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Wednesday, October 3

Food Network's Not Gay Enough?

Popular website/blog Afterelton.com has a feature on six gay reality tv winners, and Dan & Steve-- The Hearty Boys --are included.

The Food Network has plenty of reason to appeal to gay viewers. Not only does it have plenty of shows focused on epicure and entertaining, it's also been a home to culinary divas like Martha Stewart and Giada De Laurentiis. However, the network has lacked an out gay man among its big stars. That looked likely to change at the end of the first season of The Next Food Network Star when the Chicago area caterers won themselves a Food Network show, Party Line with the Hearty Boys. Unfortunately, the Food Network buried their show to an inconvenient Sunday morning time slot.
I wouldn't really call FN a "home" to Martha Stewart, but whatever. And as far as the network lacking an out gay man among its big stars, what do you call Bobby Deen, then?

I kid, I kid. Just playing. Let the hate mail roll in.

Besides, Bobby isn't out.

I personally believe that if presented with an engaging, talented, entertaining and, yes, gay host (male or female), the network would put him or her in whichever time slot would garner the most ratings. It's all about the money, people. If a one-toothed, 95-year-old granny could get a few million viewers and cook a hamburger, you better believe she'd be bumping Emeril Live back yet another hour. Even if old granny was a lesbian.

Ok, yuck.

Luckily, Dan & Steve are still working away and even have a new cookbook:

(Yikes... it's 10:42 p.m. and too late go back and remove the extra "u." Dang Photoshop!)

Yep... Food Network may have you on at 7:30 a.m., but it'll still slap that logo on whenever it wants:-) I'm sure it's a good thing for both parties, though. A few more people will pick the book up who've never heard of the Hearty Boys thanks to that colorful, circular logo.

So what do you think? Is the Food Network diverse enough? Are you just DYING to have a gay/black/latino/asian/indian/etc. host or are you happy enough with the offerings?

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At 10/04/2007 12:31 AM , Blogger tonedef said...

what are you talking about? isn't michael chiarello gay as shit?

i know that he mentions his "wife" sometimes, but i always assumed he was referring to the guy you see him walking through the vineyard with in cutaway shots.

but, as a gay man, i really feel like i'd appreciate a gay host on food network. ina garten is as close as we get right now. i texted my vote for dan and steve like 40 times.

At 10/04/2007 7:27 AM , Anonymous Chip Ramsey said...

Two words: Michael Chiarello.

At 10/04/2007 8:17 AM , Blogger JordanBaker said...

There's still all that rampant unresolved speculation about Dave Lieberman too.

And um. . .there was Warren Brown for like ten seconds.

I vote we all buy Dan and Steve's book to show our support, and then when Guy inevitably writes one, we turn up at a signing and pelt him with eggs.

At 10/04/2007 8:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the story on Alton? Gay or straight?

At 10/04/2007 9:36 AM , Blogger Prisca said...

We definitely could use some more diversity on FN. But, you're right-- it's all about the personality that generates the most cash. I keep hoping someone will emerge (or at least come out).

At 10/04/2007 9:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alton is married [to a woman] and has a daughter! He's way hetero.

At 10/04/2007 10:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Dan and Steve and have made some of their recipes and enjoyed them.

Martha did have a home (show) once on FN. I liked that show as well.

At 10/04/2007 1:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not forget Cat Cora is an out lesbian, her partner IIRC was an editor on one of her cookbooks.


At 10/04/2007 2:55 PM , Anonymous Jason said...

Who cares? Entertaining us by cooking should be the only job of the Food Network Hosts. What they do in the privacy of their bedroom is their business and no one elses.

At 10/04/2007 4:11 PM , Blogger Benjamin said...

I didn't know Dan & Steve had a cookbook...I'll go buy it out of solidarity for the home team.

Is it possible FN feels Dan/Steve aren't telegenic enough or...what's the word? They're more like real people and don't play to the camera like Giada or Emeril or Alton.

Otherwise, yeah, I don't think it would matter if a host was gay. They want someone they can sell. Look at the hunky super-gay guy who won "Design Star." That network isn't exactly a haven for 18-34-year-olds. But his show is a big, prominent hit and he was the face of the network for months leading up to the premiere of his show "Color Splash." He looked good shirtless and he was easy to sell. That has a lot to do with it, cynical as it sounds.

I think if Dave Lieberman were more willing to play the hunk, he'd still be on the network.

Also, apart from Michael Chiarello and Bobby Dean, I get the same vibes from Bob "The Surreal Gourmet" Blumer.

At 10/04/2007 4:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally more ethnic/gay hosts. Food network should be as diverse as their viewers.

