This week, I’ve been staying at home everyday, sick with a cold. That meant no going out to eat, no baking, and lots of rest, hot tea, and chicken noodle soup. Since I was stuck at home and not at work, I was able to watch some of my favorite food TV shows that play during normal business hours. Here are my top 5 shows on The Food Network.
Of course, I must mention Sweet Genius since I am obsessed with desserts. In each episode, there are four American premier pastry chefs competing in three timed challenges for the grand prize of $10,000. The host and judge, Ron Ben-Israel, also known as “Sweet Genius” introduces the challenges, which consists of surprise, and sometimes unusual, ingredients and a special theme that the chefs must incorporate in their dessert creations. I love watching the techniques, skills, and creativity of the pastry chefs; it’s definitely inspiring for bakers. The episode I recently watched featured a Boston restaurant chef, Charlene Smith, the former executive pastry chef at Sorellina, who won that episode in Season 2.
Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, otherwise known as “Triple D,” is another great show to watch, mainly because it focuses on small, independent eateries featuring all different cuisines and food styles. The host, Guy Fieri, meets with the restaurant owners/chefs for a demo of their signature dishes. I am a big fan of eating locally whenever I travel, and this show is a great guide for that, in the US. Fieri has even visited a number of Boston restaurants. Thanks to Triple D, I discovered Cutty’s in Brookline for delicious roast beef sandwiches and Rino’s Place in East Boston for the best lobster ravioli.
Chopped is an intense show for those who love watching cooking competitions. In each episode, four chefs compete in timed challenges for a chance to win $10,000. The challenges involve three exciting rounds (appetizer, main course, and dessert), and a basket of mystery ingredients per round that must be incorporated into the food. The judges’ panel consists of current Food Network stars and notable people in the world of food & cooking. If the judges aren’t fond of a chef’s creation, then that chef will be “chopped” and will not move on to the next round. I would say this show is like a thriller movie to foodies: adrenaline-rushing, fast-paced, with the suspense of who’s next to be “chopped.”
If you ever wonder where and what the biggest food stars and chefs eat during their free time, then you should check out The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Each episode focuses on a different food category (i.e. sandwich, dessert, etc.), and the celebrity chefs – the pros in the food industry! – share with us their favorite place to get that. It’s interesting to learn about the delicious food they think are worth traveling miles for. I have tried Chef Aaron Sanchez’s favorite pizza – the chocolate pizza from Max Brenner (see my post here) and Chef Bobby Flay’s favorite item – Flour Bakery‘s sticky buns – for the “Simply Irresistible” episode.
Alton Brown is probably my top food celebrity idol because he is very knowledgeable in all things food-related with a sense of humor. In his show, Good Eats, Brown explores the science and technique behind the cooking, the history of different foods, and the advantages of different kinds of cooking equipment. The show tends to focus on familiar dishes that can easily be made at home. (Wikipedia). It’s a great show to learn interesting facts and tips about food and cooking. For example, I learned why one should gradually add flour when mixing the batter – to better soak in the moisture. Also, did you know that rolling cookie dough balls in powdered sugar, instead of flour, helps avoid producing too much gluten or potentially tough cookies? Good to know!
There are so many great food shows out there, but these are just some of my favorites. What are your favorite food shows to watch during your free time?