Restaurant News

Food Network's Private Chefs of Beverly Hills Is Further Proof of Programming Coma, in This Week's "TV Dinner"

Like any ginormous corporation, you can't blame Food Network's faults on the folks in the trenches doing the real work. You have to look up, way up. To the millionaires calling the shots, keeping the company profitable at any expense, and wringing their hands in anticipation of their next bonus check so they can finally install that moat around their castle or resole their diamond shoes. Somewhere along the line, the millionaires have decided most of us have forgotten that the Food Network used to have a reputation for decent programming, and by airing more "reality" TV shows, we'll think they're the hip, foodie version of MTV, and stick around for "Flava Flav Makes Out With Everything in Your Kitchen," or "Snacktime with Snooki."

Maybe that's why Private Chefs of Beverly Hills is so disappointing...

Yes, we know it's scripted reality TV: boring, forced, and, for the most part, anything but realistic. And while we all have our penchants for shows-so-bad-they're-good (Millionaire Matchmaker) we're okay going to E! or Bravo for most of them. The fact that the Food Network execs have decided it's okay for a show like Private Chefs to share counter space with credible foodies such as Alton Brown, Sara Moulton, Rick Bayless, and Ted Allen is further proof for its viewers that the network's ongoing programming coma is worse than originally thought -- that or their diamond shoes are too tight. In either case, it's painful.

Did you see Private Chefs of Beverly Hills? Did you like it? Would you watch it again?

Here's this week's foodie TV schedule so you won't miss a thing:

Monday (April 19)

Ultimate Cake Off: "Swimwear Fashion Show." Elaborate cakes are created for a swimwear fashion show. 10 p.m., TLC

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: "Food Porn 2." Tony and his friends chat about the world's sexiest foods. 10 p.m., Travel Channel

Tuesday (April 20)

The Doctors: "To Eat Or Not to Eat?" Included: tips on what to eat and what not to eat; a nutritional guide to condiments; a segment on high-tech food production ("molecular gastronomy"). 2 p.m., Channel 3, KTVK

Food Wars: "New York Pastrami Sandwich War." In New York City, the host checks out dueling delis, both of which claim their pastrami sandwich is the best in the Big Apple. 10 p.m., Travel Channel

Wednesday (April 21)

Three Sheets: "St. Martin." St. Martin in the Caribbean is toured. Included: rum drinks. Also: the difference between the French and Dutch regions of the island. "Whistler, Canada." A tour of Whistler, Canada, includes a sparkling-wine tasting and popular drinking games. 11 and 11:30 p.m., Travel Channel

Top Chef Masters: "Pub Food." Competing culinary artists Graham Elliot Bowles, Jonathan Waxman, Ludo Lefebvre, Mark Peel, Rick Moonen and Wylie Dufresne are tasked to reimagine old-school pub grub. 10 p.m., Bravo

Friday (April 23)

Kitchen Nightmares: "Sushi Ko." Chef Ramsay visits Sushi Ko in Thousand Oaks, California, a failing second location of a family-owned eatery. Problems include debt, a breakdown of the family dynamic, and a relative who has lost his passion for cooking. 8 p.m., Channel 10, FOX

(*Last Episode of the Season!) Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution: Season 1 comes to a close. 8 p.m., Channel 15, ABC

Private Chefs of Beverly Hills: "Rockin' Rolls." The chefs cater a CD release party for a heavy-metal band from the 1980s. They also create innovative dishes for the Beverly Hills Women's Club that will wow their socialite clientele. 10 p.m., Food Network

Saturday (April 24)

(*New Show!) Spice & Easy: "Friday Night Book Club." Host Janet Johnston, a spice-shop owner, prepares finger foods in the series premiere. On the menu: chicken skewers with herb sauce; cucumber medallions with Mediterranean-spiced goat cheese; five-spice carrot cupcakes with ginger frosting and vanilla-bean sugar cubes. 9:30 a.m., Food Network

(*Network Special!) Outrageous Food: Aaron McCargo Jr. ("Big Daddy's House") checks out restaurants serving outrageous food, like 5-food pizzas and curry ice cream. 10 p.m., Food Network

Sunday (April 25)

Alex's Day Off: "Family Comfort Dishes." Comfort foods, including pork meatballs with homemade marinara sauce; stuffed artichokes with fennel, bread crumbs, cheese and garlic; and chocolate crostada. 9:30 a.m., Food Network

Food Network Challenge: "High School Reunion Cakes." Four pastry chefs create elaborate cakes for a 10-year high-school reunion, and they're assisted by four members of the Class of 2000. 8 p.m., Food Network

Chefs vs. City: "All-Star Atlanta." An epicurean race across Atlanta against chefs Robert Irvine ("Dinner: Impossible") and George Galati. 9 p.m., Food Network

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Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld