If you have never seen a Food Network show, please leave now and reevaluate your life. JK, but if you are like me and can’t look away from an episode of Chopped, keep reading. In response to my low key (but actually high key) obsession with all things Food Network, I have put together a definitive list of the best and worst Food Network Competition shows. (Do people actually watch the non-competition ones?)
THE TOP 3
Chopped is the shit. Nothing raises my adrenaline like a cook forgetting to use one of the basket ingredients. Or breaking a piece of equipment. Or cutting themselves. Or trying to make Panna Cotta in the dessert round. Or GOD FORBID trying to use the freaking ice cream machine. (When will the Chopped contenders learn?!) I can only hope that one day Food Network will stop being cheap as hell and get in on copyright agreements to stop referring to Oreos as “chocolate sandwich cookies.”
(We all know those are fucking Oreos, Ted)
2. Beat Bobby Flay
Bobby is the KING of Food Network and this photo is so reflective of what Bobby Flay is to #thefoodnet. Literally go to foodnetwork.com and he has like, 25 different shows in his namesake. He LITERALLY has a show about trying to beat him because he is THAT GOOD. Ugh. (I have such a soft spot for Bobby.) Anyways, this show is amazing. Not only is it only half an hour so you feel less guilty about binging it on Thursday nights, BUT it is also set in a kitchen with a legitimate ARENA of people and fans. Bravo, Food Network. Bravo. Props to all of the chefs that have managed to beat Bobby, but I will forever be #teambobby.
3. All Star Academy
I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the OG All Star Academy Judges Squad (#BringBackBobbyAndMichael), but All Star Academy gives me all of the feels. Despite the fact that the home cooks I hate the most keep making the finale and/or winning this damn show, I get unhealthily invested in my favorites. TBT to when I cried real tears as Lee returned to the Academy only to lose in the finale #JusticeForLee. This show makes me feel like I can actually cook (I can’t) because they are all home cooks – so relatable!
THE BOTTOM 3
1. Cutthroat Kitchen
Cutthroat Kitchen is actually the worst. Aside from the fact that Alton Brown looks like a low level sociopath, THIS SHOW IS NOT ABOUT COOKING. The sabotages on this show are so ridiculous that the food these chefs present is straight trash. How is anyone supposed to prepare an entree wearing 25 outerwear snow jackets? Or using only champagne flutes to mix ingredients? Or preparing all of their food on floating cutting boards in a plastic duck pond? IT JUST DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. Time to tone down the sabotages and make this show actually about cooking great food.
2. Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives
Does anyone actually like Guy Fieri? No. The answer is no. From the frosted tips to the sunglasses, I just can’t. Tbh if this show had a different host things might be different, but Guy is truly insufferable. (To his credit, Guy’s Grocery Games is actually a decent show.)
3. Chopped Junior
I live and die for Chopped. However, as much as it pains me to say, Chopped Junior kind of sucks. I want to like it so badly, but I just don’t. Sure the kids are cute, and maybe I am just bitter that 9-year-olds can cook better than I ever will, but we all know the best part of Chopped is when the judges ROAST the cooks for their mistakes. Basically, STOP BEING SO NICE TO THE DAMN KIDS. Sorry, not sorry.
All Photo Credit: Food Network