News Shocker! Diversity Finally Comes to Food Network!

down home with the neelysWell, it looks as though either my blog has been read by Fool Network execs or there are more people out there wondering where the diversity has been on the station (NOTE: There are alot of other blogs discussing how homogeneous TFN has become, not only me). Starting at the beginning of February (Feb. 2nd, 11AM EST), Food Network fans will have the opportunity to see black people on the channel. I know, I know… simmer down people, it seemed unbelievable to me too. I did a double take, rubbed my eyes and then pinched myself to see if I was actually awake. Not since Curtis Aikens has the Food Network broadcasted a cooking show hosted by someone black. Oh, wait… does that Bryant Gumble look-alike that hosted that horrible ‘Top 5 list’ count? I’m not too sure myself. OHHH, and wait, what about that guy who used to bake? I think his show only lasted a few months. But, I must congratulate (for the first time ever), TFN for finally showing some diversity. This show, “Down Home with the Neely’s” is also being promoted as much as that stupid Sandra Lee show, too, which is a big step. This may be a show I end up watching – as long as the cute Neely couple don’t get corrupted by the station to start acting like everyone else on the Food Network. I hope they just remain who they are. They have a very cute story – the four Neely brothers started a BBQ restaurant out of a small space in Memphis in 1988. They kicked some butt with great food and good service. Soon the business expanded to new locations so the brother’s needed extra help and recruited their mother and Patrick’s wife, Gina, to help out. Now they are the BBQ masters of Tennessee. Patrick and Gina did some contests and won and have been on many TV shows over the years. I wish them luck doing well on the Food Network.

Not to be stingy (I’ll take what I can get) but wouldn’t it be great to have a Thai or Indian chef on there, too? Maybe a Mexican chef doing regional cuisine ala Rick Bayless? Why not give Morimoto his own show? Oh, that’s right, maybe it’s because he’s too Asian? TFN completely degrades him every time he’s on Iron Chef by dubbing some dudes voice over his own. HE IS SPEAKING ENGLISH WHEN YOU DUB OVER HIM WITH ENGLISH!!!! I understand he has a strong accent, but at least let us hear the master speak. For fuck’s sake, degrade him a bit less by using subtitles. I wonder if this pisses him off?

Speaking of black cooks/chefs, I have been wanting to write a post on someone I am in love with – G. Garvin. Has anyone watched him on TV One? I’m so happy he is on TV – he’s intelligent, funny and is a fresh face/voice in the culinary TV world. He actually enlightens us with his knowledge of different foods and the recipe, doing it all with humor and not loosing sense of his real personality. The Food Network should have swooped him up before TV One did. I love him… he looks like LL Cool J and has a personality to match his looks. His catchphrase is “holla at ya boy” and he makes a sound when he’s grinding pepper (nothing like the loud, obnoxious BAM!). Here’s a few quotes I wrote down from G. while watching his show a few weeks ago:

If you ain’t got no wooden spoon, you probably ain’t got no TV!” – G. Garvin

“If you ain’t got an oven, go holla at ya neighbor! Tell ’em ya got dropped biscuits for your b-baby-baby!” – G. Garvin during a segment making ‘Dropped Biscuits’

I hope the new show on TFN is a good one. I really hope the Neely’s survive on the network because it will prove to me that the audience as well as the execs are not afraid of a bit of diversity! Good luck, Neely’s! I’m sure I’ll be giving my opinion on this here blog as soon as I see it! I’d love to hear your opinion too.

Check out a another WANF reader’s posts on the Neely’s and this subject:

Food Network Missing Key Ingredient?


36 thoughts on “News Shocker! Diversity Finally Comes to Food Network!

  1. Funny how no one left a comment! Hmmm. Thank you for posting this… I may have to bite a bit if you don’t mind. I’m a fan of FN but I always wonder the same thing.. how come no one looks like me? And I cover two groups!!! Amazing how single minded they are!! And audience obviously too!

