In the spirit of Aaronut's comment on my answer to TV Programs like Good Eats, what are good shows for people to really learn about cooking (the science behind cooking; the history and cultural significance between dishes), rather than just watching a chef prepare their favorite recipes?

(web videos and animations count, too)

This is community wiki, so please edit the main answer instead of posting a new one. Please also make sure to include a description of the show and, if possible, a link.

  • 1
    Would it be worth making a different question for various geographical areas? Many of the British shows I could name won't be shown in America, and vice versa. Although, some will.
    – slim
    Jan 20, 2011 at 17:01
  • @slim : I'd go for one big list ... I'll go make a note of where to find the ones I listed.
    – Joe
    Jan 20, 2011 at 17:09

3 Answers 3

  • Good Eats (Food Network): Explains some of the science behind why techniques work, and occassional information about the history of the ingredients or dishes.

  • America's Test Kitchen (PBS) and Cook's Country (PBS): Explain the techniques that they've used to improve dishes, and have occassional segments explain the science behind cooking processes.

  • Mexico - One Plate at a Time (PBS): Describes the differences in the regional differences of mexican cooking, and often compares historical versions of dishes to the modern versions.

  • Deep Fried, Live! (web animation): Flash animation cooking show that allows you to click at various points to get more information about ingredients & techniques.

  • In Search of Perfection (BBC 2): Heston Blumenthal brings his molecular gastronomy techniques to some of Britains favourite dishes such as roast chicken, fish and chips, spaghetti Bolognese etc. The show was followed up by a second series, "Further Adventures In Search of Perfection". At the time of writing, episodes from both series can be found on YouTube.


There is a reasonably long-running programme produced by the Open University (in the UK) called "Ever Wondered About Food?"

The programmes usually take the form of a cooking show, with a particular theme in each programme, so far, so normal. But they concentrate more on the scientific reasons behind the cooking methods and processes. It is very clear and at times very interesting, very well worth a watch.

Apparently it is available on DVD (the most recent series is Series V [also available from the OU direct).


Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen. You can find some great outdoor cooking ideas on his show.

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