Alton Brown - wow geeky food science meets sesame street for adults TV show. But you DO actually learn shit.
Emeril - "kick it up a notch!!" involves adding salt and 'essence of Emeril' by throwing them vehemently AT the food. Preferably over your shoulder with a loud 'BANG!' and lots of flair and flourishing Why does 'essence of Emeril' sound like something I DON'T want to eat?
Mario Batali - I think this guy knows more about Italian food and the regions and food history of Italy better than anyone in the US, and possibly Italy, too. Fat red-head dude in shorts and clogs. And his fingers look like Vienna sausages.
Bobby Flay - what a load of horse shit in a guy. They've made a caricature out of guy by stylizing him into the tough-talking red head from Brooklyn who can cook.
Ace of Cakes Guy - aka Chef Duff. This dude is cool. He makes these designer cakes in these shapes that are totally outrageous. Like the one with the hand of rock coming out of a flames adorned with mini sock monkeys. And the cake in the shape of a Highland Yak for a Scottish Wedding (he wore a kilt and had a bag piper come in to the bakery for that one). The only show on the food network I would watch regularly if I could remember what time the show is on. And he uses power tools because the 'cake tools' don't cut it. Literally. He has a band saw in his bakery.
Giada - Italian-American hoochie mama who's hair never moves when she does, and who is Italian and uber-skinny.Not that there's anything wrong with skinny Italians, don't get me wrong. But she's like an anorexic baker - I just don't trust her. And she always has perfect nails, her wedding ring/engagement rock combo looks like it will break her finger, and her face looks painted on - it's scary.
Rachel Ray - the most annoying non-cook ever. If you don't know what she looks like, she's often on Triscuit and Ritz cracker boxes. Her first show on the food network was '30-minute meals'. Where she told everyone that you can put a delicious meal (???) on the table in under 30 minutes. What she doesn't tell you is that you would then have to eat the shit she calls food. And she has the most annoying nasal voice ever.
Paula Deen - Older portlier woman from Georgia. Southern cooking done by a white woman with big hair, a big heart, and a big laugh. Never-you-mind that the 3 potato casserole with sour cream, cheddar cheese, bacon bits, cream, mashed potatoes and potato chips and slices is not something I will be putting in my repertoire.
And that leaves us with Sandra Dee. Oh Sandra Dee. If Barbie were to meet a bone fide Nabisco brand Keebler elf with an endorsement from Satan, got drunk and spawned a mentally challenged child with aspirations to become the next Martha, that being MAY be comparable to Sandra Dee. Need a new cookie recipe to impress the neighbors? Buy store-bought sugar cookie dough (I always have some in my freezer, just in case!!) and roll in some crushed Hazelnuts! Et Voila~! Add a bow and it's the perfect welcome to the neighborhood gift! make sure that the apron you are surely actually wearing matches the drapes in your kitchen perfectly! Buy frozen food, microwave it yourself and call it home cooking! Shoot me! Shoot me now!
Not to sound pretentious, but it appalls me that these people make gazillions of dollars a year, and, more frighteningly, that people actually copy these people!