This is the first of series about food and those who prepare it. 

I watch countless cooking shows on Public Television and the Food Network; therefore I am fascinated when I discover interesting facts concerning the famous cooks and popular chefs that are featured in these shows.  One of the programs that I enjoy viewing is "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" which is hosted by famous chefs, professional cooks, and individuals who enjoy extraordinary cuisine.  Rather than this show being about their cooking skills, it reveals their favorite foods and highlights the places to find and eat those delightful dishes.

Because I enjoy discovering interesting facts about the lives of the rich and famous in the culinary circles, I believe that the readers will enjoy hearing the little quips I uncovered about the people who generally own cafes or restaurants, and make a living by cooking and catering.  They tend to be quite interesting characters with definite ideas about their personal likes and dislikes when the subject pertains to food.

Although most people believe that Julia Childs was probably the first American chef to demonstrate cooking on television, actually the first televised cooking show in the United States was hosted by a personality that those who follow these shows will recognize.  James Beard, best known as the author of at least twenty cookbooks and for the yearly award given to outstanding persons in the culinary industry that bears his name, actually hosted the first televised cooking show in America called "I Love to Eat."

The first ever televised universal cooking show was broadcast in 1946 to the viewers in the United Kingdom by the British Broadcasting Corporation featuring Philip Harben in ten minute long episodes. Although he was not a well know personality, the present day professional cooks and chefs in the United States have attained ovie-star status in many households.  James Beard loved the herb tarragon and used it extensively in his recipes, and he was so fond of raw onions that he regularly dined on onion sandwiches.

James Beard (1903-1985) was known as a giant of a man; as an adult he stood 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighed over 300 pounds; his large frame began because it is reported that he weighed fourteen pounds at birth.  He taught at the James Beard Cooking School in New York City and Seaside, Oregon, and traveled extensively while lecturing and appearing on television.  "The James Beard Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. "

I could not find a food that was disliked by James Beard, ironically, he was the author of the best seller; "The Man Who Ate Too Much."  He is also credited with inventing and presenting a charcuterie board countless years before it became popular for holidays and special events. James Beard suffered an embarrassing situation at college that caused him to be expelled; but in 1976 the college granted him an honorary degree.

More to follow.


Brenda S. Brown 


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