My cable company runs two independent HD channels - INHD1 and 2. They just recently started to run some programs from the MOJO network. Two of these look very promising: After Hours with Daniel, and Beer Nutz.
Beer Nutz is just two guys going around to several breweries and pubs. They tackle one city for each 1/2 hour show, and they spend it interviewing bartenders, cooks, brewers - and drinking a lot. They rate each interviewee from 1 to 5 barrels, and declare a beer nut winner for each city. It's fun, and you can even learn something, especially from some of the brewery interviews. Today, they tackled Boston, and I have to say that their overall winner, the owner/manager of Sunset Grill and Tap, is certainly deserving of great praise - that place has EVERYTHING.
After Hours With Daniel is a really entertaining show. Daniel Boulud plays host to a different group of chefs and foodies after hours, at a different place each show. The after hours folks are served something really delicious, there are some shots of the restaurant they're in, items being prepared or places relative to the meal items, interleaved with the service and conversation.
In today's show, they were at BLT Prime with Laurent Tourondel, and the guests included Eric Ripert from Le Bernardin and Dana Cowin from Food And Wine Magazine. They started in BLT Prime's dry aging room (with over $50,000 of beef). They had cut out 2 humongous porterhouse steaks (more like roasts) that would be served that night. There was some soft-shell crab and a baked pineapple dessert. Great chefs cooking for great chefs - not much better than that. Next up: Cru.
I am so glad to see someone besides PBS put on some intelligent and entertaining food shows to compete with the junk that FTV has. Since FTV's management change several years ago, after which they ousted Tony Bourdain, promoted Rachel Ray, took away Tyler's own show and gave him that idiot's delight that Emeril used to do (the Ewok was much better at boiling water), it's a virtual moral imperative that other networks and production companies put out some good food programming. What a plus that these are in real HD (1080i).