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Notable names in cooking show history?

I have limited knowledge of cooking shows. When I first started paying attention, it was Jacques Pepin (sometimes paired with Julia Child - I guess they were reruns) and The original Iron Chef.

Many of the currently available shows seem unwatchable.

What are the names, major or minor, that shaped, for better or for worse, the current crop of TV shows before the genre's popularity exploded?

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  1. I remember my mother watching Chef Tell and the Galloping Gourmet along with Julia.

    I began watching when Jeff Smith, the Frugal Gourmet, was hitting his stride. In my mind, THAT was when the genre's popularity exploded.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Carrie 218

      Jeff Smith was definitely the one that brought me in. The first cookbook I bought was his Three Ancient Cuisines cookbook.

      1. re: Carrie 218

        Chef Tell was the greatest. And I love the Swedish chef

        1. re: Carrie 218

          I miss that crazy old pervert.

          I hated his show at first, but I was looking for a cookbook in a store with a limited supply, so I bought The Frugal Gourmet. I learned so much about food from that cheap little unillustrated paperback. I also saw just how passionate that man was about his food. I liked him a lot better on TV afterthat.

        2. Graham Kerr was a pioneer. I also remember seeing Craig Clairborne (sp?) on talk shows. Of course Julia was the creme de la creme.

          9 Replies
          1. re: bryan

            Julia wasn't exactly known for her cooking talent, was she. You have to give her a huge credit for influencing so many people, of course. I am curious about the truly talented invisible ones that never made it.

            1. re: grocerytrekker

              Julia Child not known for her cooking talent? You have to be very young (well, to me anyway). Julia Child was the very first cooking show carried nationaly on PBS in the 1960s. All others came AFTER her. And yes, she could cook. It wasn't until her later years when it was probably too fatigueing to do all of the lifting and work required that she did shows in which she was the host and others cooked. Before Julia Child, there were only cookbooks.

              1. re: Caroline1

                I recently took out some videos of shows of Julia Child in black & white shown on PBS in the 1960's from my local library. She really was quite a character. And with a lot of energy beating a pound of butter to "soften it". And her comments were delightful. I then took out an anniversary edition of her first cookbook and also the A&E Biography about her.
                Her later shows were not as good. But we all age don't we. She was the pioneer and I appreciate her for that.

                1. re: Caroline1

                  I just want to go ahead an correct your greatly incorrect statement: "Before Julia Child, there were only cookbooks."

                  You need to look up James Beard and Dione Lucas, just to name a few. Last time I checked, the 1940s happened before the 1960s, and I am tired of hearing about Julia Child with the first cooking tv show when that is very incorrect.

                  1. re: PremiumG

                    Well, she may not have been the first. My response to that is, Apple wasn't the first computer to have a mouse, either.

                    1. re: TroyTempest

                      Madeleine Kamman is the REAL French chef...............

                      1. re: TonyO

                        Yes, just ask her, she'll be sure to tell you on NO uncertain terms... A wonderful writer, an excellent cook and teacher, but a most unpleasant woman - imho.

                        1. re: ChefJune

                          unpleasant is an understatement--a real beeotch from france is more like it

                          1. re: geejudy

                            I somehow missed these posts.......I can tell you from personal experience, Mrs. Kamman is charming, gracious, and very thoughtful

            2. Frugal Gourmet, Yan Can Cook, Julia, Jacques, Maria Esposito

              1 Reply
              1. re: jenniebnyc

                among all of them, Yan Can Cook is possibly the most famous internationally. When i traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia and prepared dinner for my friends, they said "Yan Can Cook, so you can!" . amazing!

              2. We used to watch Justin Wilson on PBS every Saturday morning. "C'mere, onion!"

                3 Replies
                1. re: revsharkie

                  Is that the guy who would cook giant vats of gumbo with oneeongs?

                  1. re: grocerytrekker

                    That was the best food show ever. Rachel Ray should watch Justin Wilson for pointers. I loved it when he made "Cajun Cheese Toast": melted velveeta on white toast spread with margarine.

                  2. re: revsharkie

                    Yep, I loooooooooved me some Justin Wilson's Loosyana cookin': "that's goooooooood." "Ongyons". Then, Martin Yan, Graham Kerr, Jeff Smith.......

                  3. Yes, I GAR-UN-TEE! Frugal, Yan, Graham, Julia were all from way earlier days.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: personalcheffie

                      Those were great episodes...! It was kinda like watching cooking meets cartoons. Justin Wilson reminded me a bit of Foghorn Leghorn http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/...

                      1. re: Cheese Boy

                        Perfect analogy, Foghorn Leghorn with a frying pan and pot of seafood gumbo! God, I miss Justin Wilson!

                      2. re: personalcheffie

                        Yes, these were all greats but "early days?" My gosh, I feel old now. Let's think back to the days when Graham Kerr and Julia Child didn't necessarily rule, because cooking shows were relegated to odd hours on obscure channels, but set the new tone of cooking. No more boxed mixes! Knives that don't stay sharp forever! And real people making real messes and real food!

                        1. re: rockycat

                          The good ol' days were when these chefs used to knock a few back while the show was on! Oh my! Graham was a stitch.

                          1. re: rockycat

                            re the early days: Maybe a better way to say it would be "pre-Food Network."

                        2. I miss Julia Child. How did food TV go from her to a Sandra Lee??? Ugh.

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: PastaFace123

                            It's the new American Mentality, unfortunately.

                            1. re: PastaFace123

                              We still have Lidia, Americas Test Kitchen and Daisey Cooks. Let's hope the Food Network doesn't grab them too!!! Thank goodness for PBS !!

                                1. re: missclaudy

                                  Lidia's show has gone way downhill. Focus not on the cooking or the food, but on the "adorable" grandchildren and that smug winesnob son.

                                  1. re: nosh

                                    I don't find him (Joe) to be brash, but he is smug. I agree. I also don't understand the purpose of his "cameo" appearances. Wine pairings by Joe? Come on. Go visit Batali for goodness sake if you're bored. Most of us are interested in your mom's food preparation. We'll decide for ourselves on the wine. Please.

                                    1. re: Cheese Boy

                                      "Smug" is a good word to describe Joseph Batali on the show. But do you think it might be because he's uncomfortable in front of the cameras? Just a thought.

                                      I like the emphasis on her family althought I agree that sometimes the grandchildren element is a bit of an overkill. But I love the grandmother and how she does just about anything she wants in the kitche, famous chef-daughter be damned!

                                      1. re: gloriousfood

                                        You mean Joe Bastianich, not Joseph Batali.

                                        I think he's very comfortable behind the camera, and maybe a little insecure around mom. His job is to display his knowledge of wine and not upstage his mother.

                                        1. re: Cheese Boy

                                          Oops, you're right about the name. I was thinking of him, Mario, and Lidia and their restaurant collaboration.

                                      2. re: Cheese Boy

                                        It got even worse on a recent episode. Lidia and the Hulk recommended his OWN wine blend! And this on a PBS show, not even FoodChannel...

                                        1. re: nosh

                                          Ha, the Hulk. I guess that's better than being refered to as Lurch. Did you see the episode where Joe looks at Lidia after drinking one of *their* wines and says 'That's some righteous juice, huh mama?'. Hilarious. Free plug. One of the many perks for sonny when your mom is Lidia Matticchio Bastianich.