    A good friend here in ATL is good friends with the Neely’s so I’m very happy for them and can’t wait to see them! They’re going to be so much fun!

  2. I was wondering why it took so long for anyone to comment too. I thought this would stir up some, ANY emotions in people. But we still live in racist America and it’s still a taboo subject. I touch more on issues w/ the Food Network in an earlier posting (sorry, I do knock alot of TFN personalities, so don’t read if you’re sensitive to it). Check it out:

    but that you for commenting!!

  3. I like the fact that FN has attempted to make their hosts more diverse, however I have a feeling this show might not be around long. The Neely’s are excellent entrepeneurs and great cooks, however it appears that food network is having them (or they are doing it on their own) play up how “Urban” they are. The stereotypes people have of African Americans is displayed frequently in the episodes. Mrs. Neely uses the “Hey Girl”, “Girl” , and “Girlfriend” lingo to a point where it is obnoxious. Her use of these catch phrases, loud laugh, and over the top “actions” does not help the show. Now, Mr. Neely breaks down the stereotypes by being well spoken, well dressed, and extremely knowledgeable about his cooking. I enjoy the style of cooking they do, but Mrs. Neely is going to have to tone it down if this show is going to become a success.

  4. Interesting point, FN Fan. I kind of agree with you that Mrs. Neely needs to tone it down a bit, but I think that she is a firecracker kind of personality. She reminds me of a Black Paula Deen, who also needs to tone it down. I can’t watch her at all b/c she is too full-on with her southern personality, it annoys me. BUT, I do not think that Mrs. Neely needs to not be herself. I think the Food Network sucks b/c they try to make every one of their hosts to turn their personality up to 10, gesticulate wildly and try too hard. That’s the problem with EVERY food network show… not just the Neelys. And I’m a bit offended that you think she needs to turn down her personality b/c you think she’s being too black. Yeah, it may seem cliched or stereotypical, but maybe she’s really just being herself. It may be good for white people (especially the ones who are making this horrible network keep boring people like Ina Garten, Sandra Lee, Ellie Kreiger and that other snore-fest bore who makes meals for a week? They are the WHITEST people on earth. Maybe they need to be less white?) to be a bit more exposed to this couple just being who they are. But, thank you so much for the comment … it really made me think about this whole thing again. And, I hate to say it, it reminded me as to why the Food Network was avoiding diversifying their lineup for this long. – amy

  5. Amy, I enjoyed reading your response until you mentioned the fact that you were offended. Did you read your response? You stated that all of the food network hosts are “made” to turn their personalities up to a 10, then you said you dont think that Mrs. Neeley should not be “herself”. So which is it? Is FN making her turn up her personality or is she just being “herself”. It is also interesting that you took my post and immediately turned it into a race issue, using phrases such as “WHITEST people on earth, and EVERY food network show, and the “white people” at the food network. Have you researched who is in charge of development and recruitment of talent at the network? It is extremely irresponsible of anyone to immediately play the race card when that is the easy answer. Its a shame, and before you call me a racist and an ignorant WHITE person….I am bi-racial and honestly blown away by your reasoning.

  6. Hi, FN Fan. Thanks again for the comment. It takes some balls to write about this subject and I still think it’s important to talk about this stuff! I do just want to state that never once did I call you a racist. That is important to note. What I was thinking was, to me, your comment about Mrs. Neely needing to ‘tone down her cliched blackness’ represented the beliefs of alot of other people in this country. You may have mentioned this, not because you personally believe this, but, as a Food Network viewer, you were just giving ‘constructive criticism’ to Mrs. Neely that if she’s gonna make it, unfortunately, she may need to tone it down. You may not wish that for her yourself, maybe you were just thinking about her potential success on a channel that is extremely one-dimensional and decided to help her out. I’m not sure, cause I couldn’t tell from your original comment.

