Dear Food Network,
Heaven knows I love your channel. And Heaven also knows that my husband wishes Alton Brown were not on at 11:00 p.m. our time, because I'm busy watching Good Eats then instead of doing other things. So, clearly, I am a dedicated viewer.
Also, I like to cook. It's an enjoyment born out of self-preservation because I have two children at home and a husband who works in the restaurant industry and therefore does NOT cook once he hits home turf, except in the case of dire emergency/ Cajun food craving. So since it's either cook or starve, because eating out is pricey... I cook. It's just something I do. I also wash clothes, scrub toilets, drive a car... I do many things, because they're just part of living.
I am not a laundress, a custodian, or a chauffeur, although I perform all these functions. And I am not "a" cook. I'm just a person who cooks... because again with the eating-instead-of-starving preference.
And believe me, Food Network, I am fully aware I am nowhere near being a chef. I have zero formal food preparation training, and would never presume to hold a candle to many of the amazing chefs who grace your shows. What I do have is the ability to follow or modify a recipe, and an ability to find excellent ones. It's like chemistry class, only less accuracy is required (except with the baking -- oish!). It's fun, and when you pay attention you can produce some pretty tasty stuff.
All that said, would you please, oh pretty please, abolish the term "home cook" from your chefs' vocabularies? I had never heard the term, actually, until Chef Anne Burrell used it on the final episode of Worst Cook in America with words along the lines of "These meals weren't prepared by us, they were made by home cooks."
Cue gasps of horror and shock from the judges' table!!!
Then to top it all off, she revealed that not only were these people members of the dreadfully shocking "home cook" class, they were actually really, really, bad home cooks.
The horror!! The horror!!!
Okay, someone who initially cooked terribly badly being brought to a level of not only competence but excellence is impressive. And I enjoyed the show. But that line "home cook" rankled.
Then on an episode of Chopped, Chef Alex Guarnaschelli remarked that a dish was simple like something a "home cook" would have made. My lip twitched, and I was really worried that she'd get a crick in her neck with the way she was holding her nose up in the air.
You know, it wouldn't be so bad if your chefs didn't say "home cook" with the same inflection they use to utter "raw pork," "rotten fish," or "Guy Fieri". But as it stands, a "home cook" is something that is apparently as appealing as a communicable disease.
The vast majority of your viewing audience isn't cooking for a living. We aren't chefs. We don't cook in restaurants. Where the hell else do you expect us to cook other than at home?
It's an inherently condescending term, used in a consistently patronizing manner. And it's an insult to, I'd say, the majority of your viewing audience.
Cut it out. It rankles.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST -- My review
12 hours ago