1. Who wants to watch food anyway?
TV execs originally panned the idea of a network devoted to food and thought the originators were out of their minds for wanting to broadcast cooking shows all day long. Fast forward 20 years and Food Network is available in 100 million US households and broadcast all over the world.
2. Doing a lot with very little
Food Network launched in 1993 as a small start-up in New York City, with very modest budgets to work with. Chef Mario Batali, star of one of the original programs, was forced to improvise on a minimal set – there was no oven! He would slide a tray of ravioli under the bench top and stamp his foot on the floor to mimic an oven closing – convincing television at its best.
3. Our cooking skills have come a long way
One of the original programs on Food Network was called How to Boil Water, hosted by a little-known chef named Emeril Lagasse who went on to become one of Food Network’s biggest stars. Thankfully audiences have moved on and now programs focus on a tad more challenging recipes.
4. Not a one trick pony
The Food Network has undergone a transformation as television trends and behaviours change over time. Initially focusing only on how-to style programming, the network later shifted to also include more programming that looked at food as entertainment, with a larger focus on the personalities behind the food.
5. Secret kitchens to the rescue
You might wonder what happens if a celebrity chef accidentally burns that delicious batch of brownies they’re cooking whilst on-air? That’s where a ‘shadow kitchen’ can often be used. Usually a stone’s throw from the studio, the kitchen’s house sous chefs can cook along with what’s being cooked on-air, just in case something is ruined and needs to be swapped out without having to re-cook the entire dish.