So I'll start commenting periodically on my favorite food-related TV again. For now, just a few quick takes:
- I enjoyed the just-completed Season 3 of MasterChef, and I'm more than happy with the selection of Christine Ha as the winner. Not only was she the most likeable contestant and (as far as we could tell without actually tasting her food) the best cook, but her's is the cookbook I most want to read. I had been rooting for single mom Monti Carlo (seriously, did your mom give you that name?) for much of the season, but I think the final two, and the winner, were correct. I almost wish Christine had been on Food Network Star instead of MasterChef, though: It's hard to imagine a blind cook being safe working the line in a busy restaurant, but Christine would be great on TV. And speaking of Food Network Star...
- I'm happy to see Jeff Mauro's Sandwich King is back for a third season (I'm watching Episode 1 as I type this). Mauro's onscreen persona is a bit goofball-ish for my tastes, but I love the sandwich-focused concept, and his recipes are always both creative and accessible. And with a new show, $24 in 24, set to debut this fall, Mauro might be set to become the first FNS winner since Guy Fieri to become a true star on the network.
- I'm also enjoying the third season of The Great Food Truck Race. Between this show's switch from having established trucks compete to having novice teams compete to win their truck and FNS's switch to the team/mentor approach, I generally think Food Network has done a good job retooling its competition shows. In both cases, the format changes enhance the entertainment value of the shows and, I think, lead to winners better positioned for future success.