i never watched Julia Child, please don't freak out
  1. Two Fat Ladies
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    the absolute ZENITH of cooking shows, a real BBC gem. 2 crabby larger british ladies (Clarissa and Jennifer) who zoomed around England in a fucking motorcycle with a SIDECAR. they smoked and drank and made dubious/slightly gross classic English dishes at boarding schools and abbeys. Wickedly funny and dry and just the goddamn best. i've seen every episode a million times. First learned about bubble n squeak and devils on horseback and an Aga from them. you can watch on Amazon. I RECOMMEND!
  2. The Barefoot Contessa
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    Ina Garten is a queen. a True Queen. she worked for the Carter administration and was a rich muckety muck in DC and was like fuck it I wanna make gobs of perfect chicken salad in the hamptons and drink white wine all day long with my florist. Ina has a perfect white kitchen and gorgie natural light and a set of white le creuset. She uses more butter than you think is possible and is so conspiratorial about it. Also in possession of the shiniest curtain of hair you've ever seen
  3. Nigella Bites
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    pre- Saatchi /cocaine nanny trials / plastic surgery, Nigella was making unctuous langorous amazing meals in a beautiful kitchen filled with natural light. Gorgeous and funny and made even like, egg yolks sexual. First time i ever heard of a pavlova or "gas mark 4"
  4. The Naked Chef
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    another old BBC gem. Jamie Oliver was hot and skinny and had a cool flat in london with a fireman pole and a vespa. He was always smashing garlic and ripping up herbs. Another cute ass kitchen with natural light. Also: endearing lisp
  5. The Frugal Gourmet
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    hosted by Jeff Smith; an old white guy with a beard and a striped apron. I was addicted to this show- i was 11 and it was on PBS. I think my grandma turned me onto it, and unwittingly got me hooked on cooking shows for life. He loved to extoll the virtues of Lebanese food and wine.
  6. Great Chefs of New Orleans (et al)
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    this was a series (great chefs of hawaii etc) but i remember new orleans the best. episodes were a "great chef" showing you how to make a signature dish, usually in their restaurant kitchen. the techniques and steps narrated by voiceover by a lady with a thick noo awlins accent. good horn music. very soothing.
  7. The Galloping Gourmet
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    i had mono for 5 weeks in 1995 and all i remember is watching this show while i was on a couch in a zombie-like state. Host is named graham kerr and he's a cheeky brit. lots of butter, lots of wine.