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Jul 22, 2013 09:11 AM

What Kind of Food/Cooking Show Would You Like to See?

It seems that besides America's Test Kitchen and their companion show Cook's Country and maybe Martha Steward's Cooking School, there are very few shows on TV these days that actually teach you how to cook. I don't mean how to cut up an onion or mince garlic but advanced techniques and processes.

I've learned more in the past few months watching old reruns of Julia Child from the 60's and 70's than I have from watching the Food Channel for the past few years. Sure I've picked up some tips here and there but most of the shows are just preparing standard recipes that you could easily look-up and prepare without knowing much more than simple frying, brazing, sauteing or roasting techniques, all very basic stuff.

Is there a market for an advanced cooking show that really teaches you something new and advanced?

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  1. To put it simply, no.

    I can get all the techniques and tips for the physical preparation of food by going to youtube. The teaching shows of fond memory served a need for that time. Good Eats is the last of the genre.

    Mom and I would watch Julia, Graham, or Jeff with a notepad to copy recipes we wanted to try. I have never done that with Iron Chef, Master Chef, Chopped, etc.I watch these for entertainment. As I do NFL football or LPGA golf.

    1 Reply

      I get general combination and flavor ideas from those type of shows but I have to apply it myself, don't learn much from the actual show ;)

      Second on YouTube. So much information there. Been recently addicted to Bruno albouze. He sounds like a French batman

    2. I pick up a lot of hints from shows like BBQ Pitmasters, and while competitors there may give out temperatures and smoke/cook times, they'll never really give out their rub and sauce recipes. I do think that barbecue (low and slow smoking as opposed to grilling) is growing in popularity in the country and that there is room for a program to teach good technique just as websites like Meathead's are gaining in readership.

      1. I miss Sarah Moulton's show, I used to learn a lot watching it as well. Now all we get are "tv chefs" yapping about themselves for 30 minutes, while they repeat the same old cooking "tips" over and over again, and having dinner parties with their snotty friends and family at their multi-million dollar houses...

        I wouldn't mind seeing a show with Mark Bittman. I enjoyed his videos on the NYT site.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Atomic76

          Bittman's Minimalist show is on Cooking Channel (I think?) about once a week. And those videos are available on iTunes in the free podcast section, if you get a hankering.

          I would like "How to Cook Like a Chopped Chef". Explain the thought process behind creating a dish with three or four random ingredients. If I bring home kale, zucchini and chevre from the farmers market, or eggs, beets and garlic, how can I approach these ingredient sets? (Or more likely: if I have three ingredients left over three days later and need to use them up.)

          Even if it became "The Casserole and Stew Show" I'd bet there would be a lot to teach about how to make certain tastes and textures palatable when put together.

          1. re: ennuisans

            Yes to cooking like a chopped chef!

        2. I wish there were more "healthier" cooking shows. Like, I really enjoyed Ellie Krieger's show when it was on. The rich recipes that are on most shows are fun to make every once in awhile, but every day cooking for me at least, needs to be healthier.

          I will say, when I was first starting out cooking, I learned from pretty much all Food Network shows I watched, except for maybe Sandra Lee... even back then I knew she was crap. But just watching folks like Ina Garten and Tyler Florence DOING the cooking, that's how I learned. Nowadays though, I've moved beyond that.

          4 Replies
          1. re: juliejulez

            I'll probably get flack for this, but one TV cook who does pay attention to healthy eating is Rachael Ray.

            1. re: JonParker

              Not really. A lot of her dishes are pretty high in calorie. Even the other day an episode came on and I had it on the background. She was making some kind of chili, but then topped it with sour cream and cheese and bacon. I'm sure it was good, but not really "healthy". And yes, I know "healthy" is subjective, but to me, it's food that isn't 1000+ calories a serving.

              Some of the shows are relatively healthy foods, but I liked Ellie Krieger because that was her main focus. She made good healthy food with REAL food. There was that other Hungry Girl show but she uses so much "fake" packaged food, it wasn't really my thing either.

              1. re: juliejulez

                Yes, healthy is very subjective. I consider the sour cream, cheese and bacon "healthy" because I count carbs more than calories :)
                Rachel uses a lot of starch in her foods so I don't consider her meals healthy either. I liked Ellie Krieger too, she was often very vegetable focused and everyone considers vegetables healthy!
                Almost all the shows on FN are meat focused and vegetables are treated as a side dish...and I am an omnivore speaking.

                1. re: juliejulez

                  I see Rachel's talk show cooking segment at least twice a week (it's always on in a waiting room where I have a standing appointment), and while healthy is indeed subjective, to my mind she uses a lot of fresh vegetables, very little to no processed food, and she takes calories into consideration.

                  I did not watch FN back when she was doing cooking shows on there, so I don't know if she's changed or not. But on her talk show she puts together healthy, fast, cost-effective meals that can feed a busy family in the same or less time that it would take to heat up frozen crap or order take out. It's not really my style of cooking, but I think she's serving her audience very well.

            2. I've brought this up once before but I'm really looking forward to the debut of Knife Fight on Esquire TV in September.