Food Network may have a whole plethora of cooking shows, but before Guy Fieri and Ree Drummond took the screen, many home cooks turned the dial to PBS to watch Julia Child host The French Chef, which was notably one of the first cooking shows on American television. Throughout the years more cooking programming joined the Public Broadcast Station including Ciao Italia, Martha Stewart's Cooking Show, and still on the air today, Cook's Country From America's Test Kitchen. Structured similarly to sister show, America's Test Kitchen, every week the Cook's Country cast showcases American classics and dives into the history and culture of some of our nation's favorite meals.
What is Cook's Country?
Based on Cook's Country magazine, the 30-minute show follows Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster as they are joined by Ashley Moore, Christie Morrison, Bryan Roof, Lawman Johnson, and Morgan Bolling. Jack Bishop joins the cast members to share his findings from the Testings Lab and Adam Ried features new products in the Equipment Corner. Chris Kimball, who now hosts Christopher Kimball's Milk Street, hosted the public television show from 2008-2016.
When Kimball was host, the tv show was filmed at his country home in Vermont. Due to coronavirus, the home cooking show will be potentially filmed in the Cook's Country cast's home kitchens. Co-host Julia Collin Davison, who also co-hosts America's Test Kitchen, shared a photo on her Instagram of a camera crew setting up in her Boston, Massachusetts home. ATK's show follows global recipes whereas Cook's County focuses on recipes of the United States.
You can also watch episodes and get access to foolproof recipes on Cookscountry.com.
Meet the Cast of Cook's Country
Julia Collin Davison
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Davison got her first taste of America's Test Kitchen when she came to work as a Test Cook for Cook's Illustrated magazine in 1999. Davison is an executive editorial director for America's Test Kitchen.
According to Davison, the difference between America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country is the casualness of the recipes. "It doesn't have to be a sous vide steak that rocks your world, it can be something kind of simple and just a little down market," she shares with KLCS. Sometimes the best recipes are the simplest ones shared with family and friends.
No one knows more about fried chicken than we do here at Cook’s Country, so in episode 11 I show Julia the best way to prepare the Central California regional favorite, Garlic Fried Chicken.
Before working at ATK, Lancaster worked for Williams Sonoma, procuring and delivering kitchenware to Julia Child to use in her cooking shows. According to Lancaster, the store couldn't resell what Child had used, so employees got to take it home. Lancaster shared she uses Julia Child's rolling pin in her kitchen at home.
Originally cast on America's Test Kitchen as a test cook, Bridget Lancaster shared during an interview with KLCS that the star of the "show is the recipes and the methods", whether it be showing how to cook fried chicken in a cast iron skillet to cooking comfort foods she grew up with. Today she is an executive editorial director for America's Test Kitchen.
The new Editor-in-Chief of Cooks Country, Toni Tipton-Martin is one of the top women in the food journalism industry. Named the first Black person to serve as editor of a food section for a large U.S. newspaper in 1991, Tipton-Martin has won two James Beard awards and has written several books including The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks and Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African-American Cooking
Born in New London, Connecticut, Ashley Moore has been developing recipes for Cook's Country since 2013. She's also an instructor for America's Test Kitchen Cooking School as well as a food stylist. In an interview, Moore shared that her favorite part of Cook's Country is the spotlight on regional cooking. The fact that it brings the spotlight to smaller parts of the country and the regional recipes people have been cooking for centuries." Moore shares, "The small towns, the passionate people, celebrating the food they make--that is what excites me."
Christie Morrison is the deputy editor of culinary content and curriculum at America's Test Kitchen.But before now, she's worn a lot of hats at ATK. She's been a member of the cookbook team, a Senior Editor for Cook's Country, an instructor for America's Test Kitchen Cooking School, an editor of special projects, and on top of that, she's a Test Cook for the Cook's Country television show. Her favorite recipe: Roasted Salt-and-Vinegar Potatoes.
Executive Food Editor at Cook's Country Magazine, Roof has been with America's Test Kitchen for over 14 years. Born in the Philippines, Roof spent his childhood moving across the south every few years. According to Roof his favorite part of Cook's Country is "The focus on regional American cooking, simple recipes, and techniques to make everyday cooking easier."
A new addition to the Cook's Country Cast, Lawman Johnson joined the America's Test Kitchen team in 2014 working as a test cook for the cookbook team before becoming an associate editor for cookbooks and a member of the Cook's Country cast.
New to the cast, Morgan Bolling is the deputy food editor for Cook's Country magazine and an on-screen test cook for Cook's Country. She has been a producer for the show since 2017 and has been working with America's Test Kitchen for the past 6 years, where she has developed over 100 recipes.
Bishop started his culinary career studying in Italy. In 1988 he worked at Cook's magazine and helped launch Cook's Illustrated in 1993. He is currently the Chief Creative Officer at America's Test Kitchen and runs the tasting segment on both Cook's Country and America's Test Kitchen.
A columnist for the Boston Globe Magazine, Ried joins the cast as the kitchen equipment specialist, showing off the best kitchenware. Ried was also an Editor for Cook's Illustrated for over 10 years.
Every single Cook's Country cast member is passionate about food and recipes and it shows. You can currently watch all episodes from Season 12 at the Cook's Country website. And make sure to pick up a cookbook while you're at it!
From a personal perspective, I got the chance to work side-by-side with each of these talented chefs when I interned at America's Test Kitchen in 2016. If you look in the background of the 2017 season of Cook's Country, you might even see a familiar face.
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