                                        2. re: Cheese Boy

                                          The purpose of his cameo appearances are the same as why she had the chef from her kansas city restaurant on: business. he runs all of her restaurants, and is batali's business partner.

                                          not knocking her, just stating the facts. lidia is by far one of the best chefs on tv, i've made quite a few of her recipes, and i love the format of the show, showcasing the specific areas in Italy where the meal is from and so forth.

                                  2. In addition to Julia Child, Jacques Pepin and "The Galloping Gourmet," I have fond memories of Madeleine Kamman. I don't know if anybody remembers her. I also loved watching Justin Wilson, sometimes enjoyed Jeff Smith (although I tired of his obsession with ancient cuisines and ingredients) and did enjoy the Amish cook who always showed quilts at the end of her show. There was this show on the Discovery Channel called "Great Chefs of the West" that I used to love on Sunday mornings. The first part of the show might be visiting this little place in the back of a grocery store with two tables, where little old ladies were stirring huge dollops of lard into their refried beans, and next they might showcase the chef at Vincent on Camelback making lobster quesedillas.

                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: Clarissa

                                      Clarissa, That was a great series! I remember watching a (woman) cook on a cattle ranch make chicken fried steaks, bisquits and gravy for the ranch hands. I still remember how much I wanted to taste that chicken fry when it was done--she really knew how to cook. The "upscale chef" that followed could have learned from her.

                                      1. re: Walters

                                        I recently bought a DVD recorder, and I've been having fun converting a lot of dusty old VHS tapes to DVDs. Among many old treasures I've found is many episodes of "Great Chefs of the West", recorded back in, I believe, 1985. Watching them again, I realize how good they were, and what an influence they had on me. Haven't seen them in 20 years, yet they seem vey familiar to me, as I watched them so fondly. The recipes tended toward simple, hearty Tex-Mex fare that really made you want to try them yourself. The cooks and the great location shoots made the shows fun and interesting to watch. Sure glad I saved them.

                                        1. re: Andrew Gore

                                          OMG, Great Chefs of the West. I got a HUGE crush on one of the chefs in Texas - can't remember his name right now, but he was a serious cutie --
                                          (They'd always show him for a moment in the beginning sequence - he'd flash a shy smile.)

                                          1. re: aurora50

                                            I'm betting it was Robert Del Grande

                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                              Late reply, DiningDiva, but -
                                              YEAH, THAT was the guy!!! : )
                                              Does he still cook?

                                      2. re: Clarissa

                                        We bought Madeleine Kamman's house in Vermont. Needless to say, the kitchen has very good kharma !

                                          1. re: Bostonbob3

                                            Yeah it was pretty cool. And there was no celebrity mark up ! We have seen our house on a few tv programs which is interesting. The Kamman's were wonderful people to conduct business with. I usually visit in early summer and bring them some currants from our yard (they are about 40 minutes from our home).

                                          2. re: TonyO

                                            I thought she was from Napa, she used to go to an Episcopalian church in Calistoga, and I'd see her every so often.

                                            But this was in the 90s. What was funny, she did not like Lidia, and would say so.

                                        1. Ohhh, I loved Madeleine Kamman's food. Thanks for reminding us. She was great! I wonder what ever happened to her.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: ChefGirl412

                                            She is one of the most brilliant cooks and authorities on food science we have ever had. I've heard she felt she got short shrift because Julia became SO famous and she wasn't able to equal her. She is French . She had a cooking school called Modern Gourmet and a restaurant in the Boston area in the late 70's. She lives in Vermont I believe and I highly recommend ALL of her cookbooks.

                                            1. re: ChefGirl412

                                              I too liked Madeleine so much and often use The Making of a Cook. Does anyone remember Pasquale, the Italian singing chef?

                                              1. re: saffron1

                                                Pasquale rocked! He would belt tunes out of nowhere and you couldn't help but pay attention. But it did seem that most of the dishes were remarkably similar.

                                                My favourite was Wok With Yan. I loved his aprons with the sayings. Wok and Roll, Wok Around the Clock, etc... Haha.

                                            2. When I was a child, which admittedly was a very long time ago, the cooking show that was most famous in the NY area was Dionne Lucas' program. Dionne was a Cordon Bleu graduate, and apparently was quite a name in gourmet cooking circles back in the '50s.

                                              The only thing that was hard to take was her strange accent, which resulted in her pronouncing chicken as "chicking". My brother and I used to say that Dionne taught us the technique of "flinging the chicking across the kitching".

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: Ted in Central NJ

                                                Thanks, Ted! I think I was thinking of Dionne Lucas when I mentioned Poppy Cannon. I think Dionne was the TV pioneer.

                                                1. re: kathleen purvis

                                                  I'm glad that someone besides me remembers Dionne Lucas! Also, someone else's mention of the Bontempis jogged my memory of that show, with the singing husband (he seemed to be essentially of no usefullness to the theme of the show) and the dogs.

                                                2. re: Ted in Central NJ

                                                  I happened to think of Dionne Lucas as I was looking for a recipe. I am glad to know that others remember her from the 50's. She was one of my favorites. Now if I could only find her JELLYROLL recipe. It was the best.

                                                  1. re: tubby72

                                                    I remember Dionne Lucas and she was my favorite. I also loved her jellyroll recipe. I just might have it tucked away in one of my old recipe boxes. I am going to search and will let you know if I find it.

                                                  2. re: Ted in Central NJ

                                                    I was looking over vintage postcards I have saved over many years, and there was one from Dionne Lucas to my mother. It brought back fond memories, so I "googled Mrs. Lucas": What a pleasant surprise to find I have not outlived everyone who remembers Dionne Lucas. My mother went to work for her at the Cordon Bleu restaurant on E. 60th St. in Manhattan. She started as a waitress, served as hostess and often assisted Dionne Lucas on her cooking show, "To the Queen's Taste" (I may be corrected on exact name of show). Somewhere, I read that it was the second cooking show on tv. As a boy, I would travel to Manhattan from Brooklyn to walk to museums, historical places, etc. but, first Mrs. Lucas would see that I was seated at a table, where I was served like Little Lord Fauntleroy. I actually watched her make her jelly roll and from the first time I ate her duck with orange sauce, I was hooked for life. You stirred up some great memories.

                                                    1. re: Brombones

                                                      "vintage postcards I have saved over many years, and there was one from Dionne Lucas to my mother."

                                                      Holy cow! What a find! Dionne Lucas is credited with having the first cooking show by a woman. I wish there were more information about her. I'd love to know more.

                                                  3. This isn't going to mean anything to anybody who didn't grow up in Hawai'i a looooong time ago, but for me it was Napua Stevens. She was the face of Island cooking then, and a gracious face it was.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: MobyRichard

                                                      Lived in Hawaii for almost 4 years. Loved Napua. Still make her Pao Doce every Easter.
                                                      At the same time was the wife of a band leader. Both names I have forgotten. She was useless.

                                                    2. Jeff Smith, Julia, Yan. There was also some southern guy who was a hoot. Can't remember his name. Bobby Flay used to grill with some guy, too. That show was ok, before Bobby became mr food network. I loved the Two FAt Ladies.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: macca

                                                        That "some guy" was Jack McDavid of Philadelphia's Jack's Firehouse and the diner in the Reading Terminal Market. Jack has been a sort of East Coast Alice Waters, sourcing food from local producers and promoting the growth of local farming. I haven't lived in the area for quite a bit, but his restaurants were always outstanding.
                                                        Having asked Jack for recipes in his restaurant and staged for Bobby Flay in later years I can understand why Bobby moved on in media and Jack didn't. More power to you, Jack!

