Thursday, April 7, 2011

I've Finally Found a Cooking Show I Like

I don't really like cooking shows. This of course excludes most cooking competition shows. I love Top Chef (although I can't get into Top Chef Masters and the contestants on Top Desserts annoyed me), and I did watch several episodes of MasterChef last year. I know that I've already mentioned that I like writing more about food culture than I do about actual cooking, so please don't think this is another example of a (nonexistent) bias against cooking. I don't know; I just don't want to watch other people chop carrots without some context. Does that make sense?

With the debut of Cooking Channel last year was hoping to get some more food oriented television into my weekly line up. There has been a show or two that has appealed to me, but the overwhelming bulk of the programming is still the traditional cooking show watching a chef make a dish. My reaction: Eh...

However, I think I've finally found MY cooking show, and it came from the most unlikely person: Debi Mazar and her husband, Gabriele Corcos. I love their show Extra Virgin!

What I love about this show is that it places their cooking within a context. There's something really natural about the manner they are making the food: nothing too perfectly cut and no fancy schmancy plating. They have a conversation, joke with each other, and there's an authentic way in which they engage with each other and the audience. You feel like you're watching your married friends cook instead of a chef explaining a recipe.

Also instead of just staying in a kitchen, there are reality TV-esque interviews and explanations interspersed throughout the cooking portions. We don't stay in their kitchen the entire show, and instead see them shopping for a new motorcycle, selling bruschetta and lemonade with their two daughters on their street and going to visit their extended family in Tuscany. They seem to be living and incorporating food into their daily lives not just teaching us how to make pasta correctly. It's refreshing and to me as it reflects how we all experience food: as a way of bringing together family and friends, sharing love and living rich, full lives.

Plus, I just like watching married people who are cute together. Even if it's just for TV, Debi and Gabriele seem to have a pretty loving and fun relationship.

I've got it DVR'ed, but new episodes of Extra Virgin premiere on the Cooking Channel Wednesdays at 10:30pm EST.

FTC disclosure or whatever: I was not paid to write this. I just really like their show. I'm not getting money from links, although I wish I was. Just sayin'! ;)

Do you have a favorite non-competition cooking show? Why do you like it?


Ali @ His Birdie's Nest said...

I'll have to check this out. I LOVE Debra Mazar :)

Amanda said...

I definitely need to check this show out - it looks like a show I'd love!

Diana said...

I need to find out if I have the cooking channel, sounds like a cooking show I would like. Im the same with you, I pretty much only like the competition shows like Top Chef, Chopped, Cupcake wars! Though i like to watch The Cake Boss with the girls, though thats not really cooking! He now has his own cooking show, its ok.


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