I Love the Cooking Shows on PBS

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Food Network has definitely pushed the boundaries of cooking shows on TV, bringing chefs center stage and different types of cuisine to the masses.  But there's something about the cooking shows on PBS which I am more drawn to watch. Whether it be a show format mixed with both cooking techniques and history of the dish, or an extremely talented and knowledgeable host, I look forward to Saturday afternoons to get my fix.  Check out my favorite shows below and be sure to check your local PBS station for broadcast days & times.

Chef Eric Ripert is the owner and chef of the renowned Le Bernardin Restaurant in NYC.  His show, Avec Eric, is based around his love of seeking out the freshest of foods and the adventure of learning about their growing sources.  Heading back to his NYC apartment kitchen, Ripert prepares a delicious meal with simple, easy to follow instructions, creating a dish with the best of in season ingredients.  

Long before Lidia Bastianich became a successful restaurateur, she was cooking food for friends & family with recipes, methods, and ingredients of her native Italy. The brilliance of her show, Lidia's Italy, is due to the history lesson (of sorts) that she shares, giving insight to why certain communities in Italy focus on eating certain foods.  Whether she is cooking dishes influenced through city life, country living, or waterside towns, you can't help but come away feeling more connected in the understanding of how the roots of these recipes are affected by Italy's landscape.  Food & Family is her life, and always felt in her shows.... whether it be cooking with her mother, daughter & son, or grandchildren.

Brought together by Martha Stewart, Everyday Food focuses on recipes perfect for the home cook, made from simple, yet delicious ingredients.  The show rotates with 4 chefs - Lucinda Scala Quinn, Sarah Carey, John Barricelli, and Anna Last - demonstrating easy to prepare dishes.  I find this show appealing because it takes out the idea that cooking great food can be a daunting task.  Click here to read my previous post on Lucinda Scala Quinn.

Host Christopher Kimball breaks down the nuts & bolts of cooking on Cook's Country.....  Among other kitchen do's & don'ts, he demonstrates why food should be cooked at certain temperatures, discusses why certain cuts of meat are better for certain dishes, recommends the best cooking tools, and prepares recipes with tested ingredients to make them perfect every time.  Its companion show is America's Test Kitchen - also a must see.

I think the title says it all.... how can you beat being on the receiving end of the cooking techniques and recipes of the two masters of French cuisine?  Cooking legends Julia Child and Jacques Pepin come together in Julia Child's home kitchen on Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home.  Watch the video below for more.

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