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I mostly learned to cook from:

by tye  (Monk)
on Jun 21, 2007 at 03:05 UTC ( [id://622465]=poll: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Vote on this poll

Rachael Ray
[bar] 23/6%
Alton Brown
[bar] 60/16%
Paula Deen
[bar] 0/0%
Sandra Lee
[bar] 1/0%
Ina Garten
[bar] 1/0%
Giada De Laurentiis
[bar] 9/2%
Bobby Flay
[bar] 1/0%
Emeril Lagasse
[bar] 5/1%
George Foreman
[bar] 8/2%
Martha Stewart
[bar] 1/0%
Paul Prudhomme
[bar] 4/1%
Jeff Smith
[bar] 17/4%
Julia Child
[bar] 6/2%
Some other TV host
[bar] 23/6%
I don't watch TV and so can't cook
[bar] 75/20%
I pretend I learned to cook without a TV.
[bar] 150/39%
384 total votes
Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by andreas1234567 (Vicar) on Jun 21, 2007 at 06:51 UTC
    How about the Swedish Chef?
    print map{chr}unpack(q{A3}x24,q{074117115116032097110111116104101114032080101114108032104097099107101114})
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by rhesa (Vicar) on Jun 21, 2007 at 11:20 UTC
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by moritz (Cardinal) on Jun 21, 2007 at 08:33 UTC
    How about "I don't watch american TV"?

    (As a side note I've never heard of any of the listed folks, not surprising for a non-native)

      Come on, you must have heard of Julia Child. Who can forget that voice?

      "There is no shame in being self-taught, only in not trying to learn in the first place." -- Atrus, Myst: The Book of D'ni.

        Or the time she dropped the lamb roast on the floor:

        "Oooops, (chortle chortle) I'll just pick it up and pop it back in" (while hastily shoving the whole kit and kaboodle into the oven and grabbing the one prepared earlier).

        I think she'd been hitting the sherry or vino a bit hard that day.

        (And I'm a kiwi, so she made it that far. The only other one I've heard of is Martha Stewart)

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by swampyankee (Parson) on Jun 21, 2007 at 03:13 UTC

    There's no entry for "my parents," both of whom thought that basic cooking skills were necessary for anybody.

    So I voted for Giada. Heck, why not?


    Any New York City or Connecticut area jobs? I'm currently unemployed.

    There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method.

    —Herman Melville

      The "my parents" option is the one that reads "I pretend I learned to cook without a TV," I think.

      print substr("Just another Perl hacker", 0, -2);
      - apotheon
      CopyWrite Chad Perrin

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by johngg (Canon) on Jun 21, 2007 at 10:26 UTC
    "None of the above" as I learned from my mother; not from my father, he couldn't make toast without it boiling over!

    I actually voted "I pretend I learned to cook without a TV". I never cook with a TV, I find that it doesn't get hot enough.



Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by cLive ;-) (Prior) on Jun 21, 2007 at 05:53 UTC
    This is a very North American poll isn't it? Or are there some European Chefs/Cooks there that I don't know about? Where's Delia Smith? Or (cringe) Ainsley Harriott? Anyway, I learned to cook from various books - from Madhur Jaffrey to Delia Smith, to the Joy of Cooking. And I love making bread.
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by dug (Chaplain) on Jun 21, 2007 at 11:29 UTC

    I had to vote "I pretend I learned to cook without a TV". It was some pretty rigorous pretending, though. I've only been out of the restaurant and back hacking Perl for a week now, after 50 consecutive weeks of 70-80 hours in the kitchen at Blue Hill at 75 Washington place in Manhattan ( It was some of the best pretending I've ever done ;-)

    -- Douglas Hunter
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by lin0 (Curate) on Jun 21, 2007 at 04:18 UTC

    none of the above :-(

    I learned to cook while I was doing my undergrad far from home because a bunch of friends used to get together to prepare something to eat. By the way, before this poll, I did not know that there were so many cooking shows and host celebrities. I guess that everyday you learn something new here at PerlMonks ;-)


Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by Old_Gray_Bear (Bishop) on Jun 21, 2007 at 17:50 UTC
    Graham Kerr!

    "Let's put a cup of wine in the gravy and another cup into the cook."

    I Go Back to Sleep, Now.


Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by Zaxo (Archbishop) on Jun 21, 2007 at 03:31 UTC

    I assert that I first learned without TV. I borrowed The James Beard Cookbook from my family when I moved into an apartment in college, and it did me well.

