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From Scratch: Inside the Food Network Hardcover – October 1, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
“Dishy, behind-the-scenes . . . it’s salacious enough to keep you swinging from one good old-fashioned bootstrap story to the next.”--New York Times Book Review
“Allen Salkin shows how the sausage really gets made at the Food Network in From Scratch, a behind-the-scenes history liberally spiced with gossip and unsavory tidbits.”—Entertainment Weekly
“In From Scratch: Inside the Food Network, Allen Salkin guides readers through the history of the network, from its start in the 1990s to today. Along the way, Salkin serves up plenty of stories that will surprise and entertain. . . For Food Network addicts hungry to know more about the network, Salkin’s book will hit the spot.”—Associated Press
“A detailed look at the network from start-up phase to the present, with a generous lump of juicy stories about the network’s most polarizing figures—Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Anthony Bourdain and, of course, Paula Deen y’all—heaped on top.”—The Atlantic Wire
“For a full account of the network and its evolution, it’s worth reading Allen Salkin’s excellent, informative new tome.”—The Wall Street Journal
“You don’t have to be a foodie to enjoy Allen Salkin’s new book — “From Scratch” (Putnam) — about the creation of The Food Network 20 years ago, and its turbulent but highly successful history since then. Salkin researched and writes the story so well that it has the energy of a great show business novel . . . It’s a TV business story, it’s a tale of the rise of the food and restaurant cultures over the past two decades, and it’s a look at a wide array of fascinating personalities who flourished (and fell) after the creation of a cable channel devoted to food . . . The result is a rare non-fiction book with the narrative pace of the juiciest fiction.”—Connecticut Post
“Salkin’s recipe is one part steamy exposé, one part deep-fried human interest and one part television history. This fusion cuisine should satiate food fans while providing television buffs an unprecedented look at the evolution of a network.”—Kirkus Reviews
“From Scratch is a saucy tell-all, by turns shocking, funny and informative. Fans of the network or those who just love seeing how the show-biz sausage is made, this one's for you.”—BookPage
“A new tell-all history of the Food Network that details the egos, and feuds of the people that made a fledgling upstart a cable TV empire.”—The Daily Beast
“The definitive account of the 20-year-old network and its stars.”—New York Daily News
“With a light wit and balanced perspective, Salkin presents the definitive history of the network from inception to the present day. Food Network devotees will delight at the inside knowledge of internal scandals, the intriguing biographies of their favorite star chefs, and an exclusive look at the ever-shifting lineup of executives and parent companies . . . Salkin moves deftly between periods in the channel’s development, garnishing the narrative with frequent quotes from influential personalities to add depth. [A] nuanced and rich tale of an empire that no one expected to survive.”—Publishers Weekly
More About the Author
He attended U.C. Berkeley (Go Bears! -- graduation dinner Chez Panisse downstairs), Calabasas High (pre-Kardashians), and N.Y.U.'s Journalism Masters Program. He has since taught at N.Y.U.
"From Scratch" is Allen's second book. He wrote "Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us", a bit of a lighter affair, a few years ago. You can still check that out at festivusbook.com.
Some of Allen's favorite topics he's written on include: Monocles (They're Back), Annie Leibovitz's finances, and the last waterbed salesman in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Contact Allen by emailing: salkin -- at -- allensalkin.com
Top Customer Reviews
Author Food Jobs 2
Deep background on the personalities, drive and process of birthing Food Network. Written very readably and with tons of background, it is well worth the read!
The book does mention many of the current and former chefs on the network, but only a few are covered in enough detail to be considered well described. These include Emeril LaGasse, Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, Robert Irvine, and Mario Batali. But even the information about these stars doesn't tell the whole story, and as you read this, you might yearn for some more dirt..some more expose like materials…some more juicy information. Unfortunately, that is not the author's intent in this book.
The title and book jacket is somewhat misleading, since when you buy this, you believe you are going to learn the backstories about all the stars, which you don't. In fact, many of the stars just get a brief mention, and others aren't mentioned at all. The coverage of some of TVFN's most popular shows isn't very thorough either.
So with all these shortcomings, why do I give this book the rating that I do? Because it is well written and it really fits the mold of a good piece of unbiased journalism without a lot of sensationalism. It is detailed, thorough, and provides information that only a consummate reporter and researcher could have obtained.Read more ›
When reading about a network (e,g, "These Guys Have All the Fun") or a show (e.g., "Live from New York"), I expect a foundation that describes the origins and some of the non-glamorous aspects of the business; it's the lettuce of the chef's salad, a necessary aspect to give the meal heft but not what one looks forward to. As a reader, I most want to read about the shows themselves, such as how they were created, why they were like to film, and recaps of on-air incidents; this is what gives the book meat and zest. Sadly, this book has lots of lettuce and not nearly enough bacon, cheese, ham, eggs, etc. (okay, maybe I'll lose the metaphor). Salkin not only begins his story with the origins of Food Network, but continues exploring network machinations, stocks and sales, boardroom goings-on, etc. throughout the entire book. He does this at the expense of describing the shows, the personalities, sharing interesting stories, or describing what happened on the shows. For example, he notes that Iron Chef American contestants are given three possibilities for the secret ingredient days before the show, but what are the actual tapings like? Chopped takes place over the course of an hour, but how long does the actual day last and what's it like for the cheftestants and judges to go through that process? What's the worst dish made on any of these shows? Which "Next Food Network Star" was a bust and why? (Most of them aren't even named).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Learned fun and interesting things about some of my favorite chefs.Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book is interesting. Spends a little too much time talking about boring behind the scenes stuff. But it wasn't a bad quick readPublished 3 months ago by ckw
It's a very well researched corporate history of the Food Network. Why only 2 Stars? Because the book was not what I wanted or expected based upon the front / back cover quotes:... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Georg
Having working on the launch of Food Network very briefly in its infancy and on a TVFN fundraising telethon and knowing many of the big players and bit part-ists- involved, it was... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Melanie Young
Fascinating tale of birth and growth of Food Network. Recommended read for foodies.Published 8 months ago by chris