Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Next Food Network Quarterback

The Food Network has taken obscure kitchen-bound chefs and uppity home makers and turned them into international celebrities with cross-platform marketing appeal.

They have become the face of the Network and its mouthpieces, much the way quarterbacks have for both their respective teams and the NFL in general.

Food Network stars each have their own unique styles and quirky, albeit many times annoying, personalities. Much like NFL quarterbacks.

Pull up a fork and knife because after much, much too much discussion on the matter, the HHR staff offers you its Food Network Star/NFL Quarterback comparisons.

We start off with the Dean of the Food Network, Alton Brown...

Alton Brown: Good Eats; Feasting on Asphalt; Feasting on Waves; Iron Chef America

HHR Impressions

CR Dunbar: Alton gives me the creeps like Pennington. He can manage a decent show, but will never make the leap to primetime.

the chief:
ALTON IS PRIME TIME. He’s on constantly, on like 5 different shows (Good Eats, Iron Chef, and his road/boat trip series). He’s unstoppable. He's Peyton Manning. He's everywhere at once.

But he is creepy and knows too much about food. He is not Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning could be your Bobby Flay - on lots of commericals, sort of the wholesome face of professional football, likable, a big draw....

the chief: The only thing creepy about Alton Brown is how awesome he is.

Ariel: Expert on all things culinary... extremely intelligent, but a bit too intelligent and quirky to stomach. He could be your Tom Brady. Like too perfect.

the chief: You people are blasphemous, I tell you.

Ariel: Spoken like a true NE fan. I am telling you, Alton is Brady.

The Cynic: I don't say this very often, but the chief is right on this one. Alton Brown is the shizznit. (Also something I don't say very often.) However, I like the Alton Brown = Tom Brady analogy. They're both extremely good at what they do, you don't know anybody who just hates them and yet there's something a little disconcerting about them because they're almost too perfect.

NFL QB Counterpart: Tom Brady

Paula Deen: Paula's Party; Paula's Home Cooking

HHR Impressions

Ren: She’s a squealing, old Southerner. Sounds like Favre to me.

Paula Deen is very charismatic, charming, and lovable. And loves her some butter.

Favre should be Paula Deen. Looks great and gets results but in the end, going to kill you. His interceptions are like butter.

I like Farve as Paula Deen, but I also like Collins as Paula Deen (always seems intoxicated).

NFL QB Counterpart: Brett Favre

Emeril Lagasse: Emeril Live; Essence of Emeril

HHR Impressions

Rusty: Philip Rivers…they both like to yell. BAM!

NFL QB Counterpart: Philip Rivers

The Neelys: Down Home with the Neelys

HHR Impressions

Ren: Much too pleasant on screen to actually like one another. Something's dead wrong about their relationship. Reminds me of McNabb/Reid.

NFL QB Counterpart: Donovan McReid

Sandra Lee: Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee

She describes the philosophy as "70% store-bought/ready-made products accompanied by 30% fresh and creative touches, allowing you to take 100% of the credit.

HHR Impressions

Willard: That is Kerry Collins. Not even his team. All of a sudden he is Jesus Christ, Superstar.

Rev. Shaw Moore: Kurt Warner has to be Sandra Lee ... where would he be without Boldin and Fitzgerald?

Ren: Leinert’s Backup. I like Collins.

NFL QB Counterpart: Kerry Collins

Giada De Laurentiis: Everyday Italian; Behind the Bash; Giada's Weekend Getaways; Giada in Paradise; Giada at Home

HHR Impressions

Ren: Pretty face surrounded by big boobs. Sounds like Tony Romo and the Cowboys.

NFL QB Counterpart: Tony Romo

Ina Garten: Barefoot Contessa

HHR Impressions

Ren: One, if not the only, calm, soothing presence on the channel.

Assassin Ave: Is there a Jewish QB?

Ariel: This person also should be like a comfort food - you can always rely on them in a pinch.

Ren: Brees?

Assassin Ave: I thought of Brees, but not sure i see him as a calming influence. McNabb may be more calming. He seems pretty chill. He was very chill on Cribs.

Ariel: Mcnabb is NOT like comfort food. He is like spicy food that always gives you heartburn - but you eat it anyway.

NFL QB Counterpart: Drew Brees

Guy Fieri: The Next Food Network Star; Guy's Big Bites; Diners, Drive-ins & Dives

HHR Impressions

Ren: Fiesty, Cliched, Flamboyant. Garcia?

the chief: Guy's Big Bite? I say Palmer. That dude bites big-time.

