Food Network Canada might sound like a joke — remember the hubbub over horse meat on Top Chef Canada? — but its shows might actually be better than the U.S. Food Network’s. Why else would we be importing so many of them?
To wit: Nadia G. (Giosia), the sassy, sexy, stiletto-sporting star of Bitchin’ Kitchen. Out of her candy-colored, leopard-printed Montreal kitchen, she cooks the Italian recipes she grew up with. She tells Reuters: “I was a food obsessed person who morphed into a comedian and tried to figure out a way to make fun of my cake and eat it too.”
We’ll take her over our own hot second-generation Italian with the funny “G” name, who is decidedly not funny, expect for inadvertently when she exaggerates the pronunciation of Italian ingredients. “Rrrrrrri-COTT-a,” anyone?
Example No. 2: Family Restaurant, which WE TV has picked up all of two years after it first aired on Food Network Canada. According to the Times, the show profiles the Quons, a Chinese family that has run the Lingnan restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta, for more than 60 years. A racist, motormouthed mom, browbeaten son, and largely white clientele make this show like a South Park episode come to life. The drama here is far more riveting than many of the bitchy reality-show squabbles you get on Food Network USA.
And, just for good measure, let’s throw The Wild Chef in there. It’s also no longer on the air, but the show, starring Martin Picard of Au Pied de Cochon, and Hugue Dufour, now of M. Wells, included scenes of the pair moose hunting (then cooking moose testicles) and rendering seal fat for a broth to steam fresh mussels in. Better than gawking at “bizarre” foods? Um, yeah.