I think your view is narrow. Producing a very few shows that meet the expectations of a narrow audience can be accomplished with minimal impact on the entire network. A network that solely offers food shows must depend on a broad audience to survive. It would be of little consequence to offer a full roster of shows that appeal to only serious cooks and chefs, if the result puts them out of business because viewership doesn’t support the sponsors’ expectations.
Face it. The Food Network is not aimed at culinary professionals. It’s aimed at people who are looking to be entertained while learning how to cook something different for their family. When the FN first started, it entered into an unknown frontier of cable programming. I’m sure the management learned quickly what their mass audience wanted.
The bottom line is that a full fledged food-oriented network can only survive by offering shows that appeal to most of the people. Sure, they’ll make some mistakes and offer some shows that don’t work for their target market, but they’ll cancel those shows that don’t get the viewership.
Complain about FN if you must, but you’re whistling into the wind. Their offerings depend on ratings. Ratings drive revenues. Revenues support existence.