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COOKING IS TRENDING
4 August 2015
There's that new word that seems to be everywhere today -- "trending," meaning what is "hot" right now. As I was fixing dinner tonight, I realized that cooking seems to be very hot these days.
I remember when Julia Child had the very televised cooking show. We watched her to see her goofs, watch her wave a butcher knife like a sword, but also to learn the mysteries of French cooking. I bought her cookbook and may have tried one or two recipes, but it was really more work than I wanted to do.
We loved Joyce Chen, with her mispronounced words (I still think of "oil" as "oir"). Her description of how to cook Peking Duck still ranks up there as one of the programs Char and I remember and laugh about.
And I knew Martin Yan before the rest of the country knew him because he taught classes here in Davis and it was my boss's son who helped him get his first television show. He was flamboyant and a lot of fun, but I also learned to make a pretty decent Chinese meal.
I've always enjoyed watching cooking on TV and learning from it. I loved Emeril Lagasse, who was the staple on the newly established Food Network, which debuted in 1993. Again most of his dishes were more complicated than I wanted to make, but I enjoyed watching him work, and yell "BAM" whenever he added his "essence" to the dish he was cooking.
But today cooking has come into its own. Not only is there the Food Network, but there is also a Cooking Channel (which I believe is the same franchise). The TV chefs today are more relatable to the average housewife. Their recipes are easier, but delicious and introduce the home cook to things he or she may not have thought of trying before. There are cooking contests, and bizarre shows like "Cutthroat Kitchen" where chefs bid on how to make it more difficult for their competitors -- they have to use tiny (or oversized) implement, or can't use the stove, or must cook while on a rocking horse or a tall ladder or something else strange.
Saturday is my day for cooking shows Starting with Demaris Phillips, who does southern cooking, to Farmhouse Rules, with former chef Nancy Fuller cooking for and playing with her family, to Rea Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, whose blog I followed for years until she got a TV show. (Wouldn't it be nice to have two houses on your property so you can use one of them exclusively to cook in?) Then the kitchen of Trishia Yearwood, who may be the most "home cook" of the bunch and who likes to cook with her friends and family. There are a host of cooks I like to watch and I usually learn something from all of them, whether a specific recipe, or a technique or something I want to try.
I've also watched the "Next Food Network Star" for so many seasons now that I enjoy seeing "old friends" I rooted for in the competition who now have had their own shows for several years...except maybe Guy Fieri, whose Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives seems to dominate the Food network on the weekends and whose show I have never liked much.
I recently discovered Tiffani Thiessen on the Cooking Channel. I initially watched her Dinner at Tiffani's because I have enjoyed Thiessen on White Collar and was happy to see that the first friends she would be cooking for included Tim DeKay, her White Collar husband, and Willie Garson, the strange "Mozzie" on the show. But I discovered that Dinner at Tiffani's was just a fun, low key show with good tasting, easy to make food.
So tonight I made her lemon chicken with rosemary (only I used thyme) and I convinced Walt that with enough bacon (she used pancetta) and balsamic vinegar even he would like Brussels sprouts...and he did. He had two helpings.
Cooking is definitely trending and what with the hundreds of home cooks posting YouTube videos, this may be the golden age of gastronomy.
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