Our listeners always come through with recommendations for further reading -- and in this case, further watching. After our episodes on The Gendered Chef and Cooking Shows, you guys wrote in about the shows and chefs you never miss.
Hannah: There is one Food Network chef I wish you had mentioned. Anne Burrell. She got her start on television as one of Mario Batali's sous chefs on "Iron Chef America." Currently, she and Bobby Flay host "Worst Cooks in America," and she also hosts "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef" solo. She is just as tough and as skilled as any male chef on TV. She wears a skirt instead of pants and chef's whites on top. She actually began wearing skirts when she was training in Italy, noticing that all the Italian women she worked with wore skirts to improve their maneuverability in the kitchen. I'd be more intimidated by her than by Gordon Ramsay or Robert Irvine.
Annika: Your latest episode on Cooking Shows really could have been summed up with "The Taste," a competition show where four judges (Anthony Bourdain, Marcus Samuelsson, Ludo Lefebvre and Nigella Lawson) assemble their respective teams based on a blind tasting. When more than one judge wants a particular cook on their team, the cook decides which they want to be on. Nobody ever chooses to be on Nigella's team except for females who specialize in comfort food. Her team members are always the first to be eliminated, leaving her as a floating mentor for the other teams, who of course dismiss everything she has to say.
Hannah: And finally, "Bitchin' Kitchen," Nadia Giosia's show. Nadia G is a first generation French-Canadian daughter of Italian immigrants and an utter badass in the kitchen. Her show follows the standard cooking show format but contains elements that make it unique and wonderful. To start with, every single episode includes at least one shot of Nadia's stiletto heels, which always match her outfit perfectly. Also, the show has several recurring characters such as Panos, the fish merchant, and Yeheskel, the Israeli spice merchant. Each episode is centered around a theme, like Date Night, or, my personal favorite, Brooklyn Hipster Brunch. Nadia G is a skilled cook/chef and her show reflects her personality and quirks in a way that only Alton Brown had achieved before her.
Barbara: One of the most famous Polish celebrity chefs is a woman - Magdalena Gessler. She is known for her directness (which sometimes borders on rudeness - think Simon Cowell). She is the host of the Polish version of "Kitchen Nightmares" and a judge in "Master Chef" in Poland. Apart from that she is the owner of a number of restaurants and cafes; she opened over 20 of them that host about a million guests every year. Her most famous restaurant, "U Fukiera," is recommended by the Michelin Guide and has entertained celebrities such as Sharon Stone, Naomi Campbell and Bill Clinton. She also published three bestselling books on cooking and is very present in the media, on covers of magazines as well as "Internet pop culture." I must admit that I don't watch TV at all, and I never watched an episode of either the Polish "Master Chef" or "Kitchen Nightmares" featuring her - but despite that I heard about her brusque and blunt way of voicing her opinions, and I can imagine her running her restaurants and cafes like a clockwork (I should really go eat at one of her restaurants...). I really admire her for all she has achieved, and it seems like there is so much more to come for her.
THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW and EVELYN BIRKBY
Tanya: My current favorite is "The Great British Baking Show," and I just finished binge watching the 2014 season while I wait for the last TWO episodes of the current season. I wanted to send you another cooking (among other talents) legend from here in Iowa named Evelyn Birkby. She's been a radio personality for 60 years and is still working at writing, writing books and speaking. Here's a link to her website for her books and more information about her: http://www.evelynbirkby.com/about.php