    Anyways, I actually waited to write you back until Down Home w/ the Neely’s was on again so I could watch it with your view in mind. So, here I am 11.25 on a Saturday morning… just finished watching it. I have to, again, just completely disagree with you. I really do not think that Mrs. Neely is off the charts annoying or cliched. I just don’t. I don’t think she’s trying to be ‘extra Black’ or whatever because either she thinks she needs to, wants to shock people or whatever other reason you think she would ‘choose’ to do something like this (except if the weird execs at the FN told her to do this, which I can not imagine). I really believe this is who she is, with maybe a little extra sass for the camera.

    And, how can I not “play the race card” (I hate that term btw)? You can’t ignore the fact that these two are the first Black hosts of a cooking show on TFN in a long time. I’ve written posts about Rachel Ray, Sandra Lee, Ina Garten, blah, blah blah and never once has anyone commented that they need to tone it down b/c they are being too cliched white… or too sterotypically southern. It’s just interesting that now that there is some diversity, there are reasons for this particular host to tone down her personality and ‘isms that sound too sterotypical Black.

    If you haven’t noticed, there is still a problem in America with this attempt to ‘white wash’ celebs/hosts, etc – as if the way we (they) speak, act and look is better. When I see you write something like, “Now, Mr. Neely breaks down the stereotypes by being well spoken, well dressed, and extremely knowledgeable about his cooking”, all I can think is, HUH? Mrs. Neely is well-dressed, well-spoken and also talks about her food in a knowledgeable way. I just watched the show again just to make sure I wasn’t off here. Yeah, she throws in ‘girl, girlfriend, etc.’ often, but that, to me, doesn’t represent a person who is unknowledgable and not well-spoken. Maybe it’s my environment? I work in a school in Brooklyn with many extremely intelligent Black men and women and they use those sayings too. I don’t think they are unintelligent.

    Lastly, I did just graduate from a grad school where you learn everything thru a multicultural lens. Maybe this subject is touchy for me? Regardless, I hope your wrong. I hope that Mrs. Neely can continue to use her ‘isms that some White people don’t like or get and still be as successful on the network as Paula Deen and Rachel Ray (which, for the life of me I will NEVER EVER EVER EVER understand why she’s popular, but that’s another story).

    I hope this makes sense and you can understand why maybe I came off a bit strong in my last comment to you. Honestly, though, I thank you for having the balls to even post your opinion on this subject. – amy

  7. I could not agree with you more, but you are missing the point. Nobody is questioning or denying the fact that the Neelys’ are intelligent, they have successful businesses, they are obviously intelligent. The other issue I have is with the absolutely untrue statements people make in order to “prove” their point. Amy, I hate to pick on you, but it seems as only you and I are able to discuss this topic. Everyone I have spoken with in other arenas have said the same things. There are numerous false statements surrounding the food network and these shows: 1) No black people on air (which you qualified as the “first” black hosts “in a long time”. TV depends on advertising, which is then based on number of viewers, which turns into ratings. Numerous black hosts and co-hosts have graced the food network air waves, but for some reason nobody watched. Call it whatever you want, but nobody watched. Emeri’s viewer ratings went in the toilet and and they pulled the plug. They have done the same on some other pilot shows with black hosts because nobody watched. 2) Still nobody will answer the question I pose as to who is responsible for talent development and recruitment on TFN. 3) These are just opinions, everyone is entitled to them, so why does discussing race immediately lead people to believe you are racist, or dont want black people to succeed or be on TV.
    I enjoy the diversity, I just wish people did not make such a big deal about it. If there was not so much attention directed towards the “black show”, then people would not be picking every little thing they do apart, waiting on them to do something that will turn viewers off and eventually lead to the cancellation of the show. Like I said, I have nothing against them, I enjoy the show, it is just over the top. Are other shows over the top, absolutely, as you mentioned Rachael Ray. I personally think she is obnoxious, but just like everything else, there is a show on FN for everyone from pretentious rich folks Barefoot Contessa to simple southern Paula Deen. If this was not the case, then they would have on person on there all day long.

