Episode 126 – What’s Cookin’?

September 1, 2011

We all need to eat. Which means some of us need to cook. So, how do you cook?

It can be an unexpectedly difficult set of skills to master considering how basic they are to our survival.  Luckily, since the dawn of time—well, since people discovered fire and consequently bar-be-que—there have been those willing to pass on these skills to others. With the advent of television, the sum total of our culture’s culinary knowledge was places at out fingertips.

Then why aren’t we all master chefs?

Besides the fact that we all learn at some point that following along with a cooking show results in gastronomic disaster, human beings don’t like to learn so much as pretend they’re learning.  We prefer to better ourselves through osmosis as opposed to practical, hands on experience. Very few people who watched the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross have ever painted a single happy tree. The same can be said for anyone who ever attended classes in university.

Observing this, the producers of cooking shows have steered away from straight instructional demonstration to focus on personality, between steps banter and chef competitions. Some shows aren’t about cooking but food appreciation where the preparation of the meal is, at best, a footnote (such as BBC’s The Supersizers).

Now, with the democratizing effect of the internet, people who don’t even know how to cook have cooking shows. Such as the delightfully messy My Drunk Kitchen with Hannah Hart.

Proof that it’s harder than it might seem to make a simple little (enjoyable to watch) YouTube cooking show: Our Pagan Kitchen.

Real cooking shows: The Supersizers; My Drunk Kitchen; Cookus Inrreuptus; Vegan Black Metal Chef, Hail Seitan; Martha Stewart Bloopers; Wok With Yan; Urban Peasant.

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