    I assert that swampyankee first learned without tv, too ;-)

    How didn't The Galloping Gourmet make the list? "No amount of wine is too much if the cook drinks half first"

    After Compline,

      You've got me; I learned to cook without watching TV. I also learned to iron (I like cotton shirts, and dislike looking like I've slept in my clothes) and sew (buttons only, thank you) the same way.

      I do remember the Galloping Gourmet burning himself quite badly in one of his shows (he did something like pouring water into hot oil. This violated cooking rule 1: don't pour water into hot oil, because the water will flash into steam, and the oil will spatter everywhere.)


      Any New York City or Connecticut area jobs? I'm currently unemployed.

      There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method.

      —Herman Melville

      Yes, it was fun watching the prancing and flamboyant Graham Kerr.

      Where do you want *them* to go today?
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by garu (Scribe) on Jun 21, 2007 at 03:34 UTC
      While I already knew how to cook, Jamie Oliver has made it funnier and more interesting. I really like the way he approaches cooking and eating in general, it's a very easygoing way of doing stuff, and he has expanded my horizons... Yay! :-)

      our $Perl6 is Fantastic;

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by tbone1 (Monsignor) on Jun 21, 2007 at 12:11 UTC
    I learned from my grandmothers. One was a fantastic cook; the other was about as bad as you can be without being lethal. So between the two of them, Iearned what to do and what not to do.

    As far as TV chefs go, how about Justin Wilson, the Cajun Chef? Personally, I don't trust skinny chefs.

    tbone1, YAPS (Yet Another Perl Schlub)
    And remember, if he succeeds, so what.
    - Chick McGee

      <Justin>HOOOoooooo... Lemme put a lil ol bit o' wiiine in dat dere stew.

      (... one gallon later ...)

      HOOOoooooo... Dat taste a powerful good! Remind me of a funny story...</Justin>

      His backwoods Cajun stories were *always* the best part of the whole entire show!

      Updated: Added link to da story

      Where do you want *them* to go today?
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by kyle (Abbot) on Jun 21, 2007 at 05:04 UTC

    I mostly learned to cook from reading the directions on the box around whatever frozen food pellet I wound up eating afterward.

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by naikonta (Curate) on Jun 21, 2007 at 05:09 UTC
    I can't vote on the poll due to missing options. I learnt to cook mostly by myself. Well, I'm still learning. When I was in junior high, I was considered by my parents old enough to be left home alone. Firstly, I just went to the nearest (in distance and relationship) neighborhood and ate with their family. And then I started to think to cook of my own. I just boiled water and put everything I can think of from the kitchen set to create my first soup. I cookup up rice, and fried scramble egg. They were good enough for my taste, but I can't guarantee anything for anybody else ;-)

    My favourite cook is fried rice, and everytime I fry rice, it's never the same. I always come up with a little different in the detail of receipe. Wondering myself where I'm heading to with my cooking skill, well, if it's considered a skill :-)

    Nice poll, though. Thanks for bringing this up.

    Open source softwares? Share and enjoy. Make profit from them if you can. Yet, share and enjoy!

      Thanks for bringing this up

      Interesting choice of phrase for a cooking poll :-)

        And probably in a month or two, "The PerlMonks Cookbook" is released :-) Do they really think that Perl is only about sigils and regexes?.

        Open source softwares? Share and enjoy. Make profit from them if you can. Yet, share and enjoy!

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by Util (Priest) on Jun 21, 2007 at 12:50 UTC

    Before Alton Brown and his show Good Eats, I could cook only by rote and recipe. My fudge, forgotten cookies, and other sweets were excellent, but only from the quality and simplicity of the recipes handed down in my family. Everything else that I tried to learn failed to "stick" in my head, from lack of fundamental understanding; I am a Geek, therefore what I do not Grok, I trouble to Remember.

    Bake at 350 (Fahrenheit) for 45 minutes. Why not 400 for 37 minutes? Why 3 eggs instead of 4? Why never mix the brownies more than 50 stirs? By answering these types of questions, and by the general focus on *never* boring the audience, the show has succeeded in penetrating my brain where all else had failed. Also, a few of the recipes have become staples here; when we run low on Good Eats Tomato Sauce, someone in the family blocks out 2 hours to make a triple batch!

