A serene talking poodle narrates each episode of this excellent Japanese cooking show called “Cooking with Dog.” We're not sure how Francis learned to speak, but he is quite good at it. In just a few minutes, he (along with his human female co-host) has taught us more about real cooking than any platinum-toothed Food Network personality.

Granted, Francis doesn't do a damn thing with his paws. He just perches next to the stove and oversees the action, never succumbing to the temptation of a freshly fried shrimp or fragrant roasted strip of eel, a degree of canine willpower we could hardly expect of our father's greedy whippet. Sometimes, his co-host chimes in with commentary in Japanese, and Francis helpfully provides explanation.

We like how the show is called “Cooking with Dog,” not “Cooking with Francis.” It's as if Francis is personified enough by actually speaking that he might as well be reduced back to “dog” in the title. Just in case anyone forgets.

LA Weekly