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Help - Are there any good DVD's to learn to cook?

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I love cooking, but to be honest...i dont really know what i am doing. I have been a big foodtv fan since it came on the air. You would think that i have learned something...but not really. I do a pretty good job of just winging it and throwing stuff in the pan, but i would really like to learn how to really cook and learn the techniques to make nice dinners. I have a bunch of cookbooks and recipes, but i just dont feel like i do them justice and they dont really "teach" you "how" to cook. I was wondering if there are some good dvd's that walk you through making some dishes and learning cooking techniques. I know there are a million+ cooking dvd's, but i am looking for something that i know is good at teaching...not just fluff.

Thanks a ton for any advice.

-JD

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  1. Look up anything by Jacques Pepin (especially the PBS shows). "Fast Food My Way" is great. He stresses technique over recipe. Worth watching just for his mad knife skills. "The Complete Pepin" is another one worth having.

    "Julia and Jacques" is also excellent - both of them dissing each other in good humour.

    Speaking of Julia Child. The original and highly innovative "The French Chef" shows are now available on DVD. This is the show that started it all.

    2 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      The original (old) Julia Child French chef is terrific! Worlds away from the showmanship and incessant smiles and tight bodices of food TV. Julia is straightforward and downright frumpy! (refreshing!) And she shows you how to cook.

      1. re: fmed

        I just noitced that this old thread just bumped up.

        Jacques Pepin has a portal over at KQED's website:

        http://www.kqed.org/food/jacquespepin/

        All the episodes of "More Fast Food My Way" are available as streaming videos there.

      2. There are also many, many videos available on-line. Just Google what you want. Don’t forget to add “video.” Here are a couple of examples.

        “make a pie crust video” http://www.pbs.org/juliachild/tricks/...
        “decorate a cupcake video” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWfAd7...
        “make stuffed cabbage video” http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/s...

        3 Replies
        1. re: yayadave

          I learned to cook from watching Martha Stewart's old show. She now has a line of DVDs with various topics from the old shows.

          1. re: yayadave

            And check out your local public library as well.

            1. re: fmed

              I didn't think of that, and I'm over there a lot.

          2. Check out www.youtube.com. If you're wondering how to make a certain dish, just enter it in the search window and presto, you'll get a huge variety of videos (from real chefs to armatures) whipping up the dish.

            1. Jacques Pepin's whole technique series is available on DVD. Check out the pbs website in San Francisco. That's the station where his shows originate.

              I got them for my sister last Christmas, and she uses them all the time.

              1. America's Test Kitchen (Cook's Illustrated) has produced several seasons of excellent cooking shows where they brake down simple dishes and try to improve them. The show is a lot of fun, very relaxed and their solutions are always interesting. If you watch their episodes you will learn a lot about classic dishes, methods, kitchen products and more. The show usually airs on PBS on Saturdays, however you could get the seasons on dvd - check your local library, there's a good chance they might have them.

                2 Replies
                1. re: quelle4

                  ATK is selling its cookbook after the show for a very good price, and it includes the season's dvds!

                  1. re: quelle4

                    Awesome idea. ATK at the library! I wholeheartedly agree with the ATK idea itself -- can't tell you how many great ideas I've gotten from it. If you can't find it at the library, check your local PBS affiliate's lineup. ATK is on at 3:00 every Saturday here in Louisville, KY! :)

                    Alternately, Good Eats DVDs are probably available your local megamart, to use an Altonism. Good Eats would be one of my first suggestions for a new or inexperienced home cook because it's thorough, unpretentious, and practical.

                  2. CIA has a DVD set but they are very expensive.

                    1. I am SO in favour of NYchowcook's suggestion. I have Julia's DVDs and she's just fantastic. I know you can order them from pbs.org. Also, just because nobody has mentioned him yet, a lot of Alton Brown's "Good Eats" episodes are on DVD, available via the food network. But Julia really does rule... I think.

                      1. Oooo... sorry. Somebody DID mention Alton! Sorry LauraGrace. And you are right -- very unpretentious! Also, his chemistry/physics lessons have helped me a lot: I feel like I don't need to follow recipes quite so minutely anymore, now that I have a sense of why and how some things happen.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: linengirl

                          No worries! I agree -- I definitely feel more confident to tinker with things like cakes because I better understand the chemistry of why they work! Good old AB.

                        2. TheSizzleWorks has dvd modules for only $1.99. You can pick only the module you are interest in, or buy the bundle topic which is 6 modules for $10.

                          An onion cutting demo is at:
                          http://www.thesizzleworks.com/catalog...

                          Home page is at:
                          http://www.thesizzleworks.com