On basic cable and off the beaten path: Under-the-radar foodie shows you can watch right now


Foodie shows on basic cable

Chef Jernard Wells

As we all know, the web and streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube are fonts of foodie knowledge. And of course, Food Network and Cooking Channel are there for competition series and personality-driven content.

But that’s far from where culinary television ends. There are shows all across basic cable, first run and in rebroadcasts, that can provide information on all manner of cuisines from all corners of the globe, some of which you may know about, others maybe not. So check out these offerings – because there has never been a better time than now to be a foodie with a cable subscription.

“New Soul Kitchen” (Saturdays, Cleo TV): Chef Jernard Wells is your host for this cooking series that finds him welcoming in a different chef each week to introduce viewers to their chosen cuisine, ranging from vegan and soul to Ghanaian and Latin. So expect to see such dishes as a Cuban chicken stew, Creole red beans and rice, vegan crab cakes and seafood okra soup on the menu.

“The Pizza Show” (Sundays, Viceland): As the title suggests, the classic dish made from dough, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese is what’s for dinner here, as Brooklyn pizzeria owner Frank Pinello takes viewers around the world to see how different regions interpret it. From the deep dish pizzas of Chicago and the thin-crust pies in New York to more exotic creations in Naples, Florence and even Seoul, viewers will learn that there’s more than one way to toss the dough.

“Food Factory” (All week, FYI Network): This documentary series goes behind the scenes of production lines across the country to find out how some of the most popular food items are made, revealing the ingredients, techniques and required processes that combine to make the foods we eat every day.

“Just Eats With Chef JJ” (Saturdays, Cleo TV): Now in its third season, this atmospheric food and talk series finds New York chef JJ Johnson welcoming artists, influencers and other personalities into his kitchen for conversation, laughs and food knowledge. The goal, Johnson says, is to make the viewer feel like they’re with him through the whole process and they can do this at home.

“It’s Suppertime!” (Thursdays, Viceland): Home cooking is part and parcel of this how-to series as chef and restaurateur Matty Matheson walks viewers through the ABC’s of classic dishes such as spaghetti and meatballs, Caesar salad with homemade dressing and a cheesy garlic bread. Because who doesn’t love home cooking?

“BBQ Pitmasters” (Saturdays, Destination America): The world of competitive barbecue is the focus of this series that follows a revolving group of “pitmasters” as they grill at the top festivals across the country, from the Great American BBQ in Kansas City, Mo., to the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational in Lynchburg, Tenn.


George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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