Throughout history food revolutionaries have transformed the way we look at food, cook food and sell food. The unlikely television star Julia Child kicked off the vast food entertainment industry when she appeared on TV to promote her new cookbook and encouraged viewers to demand more from their dinner plates. Over 400 years earlier Christopher Columbus crossed the ocean looking for pepper, a commodity so valuable that when he found the chili pepper in “the New World” he tried unsuccessfully to pass it off as a kind of pepper back home. French chef Auguste Escoffier made fine French food accessible to people by codifying French recipes in a definitive cookbook, and 100 years later science nerd Nathan Myhrvold raised the ante with his $600, 1,000-page “Modernist Cuisine” cookbook. The rise of processed foods in the 20th century was led by Chef Hector Boiardi, who made it possible for people from all over America to enjoy the food he made in his restaurant by mass-producing his sauce, and by Clarence Birdseye, whose discovery of ways to make frozen food taste good led to, among other things, the rise of the TV dinner. And finally, Howard Moskowitz’s theories on human taste gave consumers more choices in the grocery store.
Aired: 21 Nov 2014