Meet Troy Johnson, Host of Crave

by in Food Network Chef, August 29th, 2011

troy johnson crave
I nearly gave up on writing a few years ago. Mostly because my apartment smelled like a lot of things, none of which were money. And I don’t need a fancy car that has massaging seats and offers life advice while parallel parking itself. But my retirement “nest egg” consisted of a few surfboards, quality cookware and a wall of weird indie-rock CDs.

I’d done reasonably well as a music journalist, hosting a TV show and writing for rock magazines. I published a book that was supposed to sell millions and lead to much laughing and crying on Oprah’s furniture. She must have lost my phone number.

I needed to make a change.

So I took a job at a magazine writing about food. I was hesitant at first. But then food and I fell hard for each other.

Four years later, I was in deep. That’s when I saw a blog post: “Host wanted for new TV show on Food Network.”

So I made a tape — seven minutes of me waxing about my life with food. I explained how I was raised in the walk-in refrigerator of a three-star Michelin restaurant in the south of France and was raised by Wolfgang Puck.

Then I admitted that might be a lie. I was raised by a woman in suburbia whose greatest culinary “skill” was owning a microwave.

Food Network called. They wondered if I might want to re-create that tape in a television series. We did. It’s called Crave. Do I think it’s the best thing since that video of the Afro Ninja on YouTube? Why yes, yes I do.

What is it? A series of unauthorized biographies of our favorite foods. We’ll cover the history (who knew bacon grease helped defeat the Nazis?), science (what really happens when you deep-fry something?), culture and the major moments that turned simple foods into perennial starts of the food system.

For each episode, I loitered in libraries. I deep-Googled and called experts. I traveled to the nether regions of the U.S. to pester various gurus, and I came away with answers — tons of ‘em. Things I never even considered about the foods we eat every single day.

It was one killer road trip. OK, that’s a lie. Actually, it was nine killer road trips.

Premieres: Monday, August 29 at 8:30 p.m. Eastern/ 7:30 p.m. Central

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Comments (165)

  1. Mariah says:

    One of the best shows ever… Troy is hilarious.. My 12 yr old daughter n I find it to be our mother daughter tv time…awsome

    • Mark endive says:

      I just watched an episide of Crave on hamburgers. It was great to see the places the show went to. One thing ruined it though. The host. Dont get me wrong he seems like a nice enough dude, but if you looked up douche in the dictionary it would say “watch crave.” im not a mean spirited person and i admit im envious of this mans job…but the person who hired this guy needs to get shit canned. The show was painful to watch…mostly because i dont think the host is as big of a tool As production makes him…but i could be dead wrong about that

  2. Miss Demeanor says:

    Man-oh-man, this show is great! I can't believe I didn't give it a glance much, much earlier – especially since I am a frequent Food Channel viewer. Troy Johnson is exceptionally entertaining and hilarious. While the program is about food, I wouldn't be surprised to see it on another channel – it is that entertaining. I'm setting my DVR to record whenever and wherever it airs.

  3. Miss Demeanor says:

    Craved Cancelled?!?!!!

    Perhaps the Comedy Channel will pick up Troy Johnson's Crave, or the Travel Channel, or TLC, Lifetime, MTV… I only hope it doesn't get picked up by HBO or Showtime because I only have basic cable. Right now, I'll guess I'll try to record all of FN's Crave re-runs before Crave on Food Network is no more.

    I would happily purchase a DVD of FN's Crave first [and unfortunately only] season. I would also happily purchase a DVD of independently-produced Troy Johnson's Crave episodes. Think about that one, Troy: find some folks who will front production costs of more-give-me-more Crave episodes and then shop that sucker. Then your fortunes will not be controlled by myopic Food Network programmers (yet another competitive cooking show, yet another competitive cooking show, yet another competitive cooking show, yet another competitive cooking show…)

    There have to be some independent producers out there with an understanding of commercial success potential. Yes, Virginia, Crave is truly that good.

  4. David says:

    How dare you not mention Alabama or Georgia on BBQ. Hello, ever heard of Chris Lilly or Myron Nixon? No wonder it was canceled

  5. Ed Kay says:

    Great show, please bring it back. I don't agree with everything you say, however your show is very entertaining.

  6. danielle says:

    sorry i know you have been cancelled for some dumb reason but PIZZA PIPELINE Richland, WA it is amazing pizza.

  7. Good morning Troy, we are a new salsa company out of San Antonio Texas and would like to send you some samples of our salsa. Where can we send them so you would get them?

  8. Free resources, coaching and consulting on lease options and hire to buys

  9. Hai..greating..your style writing its verry good, full of info, i like all about your web, please visit my blog , thanks.. Toko bunga medan ..

  10. Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? With thanks

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