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I need some shows

I did look through the first couple pages of posts as I'm sure this gets posted fairly frequently but I didn't see anything that helped me. But I will admit a thorough lack of research up front out of laziness.

I want to be educated or inspired or entertained and I'd like to DVR a few shows to see if I can form some new habits.

Examples of what I like: I found Alton mostly irritating but loved Good Eats because I was learning. I found Man V Food strangely entertaining and watchable. I learned a lot from the early episodes of Molto Mario. I get inspired watching Lydia's kitchen. I've learned some nice things from one of the Ming shows. I liked Extra Virgin the first few times but I'm worn out on it. The original Iron Chef was compelling but I couldn't stomach the remake. I liked Chopped for a few episodes but it felt repetitive and I dislike the host. I've liked a couple of "Grandma's Ravioli" but also found a couple where it was more about "Mo being Mo" and less about the food.

What I don't like: well, that's predictable I'm sure. Every time I've checked in on the newer Food Network shows I'm cringing. But I certainly haven't tried them all.

FWIW I have Time Warner Cable (and that's probably fairly limiting).

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Food Network shows re-runs of Anne Burrell's "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef" every week day. Lots of people are put off by her somewhat over-the-top personality, but if you can get past that she cooks a lot of interesting food and does a good job explaining what she is doing and why she is doing it. So you can pick up a lot of tips. Watching her always makes me want to cook something, and I have tried quite a few of her recipes successfully. That's about the only thing I watch on FN these days.

    That's about it for FN, most of the instructional shows have been moved over to The Cooking Channel. Sounds like you get TCC because you mention Extra Virgin. Actually I didn't like the earlier shows, but they have a new season on now and they seem to be getting better. Although the drama to actual cooking ratio is still a little high.

    TCC airs the old Molto Mario's really early on weekday mornings, so you might try DVR for those. Just check the schedule to see what shows are on early in the morning, that's when they show the instructional cooking shows.

    You might like, Laura Calder "French Food at Home", "Chuck's Day Off", David Rocco in Florence. These are all reruns but if you haven't seen them before they are new for you.

    4 Replies
    1. re: pamf

      thanks pam- those are good suggestions as I've never watched any of them. Will start the taping.

      other ideas anyone?

      1. re: e_bone

        My main shows had been GE and Laura Calder's show until I got burned out (and found both online). Calder can be a bit esoteric but there's always at least one recipe that's down to earth enough for a basic cook like myself. I think right now all I'm taping is Mark Bittman's The Minimalist (which I've found on iTunes also) and whatever ATK/Cooks Country that gets shown sporadically on our PBS station.

        Two that I enjoyed, Jamie at Home and Two Fat Ladies, may be discontinued. Eden Eats is probably the most reliably fun travel-food show right now.

      2. re: pamf

        I really liked this week's Extra Virgin. Probably the best one yet.

        1. re: Njchicaa

          I really like the way that Gabriele is stepping up in the new episodes and speaking very authoritatively about what he is cooking.

      3. You should check your local PBS stations and schedules. Not just for the cooking shows, but often there will be food-related programs.

        11 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          Man do I miss the Create channel. I don't know if any cable-ish systems carry it (it was our digital alternate PBS in St Louis) but the cooking shows were as good or better than anything the cable food channels have.

          1. re: ennuisans

            Amen. Create was GREAT! Why do the good ones go away???

            1. re: njmarshall55

              I stll get a couple CREATE channels through Verizon FIOS (in the Phily suburbs, at least.)

              1. re: njmarshall55

                I have basic basic cable ($9.99/mo.) from Comcast, in Pittsburgh, PA, and I get four different channels from my local PBS station, WQED, and I get Create and all its cooking shows.

                My favorite is John Besh's My New Orleans show. No one on TV makes me want to cook as much as John Besh does. I also like ATK and Cook's Country. I hate how they make it so hard to access their info online, but I do enjoy their PBS shows.

                1. re: Jay F

                  great rec! Hope i can find it. right up my alley!

                  1. re: Jay F

                    If you are an Amazon prime video, you can watch ATK Season 12 for free on their video on demand.

                      1. re: DeeCee

                        Thanks from me too! I usually have 3 hours at the end of my work day with nothing to do, and now I have something to watch aside from movies :)

                        EDIT, OMG they have episodes of The French Chef (Julia Child) too for free :)

                        1. re: juliejulez

                          3 hours with nothing to do.....dang.....feels like I have three hours to do, with no time to do it in.........who doesn't love affordable health care? =)

                          1. re: Shrinkrap

                            Ha well as fabulous as it sounds, it does get to you after awhile... especially when you have tons of other things you could be doing at home or errand wise, but nope, you just have to sit here and wait for 6pm to roll around. But, I've watched about every food documentary that's available on Netflix, along with hoards of BBC shows and miniseries, and lots of historical documentaries. I figure if I'm going to sit here I can at least learn something!

                    1. re: njmarshall55

                      Comcast in CT took Create away. Haven't even sent out a new channel listing card to check what is where.

                  1. Any show with Jacques Pepin on PBS. The man is an amazing professional but makes everything he does easy enough for the home cook to accomplish. I watch his shows over and over and learn something new each time. I would watch him make a glass of Kool Aid if he did it.

                    1. I've been liking Easy Chinese on The Cooking Channel. I'm not that familiar with Chinese cooking but it's very informative for a newbie like me. I usually catch it on Saturday mornings, not sure what other times it comes on.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: juliejulez

                        I enjoyed this too (1 episode). I'm asia-phobe in the kitchen (all my "Chinese Food" tastes the same). Perhaps I can get inspired to try something more.