Monday, June 22, 2009

Obscure Cooking Shows

I have a fondness for unknown and hard-to-find cooking shows. Back in February we switched from Dish Network to Direct TV so DH could get more baseball games. I was sad because we were losing a wonderful natural health channel Veria Tv. They are on their second season of an almost vegan cooking show, Naturally Delicious, with Real Food Daily's Ann Gentry. You can find most of her recipes HERE. There's also a gluten-free, sugar-free baking show that was often vegan, an interesting show on brewing, and a show on Asian cuisine - all the recipes are on that same page.

One of my favorite cooking shows is Culinary Creations with Mary Crafts on BYU TV (available on both Dish Network and Direct TV). She's a caterer in Utah and she absolutely cracks me up. At the end of each episode she shows a themed centerpiece done by a florist - the one above shows a topiary/gingham effort for a pizza buffet. Her Julia Child impersonation is the best I've ever seen. I know she's done at least one vegetarian show. The best tip I've learned from her is that you can make a fast and delicious pizza sauce by mixing equal parts tomato paste and olive oil with some fresh garlic.

I just started watching Cooking Vegetarian on Hope TV (Channel 368 on Direct TV). I've only seen a few episodes but the chef is Sualua Tupolo and he says he is with the Atlantic Union College Vegetarian Culinary Arts Dept. This show is sponsored by Worthington Foods and most of the recipes use the Seventh Day Adventist canned meat substitutes. I've always been afraid to try them but maybe this show will change my mind. I do find the names of the "meats" humorous like tender bits, wham, and chichen. There might be a scheduling issue because for some reason my DVR tapes other shows instead of the cooking show about 50% of the time. It looks like you can watch some of the shows online at their web site.

Paul James the host of Gardening by the Yard also had a brief cooking show called Home Grown Cooking that is aired on DIY Network in the middle of the night. It includes a lot of the little vignettes he used to do in the gardening show and most of the recipes are vegetable-based to help gardeners.

I also occasionally watch the cooking shows on the Spanish-language public broadcasting channel VME. I don't speak Spanish so I go to their web site and translate it via Google Translate to try to follow along on each recipe. I keep another window open with to look up words. The culinary abilities of the hosts is much higher than you often see on American tv - for instance, whenever they need pasta they make their own from scratch and you rarely see them open a package or can. I think you have to register first in order to see the recipes. There is an excellent Mexican pastry show, a lowfat cooking show, a guy who does great Italian food, and a very interesting Venezuelan cooking show.

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