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Road Tasted
Posted to Teevee at 08:28 AM on Feb 9, 2007

This show makes me angry.

It really, truly, makes me angry. I am convinced that the very minute the Food Network started to go to hell in a handbag is when they greenlighted this mess.

There are a million and one variations of this show on the network already: $40 A Day. The Secret Life Of... The other one. The other other one with the lady. The upcoming one with Giada de Laurentiis.

The most egregious part of this particular enterprise is the hosts are Paula Deen's kids. I don't know if they can cook. I don't know if they have any broadcast TV credentials at all. Maybe they're perfectly nice guys off-camera. Doesn't matter. Somewhere, someone along the line decided, "Hey! Let's give these two frat-boy chuckleheads their own show!". That's the worst part. Someone found them watchable.

I'll be honest. I've only watched one full episode of Road Tasted. I couldn't even watch it in one sitting. Around the sixth high-five, I realized I was about to fling a Matchbox car at the TV and thought it best to take a break. Then one of them said "Oprah" something, and I had to turn off the TV for good. I've caught bits and pieces of other episodes by total mistake and nothing changed my first impression.

Really, I don't think Jamie and...the other one have any appreciation for the food. I think they like renting Corvettes and getting sloshed on the local booze. In the episode shot in Memphis, they visited a man who makes cakes with Jack Daniels. The segment consisted of Jamie and ...the other one greedily eyeing the Jack. Do I need to say that any food show in which the hosts address each other as "dude" might not be up my alley?

Shows like this are slowly replacing old-school stand-up cooking shows, and that isn't good. Littered among the travel shows and all fifty Rachael Ray shows are commercials for high-sodium, overprocessed grocery-store junk food. The message seems to be that cooking is too much of a bother and only chefs can do it, so take as many shortcuts as possible.

I was actually inspired to write about the Food Network again by two things: one, a very nice email from a lady named Sue and two, this. I've been a fan of Bourdain for a long time, and I think you will, too. Road Tasted airs on the Food Network


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