Image Alt

Pursuit of it All

Judges on the Food Network show "Chopped."

Food Competitions On TV … What’s With The Hair?


I spent most Tuesdays a few years ago watching the show MasterChef, where home chefs compete to become a Gordon Ramsey-dubbed “culinary master” for a large chunk of change, and a cookbook deal.

The show’s okay — interesting enough to hold my attention most nights, but not dynamic enough to keep me from flipping around during commercials … like one Tuesday in 2011 when the What Not To Wear season premiere aired at the same time. (You know how much we like What Not To Wear around here!)

Gordon Ramsey’s all about entertainment, simultaneously making us laugh, cringe, and nod our heads with his expressions and remarks to chefs and cooks who cross his food-focused reality TV path. It’s no wonder the show still airs (new season begins summer 2017)!

MasterChef on Fox with Gordon Ramsey

I do have a pet peeve, though.

And, it’s not just Masterchef, it’s with nearly all the cooking and food competitions on television, and especially those on Food Network.

What’s with the long hair? It’s flowing, it’s swinging around, it’s sweaty, and it’s absolutely NOT practical (nor comfortable) to be cooking in a fast-paced kitchen with those long locks flying all over the place.

All. Over. The. Place.

Quite frankly, I’m surprised Gordan doesn’t bash more cooks, like Brandi, for it … you know … because it’s kinda his style.

Anyway, it’s not just MasterChef. And it’s not just home cooks, either.

Chopped, which is near and dear to my heart, often has chefs—women and men—guilty of the same crime.

Although, I give the Chopped judges credit. Most of the time they do say something, and after a commercial break said chef’s hair is battened down, pulled back, harnessed by a hair band, or SOMETHING, to tame it.

After all this hair-angst, I feel like there’s a need bring up all the other food based programming like Giada at Entertains, Barefoot Contessa, and The Pioneer Woman.

I’m not as bothered by the hairstyles of personalities on these types of “sitcom” food shows for two reasons: 1) They’re not flailing around a kitchen, moving at a ridiculously fast pace; and 2) Aside from staged dinner parties, they’re not actively serving people (who are judging their food!!!) within minutes of making a dish.

But still. A ponytail wouldn’t hurt, folks.

Can we talk about dripping sweat next? Ew.

Liza is a self-proclaimed #wordnerd who loves getting sucked into whimsical novels and epic movies, frequently flying under the coolness radar with her laid-back, practical attitude towards life. A foodie at heart, Liza relishes the chance to both cook and eat. (She's not picky.) She’s on the hunt for the perfect mojito, inspiration for a third tattoo, and world peace. You can also find Liza sharpening her knives over at (a)Musing Foodie.

Comments (15)

  • I absolutely agree with you! Hair falling forward when someone is cooking or chefs sweating is, at the very least, unappetizing but more to the point, it’s unsanitary. I also can’t abide beards that aren’t covered. I’m so surprised that there isn’t more regulation.

    • Sherry Lynn Boyd

      It’s not just the long hair but the fact that the worst person is Rachel Ray she’s always running your fingers through her hair and then touching the food without gloves I don’t get it my mother would have had a fit and she been alive when all these cooking shows were on. You darn sure better not ever touch your hair while you’re in my mom’s kitchen and actually there’s a very few people my mother would even let being her kitchen and if you were messing with your hair you never got invited back it’s called good kitchen etiquette to be clean what good does it do to wear gloves if you’re still going to touch your hair with the gloves on does anybody have any ideas on that?

  • Linda Kurtis

    I think it’s absolutely horrible people cooking and baking with long hair and men with terribly big bushy beards. I wouldn’t eat or taste their food. Something really needs to be done about this. I for one have short hair and I take a pint roller all over me before I do any baking or cooking.
    This should not be allowed. I shudder Everytime I see this on TV.

    • Elizabeth

      I am appalled at the SWEAT dripping into the food, wear sweat bands!!!!!! And the long hair they run their fingers thru. My gosh, I would NEVER eat any of that served to me.

  • June Parker Beck

    Thank God! Someone else who cringes as they see the lady chefs whom I call (“Rapunzel’s Revenge”) and sweat dripping from the foreheads of male chefs! There seem to be some fetish for the gals to cover their breasts with these cascades of hair tumbling down in front of them. They also do it on “Say Yes to the Dress” – they put on this gorgeous ‘sweetheart neckline’ gown and then cover their chest with…..uh….with…stringy unattractive hair. Yes – a woman’s hair is supposed to be her “crowning glory” – but this is food for heaven’s sake – not a pretty girl pageant.

  • Abilene Gray

    Drives me crazy to see all that loose hair when cooking food on Chopped! Icky!!!

  • Deborah Ann Byrd

    I agree! I have long hair and before I cook, I go outside and brush my hair back and put it up and then shake myself free of all hair!

  • Linda

    Terrible,I’m watching Silvia colloca
    Cooking like an Italian, She is beautiful
    But her hair is so long & she keeps
    Touching it !
    Tie your back please ! I can’t watch it !

  • Sally

    I agree with the flying hair, sweat dripping off noses, touching or pushing back hair with a hand and continuing to cook with that hand, big sweating beards noses and foreheads. It gives a bad impression. How does it not gross out the judges? You would think FoodNetwork should set an example not give the impression all that is acceptable.

    • Joe

      Some women also ave fake finger nails, some extremely long and the wearing of finger rings too.

  • Pam

    I just googled “people touching their hair on cooking shows” and your AWESOME blog came up! WHYYYY isn’t this an issue or mentioned EVER? I’m currently watching Celeb Edition of Worst Cook’s in America. Between the touching of hair and wiping sweat, I wanna throw up. Who would eat from these people? Is this normal in kitchens? If so, I need to reevaluate my eating habits.

  • Diane McDonald

    Same thing on all the baking shows – it’s just wrong!!! How can their hair not turn up in the food?


Post a Comment