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The Galloping Gourmet [Moved from General Topics]

I learned a lot from him including the basics of cooking-anyone else remember the show??

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  1. Loved it. I used to watch it with pleasure and fascination before the concept of 'chowhound' or 'foodie' crossed my young mind. He made the process so joyful and fun.

    (He's ramped back a lot in the past few decades, discovering his own alcoholism and adjusting for his wife's heart disease.)

    1. He was the impetus for me to cook and learn about food.

      I had reconstructive surgery on my knee after frshman year in college. In a toe to hip cast for 16 weeks and watched him every day during the summer of '75. Stood on crutches in front of the stove and cooked away.

      I still have my original set of spurtles.

      1. he would always take 'a short slurp' of wine. I was sorry to read that it became a problem. He also would make the ladies laugh by saying "First you take a leek-- "

        1. There's some good stuff on Graham Kerr, and how he got no respect from the food establishment at the time, in David Kamp's recent book "The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation."

          3 Replies
          1. re: Bill on Capitol Hill

            I was fascinated by the background on Kerr and others. Being born in the early 60s I wasn't there for the initial revolution. This book rocks!

            1. re: ciaogina

              I was born in the early 60s too, but I remember watching the GG with my grandmother...

              1. re: prunefeet

                I was born in the early 60s and watched "Galloping Gourmet" religiously. It aired 1969-1971.

          2. He was fun to watch, so animated in the kitchen.
            I wasn't aware of his personal life but the "Galloping Gourmet" definately gave home cooks confidence to create kitchen magic back in the day!

            1. His show was on at 4:00 weekdays on CBC in Montreal. I watched it every day after school. I guess this was in my late elementary school and high school years in the late 60's/early-to-mid 70's. It took me ages until I understood what "clarified butter" was; he used it in everything!

              1. Yes! he was a pioneer back when i was in high school and the only other chef on TV - PBS - was Julia. I remember thinking he was an alkie (I could tell all the signs from my father). But HE was funny. Which is more than I could say for my dad. Then, oddly enough, or predictably enough, he (Graham Kerr, not my dad) went through a born again Christian metamortphosis. His cooking style also went through a bizarre turn around. At first, during the alkie stage, he was drenching everything in butter and cream, then after he got religion it was all low cal and self denial type recipes. VERY INTERESTING....

                3 Replies
                1. re: niki rothman

                  Niki you hit the nail (in his career's coffin) right on the head.
                  He was a kick to watch way back when. I forgot all about his religious rebirth and never connected it with his low-fat philosophy-until now. Duh! Thanks for the rehash.

                  1. re: kelvin8r

                    Well, he nearly lost his wife to heart disease too, so changed his high-fat habits...

                    1. re: rcallner

                      Oh sure, go ahead and throw that fly right in the ointment!
                      I favor the religious refomation connection. There's nothing more fervent than a reformed abuser. And I've got the ex-junkie aquaintances to prove it! Take away the vice and they become a real handful!
                      Anyway, it's not as if his wife was eating leftovers from the original show or anything. And although the GG show was like back in the dark ages, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that not only does hi-fat food cause heart disease, even worse-it makes you pack on the pounds. Never safe for a celebrity spouse.
                      Don't go blaming the food when it's the forks fault!

                2. calm down folks, the man is only human-yes he got sloshed but today it seems getting sloshed makes you a media star-

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: marlie202

                    He was very witty, and at the time he was drinking wine and cooking too, it was very acceptable. Drinking and smoking were all over the TV shows then. I used to watch Johnny Carson and his guests drink and smoke back then too, and thought the same, just funny stuff on TV.

                    1. re: marlie202

                      You sure he was human? He drank like a fish!

                      But he was a great drunk and an extremely entertaing educator. Does anyone know what he's been up to recently?

                      1. re: kelvin8r

                        Funny you should ask. I spent an afternoon with him recently and wrote a column about it for The Charlotte (NC) Observer.
                        He and his wife, Trina, are touring the country in a luxury RV, staying in KOAs and preaching healthful food habits to people they meet in the campgrounds.
                        He's as elegant and erudite as ever, and has an idea for a new version of a meal-assembly business that would allow people to tailor their meals for their health needs, such as diabetes. His idea is that for every X number of franchises sold, they'd open one in a low-income neighborhood. He's also pushing a set of videos on cooking for health issues, and he's hot on the idea that we need to take a stand against food marketing that tries to convince us we need to buy more than we really need.
                        It was an interesting afternoon. They're both charming and almost childlike in their devotion to one another and to the idea of spreading healthful messages. He hates his old Galloping Gourmet image of excess and gets very funny whenever the subject comes up.

                        1. re: kathleen purvis

                          Thanks for your interesting observations, Kathleen.
                          Great to hear he's still up and galloping, albeit at a slower pace.
                          KOA's! Talk about narrow-casting!
                          He still sounds like a class act though!

                          1. re: kelvin8r

                            I WANT my tv cooks to rage like pirates, drinking and carousing all over the place...

                            I'm sick of healthy celebrities, let's bring back and era of men who are men and women who are women...

                            I want 'em drunk and eating large quantities of fat!

                            1. re: therealbigtasty

                              Then let's hope Batali gets more airtime. "Heat" could be a great TV series.

                              1. re: orezscu

                                It would never happen--too good of an idea!

                                1. re: therealbigtasty

                                  Batali has nuttin to do with the Galloping Gourmet

                      1. When I was in first and second grades, there was a big TV set in the lunchroom of my local public elementary school in New York. The Galloping Gourmet came on during our lunchtime, and believe me, he had many fans among the kids and food-service workers at my school. I enjoyed his show because he was entertaining and the show was exciting. What's more fun for a kid than someone who loves to set fire to his food?

                        1. I used to pretend to be sick so I could stay home and watch The Galloping Gourmet. I loved him. All that eye rolling when he tasted these incredibly heavy, caloric dishes. He was such fun to watch. Other kids had their favorite Beatle. I had Graham.

                          1. One thing Graham taught me, and it's connected to his low-fat-for-the-wife change:cooking with love. He insisted you didn't cook seperately for the "dieting" family members, because that's not how a family should eat, that you tasted everything and fed the best to those you love.

                            1. I watched The Galloping Gourmet when I was a kid. It is the show that sparked my inner-houndiness.

                              He was funny also.

                              1. I've often thought that Rachel Ray might be his illicet daughter...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Glassman

                                  How could you suggest such a thing? Kerr is all class, Ray is all crass.

                                2. Didn't anyone see his more recent show? The heart healthy one? Sounds dull, but hey, it's still Graham Kerr. I can't remember the name of it, but it was still very entertaining and he had lots of good ideas for cutting out fat. I don't know when it went off the air, but I watched it around 1996 I think...

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: prunefeet

                                    I used to watch that show (and The Galloping Gourmet, when I was a tyke), and I loved it. I don't know what it was called either, but it was based on a concept he dubbed "minimax," as in minimum of bad stuff (e.g., fat), maximum flavor. The recipes seemed fabulous.

                                  2. There was recently a fascinating documentary series on BBC4 called "The Way We Cooked". In episode two of the series, it covered Graham Kerr, from his beginnings to current day.

                                    You can find the show on some P2P sites.

                                    1. In Graham Kerr's "minimax" cooking show he showed an original full fat recipe and remade it with the "minimax" version and compared the two ie.cholesterol,fat,calories,etc.