Food television is all but played out at this point—there’s the good (Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations), the bad (sorry Mario, but Spain – On The Road Again fell short), and the ugly (yes, we’re on the anti-Rachel Ray bandwagon too). But then, on the eighth day, PBS gave us Avec Eric and it was good. Revolving around the ever charismatic Eric Ripert, executive chef and co-owner of Le Bernadin (Google it if you don’t know), the show mashes the formulaic chef-cum-world traveler template with a dash of actual cooking. Mr. Ripert’s enthusiasm for food, its origins and the culture that surrounds it is readily apparent as he uses his travel experiences as inspiration for the dishes he creates. The result is an eminently enjoyable half hour of food porn, but the softcore artsy kind, not the hardcore sloppy kind (we’re looking at you Man vs. Food). Consider this your weekend homework and check your local listings for showtimes.
(P.S. We promise this isn’t a shill, but if Mr. Ripert wants to pay us or cook for us, that’s cool too.)