Photo Credit: Courtesy of annaandkristina.com
With all of the great food personalities that Oprah has hosted on her show during the past 25 years, you had to know that her new network, OWN, would feature some fantastic food-related programming. My favorite so far is a Canadian import, Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag, featuring Anna Wallner and Kristina Matisic, two home cooks who set out to test the merits of a different cookbook in each episode.
A recent episode featuring Jamie Oliver's Cook with Jamie had Wallner and Matisic cooking up an ambitious menu including slow roasted pork, crunchy prawns, asparagus risotto, two salads and two desserts. It was a serious menu to undertake for a half-hour cooking show, but Wallner and Matisic keep it light and entertaining and incredibly informative. In this particular episode, a butcher spoke about the benefits of choosing organic over conventionally raised pork, a local culinary school tested out salad spinners (OXO won overall), and Wallner and Matisic went out with a fisherman to collect spot prawns. In the end, the ladies succeeded in making a wonderful meal from Cook with Jamie, winning a thumbs up from a culinary instructor and giving the book their own seal of approval.
It's a densely packed half hour, full of informational tidbits, helpful sidebars, and of course, great recipes. This intelligent focus on education, produce and products makes Anna & Kristina's Shopping Bag one of the more worthwhile cooking shows out there, one that might just make you into a better, more informed cook. And with episodes featuring Indian food, desserts, and Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking all coming up, I'm definitely going to be tuning in.
Have you been watching OWN? Chime in below!