What does a Cooking Show, A Mystery And A Documentary have in common? I haven’t a clue, though a few, but the mystery lies with PBS!
A PBS Cooking Show
Having cooked in several cooking shows with Food Network, this was my first cooking experience with PBS; and it was also my first 8-Episode series.
Certainly, cooking on television, with a timer over your head, is not everyone’s idea of fun, but it is mine.
Why? Let’s just say, that is gives me an incredible opportunity to perform ‘visual storytelling’ through food, which I love, but not teach how to cook, which I don’t love.
Cooking – Chefs vs Cooks
Albeit few television viewers, that love cooking shows and are unaware that most cooking competitions are made up of home cooks and not professional chefs, popularity in these shows excels all others at this time.
As for me, I have indulged in many a great TV series that are for professional chefs; such as Chef’s Table or The Great British Menu.
Intriguingly, I watch and learn, with awe, as they execute every detail, from technique to presentation.
However, that is not what cooking shows, that showcase a non-professional chefs, are all about.
Home Cooks On TV
Cumulatively, there are more cooking show on television than I can find a number for, and the greater number of them, feature home cooks, or those who started out that way.
When I was invited to do The Great American Recipe show, with PBS, they clearly were most interested in creating a very different kind of cooking competition.
Spectacularly, the visuals were all there; a gorgeous barn that had been fitted out with ten kitchens, set in the countryside of Virginia, alongside a lake.
Intriguingly, the stories they wanted to tell through us cooks, were of greatest importance to the producers, as is the PBS style of entertaining.
Capturing the multiculturalism in America, through the heritage of our traditional recipes, passed down through each of our families, is what they were after.
Documentaries Of Cooking
Creating a documentary, around various aspects of the cooking world, has become a widely embraced form of entertainment.
Most often, though, these documentaries are created around trending faces we already see on television, like Stanley Tucci, or the professional chefs of Michelin Star restaurants.
But, how about the ten of us cooks, from the Great American Recipe, none of us are professional cooks, and yet you welcomed us into your television and hearts.
How or why would a documentary be created around the ten of us, and will it?
Mysteries And PBS
If you love a good story or mystery, then you are already familiar with the storytelling style of PBS.
They have captured and shared with us everything from Classic Books, turned into film, to digging deep into our heritage, through Finding Your Roots.
Therefore, I could not help but be intrigued when the ten of us received a mystery box, sixteen months after filming the first season of The Great American Recipe, a cooking show that was based on our roots.
A Mystery Box And A Documentary
During the week of Valentine Day, we each received a package with what appeared to be a lovely gesture of gratitude.
In the box, was a beautiful ‘throw,’ the kind you would have on your sofa while watching television, with letters that are often depicting a ‘word search’.
Also, in the box, was a note saying ‘You Warm Our Hearts’, and a book.
The mystery became the book, one of the classics from a library, and the words on the other side of the note: You, Me & A Documentary.
A Documentary Show
Because I have an analytical mind, I began to dive into the meaning of this package, the book and the message.
We each received a different book (for the most part), a classic story, and the same message. What were the selection of books, PBS chose to give to each of us, saying?
As each of us (once contestants, now friends), began to reveal the book received, I began to clearly see a correlation between the book and the person, as we appeared on the show.
A Documentary A Cooking Show And A Mystery
The mystery that still remains, only days after receiving this package, has yet to be revealed.
If anyone can create a documentary, from folks they built a story around in a cooking show, starting with the mystery and intrigue of this package, it’s PBS!
To Be Continued
How about a splash of more mystery? Another cook has been added to this mystery. She is not from our show, but instead has a well known cooking show of her own, on PBS… Oh how, the plot thickens!
Speaking of thickening, Carnival begins this week and it’s time for me to put on a pot of Moqueca, the Brazilian Seafood Stew, a fabulous dish I prepared on The Great American Recipe, Episode 6!