Between Alton Brown and Ina Garten there are a ton of practical, entertaining, and educational cooking shows on TV (and streaming) right now. But here’s one more you need to know about: It’s called Great Chefs, and if you haven’t heard of it you’re probably not alone. It’s one of Amazon Prime’s hidden gems. The retro cooking show first aired in the ’80s and ’90s (on both PBS and the Discovery channel) and it’s packed with classic recipes created by famous chefs of the era.
Eater reports that Great Chefs features chefs like Bobby Flay, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Eric Ripert, and Daniel Boulud (all of whom are still considered celebrity chefs today) cooking signature recipes from their restaurants. Apparently the show is far more relaxed than the heart-stopping thrill ride cooking competitions, like Chopped and Top Chef, that you’ll find on almost every network these days. The featured chef cooks without much “narration or commentary,” so you’ll simply be watching a chef at the height of his or her game cooking up an excellent dish. Sounds soothing by comparison.
There are several iterations of the show (so cancel all your plans). There’s Great Chefs of America; Great Chefs of the West, East, and South; and Great Chefs, Great Cities.
One heads up: If you’re planning on cooking along to the show, you might want to think twice: According to Eater, the recipes are “astoundingly complicated,” and each episode features a full-course meal, from dinner to dessert. But if you’re a food fanatic who likes to work up an appetite watching decadent dishes come to life on screen, you won’t be disappointed: Chefs on the show cook up a whole range of classic (although difficult to pull off) restaurant dinners, including rack of lamb, soufflé, corn tamales, ravioli, and foie gras.
So yeah, these might not be meals that you’ll be able to cook up for your family on the average weeknight, but Great Chefs is still an exciting discovery on multiple levels: Not only does it give viewers a peek into the popular dishes, chefs, and restaurants of the past couple decades, but watching is also an opportunity to learn more about cooking techniques you might not encounter quite as frequently anymore. So if you’re looking to expand your cooking knowledge (and perhaps pick up a couple of new skills along the way), Great Chefs is probably worth checking out.
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