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
1. Emeril Lagasse was livid when the network canceled his show.
As a consolation, he was offered a slot on Iron Chef. ”How about Platinum Chef?” he snapped. ”Have you thought of that?”
2. Martha Stewart didn’t hide her disdain for the network, even when it bought the rights to some of her old shows — and the feeling was mutual.
After the deal was signed, network president Eric Ober told his lawyer, ”The only other thing I want in this agreement is I don’t ever want to have to see that woman again for the life of the contract.”
3. Paula Deen thought she had a lot in common with Julia Child.
”I think our style of cooking’s a lot alike. She didn’t hold back on the seasoning, she didn’t apologize for the butter. She didn’t apologize for the cream. She did not apologize.”
4. Rachael Ray almost walked out of her first interview.
”You’re champagne, I’m beer out of the bottle. I clearly don’t belong here, I’m not a chef. You’ve been duped,” she told network brass.
5. Mario Batali may have been a household name, but the Food Network didn’t always like what he was cooking.
Right before Batali filmed a Mario Eats Italy episode on tripe stew — which is made with cow’s stomach — the show’s producer received a call from a network exec who wanted to scrap the segment: ”It’s disgusting.”