Sign in to comment!

Celebrity Chefs

Fabio Viviani: Americans can't get their fill of food competition shows

The cancellation of "American Idol" after 13 years has many critics wondering if the appetite for competition shows is waning -- but "Top Chef" alum Fabio Viviani says food shows are here to stay.

Viviani, who competed on the cooking competition show's fifth season, talked to FoxNews.com about the impact of cooking shows in America.

"I think food shows in general have broadened the horizon of people's understanding of food. And now everyone's a critic, which is not a good thing," Viviani joked. 

Viviani said shows like "Top Chef" and "MasterChef" have made chefs more approachable, which is good for business.

For example, the Food Network earned $217.3 million in the first-quarter of 2015 for parent company Scripps Networks Interactive. This compares to fourth-quarter earnings of $178 million just five years ago. 

But as a 2013 study of Food Network’s evolution from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee points out, The Food Network, which began with programming that focused on the dishes themselves, has evolved into a series of reality shows focused on the break down of contestants and the drama inside the kitchen. Other shows, like Fox's "MasterChef"and "Hell's Kitchen" have followed suit.

But Viviani says that there's an upside to this. 

"I think a time when the chef is stuck back in the kitchen as a cranky kind of guy, all sweaty with the stained shirt, that's long gone," Viviani said. "Now chefs are like public figures."

Watch Fabio talk "Top Chef," his role as judge for Bertolli's 150th Anniversary recipe contest, and his summer grilling recipes in the video above.

Click here for Fabio's recipe for Italian Grilled Corn

Click here for Fabio's recipe for Grilled Pizza with Prosciutto