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The People On America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country

Does anyone else notice how Julia Collin Davison is almost orgasmic when she tastes it? Christopher Kimball might make an occasional mmm noise but not like her. Bridget is subdued compared to her.

Bridget makes me laugh when she adds spicy peppers to a dish and then makes a snide comment to Christopher Kimball. He does seem to be a wimp about any spiciness.

Is the whole awww shucks Vermont country farmer routine of Christopher Kimball just an act? I read where he is a multimillionaire so I figure he has people doing all the work on his farm. I doubt he does any hard work on the farm. I have noticed that half the time his bow tie is crooked. Wonder if the crew don't bother to tell him about it. My friend's 5 year old granddaughter nicknamed him the turtle because she said he looks like one.

There is also a young woman on the show whose last name I believe is Ruperti? Not sure if that is right. She did mainly desserts on the show but she seems to have disappeared.

My favorite is Jack Bishop. He seems to take great pleasure when Christopher Kimball chooses the loser in a taste testing. I would have loved to see the hot sauce tasting but I missed it.

I am new to Chow but have been reading it for a long while now. Sorry if I rambled.

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  1. If you search this board you will find MANY threads about the Kimball empire. Yvonne Ruperti is one of many secondary staff cooks who appear on the shows from time to time, and author articles in CI and CC.

    On some if not all public radio stations, Kimball and Lancaster cohost the weekly "America's Test Kitchen Radio". It includes listener call-ins, interviews with experts, and equipment reviews by Lisa McManus (who so far has dissed several gadgets that I own and consider very useful.) She seems overly fond of cabinet-cluttering uni-taskers, IMO.

    1 Reply
    1. re: greygarious

      ATKR is also a weekly podcast available through iTunes or americastestkitchen.com.

    2. "Is the whole awww shucks Vermont country farmer routine of Christopher Kimball just an act?"
      ~~~~~~~~

      Yes.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christop...

      12 Replies
      1. re: LindaWhit

        "He lives in the South End neighborhood of Boston and in southwestern Vermont, with his wife, Adrienne, and their four children."
        how is this an "act" again?

        1. re: linus

          As a native Vermonter (tho far removed from it for more years than I care to admit to), I find it more than a bit annoying this Flat Lander is trying to pass himself off as a Vermonter...and apparently succeeding. He is no more a native Vermonter than Hillary Clinton is a native New Yorker.

          He is typical of the rich city folk who have the means to purchase land in Vermont that real Vermonters couldn't afford to keep up any more. They then come "to the country" on weekends to play what they perceive to be "country folk." I don't begrudge his success, but to try to pass himself off as an "aw shucks" country boy is off-putting.

          1. re: al b. darned

            could you please give me an example of when he's said "aw shucks" or tried to pass himself off as a native vermonter?

            1. re: linus

              "Welcome to Two Pigs Farm
              ...
              I grew up in this mountain village back in the fifties and sixties. I worked on a dairy farm owned by the Bentleys and helped out at their Yellow Farmhouse on rainy days..."
              http://www.twopigsfarm.com/index.html

              As noted downthread: "Kimball’s family, which hailed from Westchester County...built a cabin in a small southwestern Vermont town in 1955, and Kimball started coming up here as a child. "

              In another article on him a few years ago, IIRC, it said the cabin belonged to a family friend, not his family. Not that it really matters who owned the cabin, but the reality is he spent his summers up there. While still a great experience for a kid from the NYC suburbs, spending your summers in Vermont as a child is not the same as, "I grew up in this mountain village..." The latter implies he lived there year around, went to school there, etc. While not a lie, he does not tell, as Paul Harvey would say, "The rest of the story."

              He has built his "brand" on a laid back country boy image, which he is not. He's not the first, nor will he be the last to do this. Martha also built her brand on a "laid back country girl" image,which, if the news media is to be believed, she is not, either.. Both, I dare say, have been moderately successful at it.

