Cooking shows on TV have multiplied from just the odd show or two in the 1970s and ‘80s to a full-blown franchise with the advent of Food Network and The Cooking Channel.
Remember watching Julia break down a chicken? Her shows, including the ones where she is observing another chef rather than actually preparing food, are still some of the best you can find for solid cooking tips that will never let you down.
Oh, and does a nyone remember The Galloping Gourmet? In the 1970s, British chef Graham Kerr delighted fans everywhere with his mashup of British and American cuisine.
Today, you can choose between male and female chefs, the type of food you would like to learn to cook and even some recipes from food truck artists.
There is a smorgasbord of offerings on TV that will give you solid, practical advice on how to perform easy, intermediate or advanced techniques in your kitchen. Here are some recommendations from our staff.
Ina Garten rocketed to Food Network fame with a show named after her former deli and catering company in East Hampton, NY. Garten shows viewers how to achieve fine dining results with easy-to-learn techniques and does it with humor and grace.
This TV chef has been on almost as long as Alton Brown, and has a bunch of shows available for you. He is an Iron Chef – which is a show to check out even if you don’t have a deep desire to compete in Kitchen Stadium – and hosts a grilling show, a brunch show and a second competition show called Beat Bobby Flay.
His techniques are ones you could learn quickly and he has some short cuts that make you look like you just got out of the Culinary Institute of America.
Alton Brown breaks down the science of cooking and baking in this flagship show for the Food Network that has been on the air since the mid-1990s. He explains why measurements must be so precise when baking and what foods and drink pair well with certain dishes. He’s also a hoot.
This is a departure from Food Network and The Cooking Channel. This show airs on PBS and features one main dish per show, so you don’t have recipe and technique overload.
One segment that we really love is the gadget corner where tools are tested and discussed. This will help you make a more informed choice when it comes to adding items to your kitchen collection.
This isn’t hosted by a single chef but is a competition show that gives you some tricks from cooks who are in the kitchen every day whether that’s a restaurant, private home or corporate kitchen.
Watching these chefs think and work fast on their feet is a skill any home chef needs especially at holiday time when parts of a family meal are not ready at the same time. Watching how these chefs drop back and go to plan B even faster than you realize there is a need for one is a wonder to behold.