Chefs Are The New Celebrities

The food industry has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, particularly in the area of television. There was a time when the spotlight was on super models, actors and musicians, but in recent years, these folks have made space on stage for a new kind of celebrity: Chefs. We want to know everything about them from who they are dating to what they are eating and what they stand for in life. What has made them so intriguing?

In recent years, food television has become very innovative in the very nature of what it depicts. For those that like to sit back and take on new techniques and new dishes, there are the more traditional cooking shows, such as, Barefoot Contessa. For individuals who like to get an adrenalin rush, there is access to fast pace and heart pounding shows, like, Top Chef Masters. For those driven by a sense of adventure, No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain, just might be your cup of tea. Whichever way you swing, there is a food show that will appeal to you and NO, being a 'foodie' is not a pre-requisite.

Today, food television is reaching markets that would have previously rejected spending time watching a man in his toque and chef's coat. All this exposure is creating a savvy audience with a sophisticated palate. Dumbed-down cooking shows has definitely lost its flavor and boundary-pushing shows have become far more appealing. We are open to the use of exotic words and ingredients, if not, inspired by them. We don't wish to be mere spectators, or as Nadia Giosa of 'Bitchin' Kitchen' puts it "lectured". Recognizing this desire to feel interacted with, show producers have developed food shows that have the format and personality of chat shows, such as, the recently launched 'Chew'. The ABC network show, The Chew, is a one hour show and 'aims to celebrate and explore life through food'. However, ABC is not the only non-food channel to air food shows, as Bravo and the Travel channel have also hosted their fair share of food shows during prime time television.

Food television has stepped out of its own category and in to that of popular television. It boasts of a fan base that transcends age, gender and socio economic status. As a result, it has also created awareness and an interest and education of food that was nothing but smoke in mirrors for many people in the past.

Photo: iknow-uk

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