America's Test Kitchen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen Logo New.gif
Genre Cooking
Presented by Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster [1]
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 16
Production
Producer(s) America's Test Kitchen
Location(s) Boston, Massachusetts
Running time 27 minutes
Distributor Co-presented to the public television system by WETA in conjunction with American Public Television
Release
Original release January 4, 2001 (2001-01-04) – present
External links
Website

America's Test Kitchen is a half-hour cooking show distributed to public television stations and Create in the United States, which are also available in most Canadian markets. The show's host for seasons 1-16 was Cook's Illustrated ’s former editor-in-chief Christopher Kimball. New co-hosts Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster will take over starting in season 17 (January 2017). The show is affiliated with Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines, and the magazines' new test kitchen facility at the Innovation and Design Building in Boston, Massachusetts will be used as a set for the show.

Cook's Illustrated's parent company, America’s Test Kitchen Inc. has marketed its publishing and media activities under the America's Test Kitchen brand since 2004, while retaining its corporate name. America’s Test Kitchen has launched more than 100 books, including several New York Times best sellers. Additionally, they introduced Cook’s Science, a free online resource dedicated to providing high-quality article, recipes, and videos.

Show format[edit]

A typical episode contains two or three recipes joined by a common theme (e.g., "Quick Tuesday Night Pasta Dinners", "Comfort Food Favorites", "Supermarket Steak Recipes", "Making Chinese Take-Out Dishes"). Each recipe segment opens with Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster showing the problems inherent in cooking the recipe (e.g., waterlogged pasta dishes with jarred sauces; tough, leathery supermarket steaks that don't hold up well in skillet recipes) or in ordering out for the dish (e.g., overcooked meat in tasteless soy-laden brown sauce with a few vegetables thrown in for a so-called "steak and peppers" Chinese takeout meal), leading up to Julia and Bridget urging everyone to "join [featured chef] in the test kitchen as we make [bad recipe] the right way." During the cooking of the recipe, usually at a fairly mundane step of the recipe (e.g., browning onions; letting finished dish cool), other segments are shown, usually consisting of two or more of the following:

  • A Tasting Lab segment, where an ingredient or prepared food product is run through a tasting panel and then taste-tested by Kimball;
  • An Equipment Corner segment, which gives reviews and rankings of kitchen gadgets;
  • A periodic "Science Desk" segment, discussing the science behind a pertinent technique used in the recipe;
  • A "Quick Tips" segment, inserted as a 15–30 second mock-bumper, to demonstrate tips and tricks from Cooks Illustrated magazine and viewers' mail.

Up through season 6, the show was taped in standard definition, 4:3 video; season 7 saw the show switch to widescreen 16:9 video. The high definition version of the show is shown as part of PBS HD's master digital schedule and, by some PBS affiliates, as part of their normal schedules. To date 163 episodes have been recorded.

During recording, 26 recipes are videotaped during a three-week period. Six recipes are recorded per day, and there are two recipes demonstrated per episode.[2]

Cast[edit]

America's Test Kitchen features several recurring cast members, although not every cast member appears in each episode.[3] Julia Collin Davison (identified on-screen before season 7 as "Julia Collin"), Bridget Lancaster, Kay Rentschler, Rebecca "Becky" Hays, Sandra Wu, Yvonne Ruperti, J. Kenji Alt (now J. Kenji Lopez-Alt), Erika Bruce, Bryan Roof and Dan Souza are the chefs who explain and prepare the recipes in each episode as Kimball watches and comments. Yvonne Ruperti and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt departed the company in 2011 and 2009 respectively. Usually only one or two of the chefs will appear in an episode. Collin-Davison, Lancaster and Rentschler appeared as regular cast members on season 1. Since, Rentschler moved to the positions of Culinary Producer and Executive Chef by season 2 and appeared in only one episode that season, before leaving the show by Season 3.[5] Hays joined the permanent cast in season 5, Bruce, Wu, and Ruperti each appear for a single season (seasons 5, 6, and 8, respectively), and Alt appears in seasons 7 and 8. All are prominent recipe testers or editors in Cook's Illustrated. Beginning in season 5, Cook’s Illustrated staff chefs Hays, Bruce, Jeremy Sauer, and Matthew Card appeared in segments answering common viewer mail questions. Hays, Bruce, and Sauer joined the on-camera cast for season 6; Hays moved into credited cast member status beginning in season 7. Roof and Souza were added to the regular cast starting season 15.