    The Public TV show America's Test Kitchen and it's publication "Cook's Illustrated" have also been helpful, they focus on perfecting recipes, and give you the details of the 20-50 variations they tried and what their tasting panels thought of each one. Alton is a *much* more entertaining writer and performer, though, and the production values of his show are higher.

    Coincidently, our local PerlMongers group met for a while on Means Street, near the original Good Eats production company.

    Alton's success on Food Network has been considerable; while not as recognizable a name as some stars, he has over 130 episodes of Good Eats published on DVD, and is now also writing and hosting Iron Chef America.

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by margulies (Friar) on Jun 21, 2007 at 09:21 UTC
    I don´t know any of these either...

    But, have you lived alone?? I learned how to cook from GOOGLE!
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by DrHyde (Prior) on Jun 21, 2007 at 10:10 UTC
    The only one of those I've heard of is George Foreman, and he's a boxer, not a cook.

    I learnt to cook when I was a student sharing a house with a couple of other chaps. We got into the habit of taking it in turns to cook a big meal for all three of us once a week. One of them was a vegetarian. While vegetarianism is silly (denying oneself tasty pork is obviously crazy) vegetarians are useful, in that you have to know what you're doing if you want to make edible vegetarian food.

      George Foreman ... great boxer ... great cook ... err great griller ... err great at making a buck.


        making a buck

        Very punny.

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by blue_cowdawg (Monsignor) on Jun 22, 2007 at 22:02 UTC

    There's no entry there for "Trial and Error".

    My cooking skills grew over the years from the time I was about eight years old when I asked my mother to bake me some cookies. Her reaction was to point to the kitchen and tell me "there's the cookbooks, there's the kitchen, learn to make them yourself!"

    It wasn't that my mother wasn't willing to bake, she just felt that as a young man I needed to learn to be more independent. If I could learn to bake cookies, I could learn to make other things and I'd be able to feed myself.

    Fast forward not these days, I'm a lousy baker but I'm a decent cook by all accounts. All by learning from trial and error.

    That's not to say that I haven't learned from or been influenced by TV cooks. I just couldn't pick any one of them on the list because they have all contributed to my cooking knowledge in one way or another in their own fashion. Bobby Flay and Emeril Legase both have styles that are closer to the style I adhere to but Jeff Ware and Graham Kerr have also influenced me. Mario Battalle, Rachael Ray and the rest have all contributed something to my repetoire.

    I'll never forget seeing Julia Child taking a blow torch to a merengue that she wanted brown peaks on. Who can forget "The Galloping Gourmet" and his antics before he swore off drinking. Alton Brown has started to grow on me a bit and his offbeat sense of humor in the kitchen.

    As the pastor of a church I used to attend used to say: "have the sense of an old cow, eat the hay and leave the straw" Each TV cook in turn has something to offer.

    Better yet are the many cooks from around the world that I've had the chance to learn from. Those folks in person have had more influence on my than any TV cook could have. Seeing the food made, smelling the smells and tasting the end product will educate you in ways that no TV cook or cookbook can ever educate you.

    Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
    Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by zentara (Archbishop) on Jun 21, 2007 at 11:51 UTC

      ...same here. And so far, I've survived &mdash maybe due to a good testing framework :)

      For me, cooking is kinda like programming in Perl. I use my imagination and experience to choose appropriate ingredients, and make an educated guess at how to combine them. Then I optimise a little until I end up with something that pleases my taste. Just like in Perl, there's always enough room for variation, so it never gets boring...

        cooking is kinda like programming in Perl

        I use the same method here.

        I must tell everyone though of my newest discovery...... the Scanpan. which comes from Denmark ( SCANdanavian PAN ?). Anyways, it is a space age titanium-ceramic non-stick cookware, that is fantastic. Deals can be had at or ebay.

        I can't tell you how tasty the onion-egg-cheese omlets are, when cooked in one.

        Continuing the analogy, I hope Perl6 is to Perl5, as Scanpan is to Teflon.

        I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. Cogito ergo sum a bum
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by jhourcle (Prior) on Jun 22, 2007 at 14:39 UTC

    As much as I like Food Network, this seems to be a rather weighted poll. I started watching cooking shows way before it existed, and I still watch a fair bit of PBS for 'em, as some of Food TV's shows are more 'look at me cook' rather than being educational.