They need a vegetarian show too!!!

At 10/04/2007 4:22 PM , Anonymous mundane said...

I always got more of a gay vibe from Jamie Dean, who I think got married simply to give Paula a grandchild. Who knows if she even financed the deal?

At 10/04/2007 6:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always wondered how the network was being taken on face value in main street Peoria - meaning it always seemed so gay friendly - Ina's pals (is she just the fag hag deluxe of the Hamptons?), Michael C's swishy ways in way gay friendly Napa, out and proud Cat Cora - I mean they are kinda flauntin' a vibe that is surely more blue state than red state, no? I would like to see more ethnicity but in the end - I want to see some good COOKING (I miss you Mario and Sara - reruns aren't cutting it!!). I've really sorta moved over to PBS with Daisy, Todd English, Rick Bayless, Caprial (cute hubbie!) and the rest of the gang - although I have to confess I find it hard to sit through Tommy Tang's accented English. Roberto desde Miami

At 10/04/2007 10:49 PM , Anonymous Mussakka said...

Let's not forget the Two Hot Tamales from way back. The one with dark hair (Susan?) was lesbian.

I feel there's a representational gay presence on FN, though I really wish Bobby Dean would just kick that closet door wide open. I've always thought Michael Chiarello was gay, even back when he was on PBS. And God knows Ina is the hugest hag this side of the Mississippi!

Dan and Steve did pretty well, despite being relegated to that awful time slot. They seem nice enough, but lack the big personalities the network focuses on anymore.

I think they should also do a follow up show on Jag and Paul's romance.

As for diversity, I really wish they'd get more cultural variety on the network. Asian, Indian, African, Latin, vegetarian...bring it on! I'm sick of people like Aunt Sandie calling something "Asian" just because it's slathered in bottled teriyaki sauce or making something "Mexian" by adding a couple of jalapenos (remember, the heat's in the seeds and ribs!) and "smoky" cumin. Ugh!

At 10/05/2007 5:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always wondered why Food Network didn't have more ethnic shows- where was the Latin cooking (this was pre-Simply Delicioso)? The Asian cooking (what ever happened to Ming Tsai)? The Indian cooking (Padma Laxmi would pull quite an audience...)? The most diversity that Food Network usually gets is on "The Next Food Network Star." Just look at the last season: we had the organic loving Colombe, openly gay Paul, sofrito using JAG, and of course, Tommy.

Watching "The Next Food Network Star" made it apparent to me why Food Network doesn't have as much diversity as most would expect. Take JAG for example. His Latin-inspired cooking always seemed to involve SOFRITO. I live in Southern California and I have no idea what Sofrito is or where to find it. Many ethnic chefs love their authentic ingreidents and flavors and don't know how to compromise in order to make their recipe more accesible to the "everyday chef." Is that a sterotype? Absolutely. But, in general, that holds to be true.

If there was a more "cultural" chef on the network who had the ability to appeal to a more mainstream audience, I think the network would immediatley hire them. I think the issue is just finding someone who can do so.

At 10/05/2007 10:00 PM , Blogger Benjamin said...

Hey, what the heck ever happened to "Melting Pot"? That was my fave show on FN for awhile...that's where I discovered Cat Cora, Rocco DiSpirito (adorably awkward on camera), the luscious Aron Sanchez, even Padma Lakshmi hosted a segment of that show. Time to bring it back, methinks.

At 10/06/2007 9:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the latest anon comment: It's Lakshmi. No X in the name and no personal career embarrassments since Glitter.

On a different note, I feel so stupid that I didn't realize Cat Cora was a lesbian. My gaydar is failing me! :(

At 10/07/2007 8:41 PM , Anonymous Lee Lee C said...

My gaydar is totally malfunctioning. Nothing could get past me in my 20's. Must be because I'm married. My friends and I have always said Michael Chiarello is gay. I don't care. He will be my 2nd husband and fill my belly with vats of Cab and gnocchi. Am I totally in the dark about Bobby Deen??? I just don't see it. There's something about him I'm attracted to, and it's not his brilliant conversation skill, thick head of hair, or hot bod.
I also did not know about Cat either. Good for her, be proud girl!

At 10/08/2007 2:10 PM , Anonymous Harry Martin said...

I didn't know about Cat either. Read the Wikipedia entry, and then clicked the link to her official bio on Food Network. Grrrrrr. Read this vagued up version (if I were her partner, I would be soooooo pissed):

"Cat resides in Northern California with her family, including her biggest fans, her two sons. You can learn more about Cat Cora by visiting her website."