  • Christopher Kimball, the show's host for seasons 1-16, was the founder, editor and publisher of American's Test Kitchen and its associated magazine, book, television and radio programs from their inception through 2016. Kimball and ATK parted company in the fall of 2016 over a contract dispute.[4]
  • Julia Collin Davison will take over as co-host of “America’s Test Kitchen” alongside Bridget Lancaster with the start of season 17 in January 2017 [6] and will take over Chris’ role in introducing the recipes featured in each episode. Julia Collin Davison appears in most episodes of “America’s Test Kitchen” seasons 1-16, but will appear in all upcoming episodes (January 2017). Davison will continue cooking selected recipes on each episode with the help of current and new cast.
  • Bridget Lancaster additionally appears as a regular cast member in seasons 1-16 and will join Julia Collin Davison as host in all episodes for season 17. Lancaster will also continue to cook through select recipes on upcoming episodes alongside other cast members.
  • Jack Bishop appears in most episodes in the Tasting Lab segment. In the Tasting Lab, he describes a tasting panel's opinions on different brands of the food or ingredient in question, as Kimball tastes several of the items blind. After Kimball provides his thoughts on the different varieties, Bishop reveals the brands that Kimball tasted and compares his thoughts to those of the tasting panel. Bishop and Kimball frequently refer to a running joke that Kimball's tastes are often vastly different from the tasting panel's; as an example, in a segment tasting bottled waters, Kimball picked Boston tap water over all the brands of bottled water. Bishop also hosts the Cook's Illustrated podcast.[5]
  • Dan Souza is executive editor of Cook’s Science at America’s Test Kitchen. He’s an on-screen test cook for America’s Test Kitchen and a weekly contributor to America’s Test Kitchen Radio. A former senior editor for Cook’s Illustrated, Dan has contributed content to a dozen America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks, including executing and editing the test kitchen experiments for the New York Times bestseller The Science of Good Cooking and the forthcoming Cook’s Science. Dan cut his culinary teeth as an apprentice in Hungary before graduating first in his class from the Culinary Institute of America. After cooking in restaurants in New York City and Boston, however, he found his true calling: applying good science to create great recipes for the home cook.
  • Adam Ried appears in most episodes as the host of the Equipment Corner segment. In this segment, he shows several brands of a piece of kitchen equipment and often asks Kimball to use several of the items or eat food prepared with different brands. In the end, he identifies the test kitchen's preferred brand and demonstrates its key features. For particularly expensive items, he often identifies a best buy: an item that was ranked highly but is significantly less expensive than the top brand. Throughout the show's run, items previously tested in other seasons have been retested as technology changes warrant; for instance, in season 8, garlic presses were retested due to the failure of the non-stick coating on the previous winning brand after heavy usage, and a new favorite brand was chosen. Occasionally the Equipment Corner segment does not focus on a single piece of equipment; instead, a "buy it/don't buy it" format is used to pick the best items among newer, trendier kitchen gadgets. One of Ried's favorite "buy it" gadgets was a timer that came with its own lanyard so cooks could wear it around their necks and not have to be in visual range of the oven timer; Ried revealed, however, that the timer was normally used to stay one step ahead of local traffic law enforcers by signaling that it was time to feed the meter or move the car.
  • John "Doc" Willoughby hosted the Science Desk segment in the show's first two seasons but was gradually phased out during season 3. After he became executive editor of Gourmet magazine, there was no Science Desk segment for two seasons. John "Doc" Willoughby returned to America's Test Kitchen in 2010.[6][not in citation given]
  • Odd Todd (Todd Rosenberg) designs animations for the Science Desk segment, illustrating such concepts as flambé, brining, marinating vs. dry spice rubs, and whether plastic or wooden cutting boards are better for overall kitchen hygiene. His segments made their debut in season 5 but were replaced by non-animated segments with Jeremy Sauer in season 6. The animations returned for season 7, interspersed with non-animated science segments done by Kimball and Sauer.
  • Guy Crosby is the science adviser for America’s Test Kitchen. He began working for Cook’s Illustrated as a consulting editor in early 2005.[7]
  • Rebecca "Becky" Hays, Bryan Roof and Dan Souza are the chefs who explain and prepare the recipes in each episode as the host watches and comments. Usually only one or two of the chefs will appear in an episode. Collin-Davison, Lancaster and Rentschler appeared as regular cast members on season 1. Since, Rentschler moved to the positions of Culinary Producer and Executive Chef by season 2 and appeared in only one episode that season, before leaving the show by Season 3.[8] Hays joined the permanent cast in season 5, Bruce, Wu, and Ruperti each appear for a single season (seasons 5, 6, and 8, respectively), and Alt appears in seasons 7 and 8. All are prominent recipe testers or editors in Cook's Illustrated. Beginning in season 5, Cook's Illustrated staff chefs Hays, Bruce, Jeremy Sauer, and Matthew Card appeared in segments answering common viewer mail questions. Hays, Bruce, and Sauer joined the on-camera cast for season 6; Hays moved into credited cast member status beginning in season 7. Roof and Souza were added to the regular cast starting season 15.