                                                        1. re: rockycat

                                                          Thats it- I used to love that show. Bobby on the gas grill, and Jack grilling with wood and/or charcoal. Jack's food always seemed m ore appealing.

                                                          1. re: macca

                                                            Grillin' and Chillin'.

                                                            Jack is the real deal.

                                                          2. re: rockycat

                                                            I met Jack McDavid last summer when I was judging a barbecue competition in Princeton. He was one of the competitors. GREAT Que!

                                                          3. re: macca


                                                            Ooh, Two Fat Ladies! I loved them, too. The way they used to arrive at the various locations at which they were going to cook...a motorcycle with a sidecar. One of them blatantly smoked on the program. She died a number of years ago.

                                                            They were always cooking for the rectors at some out of the way church or a gathering of restored car enthusiasts. What fun they were!

                                                          4. I was hooked at a very young age to cooking shows. I LOVED the original Galloping Gourmet series, and Julia, of course. I tried to never miss Justin Wilson. I also enjoyed Yan can cook and Natalie Dupree (she was a mess but good) I also remember the quilt lady-- I have a couple of her cookbooks.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: recordkitten

                                                              You jogged my memory. It was Justin Wilson I used to love to watch. Didn't he always say " I guarantee it" with his great accent?

                                                              1. re: macca

                                                                "They're wondermous, I guar-awn-tee!"

                                                            2. Justin Wilson
                                                              Jacques Pepin
                                                              Julia Childs
                                                              Graham Kerr
                                                              Maryann Esposito
                                                              Nathalie Dupree
                                                              Yan Can Cook
                                                              Jeff Smith
                                                              Pierre Franey
                                                              David Rosengarten

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: QueenB

                                                                Natalie Dupree!! I was going to mention here until I saw your list.

                                                                My brother and I would tune it just to poke fun of her. We called her "turtle" because she had this weird neck. That big hairdo and squinty eyes were great, as was her constant use of the word "goodness" to describe everything.

                                                                *takes cake out of oven* "Look at that goodness!"
                                                                *scrapes dip from mixing bowl into serving bowl* "And be sure to get all of that goodness into the bowl."

                                                                1. re: mamamia

                                                                  Nathalie Dupree is on FB and has lots of fans as friends. She also comments on their posts.

                                                                2. re: QueenB

                                                                  QueenB: Do you remember Pierre Franey's grandson who was about 3 years old and came on his show near the end. He was completely gregarious and Franey had a marvelous rapport with him. He'd stand on the counter and butt in when Pierre was talking. Tres cute.

                                                                  1. re: oakjoan

                                                                    When my daughter was about 3 she was so enthralled by Cuisine Rapide's theme song, she'd stop WHATEVER she was doing and watch TV until it was done. I told her the name of the chef on the show. After that, anytime she heard the theme she'd say, "Mommy! It's PEW-R FRAY-NEE!"

                                                                3. There was a great PBS mini-series in the mid-80s called Great Chefs of New Orleans which showed the chefs, in their own kitchens, cooking their best dishes. It was followed up by a Great Chefs of San Francisco and maybe others. That was one of the things that first got me hooked on cooking shows. It was great to see chefs in their own environment rather than a studio. The show really wasn't about learning to cook as much about watching the masters at their craft.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: sku

                                                                    One of my favorite books is from that series - Great Chefs of the West. I still make those recipes today. There is a show on Local PBS here in ATL - Same format, the chef cooking in his/her own restaurant. Discovered SO many great restaurants here because of that show! It's sad though when you watch 30 minutes of a chef preparing a dish that makes you salivate only to find out the place has since closed. :(

                                                                  2. It wasn't just one chef, but the single most influential TV cooking show (for me at least) was the "Great Chefs" series. I believe it started with "Great Chefs of Chicago," then spread to several different cities, and even a "Great Chefs of the World."

                                                                    I LOVED Julia, and even learned a fair amount from Graham Kerr and Pierre Franey, but nothing compared to the "Great Chefs" show for learning proper technique.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Bostonbob3

                                                                      Great Chefs, Great Cities....Great Chefs of the World....Great Chefs of New Orleans....I literally learned to cook watching those shows. A bunch of years back (15 or so) the Discovery Channel would show two episodes of Great Chefs and then one of Graham Kerr's Minimax cooking shows in a row...then later in the day they would do it again with 3 different episodes. Owing to a health condition I spent a fair bit of time in the hospital and would watch 3 hours of those shows every day. I learned about ingredients, preparation and technique. When I would get home, I'd practice what I'd seen. I miss those shows a lot.

                                                                      1. re: Bostonbob3

                                                                        Was that the series narrated by the woman with the Eastern European accent (perhaps German), seemingly filmed in restaurant kitchens, where some of the chefs had to be translated? I found it instructional but a bit austere and esoteric at times. It was good, classic, dinner-out cooking that was instructive but a bit intimidating in a way that Julia Child or Jacques Pepin seemed to get beyond. I just didn't feel that very many people really cooked that way at home. I got a lot of technique from it though.

                                                                      2. Well, James Beard was certainly a pioneer. And I think I've read that Poppy Cannon was the first on-air cook.

                                                                        1. evryone has forgotten the grandfather of pbs cooking who has had more episodes than anyone: earl peyroux "bonjour mes amis and welcome to gourmet cooking..."

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: byrd

                                                                            Earl Peyroux was, and is, my cooking hero. He was a natural teacher and there are lessons from his episodes, and dishes, that I'll never forget.

                                                                            1. re: byrd

                                                                              Had to Google him to see who he was. I'm certainly more than old enough to have watched, but I think he was on in the years that I was doing so much business traveling that PBS cooking shows never came up on the radar. I did watch Jeff Smith a lot though (and Graham Kerr, and Justin Wilson) so I'm a somewhat mystified at how I didn't know Peyroux. 600 episodes (according to Google)..... a LOT of shows to miss. Was he on only in the East perhaps?? I don't see any re-runs of his shows either.

                                                                            2. I enjoyed Julia Child very much, although her food at the time seemed to challenging for me since I was learning. I think I learned more about my basics from watching her.
                                                                              I know I owe my ability to make good sauces and a good roast chicken to her.

                                                                              I also used to watch Madeleine Kamman on puclic television here and was so pleased when I met her at a birthday party for the pastor of a small church in Calistoga. In fact in was sort of a potluck lunch in addition to what the alter society ladies prepared for lunch. I had brought your typical Knorrs Spinach dip in a sourdough bread bowl. She complimented me saying she really liked it very much. I guess she had never had it. I was thrilled that she even noticed it of course!

                                                                              1. I loved to watch Julia in the early days, but more for the sheer entertainment than for the education (or so I thought, at the time). Years later, it was her, Madeleine Kamman's and Pierre Franey's PBS shows (and Franey's 60-Minute Gourmet column in the New York Times) that actually got me interested in cooking.

                                                                                1. You got me thinking, grocerytrekker. I recall a loooong time ago there was a show with a couple called The Bontempis. She cooked and he was a big barrel-chested man who sang Italian opera while she cooked. I seem to remember there were Great Danes walking through the kitchen too. Besides these TV pioneers there wasn't much cooking going on in television. The Kraft commercials on nightime television dramas demonstrated disgusting connctions with mayonnaise, cheese, and canned fruit.
                                                                                  Then, more recently, when The Food Network began it was mostly amateur videos of home cooks.

