Under Our Stay-at-Home Order, I've Turned to TV Cooking Shows to Feel like I'm,

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 17, 2020 | Go to article overview

Under Our Stay-at-Home Order, I've Turned to TV Cooking Shows to Feel like I'm,


Byline: Susan Stark sstark@dailyherald.com

Under our stay-at-home order, I've turned to TV cooking shows to feel like I'm, at least, seeing three-dimensional people.

And Ina Garten and the chefs at "America's Test Kitchen" speak right to you. Wow, it's like a conversation.

If you've run through what you saved on your DVR and all the various streaming options, perhaps cooking shows have become more of a fixture in your TV-watching repertoire. Without a nearly two-hour commute each day, I've found that I have more time to devote to other areas of interest, and watching cooking shows is one of them.

I've been a big fan of "The French Chef" with Julia Child ever since I watched reruns with my mom as a kid. I watched Julia cook and spar with Jacques Pepin, and then all the spinoff shows Child was involved with until her death. Now, of course, we have access to watching any era of Julia Child we wish with the help of streaming services and on demand.

One of the best is the series "The Way to Cook," which I found on YouTube. Child teaches viewers how to saute a chicken, cook eggs for more than just breakfast, and how to make sauces. She sticks with the basic techniques and then goes on to show you several ways to serve that sauteed chicken, for example. There is also a fun show I found on PBS and PBS Passport called "Dishing With Julia Child," where current TV chefs caption and comment on iconic episodes of "The French Chef." They talk about how engaging Child is while always teaching the best way to cook, which turns out to be pretty basic, but just plain good.

I also love the "Barefoot Contessa" with Ina Garten on the Food Network. You can find her shows on demand, too. I like her homey approach to cooking with fresh ingredients. She is so personable; it's almost like you've pulled up a stool to her kitchen island, and she's talking right to you about the easiest and best-tasting lasagna.

I just started watching "A Chef's Life" on PBS. I can binge these shows because I'm five seasons behind. This show is about chef Vivian Howard, who, with her husband Ben Knight, left the big city to open a fine-dining restaurant in small-town eastern North Carolina. They're out in the fields and on the farms sourcing fresh ingredients for their restaurant and exploring Southern cuisine.

As for competition shows, I devour episodes of "Chopped" on Food Network mostly because the cooking competition is similar to how we run the Daily Herald Cook of the Week Challenge each year. …

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