Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag
|Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag|
Title card of programme.
|Genre||Infotainment, Cooking show|
|Creative director(s)||Lionel Goddard|
|Theme music composer||Graeme Coleman|
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||78 (list of episodes)|
|Production location(s)||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Running time||30 minutes (including commercials)|
|Production company(s)||Worldwide Bag Media, Inc.|
|Distributor||Picture Box Distribution|
W Network (season 1-3)|
OWN (Canada) (season 4-)
|Picture format||HDTV 1080i|
|Original release||September 8, 2008– May 1, 2013|
|Preceded by||The Shopping Bags|
|Followed by||Anna & Kristina's Beauty Call|
Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag was a Canadian television series that aired on the W Network and OWN Network in Canada, as well as 13 other countries around the world. Similar to the series The Shopping Bags, produced and hosted by Anna Wallner and Kristina Matisic, this series focuses on the kitchen, putting cookbooks, kitchen products, and cooking ingredients to the test.
Each episodes focuses on hosts Wallner and Matisic testing one cookbook. They make several recipes, usually consisting a full meal from appetizer to dessert (except for speciality cookbooks such as a dessert cookbook) for a special guest chef (and occasionally, non-chefs) while explicitly following the book's recipes & instructions. The meal is prepared within a strict time limit which ends when the guest chef arrives on set, and is determined by the preparation/cooking time listed in the cookbook. At the end of the program, each host will declare the book a "Buy" or a "Pass" depending on whether they feel the book has delivered in its promise and purpose based both on the cook day experience and their individual pre-testing of the cookbook. If both hosts give the book a "Buy", the cookbook will earn the "A&K Stamp of Approval".
Throughout each episode, Wallner & Matisic also perform product testings of several kitchen gadgets and/or food items to provide a side-by-side comparison between different brands, make or variety, similar to how they tested products on their previous show, The Shopping Bags. These product tests usually pertain to ingredients or tools they are using in that episode. In addition, the episodes are intertwined with interviews with the guest chefs, who share their cooking tips and tricks.
Episodes & testing results
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||September 3, 2008||January 2, 2009|
|2||26||January 7, 2009||December 30, 2009|
|3||26||September 22, 2010||April 20, 2011|
|4||13||September 29, 2012||May 1, 2013|
List of books with Stamp of Approval
Below is a complete list of cookbooks that have received the Official "A&K Stamp of Approval" by having both Wallner and Matisic give the book a Buy rating at the end of the episode.
|Season||Book title||Book author(s)||Cuisine type or Genre|
|1||"Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1"||Julia Child, Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle||French cuisine|
|1||"Cooking with Jamie"||Jamie Oliver||Fresh & Organic cooking|
|1||"Mangoes and Curry Leaves"||Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid||Indian cuisine|
|1||"How to Grill"||Steven Raichlen||Grilling, Barbecue|
|1||"Everyday Italian"||Giada De Laurentiis||Italian cuisine|
|2||"Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking"||Marcella Hazan||Italian cuisine|
|2||"The French Laundry Cookbook"||Thomas Keller, Deborah Jones||French cuisine|
|2||"Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen"||Rick Bayless||Mexican cuisine|
|2||"Deceptively Delicious"||Jessica Seinfeld||Kid-friendly dishes|
|2||"The Oprah Magazine Cookbook"||O: The Oprah Magazine editors||General cooking|
|2||"The Joy of Cooking, 75th Anniversary Edition"||Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan Becker||General cooking|