  8. This was a comment from Bren @ that only appeared on our old URL, so I moved it here.

    Bren | |

    Oh boy… how come I’m just now tuning BACK in to this touchy debate.

    Amy, I don’t know you other than you’re white. FN Fan, I don’t know you either, but you make some unreasonable arguments and rather inconsistent.

    Before I go forward with my lengthy response, I’d like to know what two races you come from. It will be important in me addressing your points, accordingly.

    In short, for now, I find all of this very interesting and so welcome the continued conversation on race, something that is sadly still a factor in making corporate decisions!

    Feb 26, 3:40 PM

  9. Well Bren, yes, I’m white (Italian American and proud of it!). I believe FN Fan mentioned in an earlier comment that he was of mixed race (bi-racial) but I’m not sure what races. I hope he finds our site again b/c he’s definitely.

    The only thing I can say in response to FN Fan is that I believe that people wouldn’t make a ‘big deal out of the race thing’ on TFN if there was more of it. Sometimes you have to notice things that are different (hence the word diversity)… it’s important to say something about it – you have an opinon, you discussed it. I have an opinon, I discussed it. And you’re right – I wish more people could have an open discussion about this.

    I don’t care about ad dollars, viewership, revenue, etc. (and yes, I used to work in media so I understand how that works), the food network is making a statement by not trying to be more diverse, or try having more diversity on their shows. Yes, Emerils show may have had the plug pulled, but at least he was able to get a show in the first place. I feel like all the “talent” they put as hosts of their own show are white, good-looking hosts (please remove Ina from that list). This is the first time I have noticed them really trying to push a show on the Food Network hosted by someone that is not white or generally good looking.

    I have no idea who head of talent is at the food network but I’d LOVE to ask him or her this question or at least involve him/her in this ‘discussion’!

    And, again,I still don’t think talking about race makes you a racist. I think it shows that you’re willing to have an open discussion about something that’s still very taboo to talk about in this country. Talking about it is a GOOD thing. -amy

  10. Bren,
    Welcome to the discussion. When I say bi-racial I am trying to be simplistic, when it comes down to it I think my family has a little of everything. But for simplicity’s sake my mother is primarily Cuban and my father was African American. I do not see why my racial makeup would influence or be necessary for you to respond, but I look forward to reading your post.
    FN Fan

  11. oh great! another me!!! Hi FN Fan. This is going to be great. I’m Cuban too with Jamaican grandparents on my dad’s side and a mix of Chinese/black on my moms side. I’m off to the gym, but I’ll explain why your ethnic make up was relevant to my response. I find this entire topic interesting and like to engage (especially with atypical minorities–of which might be included) in constructive conversation, so as to become more open minded and ultimately learn and possibly have a fresh perspective.

    Please look back from me later this evening.

  12. Ok, FN Fan… I did not find a person at TFN who has the title of “VP of Talent” (maybe they don’t have one?), but I did find the guy who is “VP of Programming and Production” and was actually featured on The Next Food Network Star. I remember thinking then that if this is the guy who chooses talent and develops shows then no wonder Rachel Ray and Sandra Lee are tops on the network. He’s a media man and has no history working in the food world ever… this is clearly represented (to me) in his choices for programming. His name is Bob Tuschman, you can read an interview from The Gothamist here:

    Not sure how this helps you with your point – did you want to see what he looked like? What his background was? To point out that he’s a ‘money man’ and that’s all he’s concerned about? Keep the discussion going… it really is a good one.

  13. I think the Neelys suck. I’ve never seen such horrible personalityies since Rachael Ray. Mrs. Neely thinks no one can cook better than her, just like Rachael. All the good food shows without all the hype and backpatting is on PBS stations. The Neelys are just loud egotistical people who think they’re the best black cooks, not chefs around. Now Curtis Atkins was a great guy to watch. They should rename the Food Network to Cooks to sleep by. And Rachael Ray needs to know her meals are awful and all sem to have the same ingredients. BTW, I could cook better and in 30 minutes if all my ingredients and pans were laid out for me too. And she should know, contrary to what she recently stated, I found that there were at 2 other people who could make a Buffalo Chiken salad better than her. Thank God for Tyler Florence. He’s real and always a pleasure to watch along with Guys Big Bite, the best new addition to TFN. Down and away with the Neelys, my ears need a rest.

