July 22, 2013
George's Loss, Lifetime's Gain
By Michael Grebb
If you're trying to get the media and foodies pay attention to yet another food competition show, it's best to pick a host who breaks up with George Clooney right before the premiere. Stacy Keibler, who hosts Lifetime's "Supermarket Superstar" reality show that bows tonight, was able to work through her heartbreak long enough to attend a Culver City food tasting to promote the show last week—one that was crawling with bloggers and camera crews from the likes of E!
Makes you wonder, though: Could the net have employed secret operatives and spies to sabotage Keibler's relationship with Clooney months ago as part of a devious plan hatched by the PR department? (Remember, this is the "Devious Maids" network). Uh, no. But it's an awesome conspiracy theory.
In the meantime, let's talk about the show, which pits several groups of food entrepreneurs against each other in various categories. Each ep follows 3 home chefs pitching a product suitable for the grocery store aisles ( Debbi Fields of Mrs. Fields Cookies and branding expert Chris Cornyn serve as mentors)—sort of "Chopped" meets "Shark Tank." The judge is Tom Dahlen, the supermarket buyer for national chain A&P. Yes, it's called brand integration folks.
The Mon event in L.A. brought out several contestants, all of whom were sworn to secrecy about who won which episodes. But it wasn't a total loss: I did eat a homemade "energy bar" made of mashed up crickets. It wasn't bad. At another station, food truck owner Don Chow treated to me to some pretty righteous tamales born out of Chinese-Mexican fusion. Many attendees were food bloggers, who after all are key allies when launching a food show in such a competitive space. In the end, viewers will decide. But will George be watching?