Saturday, February 16, 2008

Brought To You By Lipitor!

Whenever I watch Bon Appetit restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton on television, I wonder who put the peppercorn up his ass. He's utterly humorless, sometimes downright surly, and quite frankly he's not an obvious master of either food or the language. So when Bon Appetit and the Food Network put Knowlton together with Alton Brown to host a one-hour show on "Best American Restaurants," it wasn't exactly a recipe for success.

But before I slam Knowlton, I have to say I really don't hate him because he's beautfiul. And, this one is not entirely his fault. Rather, it seems like yet another case of the Food Network jumping the shark. First of all, the premise of picking the best of anything food-related is an impossible task, especially in an hour. Seeing Knowlton with his Dan Cortese-like mimbo hair trying to say something not obvious about pizza (it's the crust), or tacos (the ingredients matter) was absurd. Not to mention, the foods they chose to judge (also steak, ribs, burgers, fried chicken) is hardly the kind of dining I think of when of I think of Bon Appetit. I guess they needed Lipitor's ad budget. Next year they should call it the Cholesterol Cup.

All in all, this Best American Restaurant crap made me realize a few things. First, I really do watch entirely too much Food Network. But truth is, I mostly watch now to see how stupid the programming can be: can Jeffrey Steingarten make it through10 courses of oxtail without audibly farting, or dying? It also made me appreciate how much I like Alton Brown and respect his ability to teach me something, entertain, all without taking himself so seriously. And, when it comes to food magazines, it's Food & Wine for me all the way.--F

No comments: