The fact that “celebrity chefs” exist speaks volumes about our culture

This afternoon I left work and stopped off at my usual nearby delicatessen to grab some lunch. While patrons wait a few minutes for their food, the deli conveniently has a flat screen TV set up for your viewing pleasure. Like any ADD-ridden American, my eyes always drift to that TV, but it’s always some awful daytime television program like a soap opera or Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Yes, remarkably, that show still exists.

But today there was something different. Apparently on ABC there is a show called “The Chew,” and it is a daytime talk show featuring celebrity chefs that centers around food.

At least with soap operas I get to look at hot chicks, and with Who Wants to be a Millionaire I get to watch random trivia, but with The Chew, my life is not improved in any way, shape or form.

I’d rather stare at the deli employee make my sandwich with his dirty non-washed hands than watch The Chew. I’d rather read the ingredients off the nearest bottle of coconut water than watch The Chew.

Food. Life. Fun. Is that the lesser known sequel to Eat. Pray. Love?

It simply amazes me that not only do celebrity chefs exist, but there are so goddamn many of them. First of all, the fact there’s an actual terminology to describe them is bad enough as it is. But when did this happen? When did television producers suddenly make the realization that chefs have such endearing personalities that they needed to be given their own shows?

I suppose it all started with Rachael Ray, who had a simple cooking show but then was handed her own daytime talk show called — creatively — The Rachael Ray Show.

At least she was bearable. She’s not that bad to look at it, and she was able to instill her culinary knowledge upon the American public. Good for her.

But then douchebags like Guy Fieri came along. And I’m not even being insulting when I use the word “douchebag.” Just look at the guy — he is a douchebag. 

Just like how some people are white, some people are black, some people are smart and some people are strong, Guy Fieri is a douchebag. It’s just the type of person that he is, and there are plenty more of them out there in the world.

But now there are so many celebrity chefs that I don’t even know their names anymore. Between all these reality shows, with half of them revolving around cakes, it’s gotten to the point where if you are a chef, and you’re not famous, then you probably suck at cooking and should choose a new profession.

If people are wondering what caused a spike in obesity in our country over the last several years, perhaps they should look no further than the spike in food-oriented television programs that have rapidly increased over that same span. Watching people eat, make and talk about food has suddenly become trendy.

It must suck to be a talented chef right now who has a shitty personality. Chefs will never be more “in” right now, and it does not matter how skilled you are if you can’t entertain an audience. Basically, cooking has become more about personality that it has ability.

If you are a chef, and you genuinely love preparing and cooking food, then shouldn’t that be enough? Shouldn’t you be content with an oven, a frying pan and large bowl in your kitchen, and not a television camera? When you were a wide-eyed 20-something year-old in culinary school, didn’t you hope to one day be in charge of your own restaurant, and not in a mock-television studio/kitchen teaching some asshole celebrity like David Duchovny how to make steamed mussels in a two-minute segment while he shamelessly plugs the new season of his television show?

When did chefs lose all of their integrity? When did they sell out?

If some studio executive approached me and said, “Dude, we want to make a daytime talk show called ‘The Blog,’ with a tagline of ‘Write. Read. Laugh,’ and air it on our network!” Do you think I would accept that? Do you really think I would stop blogging about what I truly believe, and start blogging about what somebody tells me to blog about it? Do you think I would do that, even if they paid me millions and millions of dollars?

Yeah, I would totally do that.

Wouldn’t even have to think about it.

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