Tuesday, May 15, 2012

C'mon Food Network

I was flipping through the on screen guide last night and saw a show I had never heard of on Food Network. The show is titled Meat Men and it is about a large high end beef supplier outside New York City. Maybe they have other meats, but they didn't in this episode. I set the DVR to tape it and I just watched it. Well, kind of sat through it while playing Draw with Friends. I have games going with each of my sisters in law.

Ignoring the disappointment that they only show cutting things that were already broken down and aged. No sides of beef. Just porterhouse and tomahawk steaks. No talk of where it came from or their suppliers. But they appear to dry age themselves.And to give credit where credit is due, the beef looked good. This show could be awesome. It could be informative and really show people where their food is coming from. Not that I was expecting that from Food Network,  but the show could have been something special. Instead, it is your standard dime-a-dozen faux reality shows with made up emergencies. My grievances about this particular episode in no particular order:

The parade of fake, bullshit emergencies: First, a panicked chef calls and need 10 porterhouse steaks for the currently ongoing dinner service. Luckily, cameras are there to catch both sides of the phone conversation. The steaks get there late after the delivery driver gets lost, but they are there just in time. Whew.

Every single knife they have is dull. At the same time. Lets put every knife in a box, get the knife guy back to his shop to sharpen them all. Nothing gets done until we get our 20 knives back. Seriously. They did that. Are you freaking kidding me? This place only has 20 knives? And they must all get sharpened at the same time daily. In one of the asides the main guy says, "And I don't even have a knife in the building." We're talking about cutters that are honing knives after every fifth or sixth cut. No back up blades. But wait, it gets worse...

A celebrity chef calls while everyone is standing around and needs sixty tomahawk steaks for the current evenings dinner. That's a 6 and a zero. 60 custom steaks for a party, a few hours after the order is made. Again, cameras are there to catch the chef ordering as well as anxiously looking at the door for the order to arrive.

Plus, everything has to get done by midnight so a turkey hunting trip can happen the next day. And with all the bullshit, they still had to show everything 4 times. You know, in case you missed 3 minutes of the show, you could be caught up that they still had no knives and a big order to fill.

Top Chef often seemed over the top for the sake of producing drama but this was just silly. Based on what they showed, I think I may have more knives in the house than they have at their business. If they needed emergencies, they could have made up some believable ones. How about a compressor goes and they are losing cooling? Maybe a delivery truck breaks down. Band saw blade breaks (they probably don't have a back up and would have to drive to Buffalo to get a replacement). Or if they want blood, someone gets cut or hurt.

The show probably shouldn't have pissed me off as much as it did, but what a waste. To paraphrase Homer Simpson, this show was one of the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked. You want to watch 30 minutes of people working with and discussing being a butcher, watch this instead.

Thanks for listening. I feel a little better. I'm off to try and draw something on my phone.


  1. I've always disliked "lightly scripted" reality TV about working in kitchens and the like. They just totally misrepresent the profession. It is good to know I am not the only one who holds such abhorrence for shoddy entertainment television.

  2. I know the kinds of shows you are talking about. I typically avoid them too. Most of what I know about them is from watching outtakes on The Soup. For some reason, this show made me irrationally angry. You could have seen how a high-volume high-end butcher shop worked. Instead, they went with bad sit-com. And Food Network could have been so much more too. As recently as a few years ago, it was.

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