August 15, 2010 by Post Team
Cooking Channel, passing and 50 to 100 a month in a memorable meal and a great bottle of wine that most 200 channels of garbage naive. I’ve had cable television in the past, and in fact, at one point recently, my local cable company inadvertently connected to basic cable home to install my Internet service. Within a very short time I became addicted to The Food Network, The Travel Channel and Bravo. I remain of the view that it was a ploy to reel me in, only to snatch realizing his “mistake,” hoping that I was completely and hopelessly addicted and then break and pay astronomical fees to get my fix . I did not budge, though it was heartbreaking for a while to hear my colleagues discussing the latest episode of Top Chef knowing that I probably never will.
I eventually recovered, with the help of the digital revolution and the converter box now standard. Rabbit ears with the ear pointing proudly to the sky now are 8 different PBS stations. You see, I mean the original PBS Food Network. I grew up on PBS in the years before cable television existed. In the midst of Sesame Street and the electric company, I remember watching the culinary icon Julia Child, Jacques Pepin and Steven Yan create exotic dishes with ingredients from my taste Midwestern youth had never heard of, much less proven. Now my appreciation for chefs and their shows is ten times.
Locally, Sunday afternoons are the best time to catch the cooking shows but see the PBS website for complete listings. These are some of my favorites:
Test Kitchen U.S., similar in format Alton Brown eats good, is organized by Illustrated editor Christopher Kimball Chief Cook. The chefs deconstruct everyday dishes such as fried chicken and lemon pie and rework the recipes, demonstrating techniques for the home cook can avoid pitfalls and common mistakes. Also the review of food products and cooking equipment without bias, since they are not sponsored enterprises.
Italy is hosted by Lydia Lydia Bastianich, the matriarch of Italian cooking. You will never crave more fresh pasta while watching your program. On a side note, his son, Joe Bastianich, a restaurateur and wine expert, is a judge in the latest Gordon Ramsey amateur cooking contest, MasterChef, the Fox Network
Steven Raichlen Barbecue University teaches us to respect and properly cook the meat on an open fire (and Bobby Flay puts to shame, in my humble opinion).
are the world-renowned chef Rick Bayless “Mexico: One plate at a time highlights dishes from all regions of Mexico, along with some interesting food history.
Charismatic chef José Andrés, the introducer of the covers to mainstream America and arguably the “king of Spanish cuisine, the hosts Made in Spain.
The author and former New York Times food critic, Ruth Reichl, is co-producer of Gourmet magazine Journal of a good table and the host of Gourmet Adventures of Ruth. Both programs are similar to Anthony Bourdain No Reservations on the Travel Channel, as Ruth wanders the world looking for epicurean delights from all cultures.
Spain – On The Road Again includes former chef and Food Network is orange Crocs Mario Batali, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols. I have mixed feelings about this program – while featuring the cuisine of Spain in all its finery, claims of the guests is palpable. It’s fascinating, educate and infuriating all at once, as I know most likely never have the privilege of taking a thorough culinary tour of any country in Europe or elsewhere, and this is rubbed on the apology envious face Batali and business. It irks me that Gwyneth Paltrow is even invited along, as she is vegetarian. I have an almost irresistible impulse to reach through my TV screen and smack as she turns her nose up elitist in a full plate of Iberian ham and sardines-direct-ship, grilled and sprinkled with salt sea.
The funniest cooking show on PBS and unusual I’ve seen is the New Scandinavian Cuisine. Covering Norway, Finland and Denmark, the chef hosts are native to the frozen landscapes, using all locally sourced ingredients, and usually cooked outside in the snow in the heat improvised. Of course, most of us are not whipping up a batch of moose stew with root vegetables any time soon, but seeing these Nordic chefs cooking over an open flame at temperatures below freezing in some way makes it look so good.
These are just some of the entertaining and informative cooking shows aired on PBS. Explore your local PBS station, and after viewing, if you feel compelled to cancel your subscription to cable television, be sure to invest their savings wisely. Buy some rabbit ears heard right, donate to PBS, and then buy some Iberian ham, Oaxaca cheese and some blueberries and let your eyes and palate to travel around the world.
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