This past week I stumbled upon a cool little show on Netflix. Sure it is a PBS show so it was bound to be interesting but this one has become one of my favorite recent shows. I liked it because it isn’t the typical food show where they show you a recipe and you can make it after the half hour is over but it goes into the process of how things are made and what inspires chefs. The show has the feel of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservation with chefs going around exploring food things, but it never get to traveloguey. One of my favorite parts of the show is when Harold McGee pops up and explains the science behind things like smoking or preserving or salt and how they make an impact on the food that we eat.
The first season of the show focused on David Chang of Momofuku fame, and he travels to Japan, Denmark and Spain and explores some of the food in the countries (ramen, miso, and fideos). The second season of the show is a bit different as it is split into two half with featuring a different chef in each half. The chefs are Sean Brock of Husk and April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig. In the first hald of the season we look at Brock’s passion the reintroduction of Southern Food to the world, through the rediscovery of flavor in ingredients by using seeds to bring back long lost varieties of different ingredients. Brock stays put in the south and take journeys to Senegal to explore the roots of Southern Cooking. The second half of the season we follow Bloomfield as she explores the various influence on her cooking from the curries of India (in London), fish and chips of England to Italian pasta. Bloomfield for the most part stay put in London but makes some salami and harvests some salt as well. A common thread through all the season so far is that the chefs are bringing their friends and the people who inspired them to cook and are cooking dishes for or with them. The third season debuts in September and will feature chefs Edward Lee and Magnus Nilsson,
I think that programing like this is important and hope that it last for a couple more seasons as I would really like to see the likes of Jose Andres or Alice Waters or at least someone like her on the show. A lot of people don’t know much about food and this needs to change. One of the biggest problems facing America today is the obesity epidemic this is due to many people not understanding what food really is. All food is not good food. The processed crap that most people think is food isn’t that great to begin with. Hopefully with the rise of the farmer’s markets we will begins to see more varieties of produce make it to the general public. I also hope that more people will try to make meals at home and not always rely on takeout or some frozen dinner to get through the week but work with fresh foods and produce great meals from them.