Salon has an article on geek cooking. It talks about my favorite show, Good Eats featuring Alton Brown, as well as a show that Davin and Michelle introduced me to during my recent trip down to visit them, America’s Test Kitchen.
I totally agree with the article’s point, that these two shows are a refreshing change from the normal “Bam!” showmanship of many of the cooking shows you find on TV. I wouldn’t be so into cooking as I am if it weren’t for finding Good Eats years ago. It explains the “why” of cooking. For example, there was an entire show where Alton made chocolate chip cookies. He started with the Nestle Tollhouse recipe, then explained 4 or 5 different changes you could make to the standard in order to alter the final result of the cookies to your liking. It was a great show, I feel more comfortable in the kitchen when I understand what’s going on in the mixing bowl of mine.
America’s Test Kitchen takes more of a hacker approach to cooking, which I found equally enjoyable, especially after I had a decent exposure to the hard science from Good Eats. In the particular show Davin shared with me, they made 20-some odd different kinds of white rice. They covered all the different types available, used various cooking methods and came up with 4-5 samples that they then used to explain the differences. They take a more qualitative approach than Good Eats, but it is equally as entertaining and interesting.