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Tuesday, July 29

"Food Network Has a Bias" -- Nipa Bhatt


"Food Network has a bias
towards French and American cooking. I could not find turmeric in the deli we used, and the Food Network pantry had nothing," eliminated Next Food Network Star contestant Nipa Bhatt told Minneapolis-based City Pages.

I do think it's kind of crazy that New York, of all places, would not have turmeric at its grocery stores. Perhaps an evil trick played on her by producers hoping to sabotage her?!?! (Doubtful.)

Nipa also comments on her much-discussed walkout from judging.
"We’d been up for 24 hours when I walked out [of the judging]. I said, “I don’t want to cry on camera so I’m going to leave, now,” but they cut that part so it looked like I just stormed off.

**************************

All right, let's agree that I can talk about season 4 of The Next Food Network Star for the rest of the week. Eliminated contestants are quickly losing their relevancy, so I gotta fit in what news items I have fast.

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44 Comments:

At 7/29/2008 4:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeahhhh i dont think it was a FN "bias" more than she was just really terrible. really, really, really terrible.

 
At 7/29/2008 4:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/29/2008 4:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, and hacking a fresh fish to little bits because you have no idea what the heck you are doing is also "bias."

 
At 7/29/2008 4:49 PM , Anonymous Gen said...

Oh Nipa...why don't you just be quiet.

 
At 7/29/2008 5:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one likes a sore loser, Nipa. I am sure FN cut out all sorts of stuff but it didn't change the fact that you weren't good enough.

 
At 7/29/2008 5:15 PM , Blogger Sunshine said...

Sour grapes from somebody who doesn't have enough food authority to cook Hamburger Helper for my family, let alone be good enough for her own TV show.

Wah wah wah, Nipa.

 
At 7/29/2008 5:24 PM , Anonymous Alec Smart said...

I hope you didn't quit the day job though.

And Nipa, here is a tip. When I travel to exotic locales, I always take a good stash of turmeric with me. Sometimes fresh, sometimes ground.

 
At 7/29/2008 6:13 PM , Blogger Arielle said...

Someone tell me if I'm making stuff up, but I distinctly remember that in that episode, the turmeric was gone because one of the other contestants had bought it all.

Also, the market that appears on the show is my regular food store. It's called Westside Market, it's a high-end grocery store, not a deli, and they definitely have a full range of herbs and spices.

 
At 7/29/2008 6:29 PM , Blogger Amy said...

She'd bought up all the something for her sweet and spicy peanut seasoning, the "perfect blend of sweet and spicy." Then Aaron had to use another spice for his salad dressing, which Martha Stewart ended up loving.

 
At 7/29/2008 6:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

While this may or may not be true, I have to say that if I had a dollar for every time Nipa said "I'm an Indian Midwestern girl" on the show", my student loan would be paid off.

 
At 7/29/2008 6:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Nipa, put down the race cards and pick up a friggin' cookbook.

 
At 7/29/2008 7:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To this day, I still find it one of the dumbest things Tushogelman ever did was let her walk back into the evaluation room after she left, whatever the circumstances.

 
At 7/29/2008 7:24 PM , Anonymous Erik H. said...

They probably didn't have tumeric because it's disgusting. French and American foods are delicious. Curry? GTFO!

 
At 7/29/2008 7:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my, Nipa, get a life here! It's over and done with and unfortunately, you just were not up to a culinary level the FN needs. When you walked off the show, you should have stayed off!

 
At 7/29/2008 7:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wouldn't eat curry if it was the last thing i had to eat. or any other indian food.
blechhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....

 
At 7/29/2008 8:00 PM , OpenID oatmealcookieguy said...

I live in the building where Westside Market is, and I can attest that it can be hard to find things. (Hello...the microwave popcorn is on a shelf above the lettuces.) If aren't accustomed to finding stuff there--and navigating the screwy, VERY narrow aisles--you'll never find anything.

The grocery store isn't biased, it's just badly laid out and organized.

The spice shelves *are not* stocked in alpha order. Nipa probably just didn't look hard enough. They've got cardamom pods, and I know for certain that they've got turmeric.

 
At 7/29/2008 8:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indian food stinks to high heaven! Blech!

 
At 7/29/2008 8:56 PM , Anonymous Bryce said...

Nipa was not EVER worthy of being a FN Star! She was not resourceful, enthusiastci or willing to adapt to her situations...cry me a river...NEXT!!
I hope like hell that a NEW person is casting the next season, if there will be one. Becasue this crew did not measure up, not even close!!!

