In a world where food TV is dominated by ticking clocks, mystery ingredients, blindfolds, curve balls and culinary hijinks, it's incredibly refreshing that Martha Stewart is bringing something completely opposite, and totally simple, into the mix by way of Martha Stewart's Cooking School, premiering this weekend on PBS. (We still like Big Bird.)
Inspired by her bestselling cookbook by the same name, it's a throwback, really, to the old-school days of cooking shows. No gimmicks or flashy sets. No “big bites” or “bams!” (You know that's not her style.) Instead, the aim is to teach viewers the building blocks of cooking in a very clear, uncomplicated, step-by-step fashion. Its focus is technique, not dishes, just as it is for actual students of cooking.
And as it happens, many of us skip that step.
If you, like many home cooks, didn't go to culinary school, most likely you learned to cook dish-by-dish. You figured out to make pot roast, or a Caesar salad, or a poached egg, but you didn't necessarily learn the process behind the braising or emulsifying or poaching you were doing. It's like learning the waltz without ever really learning the box step, when you think about it.
So Martha's here to take us back to the drawing board with this 13-week series in which, so we're told, both novices and experts can learn ways to master these basic methods. And this utterly useful and straightforward approach is so exciting to us that we're going on the journey with her. We'll be front row in Martha's class practicing her tricks of the trade — making stocks and sauces, roasting, steaming, frying and butchering right along with her — and for better or for worse, posting the results here every Monday starting October 8. We hope you'll join us! We want your tips and secrets from the kitchen too, so come ready to school everyone with your skills in the comments. Or instead, ask a question. Those are allowed too.
Martha Stewart's Cooking School premieres this Saturday at 8 a.m. on PBS. Set your DVRs if necessary, and join the party.
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