Do you feel as if you’ve come to the end of television, and there’s nothing else to see? Do the cooking shows on TV get you down? Here are some of the most noteworthy shows throughout cooking show history to give you a more inspired take on TV cooking.
1) Julia Child – The grand dame of cooking show hosts and the author of the timeless classic The Art of French Cooking, Julia Child attributed her long and successful career in the kitchen to her love of eating good food. A delicious meal of oysters, sole meuniere, and fine wine in Paris sparked her passion for French cuisine, and this in turn led to her attendance in the cooking school Le Cordon Bleu. She later joined the cooking club Cercles des Gourmettes, and with three friends, decided to make French cooking more accessible to American audiences. Thus, her TV show The French Chef came to be. With her cooking expertise and her indomitable cheerfulness, cooking shows were never to be the same again.
2) Stephen Yan – Best known for his punny “wok” aprons, Cantonese accent, and quick charismatic wit, Stephen Yan has entertained and taught audiences in the 80’s on his show Wok with Yan. With his creative approach and disarming humor, Mr. Yan made cooking Chinese mainstays such as Beef with Broccoli, Chicken Chow Mein, and other dishes easier for families everywhere. His quick tips on decorative vegetable and fruit cutting are also vignettes that are not to be missed.
3) Alton Brown – If you want your Cooking with a generous helping of Science, Alton Brown’s Good Eats is just the show for you. Brown not only explains the steps to create the featured dish of the day, but also focuses on the scientific goings-on of the cooking process and couches it in fun and easy-to-understand terms. Alton Brown is also not afraid to let his silliness and humor shine through, and this makes watching the show all the more worth it.
4) Nigella Lawson – Nigella makes cooking sexy again. Dubbed the “Queen of Food Porn”, Miss Lawson’s enthusiasm shows in her explanations of the cooking steps. The way she explains the steps to each dish is seductive as it is sincere in its love. Her recipes in her TV show Nigella Express are also notable for their speedy short-cuts that yield surprising, delicious results.
5) Mario Batali – He regards orange crocs and shorts to be appropriate working attire in the kitchen, and who can blame him? Mario Batali whips up sumptuous Italian dishes that focus on the delectable purity and simplicity of its ingredients. In his show, Molto Mario, he regales guests not just with hot off the stove samplings of his creations, but also educational tidbits on the origins of and stories of each dish.
While not trying her hand at fusing Mexican and Italian cuisine, Julienne loves to watch cooking and travel shows via her Direct2TV service.