Bibliography[edit]

America's Test Kitchen Books[edit]

Year Published Title Description New York Times Best Seller
2017 Vegan for Everybody Foolproof Plant-Based Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and In-Between
2016 The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook 500 Vibrant, Kitchen-Tested Recipes for Living and Eating Well Every Day
2016 What Good Cooks Know 20 Years of Test Kitchen Expertise in One Essential Handbook
2016 The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2017 The Year's Best Recipes, Equipment Reviews, and Tastings
2016 Bread Illustrated A Step-By-Step Guide to Achieving Bakery-Quality Results At Home
2016 Naturally Sweet Bake All Your Favorites with 30% to 50% Less Sugar
2016 Master of the Grill Foolproof Recipes, Top-Rated Gadgets, Gear & Ingredients Plus Clever Test Kitchen Tips & Fascinating Food Science
2016 Foolproof Preserving A Guide to Small Batch Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Condiments, and More
2015 The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2016 Every Recipe from the Hit TV Show with Product Ratings and a Look Behind the Scenes
2015 The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2016 The Year's Best Recipes, Equipment Reviews, and Tastings
2015 100 Recipes The Absolute Best Ways To Make The True Essentials
2015 The How Can It Be Gluten-Free Cookbook Volume 2 New Whole-Grain Flour Blend. 75+ Dairy-Free Recipes.
2015 The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook A Fresh Guide to Eating Well with 700 Foolproof Recipes Yes
2015 The Best Mexican Recipes Kitchen-Tested Recipes Put the Real Flavors of Mexico Within Reach
2015 Healthy Slow Cooker Revolution One Test Kitchen. 40 Slow Cookers. 200 Fresh Recipes.
2014 The New Family Cookbook All-New Edition of the Best-Selling Classic with 1,100 New Recipes
2014 The Make-Ahead Cook 8 Smart Strategies for Dinner Tonight: More than 150 kitchen-tested recipes you can prepare on your schedule
2014 The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook 650 Recipes for Everything You'll Ever Want to Make
2014 The How Can it Be Gluten Free Cookbook Revolutionary Techniques. Groundbreaking Recipes. Yes
2013 The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook Everything You Need to Know to Become a Great Cook.
2013 Slow Cooker Revolution Volume 2 The Easy-Prep Edition
2013 Pressure Cooker Perfection 100 Foolproof Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook
2011 Slow Cooker Revolution One Test Kitchen. 30 Slow Cookers. 200 Amazing Recipes. Yes

