Big personalities, high drama - the extraordinary behind-the-scenes story of the Food Network, now about to celebrate its 20th anniversary: the business, media, and cultural juggernaut that changed the way America thinks about food.
In October 1993, a tiny start-up called the Food Network debuted to little notice. Twenty years later, it is in 100 million homes, approaches a billion dollars a year in revenue, and features a galaxy of stars whose faces and names are as familiar to us as our own family's.
But what we don't know about them, and the people behind them, could fill a book.
Based upon extensive inside access, documents, and interviews with hundreds of executives, stars, and employees all up and down the ladder, Allen Salkin's book is an exhilarating roller-coaster ride from chaos to conquest (and sometimes back). As Salkin takes us inside the conference rooms, studios, homes, restaurants, and after-hours meetings, we see a salty Julia Child lording it over the early network performers; a fragile Emeril Lagasse staggering from the sudden public shock of cancellation; a very green Rachael Ray nearly burning down the set on her first day; a torn Tyler Florence accepting the Applebee's job he knows he can't refuse, but with a chill running down his spine; and a determined Bobby Flay reinventing himself once again to survive.
Paula Deen, Tom Colicchio, Anthony Bourdain, Mario Batali, Jamie Oliver, Martha Stewart, Guy Fieri, Cat Cora: Salkin illuminates the people we thought we knew, and the ones we never knew about, in this irresistible story of the intersection between business, television, pop culture, food - and us.
©2013 Allen Salkin (P)2013 Penguin Audio
Julian Fleisher's performance of this book was really special. When reading quotes from well known personalities, he didn't do an impression, but he put just enough of the speaker in his voice so that you could hear their voice coming through. It was really well done.
As someone who watched a lot of Food Network in the mid to late 90s, it was fascinating to learn about how all those chefs, of whom I have such fond memories, found their way to the network. It was also great to hear about the network in its infancy, the ups and downs, and how it got to where it is today. Some of the technical stuff about the business side of cable channels was slightly dull, but the rest of the book easily made up for that.
Tell us about yourself!
A good listen if you are interested in the Food Network or television in general. From its beginnings as an idea to start a cable network of some kind to make some money, to its present day presence in the news this book examines the triumphs and pitfalls encountered during the rise to the top of the food chain by the Food Network.
Emeril, Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray, Paula Deen and more make their appearances showing how TVFN became what it is today.
Entertaining, informative and a good narration from Julian Fleischer all combine for a good listen
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