                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: lucyis

                                                                                    Wow! I remember the Bontempi's on WABC TV in New York. "The Sweetheats of the Air Waves" they were called. The husband, Pino, also sang at Tufaro's Restaurant in Corona NY with the band led by singer Alan Gerard. Alan and Pino wrote "We're a Couple of Sweethearts" song for the show. Some old memories!

                                                                                    1. re: savin2retire

                                                                                      Dear savin2retire,
                                                                                      You are right. They lived on Northern Blvd. In Flushing, Queens. And they did have a Dog. I think his name was Loris. He was always drulling. Pino used to interupt his wife , Fidora, she would tell him to go sing a song. Yes those were the good old memories

                                                                                      1. re: savin2retire

                                                                                        I was so excited to google my family name and find this post. My dad was Sonny Tufaro of Tufaro's Restaurant owned by my grandfather Anthony. Fidora and Pino were a staple in our family. We even went on their show as kids and modeled clothes. If anyone has any more blogs on Tufaro's please post them. I miss my dad and that restaurant. It has been about 40 years since it closed it's doors. Alan Gerard used to sing songs for me and my sisters. He wrote a song for my sister Paula.

                                                                                        1. re: jojog614

                                                                                          Hi. In case you're Googling "Tufaro" again - this is Alan Gerard's son. Have lots of good memories about Tufaro's, people and FOOD and PASTRIES! My sis is still in NY and I'm in PA. Best wishes to you.

                                                                                          1. re: jojog614

                                                                                            Wow Tufaro's....My grandfather was very good friends with your grandfather Tony, and both came from the same town in basilicata....matter of fact, all the "paisani" would have their wedding reception at Tufaro's....I have an old postcard somewhere of the Restaurant that must be from the 50's....please reply and we perhaps can exchange some stories/pictures.

                                                                                          2. re: savin2retire

                                                                                            I don't see it mentioned anywhere but the Bontempi's also had a show on the New Haven station WNHC back in the 50's. I worked at the station one summer and was lucky enough to enjoy the dishes she prepared along with the production crew

                                                                                          3. re: lucyis

                                                                                            There was an Italian couple with a restaurant and a cooking show on Boston pbs. The Romagnoli's Table.

                                                                                            Some of these folks were not nationally broadcast the way Julia was, because each public station could choose what they would air. In Chicago we had Francois Pope, from the Antoinette Pope cooking school.

                                                                                            1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                              The Romagnoli's Table was one of the best. KQED San Francisco carried it. The pine nut cookies from the accompanying cookbook (which you had to order through PBS as I recall, way back then) have been on my rotation ever since...1975? 76???

                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                The Romagnoli's Table was the greatest. Franco Romagnoli died just last month. He and Margaret were funny and real. It was a beautiful show. I sent away for the recipe cards and used them for years, but now don't know what became of them. Franco and his second wife, Gwen, published a lovely book about their food-travels through Italy not too long before he died.

                                                                                            2. re: lucyis

                                                                                              Yes lucyis that was a long time ago. Pino and Fidora Bontempi were the forerunners of cooking on TV back in the 1950's

                                                                                            3. How about Carlo Middione, Zarela Martinez,

                                                                                              1. Anyone remember "Kathy Cooks Naturally" -- an early 80s show on PBS, set in Hawaii, where she was sort of ahead of the curve on "natural" and vegetarian foods? I wouldn't say this was my favorite show, but it holds some kind of BIG nostalgia factor. Some of her concoctions seemed a little weird, and she had an interestingly "new age" delivery, but I admit to having learned a few things about tofu and soy products from her way before their explosion on the food scene.

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: allegro805

                                                                                                  Was this an Asian woman who spoke in a super calm (trance inducing!) voice? If so, I loved her. Hated everything she cooked but her voice was mesmerizing. She was so relaxing it was like therapy for me. Sort of like the exact opposite effect of Rachel Ray.

                                                                                                  1. re: allegro805

                                                                                                    I watched her when I was a kid. She put me to sleep every time! I've never encountered another person whose voice was as soothing.

                                                                                                    1. re: clelly

                                                                                                      Her name was actually Kathy Hoshijo. Would be interesting to see her recipes 20 years later! I like the fact that she always imparted some pearl of wisdom at the end of each show, voiced over a visual of her walking on the beach. I think that show was ahead of its time.

                                                                                                      See link here: http://www.oasistv.com/screeningroom/...

                                                                                                  2. Surprised nobody's mentioned Joyce Chen. She's the original chef that got me into Asian cooking. Her show was on PBS in the early 70's, when I was in my teens . Her egg roll recipe was to die for. She was actually responsible for getting my father to cook for the entire family. Does anyone else remember her??? She was a pioneer. Other influences.... Graham Kerr, Julia Child, Jeff Smith, and Justin Wilson. Those shows were all about cooking!!!

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Phoebe

                                                                                                      True about those shows "being about food." But I also always found it highly entertaining how Graham Kerr would hit on all the women in his audience. Mind you, I was under ten years old at the time, so the darn bugger probably ruined my relationship skills. :)

                                                                                                      1. re: Phoebe

                                                                                                        I loved Joyce Chen and still have her book. I used to watch her, and emulate her, when I was a graduate student in Ann Arbor, before Ann Arbor had any serious food, just a farmer's market. She was so sensible ("put the salt in first so you don't forget to do it later") and so comforting,

                                                                                                        1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                          Joyce Chen was indeed wonderful. Her show was very educational - my first exposure to Chinese cooking techniques - and her presentation charming. I have her cookbook, autographed! (got it at her restaurant in Cambridge). Her daughter (Helen Chen) has carried on the tradition with a book called Chinese Home Cooking which has a lot of very useful recipes in it.
                                                                                                          Chinese language TV in the SF Bay Area in the 80s used to carry Fu Pei-mei's (Taiwan's answer to Julia Child, for Chinese cooking of course) cooking show which was somewhat similar in presentation to Mrs Chen's (very matter-of-fact and practical). I would kill to have DVDs of that show. Wonder if they even exist?

                                                                                                      2. Remember "Romagnoli's Table"? Man oh man, did she boss him around!

                                                                                                        1. There was a program called "Amish Cooking from Quilt Country"
                                                                                                          with a woman named Marsha something. She had everything in pristine order and was totally anal. At the end of the show
                                                                                                          she would put gloves on a show a quilt. My brother and
                                                                                                          I would have to call each other and watch together over the phone because it was all so strange.
                                                                                                          Of course, the opposite of that was Natale DuPree who seemed
                                                                                                          to be the messiest cook I'd ever seen!

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: gossamered

                                                                                                            I think that's the show Phil Hartman used as the inspiration for his "Anal Retentive Chef" skit on SNL.

                                                                                                            1. re: Bostonbob3

                                                                                                              Aw, GEEZE! I forgot about that. Thanks for the reminder. What a great skit.

                                                                                                              1. re: personalcheffie

                                                                                                                I think SNL should be on the list here.. remember Bass-o-matic? and Cheesebuger-Cheeseburger (that was a chef-driven restaurant for sure!)

                                                                                                          2. I remember seeing a show with Caprial Pence from Portland. Learned a really nice trick for quickly chopping up a green pepper from her.