    So, in chronological order:

    • family (parents, paternal grandfather, mother's paternal grandmother)
    • Jeff Smith (Frugal Gourmet, watching w/ my great grandmother ... luckily she died before the 'incident')
    • Justin Wilson (Louisiana Cookin)
    • Martin Yan (Yan Can Cook; now Martin Yan's Chinatown)
    • Nick Stellino (Cucina Amore; now on Nick Stellino's Famly Cooking)
    • Ming Tsai (East Meets West; Ming's Quest; now Simply Ming)
    • Sara Moulton (Cooking Live ... I don't tend to watch Sara's Secrets)
    • Alton Brown (Good Eats)
    • Tyler Florance (Food 911 ... I don't tend to watch Tyler's Ultimate)
    • Rachael Ray (30 Minute Meals)
    • Tako the Octopus (Deep Fried Live!; now writes for Good Eats)
    • Alan Harding (Cookin in Brooklyn)
    • Bridget Lancaster / Julia Davison (America's Test Kitchen)

    I've also watched plenty of other shows, just for interesting ideas (Melting Pot, Bobby Flay's various shows, Kitchens of Biro, Kylie Kwong, Jamie Oliver, Jacques Pépin, Paul Prudhome, Gordon Ramsey (okay, not really for the cooking), Ainsley Harriott, Ready Set Cook, Everyday Food, (New)? Scandinavian Cooking, Great Chefs of..., Curtis Aikens, Mark Bittman (How to Cook Everything), Daisy Martinez (Daisy Cooks), Rob Rainford (License to Grill))

    For those new to cooking, I recommend all of the ones I've actually linked to:

    Deep Fried Live!
    Cooking show done in Flash. Very funny, yet informative
    Nick Stellino's Family Cooking
    Simple Italian food at an easy pace. Very good at explaining everything he's doing (can get repetitive if you watch too much of it, but not on the level of Emeril annoying)
    Good Eats
    Funny but educational. Focuses on some of the science aspects of cooking
    America's Test Kitchen
    Simple cooking, but also review equipment and brands of ingredients
    Simply Ming
    Focuses on one base concept (sauce or style), and how you can make many varied dishes from it
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by apl (Monsignor) on Jun 21, 2007 at 12:07 UTC
    ... watching my wife. Not that she'd ever let me try...

    On the topic of cooking, Iron Chef America on the Food Network is an absolute hoot! My favorite competitions involved squid (one large cephalopod made a break for it, and headed down the stairs away from the chefs. I was hoping they'd give him clemency...) and cuttlefish (one did not go gently into that Good Night, and snipped the finger of the chef trying to boil him).
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by fraktalisman (Hermit) on Jun 21, 2007 at 08:54 UTC
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by Popcorn Dave (Abbot) on Jun 21, 2007 at 17:45 UTC
    I learned the basics from watching my parents also, but when I got out on my own I used the book "HELP! My apartment has a kitchen". Pretty much cookbooks and recipes from then on out.

    I did get to meet Julia Child once at a benefit for a chef friend of my in-laws. It was kind of funny as we were probably the only people there that weren't chefs.

    Now if Rachel Ray was giving private cooking lessons...

    Revolution. Today, 3 O'Clock. Meet behind the monkey bars.

    I would love to change the world, but they won't give me the source code

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by philcrow (Priest) on Jun 21, 2007 at 18:07 UTC
    No Nigella Lawson? My parents taught me to cook, but Nigella's ice cream sans machine (actually Honey semifreddo, but we used chocolate instead of honey) made in the freezer without stirring was a life saver in South Africa where "Frozen Dessert - made with vegetable fat" is as close we could find to ice cream. If you want the recipe look in Forever Summer.


    The Gantry Web Framework Book is now available.
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by Gavin (Archbishop) on Jun 21, 2007 at 20:33 UTC
    In the days before Television
    Mrs Beeton
    Sirloin.—The two sirloins, cut together in one joint, form a baron; this, when roasted, is the famous national dish of Englishmen, at entertainments, on occasion of rejoicing.
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by starX (Chaplain) on Jun 21, 2007 at 13:33 UTC
    Do Ramen Noodles count as cooking? How about Pop Tarts? I didn't think so, but maybe I can find a module for cooking on CPAN...
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by gregor42 (Parson) on Jun 21, 2007 at 18:50 UTC
    (The original 300 episodes...)

