I’m a cooking show nerd. Anyone who follows us on twitter knows I jump on just about every Saturday morning, from bed no doubt, and tweet about yummy recipes and Cooking Channel personalities. So I could easily assert I am an aficionado. My Saturday morning ritual started well before twitter, or Food Network for that matter. It started with PBS and Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, an’nem. (Bitch, I STANNED for Death by Chocolate and the Galloping Gourmet) In other words, I’m OG.
I LOVE Cooking Network. It’s like Food Network’s bad bitch little sister. Where Food Network jumped on the competition show bandwagon and fell COMPLETELY the hell off, Cooking Network swooped through for those of us really cooking… seasoning our food nshyt. What I love MOST about the Cooking Network is the personalities – mostly women, really cooking! *throws on my feminism and proud black woman cape*
I first fell in love with the Cooking Network with Rachel Khoo and Kelsey Nixon. These gals COOK!!! K? The void left by Rachel Ray’s ole burger, chili, and mac & cheese making ass AND Sandra Lee’s trash ass store bought, non matching bullshit meals, Cooking Network filled. (I will say… Aunt Sandy has a heavy pour and that gets all the yeses). I hate that Food Network dumbed food down SO much. Ok, fine. I know everyone doesn’t want to do everything from scratch like me, cool. BUT SANDRA LEE THE BEST YALL GOT?!?!? No. Rachel Khoo gave deconstructed gourmet french food (and she tweets me back). Kelsey broke shit ALL the way down to “essential” tools and ingredients but accessorized THE HELL out of them in a warm relatable way. And they both are adorable and wear Anthropologie. I know because I’ve seen some of MY clothes on Kelsey.
Nigella be on Cooking Network too. And Nigella is queen food porn. Enough said.
THEN!! They touched the bottom of my bougie heart with my OG boo, Bobby Flay, with “Brunch at Bobby’s”. A WHOLE SHOW DEDICATED TO BRUNCH?!?!?!? WITH THE SEASONING ASS BOBBY FLAY?!?!? YEEEEEESSSSS BITCH!!! (anyone remember “The Main Ingredient” on Lifetime at noon. My whole summers revolved around this show)
Enter Lorraine Pascale. Let me tell you something – this post was really all about Lorraine. In the past when we get brown girls cooking shows they give you varying degrees of Sunny Anderson. Loud, sassy black girl with basic ass food. I mean SUPER basic. Like fried chicken/meatloaf and mashed potatoes basic (which yum but basic). I was excited about Siba Mtongana, but she was the 5th degree of sunny. A beautiful, thick, sassy, South African woman making basic, boring food. I mean she used more soy sauce than anything. And on that I will PASS.
Oh but Lorraine. First, Lorraine is a fomer model and i LOVE models. I was randomly flipping through a Vogue (I think) and saw a vintage picture of her and Naomi Campbell. She’s legit. Second, shes a beautiful dark skinned black woman. AND she cooks down. Her recipes are smart and even challenge convention. I’ve seen her bake cakes out of standard “order” and wondered if that really works. She makes a good blend of easy food but also things that more challenging more experienced cooks like me. The most exciting thing? Her show is SUPER black. The background music is black artists – I’ve heard Outkast and Emeli Sande just to name a few. She is perfection.
I reeeeeally hope Cooking Channel continues in this vein, and doesn’t dumb everything down. My personal wish is that they let someone’s black granny be the next “Paula Deen” and host a real southern cooking show. And maybe get Aarti Sequiera back for some Indian food. Yall know the bougies love ethnic cuisine. But baby steps.
Other Cooking Channel shows and personalities I really like:
- Extra Virgin bc the Italian husband is hot.
- Bitchin Kitchen is cute.
- Anything with G. Garvin because bae. and extra black.
- Love their specials, namely the holiday one with Kelis (one of my lady crushes)
- French Food Fast because you can see the joy on the host’s face when shes cooking
- I ALMOST FORGOT!!! My Grandmother’s Ravioli!!! Old people are truly hilarious and so real!! This may actually be one of my top 3.
I’m sure there are others but that’s a start.