Gorgeous shots of food? Check. Recipes that appear slightly daunting but manageable on the weekends? Check. A tone that is somewhere between didactic and overenthusiastic? Check.
The Fresh Tastes blog is the first part of a new venture from PBS -- a food portal that will bring together recipes and content from their national and regional shows. Because America is not quite ready for Check, Please! Arizona, the adventure begins with a small collection of food bloggers cranking out recipes with sides of explanation and a few exclamation points.
The site is slick promises access to the channel's incredible lineup, so it is worth keeping an eye on what happens. PBS has teased that it will be opening up its vaults and showing off early episodes of The French Chef -- there's one from 1964 currently on its beta video site. Even the local editions of Check, Please! can serve as a de facto tour guide, providing access to a local's take on all kinds of restaurants.
Before the Food Network and the onslaught of chef adventure programming, there was Julia Child on PBS. And she just wanted us to learn how to navigate the kitchen. It's nice to see that the network that pioneered the cooking show is learning that we still want access to the same thing as our parents -- someone to teach us that food can be magical, even if the hands that wield the knife are ordinary.