With Salt Fat Acid Heat, the Food TV Renaissance Continues

WIRED | 10/31/2018 | Jason Parham
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Samin Nosrat begins the final episode of Salt Fat Acid Heat with an apt metaphor: “Heat is the element of transformation.” Nosrat, a chef and author, is calling attention to one of cooking’s essential tenets—but also, slyly enough, to a new movement of food shows on Netflix and elsewhere that spurn the pallid and passé images of shows past, turning away from white domesticity to a broader vision of food acceptance.

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Book - Name - One - Salt - Fat

Based on the best-selling book of the same name (although one that has commas), Salt Fat Acid Heat joins a class of food shows from Netflix—including Ugly Delicious, Chef’s Table, and Nailed It—that have distilled its interests into a smorgasboard of inclusivity, history, and humor. The grand metaphor that undergirds these shows is the clashing of cultural differences, and the harmony birthed from the ongoing frictions. It’s a bit like cooking itself: unfolding its layers, braising its textures, shedding and learning anew.

Before Anthony Bourdain became the unofficial bard of modern food TV—I dare you to find a more poetic rendering of America than his explanation of Waffle House—it was the Food Network that ushered in an era of unrivaled programming, with shows that ranged from the instructional to the purely competitive. Emeril Live!, Iron Chef America, Barefoot Contessa, and the Rachael Ray-hosted 30 Minute Meals were among the network’s early standouts. According to Kathleen Finch, the chief lifestyle brands officer at Discovery Communications, which owns Food Network, the channel’s current strategy is a considerable pivot from the network’s nascent years. “Our job is not to teach people how to cook,” Finch told food blog Grub Street. “Our job is to make people want to watch television.” Today, programming largely consists of cooking competition shows like Chopped and The Great Food Truck Race.

Bourdain

As Bourdain’s ever-searching, ever-curious...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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