  14. I think many of the hosts on the food network cross the line from ‘charming’ to ‘obnoxious’ and this has nothing to do with race! I was shocked by Amy’s racist comments towards white people. Shame on you.
    Rachael Ray, Paula Deen and Mrs. Neely do need to tone it done a bit…especially for more sophisticated viewers who don’t enjoy sexual innuendo and inappropriate behaviors while watching a cooking show. Paula Deen is married but flirts with guests and even gets physical. It is so embarrassing I have to change the channel. I also did not enjoy Mrs. Neely discussing and making reference to her husbands abilities to give ‘rub downs’ etc…with hubby rubbing ribs to demonstrate…yuck. What a turn off.
    When I first watched the Neely’s show, I thought, ‘Wow, how do they get away with portraying black people with such stereotyping?’ I would think that African Americans would complain. However, I have a feeling the network asked her to turn her own personality up a few notches – so it is probably not her fault. Hopefully she will get the message and cool it a bit.
    I suppose it is a difficult line to maintain…if the Neely’s were too reserved , people would be writing in to say that they were ‘too white’..I suppose. I enjoy watching the hosts who stick to professional behavior.

  15. I agree! I’ve been waiting for more comments. Unfortunately, sometimes these older posts get lost in the shuffle. I hope that some people will not be afraid to weigh in on this. I will say that there are alot of people who, like you, feel that the Neely show sucks. For some odd reason I am still not turned-off by them. And I still disagree with you that talking about the diversity issue should not be a big deal:

    from an earlier comment – “I enjoy the diversity, I just wish people did not make such a big deal about it. If there was not so much attention directed towards the “black show”, then people would not be picking every little thing they do apart, waiting on them to do something that will turn viewers off and eventually lead to the cancellation of the show.”

    If people didn’t make a bit of a deal about the diversity (lack of) issue of the network and the show, we’d be ignoring the obvious. It is IMPORTANT to talk about and it’s fine to ‘pick the show apart’ I mean, you did and that’s why we’re still discussing this! It’s been a good discussion. You claimed Mrs. Neely was being too ‘urban’ (whatever that means) and I still think that’s the one statement that made me continue this conversation because I still do not understand what that means. And yes you never said that she is not intelligent, but you did make a connection to her ‘urban-ness’ and the fact that her husband acts less ‘urban’ which makes us break down the stereotypes of Black people. I get what you’re trying to say, but I still disagree that Mrs. Neely needs to be less of what she is in order to make the show work or to make herself look more intelligent. I’ve actually learned more about food and food culture from her than many other “non-urban” (and I guess seemingly more intelligent?) talking heads on the food network.
    girlfriend or no girlfriend lingo thrown in, her way of speaking does not make me feel like she’s any less intelligent.

    I hope this discussion continues and I hope Bren weighs in again!

  16. I See that you are not a true viewer or FOOD TV. There was a black dude, before this couple. The show was Sugar Rush. But not aired for to long. There are no to many hispanics in the FOODTV.. there is something that we have to push for! That Ingrid HOFFMAn is a joke!! That is not a latin cuisine!

  17. Hey, Lilly. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on this subject. I am not a true viewer of food tv b/c of these exact reasons. but i am abreast on their supposed ‘new talent’ b/c i’m hoping one day it will be a channel i want to return to. If you read the whole post, you would’ve seen that I recognized the sugar rush dude as well as the other black guy (how sad is that that I have to even say that!?) that was on another show that wasn’t on for too long.

    And, oh yeah, I have similar feelings in regards to Latinos on the network. You should check out my “Rachel Ray: Maybe Hate is A Strong Word” post for clarification on my feelings about Ingrid Hoffman and the lack of latino diversity on the channel: scroll to the bottom of this post and click on that one.

