We are currently living in the “Golden Age of Television”—a space in time where TV is arguably one of the most celebrated forms of media given the undeniable spike in quality. And we don’t just mean the high-def, unnecessarily colossal screens that you may binge watch the latest season of ‘Orange is the New Black” on—we mean the quality of the stories themselves. If you are into epic fantasy, you have Game of Thrones. If you’re into a strong narrative, there’s Breaking Bad. If you dig period pieces, you have Mad Men (I will love you forever, Roger Sterling).
When Mad Men ended, I had no idea what to turn to. I needed something binge-worthy to fill the void. Quickly, I found myself back with an old flame; The Food Network. I rekindled a very familiar obsession with watching all those perky, quirky TV chefs cook and quip about tacos. I have strong emotional connections with each and every culinary star to grace Food Network.
For what I can only assume is the first time in the history of the internet, I am setting out to rank the hairstyles of some of my favorite foodie personalities. It is no simple feat but someone has to do it…and who better than a woman who aspires to live her life like Ina Garten?
Disclaimer: if any of you Food Network chefs read this, please know that I love all of you so much. This is all in good fun and I really don’t want to jeopardize a friendship with any of you. Please be my friend.
15. The Battle of the Bald: Michael Symon, Aaron McCargo Jr., and Simon Majumdar
I did not want to exclude some of my favorite bald fellas, past and present Food Network lineup, from the list. Each of their wonderful bald heads shine (ha) in their own way. And of course, I respect them all as chefs. However, there can only be one winner in the Battle of the Bald. I have to give it to Michael Symon, but only by a hair (ha).
14. Guy Fieri
This is perhaps my most controversial ranking. Many would argue that Guy deserves the #1 spot for Food Network hair. I have to disagree. With the amount of bleach that man must use, I worry that all his hair/spikes/prongs may fall off in the near future. Is he a gel Guy? A hairspray Guy? Does he use bacon grease from Tex Wasabi’s? I also don’t jive well with the sunglasses on the back of the head thing, though it does seem like the only place his Oakleys can safely rest. Either way, his hair has made enough of an impression on us as a society.
13. Anne Burrell
There was a point when Anne Burrell had the female equivalent to Guy Fieri hair…but she ranks higher because her cooking doesn’t seem like it would immediately send me into cardiac arrest. She’s also changed up her style in recent years to reflect something that’s kind of like a dollop of whipped cream in the best way possible.
12. Bobby Flay
This is not ginger discrimination but rather a question of ginger commitment: Bobby Flay, are you a redhead or are you not a redhead? Sometimes you seem like the freckle-faced, ginger, Irish New Yorker of my dreams and sometimes I’m really not sure. His hair color always seems a shade or two different every time I see him. Do you dye your hair, Bobby? If you do, that’s okay. I just want to know. I am 100% ready to embrace Silver Fox Flay if that is what’s going on here. If you can confirm this somehow, and then maybe ask me on a date, I will move your ranking up.
11. Geoffrey Zakarian
Speaking of silver foxes, here comes my boy GZ. Isn’t his hair such a vibrant shade of silver? Geoffrey (or his stylist) seems like he puts a lot of effort into his hair, which I respect. The man is well-coiffed and looks a whole lot like my next husband. The only reason I have ranked him at #11 is because we are not presently married.
10. Ted Allen
I fell in love with Ted on Queer Eye so he has to get a place on this list. Is there anything particularly incredible about his hair? No. It just always looks good and I trust Ted with my life. We have known each other (through the television) for over ten years now.
9. Mo Rocca
Mo Rocca is another TV personality who I knew and cherished long before he was dishing the good word about food. VH1’s I Love The 70s, 80s, and 90s introduced me to Mo and I have been a fan ever since. These days, Mo is combining some of my favorite things on his Cooking Channel show, Not My Grandmother’s Ravioli: tried & true family recipes, grandparents, and Mo’s gorgeous head of gray hair. It’s thick, it’s shiny; he looks good.
8. Ree Drummond
Ree, I’m unsure that you are actually a “Pioneer Woman” like you claim to be because your hair looks too good to be working on the farm all day. It’s so healthy and it always looks perfectly blown out. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that you had a team of professional stylists come in before each show…
7. Alex Guarnaschelli
Alex Guarnaschelli is one part budding comedian, one part huge Drake fan, and three thousand parts extremely talented chef. Her hair reflects her busy life and I just think she always looks cute as a button. In short: Alex, you have the hair of my future best friend. Let’s make that happen.
6. Marcela Valladolid
Marcela is often known to rock the cute high bun/slicked back ponytail look. It’s simple but chic. She seems to employ that same style in her cooking; Mexican dishes have never been so easy but looked so beautiful.
5. Nigella Lawson
Nigella is a cooking show OG. And with that OG territory comes some pretty fantastic hair. Nigella has this classic, girl-next-door look that makes her such a likable chef. Her food seems like something you can cook and her domestic goddess style seems easy enough to emulate. Plus, she’s 56 and looks fantastic!
4. Sunny Anderson
Sunny always has a fun new look going on and I really appreciate that. Sometimes she has the cutest coiled curls and sometimes she has a perfect blown out bob. Her hair reflects her bright, bubbly personality.
3. Giada De Laurentiis
Say what you want about Giada and her selective Italian pronunciations, but the woman always has great hair. Whether she has it tucked back while she’s chopping the fresh “mutzaaarelllll,” or rocking bouncy, beautiful curls on the red carpet— Giada really has it going on.
2. Debi Mazar
Debi may have a Hollywood past, which lends itself to great hair, but that does not disqualify her from the list. Extra Virgin makes my heart happy. I love her relationship with Gabriele, I love all the time they spend in Brooklyn, and I absolutely love her pinup-inspired hairstyles. Debi looks how I imagine I look when I’m cooking in my tiny Brooklyn kitchen. In reality, I’m more likely to rock a sloppy bun on top of my head than pin curls…but a girl can dream.
1. INA GODDAMN GARTEN
Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa—she is my moon, my sun, and all of my stars. Yes, her simple, consistent bob has earned her the number one spot. It’s not just her healthy hair that takes the cake (and also bakes the cake) but it’s the lifestyle that goes along with it. Ina is effortless Hamptons cool. She has a signature style and she sticks with it: perfectly straight bob, with or without front bangs, chambray shirt, and a group of talented gay friends who are always ready to help throw a party. In my humble opinion, the woman is iconic. Honestly, truly. In the words of Carly Simon, “nobody does it better.”
And baby, you’re the best.