|Presented by||Christopher Kimball|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||78|
|Running time||27 minutes|
|Original release||2008 – present|
Cook's Country is an American half-hour television cooking show on the PBS channel. It is shot in a renovated 1806 farmhouse located in Rupert, Vermont. The show is based on Cook's Country magazine (published by the same company as Cook's Illustrated) and a cover of it appears at the start of each episode.
Cast and content
Cook's Country is structured similarly to America's Test Kitchen, with nearly the same cast. Christopher Kimball, Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin-Davison are primarily featured, with Erin McMurrer making occasional appearances beginning in Season 2. As in America's Test Kitchen, Jack Bishop is in charge of the Tasting Lab, while Adam Ried features new products in the Equipment Corner.
While Cook's Country follows an identical show format, there are notable differences between the two. Cook's Country features recipes that are more rustic and commonly thought of as "comfort food". There is emphasis on recipes from different sections of America, specifically from the South and Southwestern cultures. Christopher Kimball also begins each segment with a historical perspective on each recipe prior to the demonstration.
The Tasting Lab segments feature a live audience, who watch as Kimball and Bishop taste-test the featured product(s). This is fundamentally different from America's Test Kitchen, where only Kimball and Bishop are shot.
During Season 1, Kimball's neighbor Axel Blomberg would occasionally appear on-screen with a dish of the featured recipe, claiming that his wife Donna had made it and that it was usually badly executed, in keeping with the "country" theme of the show. This is similar to the beginning of recipe segments on America's Test Kitchen, where Kimball would display the featured item before the changes of the chefs were applied.
Some of Blomberg's commonly uttered phrases were, "Donna done it again!", and "You're the expert" (referring to Kimball's suggestions to make the recipe better). He does not appear in any episodes after Season 1.
The theme music, "Right Between Your Eyes", is performed by the San Francisco bluegrass band, Hot Buttered Rum.
A title card at the end of each episode of Season 1 reads "In Memory of Felicia Armstrong (1978–2007)", a kitchen assistant murdered on November 1, 2007.
Julia Colin-Davison did not appear during any Season 2 episode, having given birth to a daughter shortly before that season's episodes were scheduled to be shot. She returned in Season 3.
- Christopher Kimball founded Cook’s Magazine, a national magazine for cooking hobbyists, in 1980 and served as publisher and editorial director through 1989. In 1984, Mr. Kimball founded the Who’s Who of Cooking in America, which was initiated to honor the leading American chefs, restaurateurs, vintners, food writers, and food producers. In 1993, Mr. Kimball relaunched Cook’s Magazine as Cook’s Illustrated; more recently, he founded Cook’s Country magazine. Mr. Kimball serves as publisher and editor of both magazines. Mr. Kimball is also the host of America’s Test Kitchen, the top-rated public television cooking show now in its 13th season, and host and executive producer of Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen, which debuted in September 2008. Mr. Kimball is a regular contributor to The Today Show and has been featured in many publications, including The New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, People Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. He was inducted into the Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America in 1996. He is also the author of The Cook’s Bible, The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook, Dear Charlie (Christopher Award Winner), The Dessert Bible, The Kitchen Detective, and Fannie’s Last Supper.
- Bridget Lancaster is the executive food editor for new media, television, and radio. She joined the Cook’s team in 1998 and is an original cast member of both America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen television shows, as well as a cohost for America’s Test Kitchen Radio. Bridget currently serves as the lead instructor for the America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School and helps develop and produce courses for the school. Her earlier career led her to cook in restaurant kitchens in the South and Northeast, concentrating on pastry. Currently, she resides outside of Boston with her husband and children and enjoys gardening as much as the short growing season will allow.
- Julia Collin Davison is the executive food editor for the book division of America’s Test Kitchen and is an on-screen test cook for America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen. She began working as a test cook for Cook’s Illustrated in 1999 and is responsible for the food and recipe development for all America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks. She holds an A.O.S. degree from the Culinary Institute of America and a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from SUNY Albany. Before coming to America’s Test Kitchen, she worked in Albany, the Berkshires, San Francisco, and the Napa Valley at several restaurants, catering companies, schools, and wineries. Julia resides in Natick, Massachusetts, where she enjoys cooking with her husband, Ian, and daughter Marta.
- Erin McMurrer is the test kitchen director of America’s Test Kitchen and is responsible for recipe testing and development at Cook’s Illustrated. For the last six seasons of America’s Test Kitchen and the first season of Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen, she co-ran the “back kitchen” where all of the food that appears on camera originates. She holds an A.O.S. degree from the Culinary Institute of America. Before coming to America’s Test Kitchen, she worked on Nantucket for a season, then moved to Boston to work for the Back Bay Restaurant Group for two years, and then worked at Hammersley’s Bistro for eight years, the last three as sous chef.
- Jack Bishop is the editorial director of America’s Test Kitchen. He joined the staff of Cook’s Magazine in 1988 and helped with the launch of Cook’s Illustrated in 1993. He established the tasting protocols used at America’s Test Kitchen and has authored dozens of articles for the magazine. Jack directed the launch of Cook’s Country magazine and oversees editorial operations at both magazines. He is the tasting lab expert on America’s Test Kitchen, the top-rated public television cooking show, and Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen. Jack edited The Best Recipe (1999) and established the book division at America’s Test Kitchen. He is the author of several cookbooks, including A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, Vegetables Every Day, The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook, Pasta e Verdura, and Lasagna. Jack’s wife, Lauren Chattman, is a cookbook author and former pastry chef. They have two daughters.
- Adam Ried is the keeper of the Equipment Corner on America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen. During his 10-year tenure as an editor for Cook’s Illustrated, Adam developed and edited recipes, wrote feature stories, and contributed to many other sections of the magazine, including the popular Quick Tips. Moreover, Adam bore primary responsibility for Cook’s Illustrated’s highly respected kitchen equipment testing and ingredient tasting features. Now a contributor to Cook’s Country and Cook’s Illustrated magazines and the cooking columnist for the Sunday Boston Globe Magazine, Adam has taught cooking and food writing, written for local, national, and international publications, and consulted for restaurants, kitchen equipment manufacturers, and other food-related businesses. He is a graduate of Macalester College and the culinary certificate program at Boston University.