The Migrant Kitchen and Meals Ready to Eat Premiere on KCET
I’m an adventurous eater. Where others shake their head and say, “no way” I shrug and say, “why not?” Because I love trying new things I’m a huge fan of culinary programs. Now, I don’t mean the typical “Julia Child standing in a kitchen” type but instead prefer the “Anthony Bourdain wandering the world” kind. Needless to say, I’m super excited about tonight’s debut of two unique cooking shows on KCET – The Migrant Kitchen and Meals Ready to Eat.
Last week I was lucky enough to attend a celebration of these two shows at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes near Olvera Street. There was an array of delicious bites from several of the restaurants featured including Taco Maria, Porridge and Puffs and Badmaash and I even tried a cricket taco (told you I was adventurous)!
After having my fill I settled in to preview the premiere episodes of each program.
The Migrant Kitchen, now in its second season, celebrates immigrant cooking in Los Angeles. LA has long been one of the most diverse cities in the country and the show aims to celebrate the different cultures that make it great. Each episode features a different regional cuisine and how it’s currently purveyed, whether traditionally or creatively, in SoCal.
The season 2 premiere features a trio of Mexican-American chefs, Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria, Ray Garcia of Broken Spanish, and Wes Avila of Guerilla Tacos, and their efforts to elevate Mexican dishes from their comfort food image to fine cuisine. The show is shot beautifully by the production company Life & Thyme and the episode serves as a loving tribute to the cuisine it celebrates. This was my first introduction to The Migrant Ktichen and I don’t know what took me so long to watch it. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the diverse cultures that make up Los Angeles.
Meals Ready to Eat is a brand new culinary show conceived and produced by military veterans. Hosted by Navy vet August Dannehl it aims to highlight the strong connection between food and the military. Part travelogue part cooking guide it features an array of cuisines and local culinary talent including Mike Williams, Neal Fraser and Mei Lin.
In the premiere episode we dove into the world of MRE”s (Meals Ready to Eat, inspiration for the show’s title), visited an international military culinary competition and learned how to cook a MRE inspired gourmet risotto from chef Mike Williams. As one fascinated at learning how things work I loved discovering the science behind MRE”s and chef Williams “Jambalaya MRE” Risotto is a dish I definitely want to try. I’m excited to discover more about the intersection of the military and food in future episodes.
The Migrant Kitchen and Meals Ready to Eat premiere back to back on KCET tonight at 8pm and will continue to air throughout the week. They’re also available on demand on KCET’s website.