I love that they lump her partner under some vague term, but point out the kids to infer she's a total hetero soccer mom in her off time.

Some things never change (and this surprises me)


At 10/08/2007 4:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, please - Bobby's probably sold his soul to the FN and somewhere in his contract it states that he CAN'T come out! Seriously, do you know how many girls' hearts would break wide open all over the US if Bobby "flung open the closet door"?! I'm still not sold. In him I see "qualities" of both teams.

At 10/16/2007 8:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous lesbian here. Michael Chiarello sets my gaydar off so much. Who is he kidding??? (His wife apparently). I've never seen a man surround himself with so many heterosexuals! Boy, girl, boy, girl around the Chiarello table, lest anyone pick up on it.

There needs to be more of a gay and lesbian presence on the network. I miss Susan Feniger, who I had a major crush on. Some closet-cast mama's-boy (aka bobbie dean) can't replace my hot tamale!

For a while I thought Rachael Ray might be on the team, but thank God I was wrong. My guess is if you ply Sandra Lee with enough Ketel One she goes either way.

Oh and hey---what's with the "YUCK" remark about "grandma lesbian"? I know a couple of lesbians in their forties and fifties who are grandmothers and they are pretty damn hot.

At 10/17/2007 10:11 AM , Anonymous bloghungry said...

Ina's husband is pretty gay too.. He doesn't even live with her except on weekends and I'm convinced their sham of a marriage has driven her to booze and overeating.

At 10/18/2007 3:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Asian host? Food Network doesn't cater to Asian community at all. It's very very rare you see program about Asian foods.

At 10/19/2007 9:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are not enough Eskimos on the TFN. We need more of an Eskimo presence on the channel!;-)

At 10/22/2007 1:05 AM , Blogger John said...

I always had thought MC was gay, kind of secretly hope Lieberman was (is that not just sad?), and had no inkling about Iron Chef Cora - I did a whole Coming Out Day foodie post and would've been happy to include her.

As for that question about more gay / ethnic cooks? Hell YEAH, biyatch! I love Southern food and would love French food if I could afford it, but Southern and French do not alone adequately cover the cookin' world. How about that Marou Outtara who got kicked off of NIC? I'd like to see what he does with West African spices and dishes! And his restaurant is only an hour away!

At 2/09/2008 10:26 AM , Anonymous James said...

Bobby Deen triggered my gaydar for 3 reasons: his utter devotion to mama; his beautifully manicured hands (look next time); and the fact that he is never, ever, accompanied by so much as a female date in any of the shows or specials. Paula once did a show where she introduced this cute blond twink floral arranger as "part of the family" -- I always thought he must be Bobby's BF. But then there was that show where Bobby sped off in a Ford Mustang, which kind of cast doubt on my theory (the Ford Mustang, of course, being a straight man/lesbian ride.

I also wondered about Dave L. but chalked it up to gay wishful thinking. Plus, he wears a hemp bracelet with a puka shell on it, and listens to Dave Matthews. It's a puzzle. But if you watch the end of some of his shows, there will be a male/female couple, Dave, and the same dark haired guy who looks gay as shit. Is that Dave's special friend? ;)

At 4/25/2008 11:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is a way old entry but..Cat Cora is openly lesbian... and Michael Chiarello has enough guy friends to make you think he is gay, but he has a wife, and he is just too manly to be gay.

At 6/08/2008 3:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan & Steve got moved because the show was crap...It had nothing to do with them being gay. I would have loved for them to have a huge show...but they SUCKED (and not in the good way).

At 7/04/2008 11:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave Lieberman is soooo super cute!!

Raleigh, NC

At 7/04/2008 11:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nathan Lyons is supper cute, too! Those biceps!!

At 7/07/2008 9:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, please, the gayest man on TV is on the food network. It used to be Christoper Lowell, but now it has got to be Pat Neely?

At 1/26/2009 11:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finding out Cat Cora is a lesbian makes her so much hotter than she already is. Ps, every gay chef on the network has kids. Just watched an episode of Easy Entertaining with michael's daughter. She looked so uncomfortable around him!

At 2/03/2009 9:28 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Bobby Dean was gay too

At 2/11/2009 11:13 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh PUUUUUHLEZE, people!! Michael Chiarello is gay, gay, gay, gay, gay (not that there's anything wrong with that!). Seriously, has anyone seen his show? Get with it! He's a fabulous cook, lives in the Napa Valley, knows how to accesorize and is a neat freak. Y'all figure out the rest!

At 3/18/2009 11:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...



