The hot new book by Kathleen Collins “Watching What We Eat,” focuses on the history of cooking shows. It seems the Food Network and the latest Julia Child movie is making us watch our food on a new level. Before TV cook shows, food was bland and your basic North American dishes flourished in boredom generation after generation. TV brought a whole new dimension to food, and imported foreign foods unto meals each night as the atomic family gradually got to sample foods of the world. The Food Network grows with new celebrity cooks who are more polished and vibrant than Jeff Smith, the Frugal Gourmet who at one time had 44 million viewers for PBS. The cooking show as we know it has changed in so many ways but is a welcome in many houses looking to broaden the palates of hungry recipients. Today’s chef is a more refined all purpose celebrity who showcases food in a whole new light such as Guy Fieri, a sun-glass wielding spiked bleached blond who travels down the route 66 food highway to hidden drive-ins and dives.
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