When you think to turn on a cooking show, do you automatically think of the Food Network? While the major network may play host a whole bevy of culinary luminaries such as Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, and Ree Drummond, one show ruled them all: The French Chef, hosted by none other than Julia Child on PBS. First airing in February 1963, it's considered the first hit cooking show on American television.
PBS continued to capitalize on the niche over the years, hosting various culinary programming including Ciao Italia, Martha Stewart's Cooking Show, and still on the air today, Cook's Country from America's Test Kitchen.
Structured similarly to sister show, America's Test Kitchen, every episode the Cook's Country cast showcases American classics and dives into the history and culture of some of our nation's favorite meals. (ATK, rather, explores food through a global lens.) Now in it's fourteenth season, Cook's County has been airing since 2008.
What is Cook's Country?
Based on Cook's Country magazine, the 30-minute show follows Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster as they are joined by Ashley Moore, Christie Morrison, Bryan Roof, Lawman Johnson, and Morgan Bolling. Jack Bishop joins the cast members to share his findings from the Testings Lab and Adam Ried features new products in the Equipment Corner. Chris Kimball, founder of America's Test Kitchen, hosted the public television show between 2008 and 2016. Toni Tipton-Martin also joins the cast in her new role as Cook's Country's editor-in-chief.
When Kimball was host, the show was typically filmed at his country home in Vermont, a practice that continued through the first ten seasons. Beginning in season 11, production moved to a farmhouse studio set inside ATK headquarters in Boston.
To watch episodes and access the foolproof recipes they showcase, you can go to Cookscountry.com.
Episodes To Start With
Regional Sandwich Roundup
Season 14, Episode 7
Showcasing sandwiches from coast-to-coast, this episode highlights host Bridget Lancaster making Crispy Iowa Skinny sandwiches and Bryan Roof making some St. Paul sandwiches. While Christie Morrison whips up a Boogaloo Wonderland Sandwich from Detroit, editor-in-chief Toni Tipton-Morrison explains the history of the dish.
Summer Steak and Salad
Season 11, Episode 8
What is more delicious on a hot summer night than the simplicity of a steak and big green salad? That's what this episode is about, where Christie Morrison grills a juicy thick-cut porterhouse steak to perfection. Meanwhile, cast member Lan Lam puts together a crisp and refreshing Caesar-green bean salad.
Sweet Endings From the Ice Box
Season 7, Episode 9
Since this episode was produced prior to Christopher Kimball's season 8 departure, "Sweet Endings From the Icebox" still features him as host, while Julia Collin Davidson teaches him how to make a decadent Summer Berry Pudding. Equipment expert Adam Ried goes all-in on explaining the ins and outs of cake pans, while Bridget Lancaster explores the trickiness of making an Italian Cream Cake.
Meet the Cast of Cook's Country
Julia Collin Davison
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Davison got her first taste of America's Test Kitchen when she came to work as a Test Cook for Cook's Illustrated magazine in 1999. Davison is an executive editorial director for America's Test Kitchen.
According to Davison, the difference between America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country is the casualness of the recipes. "It doesn't have to be a sous vide steak that rocks your world, it can be something kind of simple and just a little down market," she shares with KLCS."I love the casualness of that."
No one knows more about fried chicken than we do here at Cook?s Country, so in episode 11 I show Julia the best way to prepare the Central California regional favorite, Garlic Fried Chicken.
Posted by Bridget Lancaster on Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Before working at ATK, Lancaster worked for Williams Sonoma, procuring and delivering kitchenware to Julia Child to use in her cooking shows. According to Lancaster, the store couldn't resell what Child had used, so employees got to take it home. Lancaster shared she uses Julia Child's rolling pin in her kitchen at home.
Originally cast on America's Test Kitchen as a test cook, Bridget Lancaster shared during an interview with KLCS that the star of the "show is the recipes and the methods", whether it be showing how to cook fried chicken in a cast iron skillet to cooking comfort foods she grew up with. Today she is an executive editorial director for America's Test Kitchen.
The new Editor-in-Chief of Cooks Country, Toni Tipton-Martin is one of the top women in the food journalism industry. Named the first Black person to serve as editor of a food section for a large U.S. newspaper in 1991, Tipton-Martin has won two James Beard awards and has written several books including The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks and Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African-American Cooking
Born in New London, Connecticut, Ashley Moore has been developing recipes for Cook's Country since 2013. She's also an instructor for America's Test Kitchen Cooking School as well as a food stylist. In an interview, Moore shared that her favorite part of Cook's Country is the spotlight on regional cooking. The fact that it brings the spotlight to smaller parts of the country and the regional recipes people have been cooking for centuries." Moore shares, "The small towns, the passionate people, celebrating the food they make--that is what excites me."
Christie Morrison is the deputy editor of culinary content and curriculum at America's Test Kitchen. But before now, she's worn a lot of hats at ATK. She's been a member of the cookbook team, a Senior Editor for Cook's Country, an instructor for America's Test Kitchen Cooking School, an editor of special projects, and on top of that, she's a Test Cook for the Cook's Country television show.
Executive Food Editor at Cook's Country Magazine, Roof has been with America's Test Kitchen for over 14 years. Born in the Philippines, Roof spent his childhood moving across the south every few years.
According to Roof his favorite part of Cook's Country is "The focus on regional American cooking, simple recipes, and techniques to make everyday cooking easier."
A new addition to the Cook's Country Cast, Lawman Johnson joined the America's Test Kitchen team in 2014 working as a test cook for the cookbook team before becoming an associate editor for cookbooks and a member of the Cook's Country cast.
Morgan Bolling joined the cast in 2020. She is the deputy food editor for Cook's Country magazine and an on-screen test cook for Cook's Country. She has been a producer for the show since 2017 and has been working with America's Test Kitchen for the past 6 years, where she has developed over 100 recipes.
Bishop started his culinary career studying in Italy. In 1988 he worked at Cook's magazine and helped launch Cook's Illustrated in 1993. He is currently the Chief Creative Officer at America's Test Kitchen and runs the tasting segment on both Cook's Country and America's Test Kitchen.
A columnist for the Boston Globe Magazine, Ried joins the cast as the kitchen equipment specialist, showing off the best kitchenware. Ried was also an Editor for Cook's Illustrated for over 10 years.
Every single Cook's Country cast member is passionate about food and recipes and it shows. You can currently watch all episodes from Season 12 at the Cook's Country website. And make sure to pick up a cookbook while you're at it!
Products featured on Wide Open Country are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
READ MORE: Here's Why Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen Was Cancelled
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