“Not about cooking and learning”: Valerie Bertinelli is “sad” over the state of the Food Network

Valerie Bertinelli has now joined the chorus of dissenting voices disappointed in the once-commanding juggernaut The Food Network. On Threads, she wrote “I fell in love with Food Network two decades ago because of all the amazing ITK (in the kitchen) shows. 30 minute meals, Ina, Giada . . . the list goes on. I learned so much. It’s sad it’s not about cooking and learning any longer. Oh well, that’s just business, folks.”

Bertinelli’s comment was in response to a cookbook author named Marlynn Schotland who asked the question that many have been pondering over the past decade or so: “I miss actual cooking shows on @foodnetwork. Remember those? Do you know what this world does NOT need? Yet another cooking competition show.”

Bertinelli, an actress who rose to fame in the mid-1970s on the original “One Day at a Time”, was one of the first “nostalgic,” non-culinary casting choices by the network, along with Tiffani Amber-Thiessen and Trisha Yearwood. Her show “Valerie’s Home Cooking” premiered in 2015; the show was in the vein of the “cook with me” type shows pioneered by the likes of Sara Moulton, Alton Brown, Rachael Ray, Ina Garten and Giada DeLaurentiis in the nascent days of The Food Network. This programming then became the go-to in the early-to-mid 2000s — and was a beacon for many young and up-and-coming beginning cooks (like me). 

Bertinelli then also went on to host Kids’ Baking Championship alongside Duff Goldman, as well as Family Food Showdown and Family Restaurant Rivals. She also won two Daytime Emmys for Valerie’s Home Cooking, which was then canceled in 2022. She was also then dismissed from Kids’ Baking Championship earlier this year, “citing budget cuts,” according to Wesley Stenzel at Entertainment Weekly.

The show’s shift from “ITK (in the kitchen)” — as Bertinelli puts it — programming to a lineup of almost nothing but competition shows has been derided by longtime fans for years now, but it appears that the network’s core audience and network executives must have no qualms since there’s been no major changes in the direction of current programming. 

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