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Food Network Awards: Best Enjoyed From the Comfort of Your Own Home
Monday, February 26, 2007 | posted by Mike

All of you who follow the world of food television online probably know that the South Beach Wine and Food Festival went down this past weekend in Florida. We made a mention a little while back about the Festival in general and the Food Network Awards in particular. Jacob over at food network addict has been down there for the festivities and he seems like he's having a good time.

There has also been some great coverage of the event by a blog called The Hungry Man, run by the Palm Beach Post. He recounted the Burger Bash on the first day of the event and had a nice summary of the appearance by Anthony Bourdain, which included pretty much all of the stuff that you would expect from Tony. But the big scoop was a little background on the big, televised Food Network event at the Festival, the Food Network Awards. After having to sit through about 7.5 hours of Academy Awards last night, I understand that awards shows can take a long time and that there is always the chance of a couple of foul-ups. But when there is a post with a title like "Food Awards Gone Awry," I think you can guess where this is going.

It’s hard to say what the organizers were thinking when they put this together (and then had the audacity to charge the public $80 a ticket to attend — the event was one of the few SoBe ones not to sell out). Begin with the fact that the show was being taped — in other words, it was live to tape. But someone must have forgotten the live part.

Between all the stops and starts for sound and lighting cues, the technical glitches (Emeril actually had to re-present an award after the show was finished because he mispronounced something) and the general confusion, it took about three hours for the show to be done (and I believe it’s only a 90 minute broadcast — it’s slated to air April 15). If you add in the fact that most of the crowd arrived well in advance for the “red carpet” deal (which, believe it or not, featured food mascots like Tony the Tiger and KFC’s Col. Sanders), that meant people were there for four to five hours.

I know that I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know, but making television can be a long, tedious and, frankly, boring process. "Getting everything right" often requires multiple takes and long hours. Unfortunately, when you put on a show with the expectation that it's a "live to tape" event, it's tough to have them sitting around while they figure out how to properly light Alton Brown's hair. We've all seen enough awards shows to know that none are perfect and that, often, some of the best moments are born out those happy accidents. On the other hand, I don't think we really want to hear Duff Goldman and Robin Miller stepping on each others' lines.

Anyway, we'll be treated to a much tighter version of the proceedings. And, of course, it will be shown on the day that your taxes are due, so any escape from the soul-crushing feeling of having to hand thousands of dollars over to the government will be welcome.



Hi, I'm Mike and I created TVFoodFan.com as a place where you can come to get the latest news and views about what’s going on in the world of culinary television.

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