‘The Kitchen’: Food Network Fans Love Watching Their Favorite Chefs Cooking at Home

A lot of things have changed since COVID-19 came to America. And while adjusting to those changes has been stressful at times, it’s also brought some unexpected gifts.

For fans of the Food Network, the change in their programming is one of those gifts. New and seasoned home cooks alike are enjoying seeing their favorite chefs in the same place they are: the home kitchen.

People are cooking more while stuck at home

Ree Drummond
Ree Drummond | Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

When the quarantine shut down businesses and sent people to shelter at home it was a shock in many ways. People had to adjust to working from home, missing their friends, and not eating out anymore. Pretty soon, though, people discovered that one activity could help with two problems they were facing.

Making delicious food from scratch was not only a great replacement for the restaurant meals they were missing, but it also helped them work through the anxiety they were feeling. 

People’s social media feeds started to fill up with pictures of the sourdough bread, casseroles, cookies, stews, and pasta dishes they were churning out. All over the country, amateur cooks and bakers rediscovered the joys of the home kitchen. 

And as it turns out, professional television chefs were too. 

Food Network stars went to their own kitchens

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Many television shows had to scramble to figure out what to do for programming when the shut-down interrupted taping schedules. While many shows were left with no choice but to air re-runs, the Food Network was able to adapt to the moment.

The network had numerous shows that had already been recorded, but they also pivoted to programming they could film during the quarantine. They showed their stars, doing what they do at home, in their own kitchens. 

With all the people suddenly learning to cook, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to reach the viewers where they were. The stars came up with recipes to meet the needs of cooks who were stuck at home, like Ina Garten’s giant cosmopolitan.

And it worked; April brought the network its highest ratings in seven years. They’d not only found a way to safely continue producing shows, but they’d hit on something the viewers loved. 

Fans love the change

Viewers took to Reddit to discuss the change in programming, and the consensus was that it was refreshing.  “I have to say I love the Kitchen episodes they film at home,” one fan said. “I think theyve done an amazing job keeping the show moving along. You can really see what a skill it is to cook and talk to the home audience.”

Another commenter mentioned how much it humanized the stars, saying they were “actually quite enjoying most of the “stay at home” filming on all shows. I feel like it’s a lot more personal. It definitely helps me remember that these people/celebrities we look up to are actually just like us at home.”

Many parents are coping with having their children at home all the time, and people enjoyed watching the star chefs bring their kids into the kitchen too. “I like that their kids are involved in the kitchen without it being a competition,” one person said. 

“I’ve been enjoying The Pioneer Woman as well, she seems to enjoy having the kids around as well and seems so authentic these days,” another agreed. “I dunno it’s like take your kids to work day in the best possible way.”

While many of the changes people are going through in the era of COVID-19 are hard to take, Food Network fans have discovered a whole new appreciation for their favorite stars. Watching them adjust to working from home reminds them that we’re all in this together – so we might as well make something delicious to eat.