an’t get enough of how cool I look in that robe. Thanks to everyone for spreading the love of Giusto and it’s 100th post. The illustration made it onto my absolute favorite design blog, notcot.org, and received almost 1000 individual viewers in 1 day! “That’s gonna be some kind of a record!” You’re right, Mr. Carey. Onto the next 100:
Back in March I wrote a post about my current Top 5 Food Shows and why it is I loved them so. With the newly introduced Cooking Channel, as well as some great new episodes of existing programs, my top 5 shows have shifted a bit. Below are the 5 shows I’ve been watching most lately:
5. Top Chef
I actually refused to watch this when it first came out. Competitive cooking seemed so counter productive to me at the time. Why would anyone yell, scream, argue, and cry over cooking. That’s the opposite of what it should be about. BUT, wrong as I so often am, this show has really grown on me the last 3 seasons and this year’s is no exception. The judges are always top quality, the chefs are creative and inspiring (for the most part) and don’t even get me started on Padma (mmm). I’ll go out on a limb and give you my Top Chef Bracket: Top 3 – Kenny, Angelo, and Kelly. Winner – Angelo. Any takers? Free dinner for the winner?
4. David Rocco’s Dolce Vita
As one of the millions of fortunate American students, gifted with the chance to travel abroad in Florence, this show has double meaning in my book. Spending 6 months studying design and language at SACI (Studio Art Centers International) in 2006 I fell in love with Firenze, but more importantly I fell in love with Italy exactly the way I expected. David Rocco, an Italian-Canadian of all things, seems to feel the precisely the same way. His dishes are simple and traditional, seasonal and rooted in family stories and personal memories. Seeing him shop around the same markets, fattorias, and Florentine neighborhoods is like stepping back in time and retracing my steps. Bravo Paesano.
3. The Minimalist – The New York Times
It’s technically not a “show”, but I find myself watching more of Mark Bittman’s web episodes than any other series on TV. He reminds me of my Uncle Anthony, quick witted and outlandishly clever with his wording. His recipes are just what they claim to be: Minimal. A little bit of this, little bit of that, and that’s it. He’s also a fantastic food writer and one of my favorite personalities (to use such a stupid term) in show biz. If you get a chance, check out a few of his episodes on The New York Times website under Dining & Wine. His video intro with the colored backgrounds is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while. I’ve also just started his book Food Matters so I’ll let you know how that reads once I’m done.
2. Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
I may have never tried beef tongue, pork heart, chicken ovaries, or stinky tofu but Andrew Zimmern sure makes me want to. This globe trotting, offal consuming gastronome has eaten just about everything on the planet yet continues to find serenity in the uncommon and unusual. More often than not, he’s off in some remote corner of asia trying pickled fish and gnarly street foods, but all of his episodes make me both quiver and salivate in delight. His explanations just may be my favorite part: “This tastes like a fish’s crotch…and I love that”. Well said sir. It’s because of this dude I’ve ventured outside my own box when confronted with unconventional ingredients.
1. Molto Mario
Go figure, the Italian dude loves Mario Batali. Well it’s true. The man is an idol, an inspiration for all Italian Americans completely obsessed with the food of our homeland. And just like myself, Batali is fascinated in the micro-regional variations of dishes throughout every region of Italy from Venezia-Giulia down to Calabria and across to Sardegna. Molto Mario, filmed between 1997 and 2004, is filled with episode after episode of rustic, family style specialties from towns, osterias, or fishing communities in and around every nook and cranny of Italy. Batali’s food, to put it simply, is exactly the kind of Italian cuisine that makes me love cooking (and eating for that matter).