tasty tvtasty tv
Sunday afternoons on the Food Network (channel 56) are now must-see TV. Starting at 3 pm, the station reruns Stadtlander: Adventures In Dining, the six-part series that premiered last fall spotlighting the idiosyncratic cook. It was shot over a weekend when the German-born chef had several hundred friends staying at his Eigensinn Farm for dinner in a forest. More documentary than traditional cooking program with demonstrations, at times Stadtlander's deadpan monologues on the philosophy of his unorthodox cuisine -- raw sea urchin on birch bark, perhaps? -- verges on unintentional mockumentary.
Next, at 3:30 pm, chef and author Anthony Bourdain (whose recent book, Kitchen Confidential, exposed the sordid underbelly of the New York restaurant scene) fronts A Cook's Tour, a 26-part global jaunt to find some of the strangest edibles on the planet. Winner: live, beating cobra heart in Vietnam. Take that, Fear Factor!
Finally, at 4 pm, Opening Soon looks behind the scenes of the launch of several Canadian restaurants. Nearly all the restaurateurs profiled come across as buffoons, bottom-line businessmen who agonize for weeks over the selection of a light fixture but get around to hiring the chef two days before opening. Watch for the Ned Bell episode where the former Senses chef gushes about his involvement in a new Niagara-area winery. He'd already hightailed it back to Vancouver by the time the program was broadcast.SD