We’re serving up a selection of delicious programming over the next few weeks, including new American Masters profiles of television chefs James Beard and Jacques Pépin, airing 8 p.m. Fridays, May 19 and 25. If these show whet your appetite, remember to sample our full buffet of cooking shows, Saturday afternoons on NPT and Wednesday evenings on NPT2. See our complete programming schedule at wnpt.org/schedule. Bon appetit!
Here’s the full menu of foodie shows:
Food – Delicious Science on Wednesdays, May 17 – 31, at 9 p.m.
Hosts Michael Mosley and James Wong travel the world to explore how chemistry, physics and biology determine how food tastes, why we hunger for certain foods and how we react to food. Dr. Mosely is a physician and a documentarian interested in dietary science, while Wong is a botanist whose passion for plants and their uses stems from his childhood in the jungles of Borneo.
The three-part Food – Delicious Science begins with “Food on the Brain” (May 17) about the energy required to run our brains and how this organ creates cravings for salt, caffeine, fat and other ingredients. Next is “A Matter of Taste” (May 25), which explores how we experience the five tastes — sweet, sour, salty, bitter and the less well-known “umami” flavors — and their effects on the tongue. In the final episode, “We Are What We Eat” (May 31), Wong and Mosely investigate how our bodies process food to keep us alive.
American Masters: James Beard on Friday, May 19, at 8 p.m.
“America’s First Foodie” profiles chef, cookbook author and journalist James Beard (1903-1985). Beard championed eating locally grown food and thinking about sustainable farming techniques long before those concepts were in vogue. He launched the first television cooking show in 1946 and his name is still associated with awards for food media and cooking.
American Masters: Julia Child on Friday, May 19, at 9 p.m.
An encore presentation of “Julia! America’s Favorite Chef” profiles cultural icon Julia Child (1912-2004) whose kitchen has been re-created in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
Chef Paul Prudhomme: Louisiana Legend on Monday, May 22, at 11:30 p.m.
Specializing in Creole and Cajun cuisine, self-trained chef Paul Prudhomme (1940-2015) put Louisiana regional cooking on the menu. This program includes interviews with Prudhomme’s fellow chefs and looks back at his career as a cookbook author, restaurateur and television personality.
American Masters: Jacques Pépin on Friday, May 26, at 8 p.m.
You might never associate French-born chef Jacques Pépin with Howard Johnson’s, but that oh-so American hotel chain is part of his American journey. Learn more about the popular cookbook author and television personality in “The Art of the Craft,” a new American Masters biography.
American Masters: Alice Waters on Friday, May 26, at 9 p.m.
Known for popularizing the local food movement from her famous Chez Panisse restaurant, Alice Waters was on the forefront of a culinary and social movement. “Alice Waters and her Delicious Revolution,” an American Masters encore presentation, shows how Waters influenced the rise of local farmers’ markets and organic gardens.