    This is the essence of cooking in my world. Every night I come home, open the refrigerator & see what's there. That becomes the surprise ingredient of the day and generally speaking, no one wants to spend more than an hour cooking after a day of work anyway...

    I have found that chefs are like musicians - there are those who play exactly the same thing, note for note, every time - and there are those who mostly improvise - changing the formula each and every time. I fall firmly in the latter category both as a chef and as a musician.

    Wait! This isn't a Parachute, this is a Backpack!
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by swampyankee (Parson) on Jun 23, 2007 at 19:12 UTC
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by menolly (Hermit) on Jun 21, 2007 at 20:19 UTC
    I learned from my grandmother and my mother, mostly. But the sandwich I"m eating at the moment is on bread I learned to make from Suzette Haden Elgin, SF author and linguist. (Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense) She posted the recipe to her LJ a couple of years ago.
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by Discipulus (Canon) on Jun 22, 2007 at 08:34 UTC
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by Tux (Canon) on Jun 21, 2007 at 15:59 UTC

    As many others here, I learned cooking/backing/preparing my food

    1. My parents, well, basically just my mother as my father cannot cook
    2. Myself. Experimenting with food is fun
    3. Boy scouts

    TV programs help with the second item :), which is why I'm looking forward to using Ching-He Huang's book, which I asked for the next event that I might get a present for.

    Enjoy, Have FUN! H.Merijn
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by robot_tourist (Hermit) on Jun 21, 2007 at 17:17 UTC

    I never learned to cook :) Not to disparage my parents, but I just know how to prepare and cook simple things like potatoes, pasta, rice, some vegetables, various meats, and stuff. And I can make a tasty malteser traybake that doesn't need to be baked (just melt the chocolate beforehand). In general, I find instructions on the sides of jars are terrific.

    I am almost addicted to the latest version of the Masterchef contest on BBC, though. It has drama, interesting characters and the best music on any TV show, with lashings of tasty Drum'n'Bass and other great electronica, with a little Brit rock for seasoning.

    How can you feel when you're made of steel? I am made of steel. I am the Robot Tourist.
    Robot Tourist, by Ten Benson

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by grinder (Bishop) on Jun 21, 2007 at 11:42 UTC

    TV shows? I learnt all my cooking from Gala (Atom Egoyan, Felicia's Journey).

    Apart from that, I remember growing up to a show called Kerr's Kitchen, by Graham Kerr. Of course, back in those days, there was no Web, no VCRs, no Tivo, so even if anything interesting to cook was proposed, you never had time to write down the recipe, so what a fabulously spectacular waste of airwaves it was :)

    • another intruder with the mooring in the heart of the Perl

      Mr. Kerr used to have a show called "The Galloping Gourmet."
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by Herkum (Parson) on Jun 21, 2007 at 19:21 UTC

    Missing Option: Perl Cookbook! :)

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by kgraff (Monk) on Jun 22, 2007 at 12:24 UTC

    I voted for Julia Child, but before I had a TV, there was Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook in a loose leaf binder, long lost, and the now tattered copy I still use of The Joy of Cooking ©1964 that got me through graduate school in the early 1970s.

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by chexmix (Hermit) on Jun 22, 2007 at 16:59 UTC
    I only cook if "pouring cereal from a box" is considered "cooking."

    When I have guests, I pour on milk. Or throw a banana at them, which they inevitably fight over - it's fun to watch!

    UPDATE: I hate to report that this got really ugly today. So it's not always fun to watch.

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by poqui (Deacon) on Jun 25, 2007 at 15:23 UTC
    "Youstann Weelsown" Aieeee!

    More recently though, I have learned a lot from Alton Brown.
    Rachael Ray is much nicer on the eyes though.

    Giada De Laurentis scares me; her feral grin and those unnaturally straight teeth give me the creeps.
    Paula Deen cooks a lot of the foods I grew up with; but she reminds me a bit too much of my mother.
    George Foreman has an honored place in my kitchen.
    Bobby Flay rubs me the wrong way.
    I haven't seen much of Emeril; but I love Elzar and the Spice Weasel, (BAM!)
    I loved watching Julia Child cook. "Just a little sherry (for the cook)."
    I really liked Jeff Smith too; but then he had some legal troubles, didn't he?
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by tweetiepooh (Hermit) on Jun 25, 2007 at 15:48 UTC
    Grew up in South Africa when there was no TV so really did learn from my parents both of whom are great cooks. They also really like their food and that helps to. ie live to eat rather than the more usually English eat to live.

