I love watching cooking shows on the FOOD NETWORK, but why do they have to use such awful, generic music?
It's the individual cooking style and colorful personality of the host that gives each of these shows its unique flavor and appeal. The addition of canned, processed music to the recipe does nothing but detract from a show's authenticity and individuality. Even silence would be better.
Consider my favorite Food Network program, Barefoot Contessa. This show celebrates "the good life" as Ina Garten uses farm fresh ingredients to create elegant, easy recipes for entertaining at her home in the Hamptons. But in every episode, for some inexplicable reason, the spell is broken at regular intervals by mind-numbing loops of Ibiza trance and Bossa Nova guitar—the same musical wallpaper you might hear during a lab work montage on CSI, or in the lobby of a W Hotel. It ain't right.
Why don't they give my girl Ina a joyous, varied soundtrack like the one in the Stanley Tucci film Big Night? The licensing fees for 50's pop classics aren't prohibitively expensive, and many of the Neapolitan ballads and operatic arias are in the public domain.
And how about hiring a composer to create an original theme for the beautiful Giada de Laurentiis (pictured) — something that evokes both her relaxed approach to Calfornia cuisine and her proud European heritage? Mark Adler, who scored the 2008 movie Bottle Rocket, would do an excellent job with a project like this.
And don't you think there's a blues band somewhere in Memphis right now that would love to create just the right "down home" atmosphere for the southern kitchen of Pat & Gina Neely?
I can't be the only musician who feels this way. I'm pretty sure Jon Burr, Anthony Wilson and Hans Schuman would have a few good thoughts on the subject. So many of us in the music community are foodies and oenophiles, there's really no excuse for depriving these shows of the aural upgrades they so desperately need.
So come on Food Network, get it together! Your stars and your viewers deserve better. ~DM