My Food Network Year
Behind-the-scenes of my insane encounters with Rachael Ray, Alton Brown, and Guy Fieri.
Hi Thursday friends,
Did you know that back in 2008 I was plucked out of the ether to host my very own web show for The Food Network?
Oooh that was triggering writing that sentence. Not just because of the crazy memories it stirs up, but because I always got in trouble on camera for calling it “The Food Network,” not “Food Network,” which is its actual name.
At the time, I was just coming off of my first book of essays and someone at Food Network (phew) was a fan of my blog and mentioned me to the new head of digital who was looking for someone “adorkable” (her word) to host a Daily Show-like joint that gently made fun of Food Network stars. I met her at a coffee shop in Brooklyn, we hit it off, and it was arranged for me to shoot a test pilot on a Food Network soundstage.
Reader, I bombed the audition. It was awful. I wrote a bunch of mediocre jokes about Food Network stars but, worse, I had to grill swordfish while talking about something else and I was so distracted, I nearly burnt down the studio. But the most awful part was that I had to memorize a monologue that I’d written about (I forget, something food related) and I kept performing it to camera — you know, Lewis Black style — with a whole crew filming me and I messed. up. every. time. Take after take, it was so humiliating, I came home and told Craig that there’s no way I got the job.
I got the job.