|2||"Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes"||Jennifer McLagan||Cooking with Fat|
|2||"The Cake Bible"||Rose Levy Beranbaum||Baking, Cakes, Cake decorating|
|2||"Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics"||Ina Garten||General cooking|
|2||"The Flexitarian Table"||Peter Berley||Flexitarianism, Vegetarian cuisine|
|2||"Gourmet Magazine"||Gourmet Magazine editors||Magazine, General cooking|
|2||"Chef Daniel Boulud: Cooking in New York City"||Daniel Boulud||French cuisine|
|3||"Lucinda's Authentic Jamaican Kitchen"||Lucinda Scala Quinn||Jamaican cuisine|
|3||"Bon Appétit, Y'all"||Virginia Willis||Southern US cuisine|
|3||"Gordon Ramsay's Family Fare"||Gordon Ramsay||General cooking|
|3||"The Pleasures of Cooking for One"||Judith Jones||Cooking for one person|
|3||"Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook"||Bobby Flay||Southwestern US cuisine|
|3||"The River Cottage Meat Book"||Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall||Cooking with meat|
|3||"Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking"||Michael Ruhlman||Ingredient ratios in cooking|
|3||"A16: Food + Wine"||Nate Appleman, Shelley Lindgren||Italian cuisine, Neapolitan cuisine|
|3||"Izakaya: The Japanese Pub Cookbook"||Mark Robinson||Japanese cuisine, Izakaya food|
|3||"Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook"||Anthony Bourdain||French Bistro food|
|3||"Canyon Ranch: Nourish"||Scott Uehlein, Staff of Canyon Ranch||Healthy eating, Spa food|
|3||"My Father's Daughter"||Gwyneth Paltrow||Healthy eating, General cooking|
|4||"100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know"||Cindi Leive||General cooking|
|4||"Absolutely Chocolate"||Fine Cooking Magazine editors||Desserts, Dishes with chocolate|
|4||"The Babbo Cookbook"||Mario Batali||Italian cuisine|
|4||"Mourad, New Moroccan"||Mourad Lahlou||Moroccan cuisine|
|4||"The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria"||Ferran Adrià||General cooking|
|4||"Whitewater Cooks with Friends"||Shelley Adams||General cooking, Al fresco dining|
"Three Sisters Around the Greek Table" episode
After the airing of the season 3 episode "Three Sisters Around the Greek Table" on November 10, 2010, where the book received a "Split Decision" rating with a "Buy" vote from Matisic and a "Pass" vote from Wallner, the authors of the cookbook, Betty, Eleni, and Samantha Bakopoulos posted a blog entry entitled Don't believe everything you see on T.V. – A&K stamp of what???, voicing their opinions on the results of the show. In the entry, they claim that their cookbook was misrepresented by Wallner & Matisic due to the two's lack of cooking knowledge, expertise, and precision as several mistakes happened during the course of the program. They also questioned the show's handling of the cooking time limit and the actual legitimacy of the "A&K Stamp of Approval". They ultimately called the episode sensationalized for the amusement of television audiences while giving their cookbook a negative image through the omissions and errors in cooking.
On November 14, 2010, Wallner & Matisic posted a note on the show's Facebook page entitled Open Letter to the Bakopoulos Sisters (Three Sisters Around The Greek Table) explaining their reasoning behind giving the cookbook the Split Decision result which included reviews from the show's testing group panelists. The note explained that the results were based on months of cookbook testing by multiple panelists as well as the cook day results. It also mentioned that the cooking mistakes on the show, while included for entertainment value, did not ultimately reflect on the judging of the cookbook itself. The omitted cooking steps were edited out post-production due to time restrictions, but not missed during the cooking process. Wallner & Matisic noted that they posted the open letter on their Facebook page because they could not successfully post the comment on the blog entry by the cookbook authors.
The Bakopoulos sisters have since removed the original blog entry from their website.
