Four iconic chefs to be profiled on 'American Masters'

Posted by Chip Chandler on
Julia Child, James Beard and Edna Lewis on "American Masters."
Wynn Family and James Beard Fdtn.

"James Beard: America's First Foodie"

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

A “chefs flight” of documentaries will give insight into the lives of four culinary legends in May.

American Masters will premiere James Beard: America’s First Foodie at 8 p.m. May 19 and Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft at 8 p.m. May 25.

They’ll be followed, respectively, by encore presentations of American Masters: Julia! America’s Favorite Chef and American Masters: Alice Waters and Her Delicious Revolution.

 “We are thrilled to be able to bring the savory stories behind these culinary geniuses to viewers,” said Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters.” 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.”

Major funding was provided by Feast It Forward, a new online lifestyle network featuring all things food, wine and philanthropy with a taste of music.

“I was amazed,” Pépin said at a recent Boston screening of the documentary. “A lot of the footage, I have no idea where you found it. … Some of the stuff, the pictures, I have never seen them in my life.”

Director Beth Frederici said Beard was an early proponent of the now-fashionable farm-to-table movement.

"He just wanted the rest of the country to know that you don't have to get your mushrooms from France," Frederici said at a Television Critics Association panel in January. "There's probably a forest near you where you could forage them yourself, so I think that when he went into places that were really using incredible ingredients, he was really generous with his appreciation and I think put chefs at ease very quickly."

The documentaries can be watched online a day after they premiere on air.



Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and on Facebook.

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