Billed as ‘the network by food people, for food people,’ Scripps Networks Interactive’s Cooking Channel will launch May 31 with a line-up of new original programming and series making it to U.S. audiences for the first time.
An edgier cousin of The Food Network, the new cable channel will replace Fine Living Network (FLN) and will bring established foodie favorites such as Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay and Rachel Ray to the schedule with new shows. Lagasse hosts Emeril’s Fresh Food Fast (w/t) in which the chef shows how to prepare fresh food in quick order, while Flay hosts Bobby Flay’s Brunch (w/t). Ray will present Rachel Ray’s Week in a Day, in which she will create a week’s worth of meals in one day. Canadian cooks are also making the grade, with Chuck Hughes’ Chuck’s Day Off, David Rocco’s Dolce Vita and Laura Calder’s French Food at Home on the sked. Rachel Allen: Bake! is also being imported to North America, having made a name on RTE and UKTV.
The Cooking Channel aims to unite the cutting edge with the cutting board through series such as Unique Eats, which shines the spotlight on America’s more left-of-center food haunts, ranging from high-end food emporiums to roving eateries. Daryl Robinson, a bartender at New York City’s Hudson Hotel who has earned the nickname ‘Dr. Mixologist,’ will present the series Drink Up!, which will examine the exotic histories behind what we imbibe.
Mo Rocca of CBS Sunday Morning and The Daily Show fame, hosts Foodography, an irreverent look at global food culture, while the Canadian-produced Food Jammers documents the adventures of three hip foodies who design culinary contraptions. Foodcrafters features Aida Mollenkamp. The travelogue-style program sees Mollenkamp travel across America in search of hidden culinary gems.
Among the daytime offerings on the new channel is Cook like an Iron Chef, featuring Iron Chef Michael Symon, which promises to reveal the viewers some of the techniques that can lead to Iron Chef-hood. Also look for two programs focused on Indian cuisine, Spice Goddess with Bal Arneson and Indian Food Made Easy with Anjum Anand. Musician/chef Levi Roots (also known as the man behind Reggae Reggae Sauce) will host Caribbean Food Made Easy, while Ching He-Huang hosts Chinese Food Made Easy. And for those who prefer food shows from back in the day, there’s a classic cooking block featuring such legendary TV chefs as Julia Child and Graham Kerr, better known as ‘The Galloping Gourmet.’
Bruce Seidel is SVP of programming for The Cooking Channel, coming over from sister net The Food Network, where he was SVP, program planning and special projects. Michael Smith is the new channel’s general manager.