Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bill Buford on Food TV

This week's October 2, 2006 issue of The New Yorker features a lengthy Notes from a Gastronome piece by Bill "Heat" Buford titled TV DINNERS: The rise of food television. It's really long, so I made the link one to a "printer-friendly format". I'm just sayin'...

My favorite part is (of course) about our late and much lamented Mrs. Child and the beginnings of her French Chef show on WGBH, Boston:
...In America, the old days probably began on a February morning in 1962, when Julia Child, having been asked to promote "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" on a book show on WGBH, the Boston public TV station, phoned ahead, asking for a hot plate and permission to involve the show’s host, P. Albert Duhamel, a Boston College professor, in a demonstration. The professor couldn’t cook, and, on live television, Child was going to teach him how to make an omelette—a brazen flourish for a novice food writer. Russell Morash, at WGBH, remembers the call, because Child was so unusually well spoken and patrician in manner. It was as though he’d picked up the phone and found Eleanor Roosevelt on the other end. Child was a "hoot," according to one of the twenty-seven viewers who contacted the station afterward—enough for it to find funding to prepare a three-episode pilot that would eventually become "The French Chef."...

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