Aside from skating and riding his bike on rainbows, Brian Boitano likes to cook, and now Food Network has given him a venue to do just that. Since I’m not usually doing much on any given early Sunday afternoon, I tuned in to the premiere last weekend. The fact that they were embracing the whole South Park thing had me just deadly curious.
Upon viewing the first episode, I think the best way to describe this show is Barefoot Contessa on speed.In this first episode, Brian is throwing a party for his friend Tony. Tony is awesome, but single, and so Brian is going to invite something like 20 bachelorettes over so they can meet him, and hopefully romance will blossom! His arduous task of recruiting women to come to the party is illustrated with crude humor, a shot of Brian holding an electric fan up to a woman at the market so that her hair will dance in the wind, and even Brian calling an adorable old lady, asking her to hook him up with some single ladies. Said old lady asks to come to the party, but sadly, she’s already married.
The menu for the party was as follows:
- Crab and Avocado crostini
- Goat cheese and roasted red pepper skewers
- Spicy sausage polenta with red pepper relish
- Cappuccino panna cotta
- and a cocktail, the mango and passionfruit Mar-Tony. Sandra Lee would be jealous.
Brian seems reasonably comfortable in the kitchen. The dishes aren’t complicated, but they sounded–and looked!–pretty good. As he cooks, he continually cracks jokes, which, depending on the viewer, are either mind-blowingly awful or so-bad-they’re-good. I fell firmly in the latter category, because the dumber the joke, the more I like it. Every moment was so over-the-top that everything was definitely being played for humor on purpose, especially the roomful of bachelorettes crooning “Hi, Tony,” in that come-and-get-it voice that we all know is fictional.
The crowning moment, though, was when Brian Boitano pulled out his Slap-Chop. As always, the name was turned away from the camera, but there’s no doubt–it was the real deal. And even that wasn’t enough, as later Brian dove further into the realm of meta and called for his assistant chopper to come cut up some other ingredients. When one did needed to sit for an hour, he called upon his very convenient time machine powers! And suddenly everything was finished!
What Would Brian Boitano Make is arguably more about the camp and the friends and the personal life than it is about the food–but unlike other similar programs on Food Network, it doesn’t pretend otherwise. If this is the show that has put the Food Network past the point of no return, maybe returning isn’t even worth it.