PBS ‘American Masters’ plates four culinary docs

Digital network and lifestyle brand Feast it Forward has provided PBS arts strand ‘American Masters’ with major funding for a “chefs flight” of documentaries set to chronicle the lives of ...
December 2, 2016

Digital network and lifestyle brand Feast it Forward has provided PBS arts strand ‘American Masters’ with major funding for a “chefs flight” of documentaries set to chronicle the lives of four culinary legends.

As part of the net’s 31st season, the American pubcaster will document the lives and careers of some of the most seminal chefs to have graced the American kitchen, including James Beard, Julia Child, Jacques Pépin, and Alice Waters.

Scheduled to premiere in May 2017 are foodie films James Beard: America’s First Foodie and Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft, which will be paired with encore presentations of Julia! America’s Favorite Chef and Alice Waters and Her Delicious Revolution, respectively.

Elizabeth Federici’s James Beard: America’s First Foodie features the story of the Dean of American Cookery, who was the first chef to go on television to teach not only women, but men, how to cook. The Federici Films and Thirteen Productions-made film was produced by Federici and Kathleen Squires. It premieres May 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Elsewhere, the Marilyn Mellowes-made Julia! America’s Favorite Chef explores the love story between Julia and Paul Child, as well as her enduring love for French cuisine. Originally broadcast in 2004, the WGBH-produced film features previously unseen photos from Paul Child’s personal archive. It bows May 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft, which debuts May 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, examines the life of chef Jacques Pépin who moved from cooking in French palaces, where he was the personal chef to three French presidents including Charles de Gaulle, to cooking in the American kitchens of Howard Johnson’s. Produced and directed by Peter L. Stein. Michael Isip is executive producer with Susie Heller as co-executive produce on the KQED Production, in association with Thirteen’s ‘American Masters’ for WNET.

Finally, Alice Waters and Her Delicious Revolution follows the Chez Panisse chef through a year of seasonal shopping and cooking to discover the recipes and vision of localism and sustainability. Originally broadcast in 2003, the Doug Hamilton-directed film will air again on May 26 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. It was produced by Thirteen Productions.

Feast it Forward is an online network and lifestyle brand that serves as a guide to the conscious consumer and seeks to enlighten viewers while opening minds through “a unique platform and experience of food, drink and giving back.”

“We are thrilled to be able to bring the savory stories behind these culinary geniuses to viewers thanks to Feast It Forward’s generous support,” said Michael Kantor, executive producer of ‘American Masters,’ in a statement. “Collectively, they set America’s dinner table, and I think people will enjoy seeing the connections between each of these chefs and how we eat today.”

“Our online network tells the story of people, places and experiences that connect us to one another in ways that are beyond the plate and bottle, so it was a natural fit to be part of this impressive series,” added Katie Hamilton Shaffer, founder and president of Feast it Forward.

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.