                                                                                                            And Mike and I used to watch, fairly regularly, a fellow named Marcel Desaulnieres do "Death By Chocolate!" YOu could almost taste it. But the fun part was listening for him to say that flour, or filling, or something, was going to "spoo" out of the mixer or whatever.

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: revsharkie

                                                                                                              Caprial's show was great. Used to watch it all the time here, they took it off PBS.

                                                                                                              1. re: personalcheffie

                                                                                                                I loved Caprial's show, too. We even had dinner at her restaurant once when we were in Portland.

                                                                                                              2. re: revsharkie

                                                                                                                Caprial Pence made some brilliant food but she was the first TV chef I ever heard mispronounce "mascarpone" as "MARscapone."

                                                                                                              3. Theonie Mark "Greek Island Cooking" circa 1974-5 on PBS - charming personality, good recipes which I use to this day - still have the cookbook which is out-of-print but still available.

                                                                                                                1. Mireille Johnston's "A Cook's Tour of France" from the early 90's; really enjoyed it. Sadly she died about six years ago.

                                                                                                                  1. Dionne Lucas
                                                                                                                    Julia Child
                                                                                                                    Madeleine Kammen
                                                                                                                    Jacque Pepin
                                                                                                                    Martin Yan
                                                                                                                    Caprial Pence
                                                                                                                    Graham Kerr
                                                                                                                    Keith Floyd
                                                                                                                    Nathalie Dupree
                                                                                                                    Justin Wilson
                                                                                                                    Burt Wolf
                                                                                                                    Burt Greene
                                                                                                                    Tell Erhardt (Chef Tell)
                                                                                                                    Carlo Middione

                                                                                                                    1. For funny, Floyd on fish(I think BBC on PBS) or Any of his shows were ridiculously bad/funny, yet seemingly good food. Loved to see the guy cooking in crazy situations trying to cook regional food and serve it to the locals. Many disasters,always directing his cameraman,and too much alcohol made for entertaining TV.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Magnapro

                                                                                                                        How about that guy with a fish restaurant in Padstow or some other southern English resort town....Rick Stein? What a great show. He'd show the guy fishing (usually he was on the boat, too) and then took the fish back and prepared them. He introduced me to winkles and cockles. I loved that show.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Magnapro

                                                                                                                          Ever watch Keiths show from Africa were he sticks a whole pigs head in a huge cast iron pot over an open fire? As he's talking the pigs head slowly floats back up to the surface! To this day I still can't stop hooting with laughter when I recall that pigs head.

                                                                                                                        2. Though I'm too young to remember it, I have seen clips from the Ernie Kovacs' show. Here's a description from the Museum of Broadcast Communications

                                                                                                                          "Following a career in radio, Kovacs' transition to television came in 1950 when he simultaneously hosted several programs on NBC's WPTZ in Philadelphia. His first show, Deadline for Dinner, consisted of cooking tips from guest chefs. When a guest did not show, he did his own recipe for "Eggs Scavok," his name spelled backwards"

                                                                                                                          1. Alas, no one has mentioned the Muppets' Swedish Chef -- who else could teach us how to put the chiky in the basky for two points?

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                              Does anyone else remember the Swedish chef lobster cooking episode. Laughed till I cried.

                                                                                                                            2. Remember Nathalie Dupree?
                                                                                                                              She had a great southern food show.
                                                                                                                              Not on the air currently, but writing books.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: Stew

                                                                                                                                Nathalie Dupree is on FB and has many fans as friends. She comments on their posts. Not all the celebs comment on fans' posts.

                                                                                                                              2. Who was Christina Cooks? I remember her healthy, vegan cooking shows.

                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: personalcheffie

                                                                                                                                  I still see that show in the morning before I go to work.

                                                                                                                                  For someone who only eats organic vegetarian, she looks like hell.

                                                                                                                                  And that whole segment where the musician plays his guitar and sings to her is just plain strange.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bostonbob3

                                                                                                                                    Not too bad though for someone who has been able to beat cancer. http://www.christinacooks.com/mystory...

                                                                                                                                    Interested in watching?: http://www.christinacooks.com/station...

                                                                                                                                    Here's the guitar player: http://jonmichaelsmusic.com/live/inde...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bostonbob3

                                                                                                                                      Christina Cooks was originally macrobiotic (not sure if it still is). I used to take cooking classes with her in Philadelphia and have several of her cookbooks that are macrobiotic. She says that a change to a macrobiotic lifestyle cured her leukemia. Macrobiotic is a difficult to maintain lifestyle (and not the healthiest IMHO). What she looks like is irrelevant.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Divamac

                                                                                                                                        Bostonbob has a right to his opinion--so lay off

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Bostonbob3

                                                                                                                                        Ah, I was just thinking of Christine and her healthy cooking. She has the largest teeth!

                                                                                                                                    2. From a historical standpoint, not just my fave or who influenced me, we can go all the way back to Betty Crocker in 1924:


                                                                                                                                      Hard to believe (and I don't believe I ever heard one) but there were cooking shows on radio.

                                                                                                                                      On the very first night of television in Houston, Jan 1, 1949, the schedule included, at 7:30pm, 'To a Queen's Taste (CBS) - A French chef takes over to cook a special dish. Mrs. Dione Lucas, employee of the Cordon Bleu, gives out the recipe and shows how it's done. It takes her 30 minutes to demonstrate.'

                                                                                                                                      If the show was on CBS that early, it probably had been on locally in NYC for some time.

                                                                                                                                      In the early 50s here, a local show, Jane Christopher's TV Kitchen was on M-F from 11am-12N, live, for several years. When Christopher published a book called '800 Favorite Recipes' it was a runaway best seller. There were probably locally produced cooking shows in many cities. It would be interesting to know who was first and what inspired the program.

                                                                                                                                      It seems our interest in cooking instruction and demonstrations goes back a long way.

                                                                                                                                      1. Graham Kerr, The Galloping Gourmet!!!!

                                                                                                                                        1. Francois Pope was a pioneer in the area--long long before Julia. 1960s as I recall and it may have been limited to the Chicago area. He taught classic technique and had a series of popular cookbooks that are still around. http://www.amazon.com/s/102-1239726-1...

                                                                                                                                          1. Julia, Jeff Smith, and Graham Kerr were the shows I watched many, many years ago.
                                                                                                                                            (I did catch an early episode of Julia on TVLand a few nights ago !?!)

                                                                                                                                            In the 80's, I watched a locally produced show on a New Orleans station, a young
                                                                                                                                            slightly hyperactive chef from Commander's Palace - yes, it was Emeril with no
                                                                                                                                            audience but a big sell for his spice blends and an occasional "Bam!"

                                                                                                                                            On the local PBS station I get to see reruns of Justin Wilson, some newer shows
                                                                                                                                            with John Besh, and the Barbeque U cook.

                                                                                                                                            The "Great Chefs of ......." was great. Many others I can't remember; however,
                                                                                                                                            Natalie Dupree was one-of-a-kind. I think she began demonstrating cooking at a
                                                                                                                                            department store - maybe Rich's - in Atlanta then married a professor at Ole Miss
                                                                                                                                            and moved to Oxford. Her show was hysterical because (I assume) it was in no
                                                                                                                                            way scripted.