    Then with the basics there, did some at school, much better than wood/metal work and any of that dirty stuff.

    Eventually Delia Smith's "One is Fun" helped when starting out on my own but now I prefer Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein and some others.

    My favourite is curry and other spicy dishes but not "restaurant" curries so sorry Pat Chapman your volumes are not in my collection.

    I like simple recipes or at least those that don't have too much fiddling and don't need elegant presentation. "Stoo" features highly.

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by tubaandy (Deacon) on Jun 21, 2007 at 14:05 UTC
    I learned from parents, reading recipes, going to Scout camp, etc. I wish I was better at chopping vegetables, but that's a practice thing.

    As for the non-North American folks, please post links to your favorite chefs! I'd like to see that.

    While Bobby Flay is on the list, what about Steven Reichlen? Great grilling recipes from all over the world, plus the infamous Beer Can Chicken recipe!


      My wife lived in New Orleans for nine years, and introduced me to beer can chicken. She maintains that Zatarain's liquid crab boil is the proper seasoning for the operation, but we've done fair approximations with old bay or just the dry seasonings we have on hand on the spice rack.

      What a fine way to cook a bird! For those of us who aren't set up to cook sous vide at home (yeah, right) it's a great way to keep the meat juicy and the skin crispy without having to stay right on top of the cooking process.

      -- Douglas Hunter
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by wolfger (Deacon) on Jun 21, 2007 at 16:38 UTC
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by chexmix (Hermit) on Jun 22, 2007 at 17:02 UTC
    No one has mentioned Nigella Lawson. I would gladly learn to cook if Nigella would teach me.

    chexmix pours bowl of ... something in a box, long's it's not "Ka-Boom!" I cannot advocate putting something called "Ka-Boom!" in my stomach.

    UPDATE: I guess it goes without saying that the fact "Ka-Boom!" cereal sported an image of a circus clown on the box made it even less palatable than it would have been otherwise.

    UPDATE: 'Nuff said.

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by parv (Parson) on Jun 23, 2007 at 09:37 UTC

    If/When I see Rachel Ray, that's all I can do. It is hard for me to follow her (cooking wise) while she has me mesmerized with her lovely smile ... mmm ....

    ( ...lost for a moment there ... ) I like Alton Brown's show for educational aspect which somebody had already noted.

    I would really like to see "America's Test Kitchen" on PBS, but never manage to catch it on purpose. So, it is a nice surprise whenever I happen to see it.

    I really miss "Galloping Gourmet", which has been the MOST FUN food show EVER!

    In any case, I watch food shows to salviate over food (in some cases, hosts); I learn(t) cooking from family/relatives, by trial-and-error and personal taste, of course.

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 22, 2007 at 04:35 UTC
    I was raised by wolves, I don't cook.
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by jonadab (Parson) on Jun 22, 2007 at 12:21 UTC

    People who learn to cook by watching televised cooking programs are invariably pretty helpless in the kitchen. Ask them to make something they didn't see on the show, and they get this deer-in-headlights look on their face. It's usually the same people who didn't learn how to do their own laundry until they were in college. You want to ask, "Didn't your mom teach you anything?", but that would be mean.

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by gloryhack (Deacon) on Jun 26, 2007 at 02:05 UTC
    Fanny Farmer, Escoffier and Larousse. You can't learn to cook, at least not well, from a television program. Especially not from Martha Stewart, who doesn't actually know how to cook or how to garden.

    And now I'd better get back in front of the stove because my wife is hungry!

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by Trix606 (Monk) on Jun 21, 2007 at 17:07 UTC
    Not sure if cooking is what I am thinking about while watching, but no Nigella?
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by talexb (Chancellor) on Jun 24, 2007 at 18:23 UTC

    My cooking developed from

    • Learning how to make French bread from scratch from my Mother;
    • Being fascinated by Yan Can as he whipped up Chinese food, a favourite of mine;
    • Getting a cookbook full of Chinese recipes and trying them out;
    • Taking a course at George Brown in Culinary Arts, which was fascinating and eye-opening;
    • Watching the original Iron_Chef;
    • Watching Jamie Oliver while he took a bunch of kids from disadvantaged neighborhoods and put them through a cooking school boot camp, then used them to run a restaurant in London -- awesome; and
    • Cooking a new low-carb low-fat high-protein diet for me and my wife.