Cook's Illustrated Books[edit]

Year Published Title Description New York Times Best Seller
2016 Cook's Science How to Unlock Flavor in 50 of our Favorite Ingredients
2016 All-Time Best Appetizers A perfectly curated selection of our favorite appetizer recipes
2016 All-Time Best Soups Definitive takes on classic soups and new recipes that blend favorite flavors with delicious results
2015 Kitchen Hacks How Clever Cooks Get Things Done
2014 The Cook's Illustrated Meat Cookbook The Game-Changing Guide That Teaches You How to Cook Meat and Poultry with 425 Bulletproof Recipes
2013 The Cook's Illustrated Baking Book Baking Demystified with 450 Foolproof Recipes from America's Most Trusted Food Magazine
2012 The Science of Good Cooking Master 50 Simple Concepts to Enjoy a Lifetime of Success in the Kitchen Yes
2011 The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook 2,000 Recipes from 20 Years of America's Most Trusted Cooking Magazine Yes
2004 Baking Illustrated The Practical Kitchen Companion for the Home Baker
2004 The New Best Recipe The timeless kitchen companion featuring 1,000 foolproof recipes, illustrated kitchen tutorials, and unbiased product ratings

TV Shows[edit]

Title Number of Seasons
America's Test Kitchen 16
Cook's Country from America's Test Kitchen 9

Radio Shows[edit]

Digital[edit]

URL Title Description
http://www.americastestkitchen.com America's Test Kitchen Learn real cooking skills from your favorite food experts
http://www.cooksillustrated.com Cook's Illustrated The iconic magazine that investigates how and why recipes work
http://www.cookscountry.com Cook's Country American classics, everyday favorites, and the stories behind them
http://www.onlinecookingschool.com America's Test Kitchen Online Cooking School Experts teach 200+ online courses for home cooks at every skill level
http://www.cooksscience.com Cook's Science Reported stories and innovative recipes from the world of food and science

Magazines[edit]

Title Dates Published Format
Cook’s Illustrated Magazine 1993-present (issued bimonthly) subscription, newsstand, iPad edition
Cook's Country Magazine 2005-present (issued bimonthly) subscription, newsstand, iPad edition

Awards[edit]

Year Title Award
2016 America's Test Kitchen Daytime Emmy Award Nomination: Outstanding Culinary Program
2016 Cook's Country from America's Test Kitchen Daytime Emmy Award Nomination: Outstanding Culinary Program
2012 America's Test Kitchen Daytime Emmy Award Winner: Outstanding Directing in a Lifestyle/Culinary Program
2012 Cook's Country from America's Test Kitchen Daytime Emmy Award Nomination: Outstanding Directing in a Lifestyle/Culinary Program
2011 America's Test Kitchen Daytime Emmy Award Nomination: Outstanding Lifestyle/Culinary Host
2011 America's Test Kitchen Daytime Emmy Award Nomination: Outstanding Culinary Program
2010 America's Test Kitchen Daytime Emmy Award Nomination: Outstanding Culinary Program

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.nola.com/food/index.ssf/2016/03/americas_test_kitchen_hosts.html
  2. ^ Christopher Kimball interview (2015-01-10). Central Texas Gardener (Television production). Austin, Texas, United States: KLRU-TV, Austin PBS. 
  3. ^ "Meet the Cast". Boston Common Press. Archived from the original on December 24, 2007. Retrieved December 31, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Christopher Kimball to Leave American's Test Kitchen". Cook's Illustrated. November 16, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Cook's Illustrated podcast". Retrieved January 31, 2008. 
  6. ^ John "Doc" Willoughby has returned to America's Test Kitchen
  7. ^ http://www.americastestkitchen.com/tour/
  8. ^ America's Test Kitchen: The Full Season 1 (DVD). Boston, Massachusetts: Cook's Illustrated. 2006-10-10. 

External links[edit]