The Food Network is an increasingly popular cable television channel for people who enjoy preparing food or watching culinary-related programs. In addition to shows that explain how to make everything from salads to sushi, this network features reality-style competitions like The Great Food Truck Race and culinary contests designed to challenge even the most talented aspiring chefs. Thrown in celebrity chefs and you have the makings for some great television.
Grilling is always a popular topic on this channel and some of the best BBQ chefs in the world make guest appearances or host their own shows. Bobby Flay is arguably the most popular BBQ chef on the channel. He hosts two BBQ-themed shows, Bobby’s Barbecue Addiction and Grill It! With Bobby Flay. In addition to being a chef, Flay is a cookbook author, media personality, and restaurateur.
Flay entered the culinary field at age 17 and after graduating from the French Culinary Institute, worked at Buds and Jams, where he discovered the sweet kick of southwestern ingredients. He went on to become executive chef at Miracle Grill in the East Village and opened his first Mesa Grill establishment in 1991. Bobby’s Burger Palace restaurants illustrate the epitome of his love for the grill. People are not kidding when they say, “Bobby knows BBQ!”
Alton Brown may look more like a librarian than a BBQ chef but despite his refined appearance, this guy can throw down on a grill. His mother and grandmother nurtured his culinary skills, which he refined at the New England Culinary Institute. Brown has written numerous culinary books including Feasting on Asphalt, which documents road food enjoyed during his motorcycle journey from New Orleans to Minnesota. His show Good Eats aired for 14 seasons on Food Network and won him a Peabody Award.
Patrick and Gina Neely are known for their down-home culinary style, which includes plenty of BBQ dishes. This couple co-owns Neely’s Bar-B-Que, one of the most successful BBQ restaurants in the southern U.S. They took their culinary secrets public when they began hosting Down Home with the Neelys on Food Network in 2008. When they are not on television, they are busy writing cookbooks and running Neely’s BBQ Parlor in New York City.
Guy Fieri has tattooed arms, spiky, bleach-blonde hair, and a classic muscle car. The host of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (affectionately called Triple D) may be unconventional but he is a master on a grill. Now called a culinary rock star, Fieri began showing an interest in food at age 10. He loves spicy ingredients, which is evident from the menu at his restaurant Tex Wasabi’s and his line of barbecue sauces.