The Food Network Is Airing a “Sexiest Chef” Special for Some Reason

published Sep 12, 2018
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Well, you can’t say that People magazine doesn’t give the people what … no one asked for. The celebrity mag has announced that it is teaming up with the Food Network to produce a one-hour special called “Sexiest Chef Alive.” Apparently its target audience is the sliver of overlap in the Venn diagram of “the five or six people who enjoy People magazine’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ issue” and “the five or six people who fetishize this particular occupation.”

“We are thrilled to work with People on this new collaboration, which celebrates chefs and the exciting world of food,” Allison Page, the president of Food Network and HGTV, tells Variety. “Viewers will get an up close and personal glimpse at each of the extraordinarily talented chefs, along with their personal stories and culinary styles, culminating with the reveal of this year’s ‘Sexiest Chef.'”

Okay, but no, this doesn’t celebrate chefs. It ickily objectifies 10 men (yes, the participants are all men) who work as chefs and who also have the kind of abs you could grate cheese on. This also has very little to do with “the exciting world of food,” other than the fact that these dudes presumably handle food — or can recognize food, or have eaten food — on the reg. (Our friends at The Takeout have called the program “the dumbest idea alive special.”)

A list and photographs of “The Sexiest Chefs in America” have previously been included in the annual “Sexiest Man Alive” issue (In 2017, the editors selected Blake Shelton as said Sexiest Man, after what we can only assume was a clerical error that made them think that Idris Elba had vanished from this earth). Some of last year’s Sexiest Chef honorees include “bright blue-eyed stud” Ryan Prentiss from Detroit’s Prime + Proper, “sexy Southern” Sam Talbot from Brooklyn’s Pretty Southern, and the “stunningly handsome” Val Cantu, the owner of the Michelin-starred Californios in San Francisco.

The special will air November 1. Tell us what happened — or nah, don’t.