    Thanks again for the comments!

  18. I’m bbbaaaaaacccck. Amy, someone you calling a racist because of the white remarks you make is just insane. We’re all here to have a discussion of the lack of diversity on FN. I’m a fan, and don’t like the fact there are few, actually no one that looks like me. While I’ve yet to see the Neely’s, or Sunny and am not a huge fan of Ingrid, I understand their job. The network, producers, etc… have control over how it all looks on camera. There’s a huge element of acting going on, wether we want to accept it or not, like it or not. It’s TV ya’ll. Really. Yes, they’re there to cook and share new tricks, techniques, recipes, etc.. but ultimately TV is entertainment. Case in point: Martha Stewart’s cooking show on Fine Living. I saw all of 3 minutes by accident the other day and could not believe at what I was witnessing. It’s worse than all of FN’ “bad” cooks/chefs/shows. It was bland, boring, stale, unmoving, uninteresting, boring, boring. Probably not her fault, but the aim of it I’m sure is a PURE cooking show with no entertainment value. Could I have learned something? Sure. But I, and I bet you, couldn’t have stood to wait to learn given the lack of energy and momentum.

    I’m a Latin girl who is very much a black girl too. I understand and can id with the Neely’s. Could they tone it down, sure. We all can, but when in front of the camera, you are conscious that you have millions of viewers and so you have to find a medium where most will watch and understand. The network shouldn’t do them a personal disservice if it turns out that its an uber exaggeration of their real personality. But something’s gotta give and if they’re following suit (ie, MTV, VH1, other reality shows, etc..), they know what works. Clearly something’s adding right in the accounting office: they just got a 2nd show right?

    As for Ingrid not cooking latin food. You’re right. I can testify to that and I only saw it once. I’m speculating here, but what I think they’re doing is again, finding a medium that most will understand. Not everyone will get me cooking pata y panza (chick peas and tripe), which is very authentic Latin/Cuban dish. So, in order to keep the popular viewing audience (which I’m guessing is probably mostly white and not vastly exposed to many other eating cultures), they have to do something that will still come off as “Latin”, be appealing and “exotic”. Unfortunately, this means sacrificing authenticity. So, I don’t blame her fully, unless of course she’s creating the menu’s herself, in which case, shame on her!

    IN any case, I’m down for being the real soulful Latin chick on the network that would do real Latin and fusion, so as to allow for everyone to feel welcome and interested!

    I’ll be back!

  19. I’ve been reading on the comments people been making.Unfortunetly im really offended by the comments.Especially the ones made about the Neelys. It’s ok for Paula Dean and Racheal Ray to make Hey Girlfriend and get youyr cooking on commentsbut, when it comes to our culture expressing themselves about it the urban way its out of character or its not appropiate.Come on people this is 2008. Further ore it was’nt ok for blacks to wear braids and be recognized for the are till BoDerek wore them.You people need to get a grip.Open your minds up If you were blind it wouldnt effect you in any kind of way.Thats how God sees us. All are Beatiful tohim no matter what color or nationality you are. Love one another . By the way does anyone now what happen to Curtis Atkins

  20. Also if you people must now that the Neelys are being set up so their show maybe cancelled.See if you must forget the White peoples are the ones who write the dialogues for these shows.These shows arent being written by Blacks. (African Americans.) However it just looks like thats what were doing. They need to give them better material. SO it wont look or and sound so Iggnorant. Curtis was a beautiful person you could tell.I met him in personw hen the food channel started up he was one of the first to do the show. It was awesome. But he was illeterate and wasnt shame to let people now it.Theres white people that can read or write too. Why not work with him and help him to read he was a pleasant pleasure for that show. Loved it GIve the Neelys a chance. Also write the food newtwork channel let them now. Theyd love to hear from you. especially when you down grade the blacks..