    I just picked up a rotisserie oven and tried it out last weekend .. mmmmm rotisserie chicken. Fantastic.

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by Skeeve (Parson) on Jun 25, 2007 at 22:36 UTC
    I voted "I pretend I learned to cook without a TV." but when I clicked "vote" I remembered that I watched "Lirum Larum Löffelstiel" when I was a child. It was my first inspiration for cooking I can remember.

      Actually I didn't remember "Lirum Larum Löffelstiel" at all untill I saw your post.
      I think it was a true inspiration for me...

      und dann möchte ich mich noch um die Aufnahme in deinen Apostrophhasserclub bewerben!

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 21, 2007 at 21:02 UTC
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by greatshots (Pilgrim) on Jun 22, 2007 at 03:54 UTC
    I don't cook and I don't want to, because I like raw food.
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by GrandFather (Saint) on Jun 25, 2007 at 18:18 UTC

    I don't have tv so I have time to cook and the best way to learn is by doing.

    DWIM is Perl's answer to Gödel
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by nimdokk (Vicar) on Jun 22, 2007 at 15:01 UTC
    Shouldn't that be "Ina Garten Evita"?
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by bart (Canon) on Jun 27, 2007 at 11:00 UTC
    Ken Hom, who was a TV chef on the BBC at the time, for oriental food.
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by wjw (Priest) on Jun 27, 2007 at 15:21 UTC
    TV is a microwave for the eyes and the mind..., watch enough and you'll end up cooked... :-) My mother, grandmothers, father(was cook in the army) and aunts taught me to cook.
    • ...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...
    • The Spice must flow...
    • my will, and by will alone.. I set my mind in motion
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by belg4mit (Prior) on Jun 24, 2007 at 22:01 UTC
    Learned: Jeff Smith (wish the name people knew him by was listed), and Martin Yan. Also Jacques Pepin.

    More recently, when I have access: Alton Brown and Chris Kimball of America's Test Kitchen.

    UPDATE: Oh yeah, and occasionally Steven Raichlen of BBQ U

    In Bob We Trust, All Others Bring Data.

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by Codon (Friar) on Jun 26, 2007 at 21:13 UTC
    The first cooking show I remember is Justin Wilson's Cajun Cooking ("Put in a bit a ca-ann peppa. I ga-ron-tee!") followed by Jeff Smith's The Frugal Gourmet. (Too bad I didn't realize that was who Jeff Smith was before voting...) Later on in was Martin Yan on Wok with Yan (later Yan Can Cook).

    Shows these days don't seem to be as much about the cooking as it is about the flair and drama. I just want a good recipe that's quick and easy. Vegetarian would be a major benefit. Not that I'm vegetarian, per se; but when your SO is mostly vegetarian, that pretty much makes you mostly vegetarian. And none of my old recipes translate into vegetarian equivalents very well. (Hm.. Southern fried chicken? Well, I guess we could try tofu...)

    Ivan Heffner
    Sr. Software Engineer, DAS Lead, Inc.
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by Moriarty (Abbot) on Jun 25, 2007 at 01:15 UTC

    None of the above.

    What I didn't learn from mum I either picked up from "The Common Sense Cookery Book" or from experimentation.

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 25, 2007 at 07:01 UTC
    Not from TV, but from my father and uncle, Alexander "Sawney" Bean
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by jesuashok (Curate) on Jun 21, 2007 at 10:37 UTC
    from the recipe which I got from my mother.
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 28, 2007 at 00:29 UTC
    I mostly learned to cook by using the Good Housekeeping Cookbook.

    I couldn't learn to cook from Giada, Nigella, or Rachael Ray. I'd spend too much time looking and probably chop off my fingertips.

Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by elsiddik (Scribe) on Jun 28, 2007 at 09:45 UTC
    My mother was the leading hand to me in the kitchen.
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by nimdokk (Vicar) on Jun 21, 2007 at 12:40 UTC
    RTFC (aka Read The Fine Cookbook).
Re: I mostly learned to cook from:
by syphilis (Archbishop) on Jun 27, 2007 at 11:09 UTC
    I mostly learned to cook from The Bush Tucker Man. Of course, most of his ingredients are locally unavailable - which is why most of the meals that I serve up are basically inedible, and why I weigh only 65 kg.


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