              As I have said before, I don't begrudge him his success, and even admire him for it. He started his first magazine with a relatively small "angel investment" and built his empire from there. He is, according to past and present employees and others who know him, a hard working perfectionist. I also can relate to his, "who cares if you like me or not" attitude. Also from the Boston Globe article:

              "But there is one place in the magazine, and only one, where Kimball has decided to ignore his readers’ wishes: his editorials about Vermont. They don’t tend to test well. Only about 35 percent of readers surveyed like them. The rest, Kimball admits, are indifferent or hate them. But Kimball has absolutely no intention of moving on to a new topic.

              “It’s my magazine, and I’ll do what I want.” " I particularly like that last line.

              As someone who *did* grow up in Vermont in the 50's and 60's and helped out occasionally on the dairy farm across the road from my parent's house, his "padded resume" annoys me.

              1. re: al b. darned

                "Martha also built her brand on a "laid back country girl" image,which, if the news media is to be believed, she is not, either.. "

                Sorry, but DEFINITELY NOT true. As much as I find Martha Stewart's current empire a major disappointment when compared to the wonderful way she started out, she has NEVER pretended to be from a "country" background. If anything, she's flaunted her Nutley, NJ, roots, relatives, & recipes.

            2. re: al b. darned

              You sure seem to know a lot about CK. have you ever met him. Do you know? How can you make all these assumptions?

              1. re: al b. darned

                I was just listening to the radio podcast the other day and he talked about how he was born in Vermont and then left as a young man, then returned as an adult. He said that because of that he is still known as a "flatlander" despite having been back home for over 15 years. Hm....

              2. re: linus

                His South End townhouse was up for sale a while ago. I think the asking price was $4M. It was where they shot the PBS special "Fanny's Last Supper" a year or two back.

              3. "I read where [Christopher Kimball] is a multimillionaire so I figure he has people doing all the work on his farm. I doubt he does any hard work on the farm."

                You can tell all that from a half hour TV show? Wow.

                1. Does he actually claim to be farming? There are plenty of city people who have bought country estates, old farm houses and such, not to make a living, but as a place away from the city. Cooks Country is a relatively recent variation on the ATK show, with a little more emphasis on revisiting American classics. The setting could be Kimball's Vermont property, it could just as well be rented just for filming.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: paulj

                    "Does he actually claim to be farming?"

                    Yes. He's mentioned raising and slaughtering pigs on the show. Other things too but nothing I can specifically remember right now.

                    1. re: paulj

                      my impression is that ck comes from boston money and that his family has had a place in vermont for a couple of generations. it was very much a part of his growing up and remains a touchstone for him. but, yes, he's a multi-millionaire (or at least should be), and is very much a gentleman farmer.

                      1. re: FED

                        "Kimball’s family, which hailed from Westchester County, the burbs of New York City, built a cabin in a small southwestern Vermont town in 1955, and Kimball started coming up here as a child. " http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/mag...

                        Not from old money, and pretty much self-made.

                        Yes, he actually has a sizable farm and he actually works it. He would have to have a sizable staff running it, tho. It sounds like quite an operation. http://www.twopigsfarm.com/index.html

                        1. re: al b. darned

                          Self-made but somehow made it to Philips Exeter for high school? MIght've had some help along the way.

                          1. re: mattyb

                            everybody has had help along the way.

                            1. re: linus

                              Was it new money that got him into Philips Exeter? LOL

                    2. Yvonne Ruperti got married and moved to Singapore. She's blogging at http://shophousecook.com/

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: sr44

                        Just found her on Serious Eats. (Possibly fellow-ATK alum Kenji got her the job?) http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2012/09...

                        1. re: pdxgastro

                          As a freelance writer she could be anywhere. At the bottom of the seriouseats page:
                          " She presently lives in Singapore as a freelance writer for Time Out Singapore."

                        2. re: sr44

                          Thanks for posting this link! Fun.