  21. The show is horrible and corny. And this is coming from a black male who lives in Memphis. Gina comes off as extremely inauthentic and Pat is as dull as watching paint dry……….way too hen-pecked and accommodating. Actually, I think the show would be better without him. I’ve also eaten at their restaurant before. The food is average and I can’t see why Memphians make such a big fuss over it. It’s as if they feel they have to like it because he’s a “hometown boy”. I’ve gone to people’s houses and had better barbecue. Once again Memphians are portrayed inaccurately.

    And people keep mentioning Paula Dean. She’s in the pocket on her show. Meaning, she comes off natural like she’s being herself. Even if she isn’t she does a good job at pretending. Neither Pat or Gina compliment one another. She’s over the top with the false persona and Pat is equivalent to a cardboard cutout.

    I wish more of us (black people) could be objective about out shortcomings and not so easily offended by criticism. This show is as painful as watching one of Tyler Perry’s menstrual films.

  22. I’m not a fan of the Neelys. If I wanted to watch foreplay, I’d rent a porno video, not watch the Food Network. My feeling about their show has absolutely nothing to do with their race, but everything with the way they act on camera. I’m sure they’re lovely people in everyday life, but when I watch the show my comment is usually “get a hotel room!”

  23. I really like the Neelys, but I am more excited with Aaron McCargos new show. He reminds me a bit of Curt Aikens, but with MEAT!! I love his enthusiasm and charisma and I can’t wait to see him grow with the show.

  24. Well, actually does anyone know if Ingrid Hoffman is actually colombian. It says she was raised in Colombia, and Caracao or something like that. But if thats the case, shes not necessarily “caucasian” looking. I’m colombian but I’m olive skinned and have dark hair and dark eyes. But my other Colombian friends have very much the same features as Ingrid. In Colombia, people can look very, (i hate to say(… white (blue eyes, fine nose, blonde hair)…and then you have people that are very dark skinned with course hair and of course… everyone else thats in between. I really think shes part of the “in between” kind haha. But shes also mixed thats for sure, her father is probably caucasian( Billy Hoffman)… But regardless, Shes not that bad. So what if Ingrid’s cooking isn’t 100% latino. She still uses many spices and flavors that no other show on FN really uses(because it is latino), and its more of a latino/american thing. THeres nothing wrong with that? And Flanboyant Eats makes a point, it is kinda hard with authentic hispanic dishes. Some recipes may not be too appealing to the majority of viewers, who may or may not be white/black/asian…or whatever. (Thats why we have hispanic channels, that stick more to the authenticity of hispanic dishes.) This is america, and its a melting pot of all races and cultures. So Ingrid’s Show isn’t THAT bad, her voice may be a little annoying, but other than that, i don’t mind the show.

    want to hear some of the weird ingredients we (latinos) use in our dishes?

    cow intestines
    cow udders
    Morcilla (basically blood from any meat mixed with rice and shaped into a weiner form)(This is actually very colombian dish lol) I personally don’t like it lol.
    pescueso (the rooster’s wattle)
    chicken claws/hand thing lol
    but other than that, many people find these dishes very tasty, but they certainly don’t sound very tasty.

    Some other very delicious hispanic foods are really simple, and prob not “gourmet” enough, to make it on the food network lol

    anyhow, I’m done.

    I’ve watched FN a lot, i’ve heard of you guys mentioning PBS, at what times do cooking shows broadcast? All i ever see on PBS are Aurthur, Dragon Tales, and boring documentaries haha.

  25. hey, mel… thanks so much for your comment on this post. at the time this post was written, the only sense of “diversity’ on the food network was ingrid hoffman. now (october, 2008), there are many, many more dark-skinned hosts than there were even just a few months ago. what bothered me about the choice of ingrid hoffman to represent the latino culture was that, regardless of her being born in columbia or living there now or whatever, was that she looked just like everyone else on the network at that time. i’m sure she’s from latin america. i’ve seen the show and she does use those spices/ingredients,etc. but, the greater point at the time was that it was very noticeable that the food network chose her to represent latin food b/c 1)she’s pretty and 2) she’s light-skinned (ahem, white-looking). that’s just my opinion, of course!

    but, the food network has clearly realized they were very mono-chromatic b/c they have finally added much more diversity to their line up. they still have a far way to go, though!

