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Even though I have depended on food shows to help pass the knitting time—and even though I have recommended about thirty times in the past two years that you watch some Julia Childiana—I’ll admit that I’ve just about had it up to my gullet. I don’t care who can beat Bobby Flay, whatever that means. I think the Pioneer Woman has given us quite enough ways to make cheese dip, thankyouverymuch. And Guy Fieri is—by all accounts, seriously—a wonderful guy who has helped a lot of restaurants stay afloat through difficult times … but I do not need to see him take another giant greasy bite of food for the rest of my life.

But! I still love Chef’s Table because it always takes its sweet time to talk about and show me things and places (without an audience hooting and hollering) and never concludes with a child crying about a crooked cupcake or whatever. I think “gentle” is a word that gets a bad rap, but it’s a gentle show. The camera rolls, people make things, they talk or (more usually) they do not. A few other people chime in. Some food gets plated. The end.

That “people make things” element is crucial. I love shows that address the question: Why do people make things? With each Chef’s Table episode, you get insight into what drives these best-of-the-best-of-the-food-world folks to make the thing they make better than anyone else.

Now there’s a spectacular new volume of episodes all devoted to pizza. If you’ve never watched the show before, the first episode in the set is a perfect litmus test to help decide if it’s your thing or not. It focuses on Phoenix-based wood-fired pizza genius Chris Bianco and his (largely successful) effort to reshape the way we think about pizza in the States (seriously, it’s practically all his doing), but it also sidetracks a little into an exploration of drive and how and why too much of it can be unhealthy (astonishingly, Bianco himself made every single pizza his packed-to-the-gills Phoenix restaurant served … for years). 

And if you come away without Googling Bianco’s Pizza Rosa recipe (which is presented as some sort of almost holy relic and look, I’ve made it three times since I saw this episode, and “holy relic” is about right) well, you’re stronger than I am. 

About The Author

DG Strong took up knitting in 2014. He lives in Nashville with his sister, her rat terrier and a hound dog named Opal. He has a blog of drawings and faintly ridiculous rambling called The Psychopedia—there are worse ways to spend your afternoon.


  • Love Chef’s table, the only cooking show I watch. I have been Raving about it to anybody who would give me the time of day. So I was a little underwhelmed by the Chris Bianco episode, and didn’t watch to the end, obviously a mistake because I missed pizza rosa! Need to fix that ASAP

    • Thanks so much for the recommend! And as I could eat pizza three times a day (or more!), I’ll be sure to tune in.

  • The word I use to describe Chef’s Table is always “beautiful”. The food, the places, and the way they shoot them. It’s just a gorgeous TV show. I haven’t seen the pizza version yet, but it’s a must-see for me!

  • Thank you for the recommendation. The only cooking show my daughter and I watch any more is The Great British Baking Show because there tends to be so much nastiness on some and over the top unhealthy foods on others. It sounds like we will now have another choice and, being pizza lovers, the focus food is perfect!

    • I know what you mean — but Great British Baking doesn’t exactly focus on healthy foods! I’m glad it’s back, though — I was starting to forget the differences between the five hundred different kinds of meringue.

  • I always say Pizza is the world’s most perfect food. You can put any nutritional pyramid you want on a pizza and it will be delicious. Ok – maybe not cereal or fruit salad, but you get the idea. *Chefs kiss*

    • Located in a large shopping center near a Trader Joe’s, Pizzeria Bianco is a must when in Phoenix.

      • That is the location where you’ve never had to wait for hours. I live a few houses down from Mrs. Bianco (mom), and she’s fabulous. Glad to see Chris recognized even more, and thanks, DG, for sharing a local point of pride.

  • So how is he changing ideas about pizza? They wear it looks, tastes, how it’s used??

    • Thanks for the recommendation, DG! I watched every episode, and I didn’t see anyone actually wearing pizza as you suggest, Mary Lynne, but you do you.

    • I’m not doing all the work for you. You can watch it.

  • I’ve never seen this show but had to click the link to the pizza recipe and now have to make it!!

  • I watched the first episode a couple of nights ago and googled Pizza Rosa before I went to bed, ha ha. I’m firing up the wood oven tonight!

  • I love this show too. Thank you for the reminder DG!

  • My former husband decided to have a pizza party one night and he purchased a pizza stone and he thought that corn meal was the equivalent of corn starch and we had to order out because he may have been a good doctor but he lacked all common sense

  • Love, love , love it. Who knew pizza making is erotic????? Yes, flour that board!

  • I love this programme so much! The episode about the kaiseki pizza chef in Japan was dream-like.

  • Thank you for the recommendation of Chef’s Table “Pizza”. We have watched the first episode and are eager to try Pizza Rosa. Who knew pistachios could be a topping on my favorite food?

  • Carol Eddington

    • Oops! Like you, I’m not interested in the hype and other nonsense of many cooking shows. I’m looking forward to watching this one. Thank you.

  • I’ll bring my knitting and check this out. One of my favorite shows about making is Blown Away about glassblowing. On Netflix.

  • Have never watched chefs table. Just recently got access to Netflix and we’re binging British baking show.

  • Thanks for the recommendation. If you like cooking shows without the hype and competition. Delicious Miss Brown is a lovely Southern lady who makes Low Country food for friends and family. I enjoy watching her multi course meals together and the glimpse of the area in which she lives.

  • My favourite cooking show at the moment is Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy. The second season is about to air in the UK on the BBC, and is on CNN stateside.

  • Public television here in the DC area has been running a show called ‘Roadfood’ which talks about different local foods/restaurants across the country. I’ve been enjoying that.

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