International Chef’s Day and the Diversifying Demographic of Food TV

Cooking is becoming very popular, both as a hobby turned as a professional endeavor. It has always been popular among some demographics, but with all of the modern cooking shows on television, it has become more mainstream than ever before. There are some people would never have been interested in cooking otherwise who are becoming cooking enthusiasts now.

Partially because of this rise in popularity of cooking shows, more people are interested in buying grizzly cookware, a boutique pan, and more. This is why the ads that are labeled “buy pan online” are becoming more popular and receiving more traffic than ever before. You might see ads that are labeled “ceramic pan buy online,” for example. You can not only by a ceramic pan, but you can also buy ceramic skillet plates if you are interested in doing so. In fact, whatever cookware you are interested in, you will probably be able to find it if you are willing to look hard enough. There are many different kinds available, and different types are going to appeal to different people, as different people have different tastes when it comes to any sort of product that happens to be on the market.

Americans are starting to become much more aware of Hispanic food and all that it entails. Foods that originated in Latin America are very popular, thanks to Hispanic cooking shows and other platforms that have popularized cooking a variety of different foods. Interested home cooks can learn more about traditional Mexican food by following Mexican chefs online and on TV. They cook both Hispanic foods popular in the US and foods that aren’t as well known in this country.

Watching these chefs cook can make home cooks interested in trying it for themselves. Hispanic food distribution is very widespread in the United States, though some areas have more options than others. So thanks to this exposure, they can feel more comfortable cooking it at home. This will, in turn, inspire more cooks to incorporate traditional Mexican foods and other dishes from Latin America into their cooking routine. If this continues, it will provide platforms with even more incentive to diversify their cooking show offerings. This will bring in even more chefs from even more backgrounds and begin the whole cycle over again.

Every October 20, foodies, home cooks, and professional chefs across the world celebrate International Chef’s Day. As the name implies, the day is meant to celebrate the greatest of our culinary gurus. This year, the day itself was met with the same amount of enthusiasm and vigor, but the demographic of those being celebrated is much different than in the past.

The shift in International Chef’s Day can be directly tied to the rise of food television. Take Food Network, for example: the food-centered channel generates 34% of its parent company’s $2.4 billion annual revenue. In the past, chefs like Mario Batali, Alton Brown, and even the vitriolic Anthony Bourdain led the charge and pulled in the majority of Food Network’s income. Now, popular Latino chefs are increasingly bumping up the company’s revenue. Subsequently, from Aarón Sanchez to Ingrid Hoffman, more and more of the faces celebrated on International Chef’s Day are Hispanic.

How Representation Has Changed in the Last Five Years

If you were to watch the Food Network 10 or even just five years ago, you’d see a markedly different landscape. Anthony Bourdain’s ill-fated “A Cook’s Tour” for the Food Network, for instance, featured Latinos in stereotypical, low-paying positions as fry and line cooks in his kitchen in New York. Recently invigorated interest in classic Hispanic foods, like the near ancient enchilada, which was invented under Mayan rule in Mexico, has helped reshape the overwhelmingly Caucasian food TV industry. Today, Aarón Sanchez helps lead the popular Cooking Channel competition show “Chopped.” Chef Ingrid Hoffman headlines “Simply Delicioso” for Food Network, and the Spanish-language show “Delicioso” for Univision.

Art Imitates Life

Luckily, the increased visibility of accomplished Latino chefs isn’t reserved for the small screen. From Miami Beach to Venice Beach, Hispanic chefs — female ones in particular — are making a big splash. The increased popularity of these chefs and their world class eats has been so stark that Huffington Post once likened many Latina chefs, like the aforementioned Ingrid Hoffman, to Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez, comparing what the culinary gurus are doing for food to what the pop idols did for Latinos in popular music.

None of this should be taken to mean that the issues of representation have been solved, whether in the realms of professional and celebrity cooking or elsewhere, but they certainly mark a step in the right direction for the community.

Who are some of your favorite Latino celebrity chefs, and which of their recipes do you like best? Let us know in the comment section below.


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