  26. i understand… i just don’t like to think that producers would be that shallow… and ignorant maybe? I mean… i’m sure they know that not all “light skinned” people are actually “white”. lol

    (oh yea! sorry i didn’t realize i was that late into the topic lol :D)

  27. Great restaurant, Interstate BBQ in Memphis.

    Shitty show and the Africanization of FN. This show is a piece of shit full of typical Afro-centric can’t keep it in their pants immorality. Eat shit, Neelys.

  28. You know, as a black foodie, I had great hopes for the Neelys when they first came on. But after a few episodes I came to the conclusion that they’re a perfect fit for FN for all the wrong reasons: personality over creativity and actual kitchen skills. People need to set their Mammy issues aside and realize that just because someone is black and/or from the South does not mean they are great cooks (see also: Paula Deen). What they make might be authentic soul food but it’s shitty, just like the Colombian lady makes authentic but shitty Latin food. But that’s just the FN bias against talented chefs, in favor of “personalities” with a cute “story” or hook. Now we get to see black non-chefs failing in the kitchen and serving up hot messes in addition to the parade of white hacks. Yay for progress, I guess.

    And I’m sorry, he’s a nice guy, but G. Garvin sucks as bad as anyone on FN, but TVOne is like a low rent BET (complete with endless 227 reruns) and he pretty much belongs on it. FN would never hire him, despite him being sort of a shoe-in due to his lack of talent, because he doesn’t have a schtick. I’m sure if he got a stupid catchphrase, he’d get snapped up immediately.

    And Sunny…oh, Sunny. Sweet woman, sometimes baffles me, but at least her show is watchable even if I’m scratching my head most of the time when I watch it. I also thought it was hilarious that they didn’t even have her on for 10 minutes before they gave her yet another dumbass knockoff of Follow that Food.

  29. It is very painful for me to watch the Neeley’s. Not only are they clowns but must they drown everything in sugar and bbq sauce? My 14 year old son and I are waiting for their bbq cheesecake recipe! I am surprised that this mess is still on the air. I haven’t caught the other show where the man made out with the steak. There just has to be better cooking shows on than this.

  30. OMG the Neelys work my last nerve. He’s not so pathetic, but Gina….All this lovey, dovey pseudo sexyness in the kitchen is just tiresome. Don’t get me started on that other obnoxious cow Paula Dean…she does the same thing with her fat, ugly husband. What has happened to the FN? I can barely watch it now, except for the Barefoot Contessa. I go to my local PBS (“Create” here in Seattle) and see Jacques Pepin, Lidia Bastianich, Ming Tsai, Daisy Cooks, America’s test kitchen…all these shows without these goofy gimmicks and “Personality” trainwrecks…I hope it all catches up with the FN. I think it’s intersting the the only non FN types are Jamie Oliver and Nigella and those shows are on “early” Saturday mornings, while we get hammered the rest of the afternoon with these FN clowns.

  31. There are plenty of excellent african-american cooks that would be great on Food Network. But the Neely’s with their saccharin lovey-dovey schtick just grates on my nerves. Especially Gina with her constant mugging at the camera. Sorry babe, the camera does not love you back!

  32. I have my tv on in my computer room during the afternoons and watch the food channel. As soon as the Neelys come on I immediately change it the news… their voices are enough to flip channels not to mention their show antics…
    Not very professional. Needs to be on another channel…

  33. The Neely’s are the worse contribution to the Food Network that I have ever seen, and I am in awe that they have not been banned by now. Not only are they just plain ANNOYING, but if I want to see “sex in the kitchen” I’ll rent a porn. Get ’em outta there!!!!!

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