Bryan Caswell Comes to the Food Network Along with Several New Shows

Categories: TV

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Caswell during competition on the Next Iron Chef.
By now, the news that Houston's own Bryan Caswell will have his own four-episode show on the Food Network has worked its buzzy way through Twitter, Facebook and the rest of the Internet.

Starting in May, the busy chef will be hosting a run of food competition-themed shows called Best in Smoke. No matter that Caswell himself isn't a barbecue guy (his restaurants in Houston feature Gulf seafood, sliders and Tex-Mex -- we were hoping he'd turn up hosting a great outdoors-style show, showing viewers how to cook what he caught, Texas-style), it'll just be good to see a familiar face on our TV screens.

But Caswell isn't the only new face coming to the Food Network.

Eater has a roundup of all the new shows that both the Food Network and its sister station, the Cooking Channel, will be featuring this year. And while there are some definite lows, there are also a few highs.

The lowest of the lows already appears to be Guy vs. Rachael's Celebrity Smackdown. Seemingly in an effort to make America dislike these two antagonistic personalities even more (despite the fact that Rachael Ray herself, off camera, is a true badass and a woman I'd gladly drink a beer with), the Food Network has created a show that...well...no one seems to know exactly what the show will do with its two stars. Even Variety is stumped. Regardless of the direction the show takes, you have to question the network's decision to purposely acerbate viewers by taking two of its most reviled stars and throwing them into an arena, gladiator-style.

Bread and circuses, people!

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Photo by meglet127
Ree Drummon, the Pioneer Woman.
On the high end, however, is Pioneer Women, a daytime show that will star none other than food blogger extraordinaire Ree Drummond herself. The show will be based on her blog and recipes, which was one of the first food blogs I ever read -- and still read to this day. Back in November 2010, Drummond appeared on Bobby Flay's Throwdown and apparently impressed the suits so much, she was given her own show. And love or hate her, Drummond's story of moving from pampered big city life to life on a working cattle ranch in the middle of nowhere makes for pretty compelling reading. How will it translate to TV? That remains to be seen.

Of course, you can just wait for the movie, starring Reese Witherspoon, to come out.

Back on the local front, former EOW blogger Jay Francis is following in Drummond's footsteps and will soon be appearing on Throwdown himself. The show is coming to film him on April 22, and Francis is hard at work perfecting a recipe for a tandoori chicken marinade with Bhut Jolokia chiles.

Will Jay Francis, food explorer, be the next Food Network star after this show?

That depends on whether or not anyone survives eating the world's hottest pepper. Flay and his team won't know what hit them...



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11 comments
Colormesilly
Colormesilly

waitwhat? Jay Francis is perfecting a recipe!? Bobby doesn't surprise them and challenge them to a throwdown??? They PREPARE! I can't believe anything on TV anymore!!!

Diamante33
Diamante33

Jay Francis can be overly earnest sometimes; ok, quite often.But I wish him luck nonetheless.

Jim Ayres
Jim Ayres

I am really thrilled to see Ree Drummond get a show. It was only a matter of time... supposedly she's had offers from everywhere including a stint on Good Morning America. And she wasn't just on any Throwdown - it was the Thanksgiving special with a whole dinner, filmed at the ranch. (Basically her pilot.) Yes, I am a huge Pioneer Woman fan.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I'll still be watching my five-hour Law & Order: Criminal Intent marathons on USA, so I can't really stand in judgment of any of these shows. Hehe.

bradbarber
bradbarber

LOL, I never watch FN any more. 6-7 years ago it was almost my default channel.

Laurie
Laurie

Thank you Opal! DVR calling

Tim
Tim

I'm pretty much in the same boat as you, Brad. I might make a point to watch a particular episode of some show on FN, but otherwise don't bother with it anymore.

opal 427
opal 427

@ Laurie: Molto Mario is on at 6:30 am weekdays on Cooking Channel. If there was a Mount Rushmore of cooking shows, it would definitely be a contender.

Laurie
Laurie

Me too. Back in the day the shows were somewhat educational and starred pedigreed chefs doing what they do best, cook. Now it is 'personalities' with crap shows like Cupcake Wars or whatever it is called. I miss you Molto Mario!

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