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The Food Network Awards Fiasco

If there's one thing to set Anthony Bourdain's timer off, it's the Food Network. To really see him blow, make him watch "the monstrosity" of the network's first-ever awards touting all of its celebrities plus inanimate objects like Best Macaroni-and-Cheese. We suspect the only ones who "got" it were the network execs and sales people who helped wrangle all the product placement for what, in essence, was a 90-minute commercial. The entire mess enraged Bourdain, who muses about it on Michael Ruhlman's blog today:

It is a measure of how seriously crack-brained, rapacious and evil the Deep Thinkers at Food Network must be that I find myself--yet again--in deep sympathy with their stable of stars. Last night, during the breathtakingly awful, interminable cruelty that was The Food Network Awards, I even found myself feeling bad for Rachael Ray. YES, friends. Rachael Ray. If nothing else, Rachael's BIG now. Network talk show-- doing- well- in- ratings- Big. Own magazine Big. Friend-of-Oprah Big. So, how must it have felt for her to stand up there in front of what appeared to be a halfway empty room of stunned, near comatose trout and feign enthusiasm while presenting the award for "Best Appliance"?
We tuned in and caught the "Super Market" award, which pitted Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and east coast-based Wegman's against each other, announced by one of Paula Deen's sons and Sandra Lee. At that point, even Sandra Lee reruns sounded more entertaining.
· Bourdain on Food Net Awards: 'WHAT were they THINKING??' [Eater]