Awards and nominations
|2009||Gemini Awards||Best Host in a Lifestyle/Practical Information, or Performing Arts Program or Series||Anna Wallner, Kristina Matisic||Nominated||For the episode Mastering the Art of French Cooking|
|Leo Awards||Best Information or Lifestyle Series||Season 1||Nominated|
|Best Host(s) in an Information or Lifestyle Series||Anna Wallner, Kristina Matisic||Nominated||For the episode Mangoes & Curry Leaves|
|Best Direction in an Information or Lifestyle Series||Michael Margolis||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography in an Information or Lifestyle Series||Carl Alcock||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography in an Information or Lifestyle Series||Nominated||For the episode Mastering the Art of French Cooking|
|2010||Gemini Awards||Best Host in a Lifestyle/Practical Information, or Performing Arts Program or Series||Anna Wallner, Kristina Matisic||Nominated||For the episode Cowboy in the Kitchen|
|Leo Awards||Best Information or Lifestyle Series||Season 2||Nominated|
|Best Host(s) in an Information or Lifestyle Series||Anna Wallner, Kristina Matisic||Won||For the episode Cowboy in the Kitchen|
|Best Direction in an Information or Lifestyle Series||Jennifer Little||Won||For the episode Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking|
|Best Cinematography in an Information or Lifestyle Series||Carl Alcock||Won|
|2011||Gemini Awards||Best Lifestyle/Practical Information Series||Season 3||Nominated|
|Best Direction in a Lifestyle/Practical Information Program or Series||Jordan Kawchuk, Erin Redden||Nominated||For the episode Best British Dishes|
|Best Host in a Lifestyle/Practical Information, or Performing Arts Program or Series||Anna Wallner, Kristina Matisic||Nominated|
Production and distribution
The show began broadcasting in 2008, and is filmed and produced in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada by Worldwide Bag Media Inc., and is distributed by Picture Box Distribution. The series premiere episode, Mastering the Art of French Cooking was nominated for a 2009 Gemini Award in the category for "Best Host in a Lifestyle/Practical Information, or Performing Arts Program or Series".
In 2010, Picture Box Distribution announced that it had reached a deal with OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network which picked up the first three seasons, marking the show's debut in the United States.
Season 4 started filming in April 2012 and premiered on September 4, 2012. It was announced that show will shift from the W Network to its sister channel, Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada) starting this season. However, a deal has yet to be reached for the American broadcast of season 4.
|Country / Region||Name||Television Network||Dubbing / Subtitles|
|Canada (Quebec)||Anna & Kristina : recettes à l'essai
(English: Anna & Kristina: Test Recipes)
|Finland||Annan ja Kristinan koekeittiö
(English: Anna & Kristina's Test Kitchen)
|Hong Kong||Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag||Li TV||English|
|Hungary||A jó szakácskönyv receptje
(English: A Good Cookbook Recipe)
|TV Paprika||Hungarian dubbing|
|Indonesia||Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag||Li TV||English|
|Israel||Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag||Ananey - Israeli Food Channel||English|
|Malaysia||Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag||Li TV||English|
|Poland||Canal+ Poland||Polish subtitles|
|Singapore||Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag||Li TV||English|
|United States||Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag||OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network||English|
|Vietnam||Cẩm nang nội trợ
(English: Guide of Housewives)
- Bag Blog - Back in the Saddle Annaandkristina.com Blog Entry dated February 28, 2012. Retrieved on February 28, 2012.
- Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag: Episode Guide MSN Entertainment. Retrieved on March 10, 2012.
- Bag Blog – Back in the Saddle Annaandkristina.com Blog Entry dated February 28, 2012. Retrieved on February 28, 2012.
- Don’t believe everything you see on T.V. – A&K stamp of what??? - 3 Greek Sisters[permanent dead link] Blog entry dated November 12, 2011.
- Open Letter to the Bakopoulos Sisters (Three Sisters Around The Greek Table) Note dated November 14, 2010.
- 24th Annual Gemini Awards Nominees list Retrieved 2011-08-03
- 2009 Leo Awards Nominees list Archived 2011-02-01 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2011-08-03
- 25th Annual Gemini Awards Nominees list Retrieved 2010-11-14
- 2010 Leo Awards Nominees list Archived 2011-07-13 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2011-08-03
- 2011 Gemini Awards Nominees list Retrieved 2011-08-03
- "Buyers Peek Into Picture Box's Grocery Bag". Picture Box Distribution Inc. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag official website
- Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag on Facebook
- Anna Wallner & Kristina Matisic on Twitter
- Worldwide Bag Media Inc. corporate information
- Picture Box Distribution information for the series Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag
- Series information on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Canada
- Series information on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network