                                                                                                                                            1. Loved watching Ainsley Harriot - an outlandish but entirely likable chef from London.
                                                                                                                                              The two chefs from the River Cafe...
                                                                                                                                              Jennifer & Clarissa... miss Jennifer enormously
                                                                                                                                              Graham Kerr
                                                                                                                                              Jeff Smith - before his downfall
                                                                                                                                              Joanna Weir - cooked vegetables grown in her garden..
                                                                                                                                              Jamie Oliver - he was seen in a brief shot in one of the River Cafe's shows..as a sou chef!
                                                                                                                                              Jacques Torres and his amazing chocolate confections

                                                                                                                                              There are many more but nothing can compare with the inimitable Jacques & Julia shows, together and individually.

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                Ooh! Ooh! The River Cafe show was great! I even liked Jamie Oliver's show - he is a bit over the top but his ideas are magnif IMNSHO. But of course I also love Nigella.

                                                                                                                                                Joanne Weir is from out here in SF. I'm sure she's a fine cook and has lots of good recipes, but I cannot abide her personality and her voice so I will never find out.

                                                                                                                                              2. Jeff Smith, Frugal Gourmet was awesome....now what happened later we'll just leave out of the foodography. The best bar none was Julia. She taught us it was ok to drink while we watching after school. I was an original latch key kid.

                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Hobson

                                                                                                                                                  Just saw them this week for probably the first time in 10 years,,,Mary Ann Miliken and her biz partner. Used to like their show.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Drew E

                                                                                                                                                    Jeff Smith, definitely! I have many of his shows on tape.
                                                                                                                                                    Julia Child, and her show with Jacques Pepin. I love her. ("Afraid of butter? Add more cream."-Julia Child)
                                                                                                                                                    Martin Yan
                                                                                                                                                    The Urban Peasant...anyone remember him?
                                                                                                                                                    Nathalie DuPree - a true Southern cook to whom Paula Deen, the can of soup queen, cannot compare!
                                                                                                                                                    Carlo Middione..Chef Carlo taught me how to make pasta.
                                                                                                                                                    Caprial Pence...even though, at the end of the show, she was always enjoying the dish in the kitchen with her dorky husband, John.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Drew E

                                                                                                                                                      Two Hot Tamales or something.

                                                                                                                                                      Susan Fenigar was her partner. Good show.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Does anyone remember Rick Stein? I had a couple of his seafood cookbooks. He had a show, maybe about 8 years ago (maybe longer)...I was inspired to cook more fish...and life-long desire to go to Brittany!

                                                                                                                                                    1. I really miss the Two Fat Ladies, which used to be on Food Network before they were producing their own shows. I'm still waiting for that show to come out on DVD. Now one of the 'ladies' has passed on.
                                                                                                                                                      Also, Great Chefs, Great Cities and Great Chefs of the World were extremely inspiring to me as a kid--they're a far cry from the chef-lebrity personalities that are on TV now.

                                                                                                                                                      1. I really like Delia Smith and Gary Rhodes original shows - also there was a fellow from Vancouver who would go to SE Asia destinations (mostly street food I think) and then show you how to prepare them...........big guy with a beard and soothing voice (NOT James Barber who drives me crazy)

                                                                                                                                                        1. Does anyone remember a show from the 80'sand 90's that featured two guys from Virginia or The Carolinas who used to take recipes from viewers, make them and rate them. I used to watch them on PBS and The Nostalgia Channel and they cracked me up! I remember that they also used to dress up in drag and play their spinster aunts. Most of their recipes had a lot of Miracle Whip and Velveeta cheese and stuff like that. Can anybody help?

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jmann

                                                                                                                                                            The show you're thinking of was Cookin' Cheap....see this thread


                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jmann

                                                                                                                                                              There are a few Cookin Cheap eps on youtube now. These guys deserve to be seen, for the entertainment value, if not the jello salad and casserole recipes.

                                                                                                                                                            2. There was a cooking show on PBS in the mid-80's that I believe was produced by a Florida PBS station that was hosted by a gentleman who was somewhat effeminate, heavy-set, had very short buzzed hair and a very thick mustache. He started out cooking fairly fattening foods, but after a couple of years, he dropped a lot of weight, and then begin cooking "diet" foods. I used to love watching him and was wondering if anyone else remembered this show and what his (or the show's) name was?

                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tonymark2

                                                                                                                                                                I don't remember that show but there was a PBS cooking show on in the 70's called What's Cooking with LaDeva Davis. She is an African American, her show was funny and she prepared "regular" food. The opening music was catchy and she kept us in stitches. Does ANYONE remember this. I even wrote to PBS...waiting for an answer.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tonymark2

                                                                                                                                                                  Tony I do indeed remember LaDeva... she was the best!
                                                                                                                                                                  I am looking for her Tempura Batter recipe. It was so easy and the lightest, crispiest and even better than Long John Silvers. I lost it long ago and have looked all over for it without luck. If anyone finds any info on her PLEASE let me know. I wish PBS would rerun her show. It was just plain good cookin for everyday folk. No fancy schmancy truffle crap!

                                                                                                                                                                  WHERE ARE YOU MS. DAVIS????????

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tonymark2

                                                                                                                                                                    I think it was a little later than the 80's, but I remember watching that show too. It had Sunshine in the title, Sunshine Cuisine or Sunshine Cooking, something like that. It was hosted by a flamboyant french chef with a name like a french-canadian hockey player. He was definitely a trip to watch.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tonymark2

                                                                                                                                                                      Tonymark2. I remember this guy,He would cook all vegetarian as I recall.I watched him weekly.I cant remember his name either.I cooked his vegetarian chili with chopped up eggplant,canned beans ,4 different kinds of beans. It was great and very low calorie.I hope someone will read this and remember his name.He kind of reminded me of Freddy Mercury of queen.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. No one is mentioning Martha, yes, Martha Stewart! I loved her old shows and I believe that she does not get as much credit as she deserves for creating an interest for TV viewers about some of the finer things in life.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. What a fun thread to read!

                                                                                                                                                                        I grew up watching the Great Chefs series, Graham Kerr, Julia Child, and the Frugal Gourmet. We watched Justin Wilson and Martin Yan for the entertainment value.

                                                                                                                                                                        Does anyone remember the crazy lady on maybe The Learning Channel who used water instead of oil in all her recipes? She had a big pitcher of water next to her stove and would pour it in the pan to saute in, just like you use olive oil. I was mystified even at a young age.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Does anyone remember Rock 'n Roll Chef? As I recall he just did these little shorts between shows. Mostly quick snacks. Sloppily prepared quick snacks that probably should never have aired, owing to the inevitable hazzards of having a druggy crash and bang around in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. About Madeleine Kamman I used to watch this show, it was over my head because i didn't know much about french cooking but I enjoyed this show.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Well in the UK it would have to be Fanny Cradock.

                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nanette

                                                                                                                                                                                Fanny and Johnny!! OMG she used to cook in a 2 piece suit, coiffed hair, big glasses and used to boss her hubby around the kitchen - back in the 60s.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. I don't think this one was mentioned... the person that got me interested in cooking (along with the Frugal Gourmet) was Caprial Pence. I watched Cooking with Caprial religiously. In my mind she was the first person to drill in my head "Don't Touch, Leave it Alone" - when she cooked steaks. If you ever saw her show... you are nodding right now. That was her mantra. 15 years later, I still want to go to Oregon and eat in her restaurant ...

