Cooking And Television: Origins
Books are knowledge repository of the past, not least in the world of cooking and culinary. Books are also another alternative for passing knowledge for verbal sharing and private courses. Though it retains its loyal readers, the stellar importance of books are slowly eroded by television (TV) in latter years and the rate of knowledge and information sharing had increased dramatically with the invention of TV by Englishman, John Baird, in 1928.
9 years later (1937), the British TV station BBC aired the first ever cooking show. The show was hosted by Marcel Boulestin, a French-born Chef and restaurateur who lives in England. The show was far from successful since watching people cook on TV is still considered strange at that time. But on the other hand the show was notable for increasing the reputation of French food among British audience.
This so called cooking show had its counterpart in the US with I Love To Eat, first aired in 1946 hosted by Chef James Beard through NBC. The thos was eventually cancelled after a just a few episodes due to low rating.
A couple years later Ernie Kovacs tried to make a cooking show after strings of successful comedy TV show. Beginning in 1948 he collaborated with some local Chef to demonstrate how to cook variety of foods. In this show Ernie are often talking to the Chef as they cook, occasionally he slipped humor that made the show more engaging and lively. This is the turning point where the cooking show started to get a place in the hearts of the American TV audience. Throughout his career Ernie had guided -and created- at least four cooking shows on TV including Deadline For Dinner, Now You're Cooking, Three To Get Ready, and Kovacs On The Corner -which more like a comedy show with a cooking theme.
Rise to Fame
British Chef Dione Lucas raised the standard of cooking show to a higher level with To The Queen's Taste which was shot in one of his restaurants, Egg Basket. His experience as a famous French hospitality, Le Cordon Bleu, graduate as well as being the owner of two upscale restaurants in New York are influential in his nature as TV host. Dione is also very concerned with the artistic side of the French dishes he had made which eventually built an impression that French food are expensive.
Dione's success inspired a middle-aged mother compatriot, Julia Child. Julia, who several times moved to various countries as members of the military in the era of World War 2, took the opportunity to study at Le Cordon Bleu on the advice of her husband. After his military service completed both returned home and settled in a small town in America. There, Julia began to write a cooking book that would later be famous, Mastering The Art Of French Cooking.
A TV producer spotted Julia when she demonstrated how to cook one French dish during her book launching. Shortly after they began filming the cooking show The French Chef Julia Child hosted by Julia herself. Filming was done without editing in Julia's own kitchen which helped creating the impression that French cuisines could be easily cooked by middle-class housewifes. The show last up to 10 years thanks to high ratings.
Julia Child continued to actively writing until the early 2000s. He died in 2004 at the age of 91. Most of his life story immortalized in the film Julie & Julia (2009), played by actress Meryl Streep. Julia is also often referred to as the first ever celebrity chef.
The French Chef is proof that cooking shows don't have to be hosted by good-looking chef and are not necessarily backed with big budget (for the props and production cost). Many cooking shows have sprung up in the 70s and gained further success in the upcoming era. Raised more diverse menu ranging from Asian cuisine, healthy cuisine, to Scandinavian cuisine. The theme is also increasingly an area ranging from choosing fresh ingredients at the market first before cooking, try the hawker pavement, and the animated series cooking.
Among the various types of cooking shows are cooking competitions; ranging from competitions for amateurs, real Chef, and even celebrities and kids. MasterChef, for example, was initiated by BBC in 1990, the show became a worldwide phenomenon after its rebranding and franchising to 35 countries since 2005.