Kelsi Matwick and Keri Matwick's book Food Discourse of Celebrity Chefs of Food Network (Palgrave MacMillan, 2019) explores a fascinating, yet virtually unexplored research area: the language of food used on television cooking shows. It shows how the discourse of television cooking shows on the American television channel Food Network conveys a pseudo-relationship between the celebrity chef host and viewers. Excerpts are drawn from a variety of cooking show genres (how-to, travel, reality, talk, competition), providing the data for this qualitative investigation. Richly interdisciplinary, the study draws upon discourse analysis, narrative, social semiotics, and media communication in order to analyze four key linguistic features – recipe telling, storytelling, evaluations, and humor – in connection with the themes of performance, authenticity, and expertise, essential components in the making of celebrity chefs. Given its scope, the book will be of interest to scholars of linguistics, media communication, and American popular culture. Further, in light of the international reach and influence of American television and celebrity chefs, it has a global appeal.
Carrie Helms Tippen is Associate Professor of English and Assistant Dean of the School of Arts, Science, and Business at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she teaches courses in American Literature.