Saturday, March 13, 2010

What would Brian Boitano make?

Sometimes I can't believe my good fortune. Moments after I learned that Brian Boitano, winsome boy wonder of the 1988 Winter Olympics, has a new show on the Food Network, I stumbled upon this picture. If that isn't some kind of karmic alignment of the planets, I don't what is.

Brian has reemerged, reconstituted with Botox, as a cheeky, down-to-earth celebrity chef with his own show called What Would Brian Boitano Make? The producers at the Food Network have an uncanny feel for what this country wants now; that's exactly what I ask myself every time I step foot in the kitchen.

I tuned into the episode where he was making bacon cups filled with sweet potato hash for a group of roller derby girls dropping by. Completely relatable. His enthusiasm was contagious, but his bacon cups looked like flattened dog poop. He obviously has some work to do.

But the big question is this: if Brian Boitano can have a cooking show, why not Mary Lou Retton? I'd like to see her do 100 things with Wheaties. Marion Jones could strut her bad ass on What are the Inmates Eating? I wouldn't mind getting Olga Korbut's take on borscht, or Bruce Jenner's tips for throwing a fabulous Botox party, complete with out-patient tummy tucks, nose jobs, and a full low-carb Mexican buffet.

Over fifteen years ago, I learned how to properly cut an onion, not in cooking school, but by Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken - the Two Hot Tamales. But that was when the Food Network was actually about food. Alan Richman, food critic for GQ magazine, and Nina Griscom, annoying socialite, had a great Siskel & Ebert type show, reviewing restaurants. She thought he was an idiot, and he mostly played along. There was Ming Tsai cutting octopus with a Chinese cleaver, Mario Batali making risotto, and Bobby Flay, before he became Bobby Flay. These were people who actually cooked for a living.

And here we are today. Brian Boitano is making bacon cups for roller derby girls, Giada DeLaurentiis' bosom is heaving on the chicken cacciatore, and Rachel Ray could really use a Quaalude. I think it's time to change the channel.

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