Ariel: What about Roethlisberger? Biker-type. Kind of badass.

NFL QB Counterpart: Ben Roethlisberger

Mario Batali: Molto Mario; Ciao America; Iron Chef America

HHR Impressions

Ariel: Mario Batali is old school, one of the originals. Been around a while, but sort of in the background. Kind of like Jake Delhomme. Consistent, but not the first chef you think of. Never has a terribly bad season, and maybe gets to shine once or twice.

Plus they can go 8-2 and no one even knows it.

There you go.

NFL QB Counterpart: Jake Delhomme

Cat Cora: Iron Chef America

HHR Impressions

Ren: Love her. But since she does shots after each match on the Iron Ref (and I hate to do this), only one man jumps to mind: Orton.

NFL QB Counterpart: Kyle Orton

Masaharu Morimoto: Iron Chef America

HHR Impressions

Ren: Foreign. Speaks very little English, but solid. Eli Manning.

Michael Symon: The Next Iron Chef; Dinner Impossible

HHR Impressions

Ariel: Mike Symon won Next Iron Chef... but he is the new badass on the block.

NFL QB Counterpart: Matt Ryan


This is the part of the show when things got a little hairy. We'll let The Cynic explain:

"We all know that Peyton Manning is the biggest endorsement whore in pro sports. So the decision really comes down to this--who is the bigger media whore between Flay and Ray? Which one would stoop to, for example, pose for a skin mag? Hmmm, I wonder."

Bobby Flay: Iron Ref America; Boy Meets Grill; BBQ with Bobby Flay; Throwdown! with Bobby Flay; Grill It! with Bobby Flay

HHR Impressions

CR Dunbar: Bobby Flay doesn't back down from a challenge and takes a unique angle. Tom Brady. Plus rugged ginger looks.

Willard: BUT, if you watch Challenge, Flay always 'loses' to the hometown guy so in that respect, he is Matt Hasselbeck.

Ariel: See I think of Bobby Flay as the Food Network whore. He has like 3 shows of his own, guest stars on about a half dozen more. Who is like the call-girl for the NFL? Peyton Manning.

CR Dunbar: You shut your mouth. Flay is the man.

Ariel: I love him but he is a whore.

Rachael Ray: 30 Minute Meals; Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels

HHR Impressions

Dumpy, Endorsement Whore. Peyton Manning.

Ariel: Well, Ray has moved beyond the Food network. She is a self-promoting opportunist. And I don't think that off-camera she is a nice person. I have heard the opposite about Bobby Flay.

The Cynic:
As for the whole Bobby Flay/Rachel Ray = Manning debate, I just know this.
  1. My wife worships at the unholy Church of Rachel Ray.
  2. My wife would leave me in a heartbeat for Peyton Manning.


Too close to call. Peyton Manning is such an endorsement whore that he is nothing less than the combined whoreness of Rachel Ray and Bobby Flay.

Still Hungry? Taking in a sporting event any time soon? Find out what the locals recommend at


Bassett said...

cat cora puts the lipstick in ... umm nevermind ...

Rainiedazze said...

Fun article. Wish I knew the "food celebrities" a little more to be able to understand whats going on.

But I agree that Tony Romo is calming.


sheenabeaston said...

I haven't laughed that hard since Paula Deen made a full Thanksgiving meal...

...out of pure margarine sticks.

Chip Ramsey said...

Boys, boys, boys. Emeril has been traded to the arena league (FLN). Sandra Lee cooks with prepared food, has crappy recipes no one wants to eat and drinks like a fish. All show, no go. REX GROSSMAN!

MoonDog said...

Awesome post. Rachel Ray could pour EVOO all over Peyton's ailing knees and give him a nice massage.

Giada could massage me.

Hugging Harold Reynolds said...

Chip: Nice call.

Big Timay said...

Great column, but you forgot one Food Network Star: Ingrid Hoffman, who hosts Simply Delicioso.

My comparison for her: Jeff Garcia. Both have names that don't really fit their appearance/ethnicity too well, and both are older than you think.

Mise en place said...

Alton Brown rocks! :)

He is not creepy. He's a very nice guy, I've met him before. Sweet and charming but never creepy. :D

The comparison to Brady fits.

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