I always thought shows on the Food Network could be a lot better but I feel they've sadly become worse over the years. The newer Chef Vs. City is a great example of following the lame trend of contrived panic/frantic situations where there is absolutely no need for one. I know my favorite and original Ryori no Tetsujin (that still reigns supreme) may have influenced this but especially in the case of Dinner Impossible I just don't buy it. I've only warmed up to Iron Chef America a little recently, and it's only partly cause I like Alton Brown so much. I still don't think chairman Kaga needs to be such a corn cheeze ball of an Asian stereotype with his kung-fu/karate air chop (complete with sound effects) and exaggerated facial expressions. On a different note, Giada, I'd like to see more of your Cleavers and less of your Cleavage... And Semi-Homemade Cooking is just plain bad!
It's like the network is trying way too hard. In fact I found these videos of people just talking in front of a podium WAY more entertaining, haha (while I admit they are probably only for hardcore food geeks). I stumbled on these on the Culinary Historians of Southern California where one of their podcast links led me to their strikeout studio blip/tv channel.
I think this talk by Jonathan Gold was transcribed once somewhere online or in the papers, but it was interesting to see him speak about The Rise of Regional Cuisines in the San Gabriel Valley himself. (I wasn't able to find any information on when to lecture took place.)
Another on Clifton's Cafeteria that I've been wanting to go for some time now.
I'm guessing the food may be on par with our SD Chicken Pie Shop but with its historical significance, a definite must visit for me at least once. :)
Again, all videos done without a charismatic food network star so it's not for everyone. If you enjoyed these you can find many more food history related topics on the link provided earlier.