Cooking Shows vs. Cooking

I was reading a Michael Pollan essay, excerpted from a New York Times Magazine piece he did, about the popularity of cooking shows (which take twice as long to watch as it takes to make a simple meal) and the fact that people are watching, but not cooking.

And he hypothesized that “Maybe we like to watch cooking on TV because there are things about it that we miss, and because cooking strikes a deep emotional chord in us….”

This got me thinking that people are so starved for the camaraderie depicted on the shows that they are tuning in more for the glimpse of community than for the recipes.

Think Ina Garten.  Consider the Neelys.  And reflect on Paula Deen.  These people have fun, they have parties, they have people coming over (quick! fire up the grill!).  Their relationships work.  People are excited to be included.  Being invited to one of their houses is a plum invitation.  Never mind the fact that professional cooking and a team from the Food Network might be big draws.  It’s  more about the parties and the people.

Have you ever seen Ina unhappy?  Does Paula ever seem glum?  Do the Neelys ever seem bored with each other?   No ma’am… “it was love at first bite.”

So really, let’s admit what we’re after.  Not another way to do “Gazpacho for a Crowd.”  Not another “Easy Summer Picnic Menu.”  Not even “Perfect Margaritas Every Time.”  But people to have fun with, relaxing repasts, the safety of being with people who know and love us.

And that’s why we’re tuning in to these shows… to imagine what could be.  And then we’re heading out to restaurants to look for it.

I guess we’re looking for sustenance in all the wrong places.

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~ by Cary on June 9, 2010.

One Response to “Cooking Shows vs. Cooking”

  1. […] via Cooking Shows vs. Cooking « Holy Vernacular. […]

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