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Time Machine Chefs

Came across this on Hulu. Seems to be a new ABC show. Concept is cool 4 chefs are put to the task of cooking with the tools and ingredients of a time period. This time it was 15th century china and 1532 AD England.

Though the concept was cool the production is so cheesy.

Art Smith (it only took him 30 seconds in to name drop Lady Gaga and Oprah)
Chris Constentino
Jill Davie (who is so cute)
IIan Hall (who comes off a lot better than he did on Top Chef)

Peacock is an ingredient I have not seen before on a cooking show:)

I'm a food reality junkie so I'll watch it again.

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  1. I happened to come across it on TV last night; I love Chris Cosentino, but this show was so bad I had to turn the channel after 10 minutes. Cheesy is an understatement.

    1. There's a show I catch sometimes on PBS where the chef from City Tavern in Philadelphia cooks Revolutionary War era foods in a fireplace using cookware and methods appropriate to the time. It's not just a historical oddity, though, as his meals are appealing to a contemporary palate. Not at all flashy or sexy, though. And that's not a bad thing.

      6 Replies
      1. re: rockycat

        That sounds cool. Do you know the name of the show? i don't own a TV but I can probably track it down on the internet.

        1. re: chris2269

          It's called "A Taste of History" with Chef Walter Staib.


            1. re: sr44

              bummer. Only two episodes on YouTube; none on the site.

          1. re: rockycat

            any idea what that one's called? I can usually watch PBS videos online; Hulu, not at all.

            Pity its cheesy - -sounds like a really cool concept.

            1. re: rockycat

              There's a show on New York PBS called "Appetite City" which is mainly about the history of food and eating in NYC, but has a segment in which a cook prepares old recipes from Delmonico's and other famous eateries of the 19th and early 20th centuries.


              Some are still good, others not so much. Pickled oysters are an idea whose time has come and gone.

            2. I'd like to see Italian cooking using pre-Columbian ingredients.

              1. Thanks for turning me on to this show. I enjoy history so I'll definitely watch it. I'd like to see what they do with more hardship foods, like Napoleonic-era naval salt pork or World War I bully beef.

                1. I stumbled across it last night and completely agree with your assessment of cool concept, cheesy production. I watched it through to the end, though, to see what they'd come up with. I would have liked to try Art Smith's peacock and venison dishes.
                  I tuned in a few minutes late and didn't see the introduction of the judges. Any idea who those people were? Especially the pretentious blond European woman?

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: AmyH

                    Nancy Silverton - Mozza LA and OC
                    Davis Arnold - Director of French Culture at the French Culinary Institute NYC
                    Silvena Rowe chef of the Quince London http://www.quincelondon.com/

                    She's Scandinavian and scary ...all things I respect in a women:)

                      1. re: chris2269

                        I checked the Quince website and she's actually Bulgarian. I didn't think her accent sounded Scandinavian. If anything I was thinking she was Romanian because she sounded like some people I know from there.

                        The menu looks nice and the prices aren't ridiculous (at least before you figure in the exchange factor). I'm heading to London in December and may have to try it!

                        1. re: AmyH

                          She has a cookbook out--Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume.

                          1. re: AmyH

                            If you do get to try her food report back please . Sorry for being the stupid American ...Scandinavia ..Bulgaria ...all eastern block:)

                            1. re: chris2269

                              I've already notified my foodie daughter who will be there earning a masters degree. I'm looking forward to the meal. At least I know it won't be "pedestrian"!

                      2. Also, if after only one show and 2 time periods they anointed "the best chef in history", does that mean there won't be any more episodes?

                        1. To be honest I was surprised when I saw this show on the schedule since I hadn’t heard anything about it. So wow, Art and Chris together again. It looks like rumors are going to start. Then I’m trying to remember where I heard the voice of the Host before, oh yeah “Private Chefs of Beverly Hills” she was much more enjoyable there. I imagine the Chopped people are kicking themselves as they missed this concept.

                          1. Art Smith (it only took him 30 seconds in to name drop Lady Gaga and Oprah)


                            1. I enjoyed this more than most competition shows, cheese and all. Would Curtis Stone wink and crack a joke about how good someone's cockatrice looked? No he would not. Refreshing to find a show with a sense of humor about itself.

                              1. This was awful...cheesy and campy and another bad "competition" show. Robert Irvine has had Dinner Impossible challenges like this before that were more interesting to watch.

                                1. I wonder if ABC took this as a serious idea for a show or if it was just picked up for the opportunity of roasting the NBC peacocks?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: shallots

                                    All I could think of when I watched this was "oh wow, they stuffed a Tardis inside a vintage fridge, how odd!".

                                    Well that and that I preferred The Supertasters when it came to seeing how people age in various time periods.

                                  2. Total rip-off of Heston's Feasts, the UK series with Heston Blumenthal where he bases each meal around a particular era. I though his show was more interesting because he attempted to replicate in some instances and modernize in others. He did one where he assembled "fruits" that were actually savory meats formed into realistic fruit shapes.


                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: ferret

                                      I would not say total rip off because Heston's Feast's was on such a higher level. Agree if anyone can check out Heston's Feasts I would concur to do so.

                                      On a side note, I still want a pair of Buggati glasses like Heston has.

                                      1. re: chris2269

                                        Clearly not a literal theft, but they were just as clearly inspired by the concept.

                                        1. re: ferret

                                          but that goes on all the time-- British shows adapted for the US market -- and US shows adapted for the British market.

                                      2. re: ferret

                                        really interesting, and I can appreciate the work, even if some of that sent me diving under my desk. Yeccch (even Blumenthal was a little squicked out) - even if the end result was gorrrrrrrgeous.

                                        I will seek out other episodes, too.