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tapas gal

                                                                                                                                                                                  Caprial's Kitchen is on the PBS channels that you can only see in HD, along with tons of other stuff--Bittman, Todd English, Sara Moulton. Didn't even realize that you got so many more channels with HD till we got ours!

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Formulative shows? In no particular order:

                                                                                                                                                                                  Delia Smith (taught a generation to cook)
                                                                                                                                                                                  Philip Harbin (yes, I'm old enough to remember black & white TV)
                                                                                                                                                                                  Keith Floyd (have twice been in the same bar as him - one of them his own pub)
                                                                                                                                                                                  Graham Kerr (a character - I'm talking his early shows - not the later "low fat" ones)
                                                                                                                                                                                  Antonio Carluccio (a rock god of Italian food cookery)

                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                    Frugal Gourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                    Ciao Italia (maryanne esposito)
                                                                                                                                                                                    Paul prudhomme(sp?)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                      Haha Harters: Since you're in Britain, you might not get this, but Antonion Carluccio reminded me of Elaine Benes' character on Seinfeld who made up a boyfriend when she was trying to impress some people at dinner. She said she was dating a bullfighter. One person asked what his name was and she said (with many small coughs and nervous gestures as only she can do it) "His name? Er, uh, it was Antonnnnio (cough cough) Carrochio." Drawing out Carrochio to about 10 syllables.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Canadian Food TV has a number of programs that ought to be broadcast down here. I especially enjoyed Laura Calder while I was visiting friends.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Father Kitchen

                                                                                                                                                                                        The only Canadian show I ever saw was Madame Benoit. She was quite good. Sometimes referred to as the Julia Child of Canada. I have a couple of her books.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Another vote for Jeff Smith, Frugal Gourmet! I knew absolutely nothing and learned so much from him. I think he made it all easier to understand for me because he connected things to their culture and gave reasons why things are done a certain way. It was an approach that made things memorable. Plus his show was real, not slick and overly produced. That made cooking feel accessible. I still think of him often when I'm cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I watch, and have watched, lots of cooking series--- but no-one ever came close to the profound 'soul-programming' influence that The Frug had on me...

                                                                                                                                                                                          I was like a charging battery watching his shows...

                                                                                                                                                                                          I mostly like Lidia now...
                                                                                                                                                                                          She's great, the recipes are great, and the humanity of the family does nice things for me...
                                                                                                                                                                                          Joe's dry--- but he's a good guy... Loosening up more and more on camera...

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm off now to check if there are DVD sets of The Frugal Gourmet available online...
                                                                                                                                                                                          It's time I watched them all again...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Mary Ann Esposito has America's longest-running cooking show (airs on PBS) and is still going strong with her 11th cookbook due out this year. Amazing that she's stayed so relevant....

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jenniferelise

                                                                                                                                                                                              I really enjoy her show and the three books of hers I have.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Although I'm only now interested in cooking, growing up the folks I remember my Mom watching on tv, depending on where we were, were Julia Child, James Barber, Graham Kerr, Pol Martin, and Martin Yan (only I swear I've always thought his name was Stephen). I know 'The Frugal Gourment' was shown on PBS on the weekend, but my Mom never really took to the show because (if I remember correctly) she disliked the recipes. Also, now that I'm thinking about it, Chef Tell and the Muppet Show's Swedish Chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: blackoak

                                                                                                                                                                                                Can I give a little shout out to Toronto, which was where both Graham Kerr (an Aussie), and Martin Yan (from Hong Kong) got their starts? As someone who has watched Toronto's food scene explode over the last 40 years, I think both of these men were responsible for starting it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: blackoak

                                                                                                                                                                                                  There was another tv chef named Stephen Yan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Nancy Berry

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I loved the "Floyd on..." series, unfortunately it no longer airs on The Travel Channel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Nancy Berry

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Stephen Yan seemed like a caricature of Martin. He hammed it up more than Martin, as well as giving cute nicknames to ingredients (eg, Semase street oil, and wonderful powder was tapioca starch).
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Although he had some good looking food, as i recall a lot of it was a variation of the same stir fry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. GO TO FOODNETWORK.COM AND GET ALL YOU WANT TO KNOW
                                                                                                                                                                                                    OR PBS ON SAT/SUN FOR SOME OTHERS

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. The Hon. Simon and Minty Marchmont.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Scrapironchef

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Loved Posh Nosh. Excuse me, I must arrogate my chorizos now on my Agra

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I know this thread is a little old, but I'm thinking of a '70s cooking show and it's driving me crazy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The guy was heavy-set - - perhaps Greek or Italian - - wore gold chains with his open shirt. Show was filmed on his boat/yacht and had a side-kick named “Giovanni” who helped him in his kitchenette (usually watched, sipping an expensive red wine…) At the end of the show, he always entertained some “swinging blonde” It was called something-like… “Cooking with Elegance” or “A Touch of Elegance” or “A Taste of Elegance” Probably a ½ hour show on PBS or similar. Definitely not fine dining but always funny to watch. Anyone else remember this show?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: madscientist

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Graham Kerr used to do some of his shows in a naval uniform in his early years but I don't think he fits the rest of your description. Was this a local show in a specific part of the country (which country)?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Hello, all! I just stumbled on this website, and I'm so glad I did! I've really been enjoying reading your comments, and have scoured them for an answer to the as-yet elusive name of a chef my sister and I used to watch on PBS in the 70's. He reminded us of Elmer Fudd; his round little belly, as well as his voice was similar to /fudd, but not the accent (which was a bit thick -- Bostonian, maybe?) Anyway, he wore glasses (dark-rimmed, I believe) and used to sweat a lot... and always seemed of breath, which added to the hilarity for us! It seems he probably got a bit annoyed when things didn't go exactly as he wanted, which further delighted our juvenile sensibilities!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          And then, just now as I was searching in this thread, I suddenly remembered that at the end of each episode, he would place all the food on a little round table, pour himself a glass of wine, raise the glass into the air as he toasted his audience and say "a bientot!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                          He CAN'T be a figment of my imagination -- I KNOW he existed, but I can't for the life of me remember his name, or anything else about him...just laughing and laughing and laughing at him. It wasn't that he was particularly funny, it's just that we were about 8 and 9 years old, so we found this hulking, bespectacled master of all things culinary to be extremely amusing. Then, when we would cook for ourselves (our mother worked a lot), we would mimic his accent, talk to our imaginary audience, and laugh some more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Anyway, sorry to have gone into all of that, but I truly do hope that *someone* remembers this man's name. He, along with Julia Child and Jeff Smith, really started us on our journey to being the full-time gastronomers that we are today! :D

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks very much, and I'll continue to enjoy your posts!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          A bientot! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: knightexecutrix

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Earl Peyroux? He had a PBS show called "Gourmet Cooking" that ran for 600 episodes in the 1970's and 80's. He died in 2003 -- http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/25/art...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: knightexecutrix