At 4/08/2009 12:22 PM , Anonymous Frenchie said...

what about Anne Burrell...uber dyke! - as far as Michael C. & Bobby D... theyre both ok with me esp. MC - HOT HOT HOT Love him Lives in Hottington!!!!!

At 7/04/2009 7:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

dave lieberman...hot hot hot. and he's got a nice crotch, if you ever get to see it televised!

At 1/08/2010 4:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael Chiarello has like 4 kids . . . I dunno, MAYBE he is gay, but that's a pretty serious act if he is! Also, don't think Dave L. is gay, but def hot and appealing to a gay audience.

At 5/18/2010 3:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If everyone is so concerned about seeing gay cooks, Just make a GAY TV Station with nothing but fags then no one has to worry. I thought FN was supposed to be about cooking not whether their is enough homosexuality on the station. This is the gayest conversation to grace the web. Get a life people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 8/04/2010 4:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen Anonymous, who cares who's gay and who isn't. Food Network is about FOOD. Ethnicity and sexual orientation shouldn't be a benchmark for becoming a " Food Network Star", ability should be. We don't see enough of Cat Cora... whether or not she's a lesbian, I just like her on camera presence and her abilities as a chef. Also, these people don't "belong" to any of you (straight or gay) and wondering aloud about sexual orientation is just plain rude. This whole damn blog has been like reading one of those "toilet paper" tabloids. These stars have personal lives.... leave them personal.

At 8/19/2010 9:59 PM , Anonymous Fatty Matty from Cincinnati said...

This whole conversation cracks me up because it's so politically incorrect. Just my $0.02..here it is:

What's up with Ina??? She has to be the ultimate fag hag. Can she not find some straight gals to hang out with? Not sure about Jeffery either...he's sure is "neat"..not that there's anything wrong with that :)

Anne Burrell...definintely bull dykish...HATE uber...how about ultra, really, very...stop the uber bs. Bet she's a rough one.

Bobby Deen? Hmm...have to think about that....besides...does anyone else think that Paula is dying to stick her tongue down the throat of any guy she meets? She could definintely fill my Oedipal Complex.

Cat Cora? Out and proud..she needs a spanking (if you know what I mean).

Alton Brown? No way, although he sure has a lot of "single taskers" when he says he hates them.

Mario Battali...I always figured him for a swisher...and the little Dutch boy clogs drive me batty.

I'll let you know what else I come up with...cause I KNOW you want to know.

At 9/02/2010 3:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm happy there arent a lot of homos on FN, the gays have Bravo, let the strait people have FN...

At 12/23/2010 12:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay . . . This is hillarious, but compelling. After reading some comments, kinda makes you go "hmmmmm" MC, may be he is gay but just figured it out. Like many his age, he might of had to keep his "light under a bushel" and at this time more inclined to "be a beacon" to his fellow commrades. Any way, live and let live, and a tight ass and huge pecs on a gay or straight guy is still yummy to see and squeeze.

At 7/02/2011 11:16 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having worked in restaurants with both gay and straight
Honestly what a person does between the sheets
is nobody's business
This may surprise many some of the umber macho people
many are gay
True the swishy feministas stalwarts of the gay community
agree most likely are gay
Getting back to the food creativity straights versus gays
Who cares. It's a win win situation
Enjoy the experience. Move on

At 10/06/2011 10:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get back in the closet and stay there!

At 1/08/2012 11:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bobby dean isnt gay. Hes dating an actress from the show mike and molly. figure stuff out before u post lies and try having some respect for people.

At 2/08/2012 10:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG! I thought we were supposed to be color blind and gender neutral, but we persist in cleaning the house with a leaky sack of fliur. Why the f*** would anyone care what a food show host does in his own bedroom? Tell me you're out or not...I'm not going to try to verify either way. Tell me you graduated from a prestigious culinary institute, I might want to verify.

At 2/11/2012 10:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

who cares? why is this even an issue. being gay doesnt mean you are a culinary expert, nor does being a culinary expert mean you are gay. why does this have to be an issue? a good chef is a good chef, regardless of sexual identity. Food Network is about food, not sexual orientation. I watch them all, and the thought never even crossed my mind as to whether the chef is gay or straight, it doesn't matter, and I'm a die hard hetero. Again, it just doesn't matter, and I don't care who they are or who they share a bed with, that's not any of my business.

At 5/15/2012 3:50 PM , Anonymous Margaret said...

That is rediclous we don't need gays or lesbians on fn ,it about food and recipes ,for real

At 5/26/2012 3:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

75% of men married to women sleep with guys too .. men never stop sleeping with their males, they 'play @ straight' to have children and appear 'normal' but are closet gays.


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