After all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, most of us are in need of a break from traveling and, of course, eating. So what’s a food and travel blogger (for instance) to do?
Cooking shows, of course!
Some of the genre’s best-loved programs follow chefs, eaters, and locals to the best food in the world—a great tool for planning your next trip, or just whiling away an afternoon.
On the Cooking Channel, little sibling to the Food Network, exploring the exotic side of food is the norm. The sensitive, personal connection that industry professional have to their native cuisines is beautifully captured on “My Country, My Kitchen,” which begins a new season in Southern France on February 11th, with famed chocolatier and pastry chef Jacques Torres.
If you’re more of a drinker than an eater—or simply interested in making yourself sick with regret over your career choice—Kevin Brauch’s “Thirsty Traveler” is a look into around the different wine and spirit producing regions of the world, meeting the characters who populate them and the cocktails that have come to define them.
On the Food Network, some of their big personalities are moving out of the test kitchen and into the world. After two seasons of “Feasting on Asphalt,” Alton Brown moves on to “Feasting on Waves,” leaving behind his BMW motorcycle and American road food for a yacht in the Caribbean, exploring the sights, sounds, and spices of the Caribbean. Starting in St. Kitts, he takes one of our personal favorite journeys, through the Leeward Islands to the British Virgin Islands, doubtless taking in the conch fritters and 80-proof rum that haunts our Caribbean dreams.
Jeff Corwin’s “Extreme Cuisine” goes from Peru to the Pacific Northwest exploring local food cultures through an anthropological lens, learning about the customs and cultural influences that shaped the local specialities.
Naturally, the Travel Channel has a full complement of food-related offerings. While we’re periodically sucked into the train-wreck spectacle of Adam Richman’s experiment in professional gluttony, “Man v. Food,” we really tune in for, ahem, slightly higher-brow fare. “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” is long-running for a reason; his trademark blunt manner and willingness to confront the weird and wonderful all around the world makes his insights valuable beyond mere wit.
A newer offering, Camille Ford’s “Food Wars,” explores a subject near and dear to our heart—as a life-long New Yorker raised equally on good food and arguments, we love the concept of chronicling the country’s great food rivalries, from battling Philly cheesesteaks to battling Texan briskets.