Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Big Daddy for a Big America

Several people have asked me if I’ve seen Aaron McCargo’s show “Big Daddy’s House” on the Food Network. If you recall, Aaron was this season’s winner of “The Next Food Network Star,” which I tirelessly recapped on this blog.

His seven-episode series aires on Sundays at 1:30 p.m., and the last episode is already set for this Sunday. Aaron was the feature of this complimentary article in the New York Times this past weekend, and in the story it mentions that his show was so popular that the Food Network plans to renew it.

I hate to be hating on someone else’s dream, but I can’t watch “Big Daddy’s House.” And I blame the Food Network for putting on a show that’s so irresponsible to the health of Americans.

They promote the show as “big bold flavors” when the reality is it’s just plain big. More like super-sized big. In the episode I watched, Aaron made three huge egg burritos filled with beans and piled on with guacamole, cheese and heaping spoonfuls of sour cream. The theme was to eat this in bed so you’ll want to stay in on a Sunday morning. Believe me, if you ate this, you wouldn’t be able to get out of bed because you’d be so weighed down.

In the same episode, he made a super-stuffed French toast and a big glass of parfait. Sure, the parfait was made of yogurt and whipped cream, but in terms of proper portions for a meal, it looked like it could feed a village in Africa.

In a time when obesity is a growing problem in our country, especially among our children, I find it sad that programs such as this gets on the air. This is the kind of eating habits that gets us in trouble.

As far as Aaron is concerned, I can see how he’s a likeable personality. He’s a lot more comfortable now than his first episode and I like how he gets his family involved as guests, like when he had his brother over for barbeque. And I’m sure his food does taste good, but was there no nutritionist working on the set?

It’s also sad that Aaron, being African-American, is not a better role model for his community in terms of how to eat healthy. African-Americans are at high risk for such chronic conditions as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. I wonder why? Maybe it was that platter of fried chicken or the potatoes au gratin cooked with a whole stick of butter?

I sometimes will indulge in cooking rich foods like lasagna or sweets like cupcakes, but this is just occasionally. (Regular readers of this blog probably know how I tend to avoid fried foods and rich foods like foie gras.)

Sure, the Food Network might say they have counter-programming that do promote healthy meals (like Ellie Krieger’s show). But those seem dwarfed by over-the-top shows like “Big Daddy’s.” For your waistlines, I encourage you to switch to another channel (or better yet, go for a walk) when shows like these come on the air.


TastyNewEngland said...

I've only caught this once and I, too, was horrified by that egg/bean/beef burrito thing, and I don't even consider myself that much of a conscientious eater. Talk about vile.

Anonymous said...

I hope you can go to this since I'll be out of town, but would love to read your report of it:
Provence in Berkeley by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant (I'm on their mailing list)

Chef Ben said...

I wish I can go to the Provence in Berkeley event. I saw the flier last year but didn't make it, but this year I'll be in Napa that day! I hope someone else goes and fills us in!