N.A.P. [not a pickle]: I'm curious to know if you watch any cooking shows and if so, which is your favorite? I don't have cable tv so I don't have access to most of the shows that are out there. Sometimes when I work out at the gym I'll watch one via closed-captioning on the monitor attached to the treadmill. I like the competitive ones, especially if it involves dropping people onto some secluded beach and they need to build their "kitchens" before they even get started cooking. I'd love to hear your favorites and why!



cookbookchick February 14, 2011
Anything with Jacques Pepin -- I always learn something from him. Also true of Julia Child, Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich and Michael Chiarello. Alas, the shows that are about cooking are increasingly giving way to "cooking" shows that are about entertainment. But good luck finding them anywhere except on public TV!
phyllis February 14, 2011
I agree that Foodtv isn't like it was when it first started, which is why I only watch a couple of shows. I'm hoping the Cooking Channel leans more towards cooking than entertainment.
pierino February 14, 2011
Food TV has ambitiously dumbed down it's programming since the day when Rachael Ray first appeared. The latest example is "Worst Cook in America". "What's veal?" But the first time I saw "30 Minute Meals" I thought it was supposed to be a kids' show with all her eye-rolling and hand-jiving and yummos! She would frequently spout stuff that was factually inaccurate. And then after FTV sent her out into the real world on "$40 a Day" she would land in someplace like Amsterdam come out of a bar and say stuff like "I didn't pay for a single drink in there!" Hey, sailor...
"Top Chef" really does top the list because you are watching real chefs sometimes perfoming amazing feats.
But on FTV long gone are the days of Mario Batali and Ming Tsai. Instead they showcase annoying types like Robert Irvine, the playground bully.
phyllis February 14, 2011
@bella s f Some people are just rude and think of themselves as food gurus, aka snobs. I'm sure there are many on this site who watch some food programming whether on foodtv, PBS, Bravo, or whatever.

The Cooking Channel is available in the NYC area on Time Warner cable. I don't know about other cable/sat providers. I have FiOs and we don't get the CC in HD, so I don't watch it much.
betteirene February 14, 2011
I don't know why we have cable. Actually, I do--it's for high-speed Internet access, but I rarely watch anything except for public television. Yes, I'm one of those kind of people. Have you checked out your local public television station? (I'm very lucky to have two of them!) In between "Sesame Street" and "Nova," there are some pretty good cooking shows. (NPR has a ciouple of good cooking programs, too.)

On Create TV, which is a public television offshoot on cable, I can watch Rick Bayless, Julia and Jacques, Eric Ripert, Ruth Reichl, Lidia Bastianich, Bittman, Sara Moulton, Steve Raichlen, Chrtistopher Kimball and a whole bunch of other great teachers.


I rarely get to watch Martha, but I don't miss her. I liked the format of her old show better than the current show. But I do like "Mad Hungry" with Martha's food editor, Lucinda Scala Quinn.

Alton Brown and Anthony Bourdain. . .don'tcha just love people who have fun with their food?

bella S. February 13, 2011
It's nice to see that people can admit that they watch cooking shows. I mentioned doing so a while back and caught a lot of "hello there" for doing so. Some folks were demeaning, and got a tad nasty. To be honest, it made me consider not looking here any more. That would have been a shame. Everything does not need to be Pulitzer Prize worthy. It is nice to see people realize that.
HenrysMom February 13, 2011
My weakness in the dead of Michigan winter is Jamie at Home, with Jaime Oliver. It is running in the middle of the night on Cooking Channel. DVR it. This series is set in his gorgeous enviable garden and is stunningly styled with great shabby chic dishes. Who cares, really, what he cooks. I jones for the organic garden (with gardener) and the wood burning outdoor oven!
ladyhawke82 February 13, 2011
I'm going to second No Reservations (Anthony Bourdain's show). Netflix actually has up to season 8, if I recall correctly. Good Eats is also a winner...Alton Brown is <3.
Eliana60 February 13, 2011
I love Top Chef. Its my favorite. But I'm also an avid fan of Anne Burrell's Secrets of A Restaurant Chef. She's hysterical. I often think she just forgets she's on TV when she calls it like she sees it--"its crap" or something similar, and when she talks to her food-"thanks for coming." But I liked it better in the beginning when she was au naturel, before they put her in Spanks and shapewear and her voice went up an octave!
nutcakes February 13, 2011
I always liked Top Chef but this season of All Stars is especially good. I enjoy Chopped for a fun competition. I also like Tony Bourdain's travel and food show. If you have netflix, you can stream season 1. Netflix also has a few cooking shows like Joanne Weir's2006 show. I like to watch Ina Garten and Giada de Laurentis and Bobby Flag occasionally.
melissav February 13, 2011
We get the cooking channel on the old Fine Living channel. If you have directv, it is channel 232.
drbabs February 13, 2011
Where/when do you watch the cooking channel? I don't think we get it here. (Long Island, NY)
phyllis February 13, 2011
I watch Top Chef. Maybe there's a time delay, but I'm always amazed how the contestants can think up their dishes for the quick challenge so fast. I also dvr a few episodes of Ina and Giada to watch while folding laundry. My daughter is the Director of Production for Bobby Flay's production company so I occasionally watch some of the programs she has worked on.
Queen O. February 13, 2011
I'm one of those people who actively dislike the competition shows. I like 'Secrets of a Restaurant Chef' with Anne Burrell for FN. The new Cooking Channel has some interesting stuff old and new. Just realized they are airing a lot of old Julia Child and Julia with Jacques Pepin, so I've DVR'd those. I'm also a bit surprised to find that I like some of their Foodography shows with Mo Rocca hosting. Sort of a smarter person's Unwrapped.
drbabs February 13, 2011
My guilty pleasure is Top Chef--especially this season where we've seen the contestants before and feel like we know them a little. I also watched The Next Food Network Star--kind of as a captive audience--my father was in the hospital--he loves cooking shows--and there was a marathon. I didn't like that as much. I tend to get engaged in the personalities so I don't like Chopped as much--you don't really get to know the players. On the other hand, I really just like to see what they cook so I really hate all the drama--I want them all to be cool, confident, great cooks, and people who play well with others. Obviously, no one would choose me to select a cast for any of those shows where drama is the name of the game.
Annisse February 13, 2011
I love "Chopped" because of the unusual ingredients and the time restrictions. Since I am a slow (deliberate?) cook and a horribly picky eater, I admire people who are the opposite. Also like "Top Chef". Funny, because I wouldn't touch 98% of the things they make on either show.
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