Photography by Ryan Pfluger at Food Network HQ, New York, on September 3, 2015. Styling by Alison Malter. Hair by Robert Mefford. Makeup by Talia Sparrow.
With Brooke Johnson at its helm, Food Network has become one of the country’s most widely distributed ad-supported cable networks (as of February, it was available to more than 80% of U.S. households). Its slate of hit shows like Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen, and Iron Chef America has netted it 30 Emmys (and more than 100 nominations), and its successful spinoffs include Cooking Channel, Food Network Magazine, and a product line with Kohl’s. All of this has made home kitchens more experimental than ever, but for Johnson (who’ll retire at the end of December but remain a consultant throughout 2016), being an openly gay business leader has been paramount. “Standing loud and proud remains critical,” she says, “and is something that will have a positive outcome for generations to come.”