I love cooking shows. They give me new ideas, they make me drool over spices, pastas, breads and knife skills. I dream of new kitchens and Vulcan ovens. It doesn’t matter if they are cooking Italian (think Giada) or New Orleans style (think Emeril), they are a constant source of delight.
Recently, I was flipping through the channels and came upon a quirky cooking show on the new Cooking Network. French Food At Home with Laura Calder. It quickly became a must see, must DVR show for me.
A Canadian show, French Cooking At Home disarms the viewer immediately with a kitchen set that could be your kitchen or your neighbors. Intimate and low key, Laura Calder introduces the viewer to easy to understand French cooking techniques and recipes. With nary a modern kitchen appliance in view, Laura Calder shows us the simple way to clarify butter to making light as a cloud orange chocolate mousse. It also helps that she is lovely, with a self-depreciating self of humor.
Here is her introduction to the recipe Mountain Duck:
“You’re probably picturing some poor lost mallard in hiking boots, yodeling his lungs out in the snowy Alps. Actually, the mountain influence here is cured ham and the duck is just duck,…”. See? So charming…
Accompanied by a soundtrack that seems to come from the movie, The Triplets of Belleville, Laura Calder builds each show around a simple topic like Puff Pastries or Butter. To keep things easy, she only demonstrates 3 things at the most. Laura Calder will give even the most green of cooks the confidence to try something new.
I also got her first cookbook, French Food At Home. Much like the show, it is simple and easy to understand. There aren’t any pictures or glossy pages, just good recipes, amusing and wonderful descriptions and techniques to try. I love it!
So slow down, turn on French Cooking At Home and enjoy!