Wednesday, May 2, 2012

La prova del cuoco cooking show

I have a theory that a country's cooking ability and its number of published cookbooks, cooking shows and overall food obsession are inversely related. In fact, back in the day, Italians had few of these, and the overall food knowledge and ability was superior. Cooking well was taken for granted. No more.

La prova del cuoco is the most popular Italian cooking show and has been around twelve years. Its name (the cook's test) is a play on words of la prova del fuoco (trial by fire), which is not unclever. In fact it is a cooking competition with dueling chefs, and is based on the BBC program Ready Steady Cook. Not a good sign when Italians start taking their culinary inspiration from Brits.

It is conducted by a relentlessly cheerful bottle blonde named Antonella Clerici (seen above). I've never seen a whole episode through, but lots and lots of people are fans. You can watch back episodes on their site, which is here. The site also features a search function of the show's recipes with a variety of search variables. Both show and site are in Italian only.