TV Food Graduate : My top 5 TV cooks

Updated: Feb 1

Hello everyone!

How are we all? I hope you are all well and enjoyed my recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie. I couldn’t think of eating any better pudding, particularly with Spring just around the corner. If you haven’t caught up with my latest post yet, click here.

It is no secret that most of what I have learnt about baking and cooking have come from either my family, or via Food TV. I think I’m part of one of the first generations of children who had the opportunity to flick through multiple channels, and learn about almost anything. I always preferred to watch a cooking show over anything else that might be on, and it continues to inspire me to be able to watch the masters at work.  To learn new tips and tricks without leaving the comfort of your own home is a huge boon and inspires me to create food I might never have thought of before, as well as widening my food horizon. Food TV isn’t just about food and the preparation of it. TV cooks sell their life or a perfected version of it when they include you in their day to day cooking.

In the spirit of a crash course in Food TV, here are my top five cooks who always inspire me to get in the kitchen.

  1. Ina Garten (aka The Barefoot Contessa)


The Lowdown

  1. – Lives in the Hamptons

  2. – Delicious home cooked food for entertaining and parties

  3. – Cooks for husband, Geffrey

Photo copyright @foodnetwork.com

My Thoughts

Ina Garten is the USA’s answer to Delia.  Everything Ina makes looks delicious. I know this should be a prerequisite of a food programme on TV, but all the food she cooks with is fresh and brightly coloured. She is keen to extol the virtues of local produce, and visits local markets and ‘speciality food stores’ to gather her ingredients. I always come away from her programmes feeling like I could make her recipes as they are so simple to follow and full of tips you can use forever (for example, I watched her cut peppers around the core and have used the tip ever since!) Ina’s warmth and bubbly personality always shine through to make you feel at home.

Where and what to watch

Barefoot Contessa and Barefoot Contessa : Back to Basics are shown on Food Network UK.

2. Rick Stein

  1. – Human and Down to Earth

  2. – Infectious enthusiasm

  3. – Interesting history and facts along the way

Photo copyright @bbc.co.uk

My Thoughts

Rick is well known, first and foremost, as a fish chef. His first show, Rick Stein’s Taste of the Sea, aired in 1995, and ever since he has been tickling the taste buds of eager audiences. One of my favourite things about Rick is his enthusiasm to find out the story behind dishes and why they were created in the first place. On his travels, Rick discovers  the history of the destinations he visits and lets you in on the secrets he unearths along the way. He cooks local dishes with his own spin that I feel could be added to my repertoire and inspires me to do further research on particular cuisines!  You always come away from one of his programmes with something you didn’t know before.

Where and what to watch

My favourite programmes are Rick Stein’s Local Heroes, Rick Stein’s Taste of the Sea and most recently Rick Stein’s Long Weekends.

All shown either on Good Food Channel or BBC 2.

3. Rachel Khoo

  1. – Paris  (who doesn’t love it!)

  2. – Simple stylish cooking

  3. – Parisian lifestyle

Photo copyright @rachelkhoo.com

My Thoughts

Rachel Khoo is a prime example of the chance to sell a particular life and lifestyle. Rachel lives in a tiny Parisian apartment and cooks for local Parisians in the smallest restaurant in Paris. In her series, A Little Paris Kitchen, she cooks simple and tasty Parisian inspired dishes and shows all that the French capital has to offer. Who could ask for more?!

Where and what to watch

Rachel Khoo’s A Little Paris Kitchen is shown on Food Network UK.

4. Ree Drummond (AKA The Pioneer Woman)

  1. – A slice of ranch life

  2. – American cuisine

  3. – Family friendly recipes

Photo copyright @foodnetwork.com

My Thoughts

Less well known on this side of the pond, Ree is the wife of a ranch farmer in the Midwest of America. Her recipes, as she says herself, have to be approved not only by her but by cowboys and children. All her recipes are very child-friendly and full of fun. After a long day on the farm, joining her for hearty country fare is rather relaxing and gives me a chance to explore another world very unlike my own.

Where and what to watch

Pioneer Woman is shown on Food Network UK.

5. Delia Smith

The Low Down


– Classic English Cooking

– Easy to follow

– One of the first ever TV cooks

Photo copyright @falconproducts.co.uk

My Thoughts

Delia had to be part of this list as Food TV wouldn’t have become so popular if she hadn’t pioneered  teaching cooking through television. Delia is like your  favourite aunt, kindly guiding you through all the difficult steps of recipes to prepare beautiful food for all occasions. I always look forward to the repeats 0f her Christmas programme every year and I love her matter of fact manner as she creates the most complex of dishes. My advice is to calm down from the heat of the kitchen and let Delia share with you her vast cooking knowledge.

Where and what to watch

Delia Smith’s Countdown to Christmas is shown on Good Food Channel around the festive season.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you enjoyed my Food TV favourites. Let me yours so I can expand my repertoire and learn even more about different food and cultures.

I would be interested to know what your favourite post is, and what you would like to see more of? Let me know in the comment of this blog or tweet me @EnglishSingingB.

See you next time for another blog, in the meantime,

Happy Baking!

English Singing Bakerx

#television #FoodTV #foodnetwork #rachelkhoo #top5 #ESB #deliasmith #inagarten #cooking #rickstein #reedrummond #goodfood

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