                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's so funny! We were scouring Google and happened upon this website to find the exact same guy! My mother has the guy recorded on VHS somewhere buried in her stacks of tapes, but couldn't quite remember his name.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              So we searched through some of the names we had run across above, and sure enough, as @NancyBerry suggested, it was Earl Peyroux! See the photo for proof! (I know this is a year later, but just in case!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The only crappy thing is that he doesn't have much of his work online as do all of the "more famous" early cooking show hosts. But so be it. Maybe we'll eventually put up some of his videos on YouTube or something... Somebody has to carry on his legacy! Because he DID EXIST!!! =] And he deserves more recognition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              A bientot!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I remember a fellow in the 80s (?) who had a very good show on microwave cooking...his name started with a D.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MoxieBoy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I remember watching his show in KQED - Donovan Fandre.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Yes...Donovan Jon Fandre, with his microwave cooking show!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Is it just me, or have these responses carefully avoided the name Emeril Lagasse? Referring to the OP's query, I suggest that Emeril is the single prime candidate for what made the cooking-show genre explode.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There's Essence of Emeril and then, was it Emeril Live? Even Anthony Bourdain has recently backtracked on his earlier scorn of Emeril's popular approach and given the guy kudos for the juggling act he accomplished in Food Network's early days, balancing non-threatening presentations with some modicum of information. In any case, he has to be counted among the most influential figures in the development of cooking show history since the 1990s or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Absolutely! Emeril is given short shrift in the scheme of things, but his contributions have been extraordinary. I truly doubt that there is anyone who can match him. The things he does silently and without recognition are amazing. The man is a phenomenon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And then, on the lighter side, the Swedish Chef on the Muppets has always been one of my favorites. '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Saw the Swedish Chef in the felt a few years ago at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. He's bigger than I'd thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      " I suggest that Emeril is the single prime candidate for what made the cooking-show genre explode."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So many came before Emeril that you might be giving away your (youthful) age. Emeril enjoyed a career that skyrocketed because so many cleared the path (with their chef's knives) before him. What I WILL give Emeril is that he appealed to a lot of young people. I can remember my daughter at about 10 with a couple of her friends remarking "I like him - he's fun." At that tender age, positive influences regarding cooking are SO IMPORTANT. What kids learn early on sets the tone for how they deal with things as adults and if cooking was represented as FUN there will be fewer adults whipping together Sandra Lee Instacrap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Cooking show history actually predates TV. Back in the forties there was a radio show called "The Mystery Chef." My mom had his cookbook. He was never actually named in it. But a later edition identified him as one James McPherson, as I recall--a Scots gentleman who ended up in New York and gradually learned cooking. The book is very dated by our standards and contains some odd cooking lore of the era. It came out at a time when few Americans had any idea of international food, and it contained some rather rudimentary recipes for dishes that have long since gone mainstream. But pioneers like him contributed to making Julia Child's success as a media person possible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Anybody remember David Wade?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. What a remarkable thread. Thank you all so much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In fact it was not Lidia that Madeleine Kamman despised, it was Julia. I mean, how dare she call herself the French chef; she wasn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Anyway, I with you all on Floyd, the early Graham Kerr, Julia somewhat; but the best of the best was Madeleine Kamman. If you can find her early book, the basis of her series, "When French Women Cook," do not hesitate; buy it. Note, by the way it's "French" women.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Then, of course, "The Making of a Cook" is, at least to date, the ultimate reference work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But, Julia was way cool too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. There was Julia Child and then a bit later and many notches lower there was Graham Kerr.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Julia was the original television chef.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kerr was the first with a show that was aimed to be more entertaining than educational.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Everyone else who has come after is a mere imitator in my humble opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Hasta la cocina itts been airing since 1960 and keeps on goin it is in mexico and has had over 11000 shows

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. There was a show on public television in the 90's. I think the chef's name was also Jacque. The show was called ' Two for Dinner' or something with dinner or two in the title. The chef was talkative, funny, and joked about using butter. If I remember correctly before he'd use it he'd pause and the audience called it out - might be wrong about that. He'd drink his cooking wine most of the time and wore the chef's hat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Can anyone tell me who it was and what happened to him?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gilbertdoubleg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I finally found the answer to my own question. The show was on public television and was called Dinner for Two. Chef Jacques Haeringer would make a romantic dinner for two. This was the first cooking show I got hooked on. Jacque used liberal amounts of wine and butter in the preparation of his dinners.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. http://www.dianawentworth.com/pages/a...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Am I the only one who remembers the husband & wife team, Von Welanetz from the PBS series?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Diana and the late Paul Von Welanetz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Does anyone else find it funny that you can get old Julia Child episodes on DVD but you can't find any of David Rosengarten's? I didn't read all of the posts so somebody already said something about this atrocity. Now it's not that I found them on VHS I can't find them anywhere, except online and it's only certain episodes. I can't believe this, ridiculous. If anyone finds something please comment, it will be much appreciated.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. If your looking for notable names look no further than FN! But notable for all the wrong reasons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I can't remember this one woman who did country or amish or that kind of cooking on her own PBS show because she said they would eat her food in front of Masterpiece Theater on Sunday nites--she wrote a book but I can't find it in my house--I liked her - it was from the early 1990's--on during the day in Denver--she looked a little like Julia Child--and she had a wonderful country home in Nebraska or somewhere like that----HELP

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: geejudy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Are you thinking of Marcia Adams? Her show was Cooking from Quilt Country. She would always put on a glove to show an antique quilt at the end of the show. I think I still have one of her books too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: PrincessBakesALot

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I remember a little Italian guy, who used to cook whatever he found in his fridge that day. He made amazing stuff, and taught me to cook everything else for a meal in the time it takes for pasta to cook. He'd make everything down to dessert in that time. He also did alot of what he'd call "steam saute", browning meats quickly in a pan then covering to continue the cooking on lower heat. Ring a bell with anyone?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: circenona

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That was Carpino Pasquale. He did Kitchen Express and other titled shows. You can watch him on Youtube. At least you knew EXACTLY what he was going to make every episode. LOL He was/is hilarious. My favorite part was the 'salad' he always made. Just grab some veg. tear/break them apart and dump them on a platter. Pour over a bunch of olive oil and wine vinegar and that's it! LOL He used to film the episodes in Toronto. He'd tape sometimes six episodes a day. Virtually all the audience were his relatives/friends who basically hung around and ate all the 'creations' between takes. He was one of Canada's first TV chef personalities. He died in 2005. His Youtube vids are worth watching. RIP Carpino.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: PrincessBakesALot

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              yes--that was who it was-now I found out that she is longer alive--I really liked her show

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Keith remains my all time favorite. There's TONS of Youtubes of his shows available. Here's one to 'wet your whistle'.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBj8ez...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. what is the name of the first chef on this site with the blue apron and what was the name of his show?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: oldtimer681

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "what is the name of the first chef on this site with the blue apron and what was the name of his show?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                oldtimer681, I'm having difficulty figuring out what you're asking. Which site? "First" chef out of what list or group?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sorry if I'm missing something obvious. This kind of thing can happen here if a post doesn't 'nest' below it's related or referencing post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I used to watch Stephen Yan on Wok with Yan when I was growing up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idGvS0...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Interestingly, Stephen Yan is on Twitter https://twitter.com/woktheheck

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I also remember watching Bruno Gerussi on Celebrity Cooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. My Great Aunt Mercedes Gaffney had a cooking show on the air. NBC/KECA-TV in Los Angeles, CA. 1952. She was one of the first women to have a t.v cooking show which aired daily all week long. 11 yrs before Julia Child had a t.v show. I dont know how long it ran but I have a picture her on her show behind cameras. Only one picture. I wish I could find more but Im worried like several shows before 1960 they were unable to save some shows. It was called Mercedes Gaffney Kitchen or Gaffney kitchen. Here is the picture I have. Did anyone ever see it?