Why FoodTV continues to give us crap shows, I will never know.  I’ve come to terms with my social soapbox-ish rant about Iron Chef America.  Where that entry may have come from a place of anger, I don’t know that I’ve grown that much since.  I still don’t understand why a television network named FoodTV gives us the worse food shows in this country.  Cupcake Wars, the now defunct Ace of Cakes, Triple D, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Challenge, and over the last couple of years, the heinously bad Chopped.

The premise is simple:  Rustle up some talented chefs, dangle $10,000 in front of them and then….wait for it….give them crap to cook with and see how much of an ass they can make of themselves.  All the while, being critiqued by “renown” chefs and restauranteurs who’ve all gone into “kitchen stadium” [ICA] themselves and LOST.  And they had awesome ingredients to cook with on ICA.  Here on Chopped, it’s just the bizarre on top of bizarre.  After watching the Chopped All Stars, where master chefs such as Anita Lo and Nate Appleman go against one another, I have affirmation that Chopped is a show I just don’t get.  I don’t get why putting bizarre ingredients in front of chefs and asking them to cook in 20 minutes is good entertainment.  We don’t learn anything, we don’t want to eat the food they serve, and we certainly would never attempt to cook anything they prepare.  Why giving a chef fresh pasta sheets, dried papaya, chorizo, and bluefoot mushrooms is suppose to get my culinary juices running is beyond me.  Granted, the Chopped All Stars have a social undertone to it.  These chefs are not just competing for themselves, but they are competing for some really great charities they partner with.  I have this picture of the production offices of FoodTV, snotty MBA graduates sitting around the table saying to each other, “Let’s put raisins, pine cones, spinach, and bitter melon and see what these a-holes can create in 20 minutes”, followed by maniacal laughter.  Oh FoodTV, how low you have gone in your desperate attempt to come up with something like “The Wild Within”, “No Reservations”, and “Top Chef” that Bravo and the Travel Channel are kicking your butts in.

I wish I could “chop” this show along with 90% of all the other shows this network puts together.  There’s a reason Anthony Bourdain, after just ONE year of “A Cook’s Tour“, decided to ditch FoodTV and jump to the Travel Channel.  Emmy Awards later, I am sure he is glad he never agreed to the preposterous idea FoodTV threw at him to travel the US to find the best BBQ.  Thank goodness Anthony Bourdain gave them the all familiar suggestion rather than buckle to fame and riches, both of which he was able to achieve anyway in another channel anyway.  And my new favorite show, “The Wild Within” would never fly on FoodTV.  Why?  Because it’s actually good.  Not only that, it’s social.  It’s thought provoking television.  Even if you disagree with hunting in general, you have a better appreciation of what Steven Rinella is doing on that show.  And FoodTV?  Another cupcake show?  Another show to squeeze every last bit of Bobby Flay?

Yes, this is another angry rant.  No, I am not happy.  Who can be, with this network?  Watching Guy Fieri devour another chicken fried steak is not my idea of good television.  Let’s do some real television people.  Tune into “The Wild Within”, “No Reservations”, and “Top Chef”.  Those are the shows we ought to be watching.