I really enjoyed Alton Brown's "Feasting on Asphalt" last year. It combined two of my favorite things, food and, well, a formerly favorite thing, motorcycling.
I quit motorcycling when a wrong way drunk driver hit me head on outside of Bakersfield, California. I was wearing all the stuffs you see in the picture, and no, I didn't have a scratch on me. Separated shoulder, broken tib/fib, concussion, 2 shredded knee ligaments, but not a scratch. 11 surgeries later, plenty of scars, but no initial scratches.
In any case, I liked watching Alton ride down the highway, finding authentic original road food -- chains be damned. It was also amusing watching him fall and break his arm, in a schadenfreude kinda way.
The food network is pretty much totally unwatchable nowadays. Paula Deen is amusing for a while, Giada DiLaurentiis would be truly amusing for a while, but there's not enough real cooking. Alton's Good Eats is fun and educational, and it's about the only thing I watch since the only time you can watch Iron Chef is at 2:00 on Tuesday morning.
But this season, Alton decided to ride (you ride a motorcycle, not drive it) up the Mississippi, from Venice to Minnesota. He spent an episode in Louisiana, and did little other than make me lose a lot of respect for him.
While here, he complained about tourists in the French Quarter. Of course, he had a full camera crew with him. He mispronounced Mulates, and complained about not getting sweet tea in New Orleans.
Now, I am a dyed-in-the-wool sweet tea lover. It got me through several Gulf Coast summers. But sweet tea is a southern thing, not a New Orleans thing, and Alton made the foolish mistake of thinking that New Orleans is in the South. Nope. New Orleans is in the Carribbean.
He tours the Luzianne factory, and talks about setting on the ultimate quest for sweet tea. When he just left the source of all good sweet tea, Luzianne. He did mention that Luzianne kept their employees on full salary during/after the federal flood. Let's hear it for Luzianne. Sometimes, I detour off of the twin spans, just so I can drive by Luzianne, and get that marvelous smell.
At Mulates, he had fried and grilled gator, and this led him to a quest to find an alligator farm. He did, in Hammond. He fed them nutria, although I still don't think he has clue one a) what nutria are, 2) how to pronounce "nutria". A little itty bit of homework wouldn't hurt, cap.
He didn't make it west of LaPlace, but talked about seeing all of Cajun country. He has no clue what the difference between Cajun and Creole is, but he thinks it's "tomatoes".
So a lot of you may think I'm nickel and diming him. Well, maybe I am, but there's this.
He didn't really treat anybody at the Big Fisherman or the Andouille shop with respect. There's just no cause for that.
In the second show, he managed to make my wife lose a lot of respect for him, when he stated that there were no vegetables in Louisiana.
In the name of okra, mirlitons, and alligator pears, I was shocked.
Alton, buddy, you're a smart if growingly conceited guy. Do your homework, OK?