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Publisher's Summary

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

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  • Overall
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  • Story

Entertaining look at The Food Network

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

interesting behind the scenes glimpse

it took a little bit to get into it....alot of kinda dry history of the very beginning of this cable channel. I was expecting more about the personalities. have a whole new found respect for Bobby Flay. always thought he was kinda arrogant. but I think he is surprisingly humble and truly hardworking. by the middle of it, I wanted to get to the end.

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I laughed. I cried. I got hungry... .

Great book. Well written. Smart, funny, literate. Like the network he writes about, this book has something for just about everyone.

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  • Story

Could be tastier

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

no not really, it takes awhile to get to the meat of the story and the bouncing back and forth inregards to the time line make it at times very hard to follow

Would you recommend From Scratch to your friends? Why or why not?

no not really, it takes awhile to get to the meat of the story and the bouncing back and forth inregards to the time line make it at times very hard to follow

Which character – as performed by Julian Fleischer – was your favorite?

none

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

no

Any additional comments?

I wish the book would have had more juice in the story the back story at times seeemed soooo long not getting to the point

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Starts out slow but stick with it and you are rewarded

It started out very slow and I almost gave up but by the time you're at a quarter of the way through it pays for itself this was an amazing book

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  • cheryl
  • United States
  • 07-20-14

More Business Related Than I Thought

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Parts of this were a fun listen parts of this were dry and boring. Overall ok.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The last part of the book had more to do with food stars so it was better.

Which character – as performed by Julian Fleischer – was your favorite?

Bobby Flay & Rachel Ray

Do you think From Scratch needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No I don't think there should be more to say.

Any additional comments?

This one was just ok for me.

  • Overall
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Very Interesting

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If you are a fan of the Food Network - this will be an interesting listen. Lots of stories of who was involved throughout the two-decade long life of the network. Interesting details on the stories of the major players within the Food Network.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Don't have a 'favorite'.

What does Julian Fleischer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Clearly narrated. I don't read many books since I have Audible.

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Great performance!

What did you love best about From Scratch?

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.

What was one of the most memorable moments of From Scratch?

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.