 
At 7/29/2008 9:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG i found an interview with Big Daddy on another blog..... ( i'm not obsessed) Why was I so shocked to learn about his Italian background and Catholic upbringing??
OMG
here it is:
How has your family’s food habits influenced what you want to present in your new show?

“We’re all about big portions. My mother always was into flavoring food a lot and that is what I plan to present to the audience in Big Daddy’s House.”


What was your original impetus to send in an audition tape for Next Food Network Star?

“I actually never sent anything in. My wife had my hands tied. She sent in my audition tape.”


When during the competition did you start to think that you could actually win?

“I walked in thinking I had a chance to win. Week to week they took me on a rollercoaster ride but I never gave up believing in my chance of winning.”



Will your show be based on one theme or style of cooking? Or will you open the door to other options say, different regions?

“My food presented on the show is going to be wide open in style and presentation. My main goal is teaching people to use what they have at home in preparing their meals.”


Can you tell us about your favourite family food tradition?

“My favourite family food tradition had to be fish on Fridays. And because of my Italian background with a Roman Catholic upbringing, I would always prepare pasta on Wednesdays. So on Fridays I started to combine the two into a unique dish to serve to my family.”


How would you describe the style of your food?

It’s about food that’s flavorful and food that comes from the soul.

 
At 7/29/2008 10:11 PM , Blogger Cristina Mathers said...

um really? is the food network biased or was nipas cooking uninspired? and her excuses were lame. it's a competition on tv. get over it!

 
At 7/29/2008 10:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nipa,

You're an idiot.

Sincerely,
Everyone

 
At 7/30/2008 12:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indian food like any cuisine is an acquired art and taste. That's why I had to take to fusion Indian dishes on my own when my 3 year old (born American) refused to eat curry or spicy food. I taught myself how to use some of the wonderful flavors I was used to in creating dishes for her palette. Now I am launching my own blog site for fusion Indian bistro style dishes. I want to show folks that Indian cuisine can be similar to the popular foods in America. That's what Nipa should have done.

 
At 7/30/2008 3:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Indian food and would love FN to pick up a show specific to it...but definitely with someone who has far more skills than Nipa. Her handling (and waste) of the fish was unforgivable and shameful.

 
At 7/30/2008 7:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Creative editing can make anyone look bad ... But, it can also make someone look good ...


I'm NOT going to watch "Big Daddy's House" ...


This season smells bogus ... Just like the others ... Especially since the fans didn't get to vote for the winner of the show (just for the winner of the appliances who turned out to be someone that TuschFogle didn't like) ...


I'm watching less & less of the Food Network ... and more of Travel Channel / History Channel & other networks owned by Discovery ...

 
At 7/30/2008 9:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE this blog, but I hate the kind of comments being left here. You people need to get a grip!

 
At 7/30/2008 9:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pick on Nipa all you want. Despite being a sore loser and a bad cook, she brings up a good point....there is very little variety on the Food Network. When was the last time you saw a show on Asian cooking? Mexican (Simply Delicioso does not count...that is fake Latin/Spanish)? Indian? Food Network is sorely lacking in the diversity department because all America seems to want is crappy, over buttered, sub-par, greasy, "semi-homemade" swill. If you really want variety, write the Food Network.

 
At 7/30/2008 10:41 AM , Anonymous Lindsey said...

Nothing Nippa made ever even looked appetizing. She was the most boring and unenthusiastic contestant they had on the show this year. She should have been the first person to leave, and not been give a 2nd chance after the tantrum she threw when receiving criticism from the selection committee. You lost Nippa........get over it! You never had a chance of winning.

Food Network has shows and personalities that cook food people actually want to eat. There obviously isn't a huge FN market for a lot of ethnic cuisine or they would have shows devoted to them.

 
At 7/30/2008 10:55 AM , Anonymous Alec Smart said...

Bobby Flay had an real Indian as a guest on Grill It, who might be able to bridge the gap between Indian and FN tastes.

I forget his name. It was either Raj or Moe. The guy made lamb yoghurt kebabs and seemed to have a command of the Indian kitchen.He wa also quite entertaining to watch in such a short segment.

What about this dude if FN wants an Indian presence ?

I think he might be able to clean and filet a fish too without screeching.

 
At 7/30/2008 11:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:18 anon:

It's nice how you fight for diversity on FN and then crap on all of America. Way to go.

