Change The Channel, Please

Reality food TV may be a boon for networks, but what happens to local chefs
and restaurants after the cameras stop rolling? On this week’s Louisiana
Eats, we talk to people who have participated in food TV in its various
forms, with varying results.

We begin with Helen Freund, restaurant critic and dining editor at Gambit.
Earlier this year, she wrote a front-page article about the positive and
negative effects food TV hosts like Gordon Ramsey and Guy Fieri have had on
local restaurants. Helen fills us in on what she uncovered.

Then, we hear from Ragnar Karlsson, whose restaurant, the Trolley Stop
Cafe, was featured in the season premiere of “Gordon Ramsey’s 24 Hours to
Hell and Back.” Ragnar’s plan was to give his family restaurant a much
needed boost, but was it worth it? He explains how excruciating the
experience could be and explains how unreal reality TV can be.

Finally, Chef Isaac Toups joins us. From his rise to fame on Top Chef to
his new series for the Food Network, food TV has been very good to Isaac.
Louisiana Eats had the great fortune of chronicling his experiences before,
during, and a year after his Top Chef debut. Isaac tells us all about his
celebrity transition.

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