There's variety on the FN. You don't need to be Indian or Asian to make Indian or Asian food (just as you don't need to be French or Italian to make French or Italian food).

Nipa just wasn't an inventive cook -- her ideas were always very simple, and she was extremely limited. The ironic thing is that she only got on this show because the producers were looking for someone "different."

 
At 7/30/2008 12:37 PM , Blogger femaile said...

Nipa may have not been food network star material, but the way the outcome was evidently biased she is correct.

 
At 7/30/2008 12:52 PM , Blogger Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. said...

I'm trying to remember...wasn’t turmeric the spice she couldn’t find because another contestant bought all of it?

 
At 7/30/2008 1:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people have bad memories. Nipa took all the cayenne the store had even though she didn't need it, which left Aaron without any.

 
At 7/30/2008 1:45 PM , Anonymous Andrew T. said...

On the one hand: Nipa sucks just as much as Aaron McCargo, Jr., so I can sort of understand why she thinks the process is unfair.

On the other hand, I Cry When I See A Fish with Nipa Bhatt doesn't quite have the same ring to it as "Big Daddy's House" or whatever they're calling the contractually-obligated-minimum number of shows they have to give to Aaron before they can make him go the hell away.

Odds of either of these people ever being on television in the year 2009: eighty million bazillion quadrillion superillion googolplex to 1.

 
At 7/30/2008 2:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Nipa's potatoes looked wonderful and wished I could try them. I even would have forgiven her stomp off if she had later redeemed herself. Hell, I thought the Bollywood dance lesson was cute and gutsy. BUT wasting that fish was not remotely forgivable in the context of hiring someone to do a cooking show. A cook who is that squeamish about even touching a fish is the equivalent of a barber being afraid of hair.

 
At 7/30/2008 2:56 PM , Anonymous shannon said...

nipa is incapable of cooking anything but indian food. she was not qualified to be on the food network. she needs to get over herself already.

 
At 7/30/2008 4:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 11:18 AM

Get over yourself. I'm sorry, but I don't trust Rachel "Yummo" Ray to teach me how to cook Thai food.

 
At 7/30/2008 4:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:25 anon:

You, sir or madam, are and continue to be a massive boob. RR sucks. We all know that. We all say it. Hell, some even have it tattooed on their hands lest they forget! But alas all hosts on the FN are not RR. Alton Brown or Tyler Florence can teach me Thai food any day. Despite what you seem to think you know, the FN is NOT just Sandra Lee and RR.

 
At 7/30/2008 6:22 PM , Blogger Alex ~ The Food Diva said...

I agree with this ANON comment:

"When was the last time you saw a show on Asian cooking? Mexican (Simply Delicioso does not count...that is fake Latin/Spanish)? Indian? Food Network is sorely lacking in the diversity department because all America seems to want is crappy, over buttered, sub-par, greasy, "semi-homemade" swill. If you really want variety, write the Food Network."

9:18 AM

 
At 7/30/2008 7:35 PM , Blogger anna said...

Food Network desperately needs some Asian representation. That's probably the only reason Nipa made it as far as she did.

I was rooting for her from the very beginning . . . that is until it seemed like she couldn't cook Indian food or anything else for that matter. Plus, she didn't seem to have a moldable TV personality--something that seems just as important (maybe more?) than cooking skills in the Next Food Network Star.

 
At 7/31/2008 7:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Early on, I honestly picked Nipa to win because of her "Easy Ethnic" point of view. That is, until I saw her bad attitude and her poor kitchen skills.

I have taught myself some Asian and Indian cooking with great results. There is a great cookbook series called "Quick & Easy ______" and the Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian editions are all great.

 
At 8/01/2008 12:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:46 anon:

Have Tyler Florence and Alton Brown ever spent any amount of time in Thailand or training in Thai cooking? I think not. Stop being a jerk and grow up.

 
At 8/01/2008 7:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no sympathy for Nipa -- she has rudimentary cooking skills, zero charisma, and a huge chip on her shoulder. Buh-bye.

 
At 8/01/2008 9:45 PM , Anonymous b-side said...

To paraphrase Nipa, it was a the perfect ratio of sabotage and bias!

 
At 8/03/2008 10:02 PM , Blogger John said...

Nipa was just not a very good contestant (Squid? Eww eww eww) I do, however, agree on only one thing that she says: FN does indeed prefer French and American, along with Italian. It's as if these are the only three cuisines they must have on. I don't think it's a conspiracy, but giving a bad contestant her own show isn't the way to inject Indian cuisine onto the Food Network.

 

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