Preview | James Beard: America's First Foodie - PBS Previews | James Beard: America’s First Foodie

Today’s American food movement can be traced back to one man: cookbook author, journalist, television celebrity and teacher James Beard.


Major funding for James Beard: America’s First Foodie is provided by Feast it Forward. Additional funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and Art Works.

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Major support for American Masters is provided by AARP. Additional funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Judith and Burton Resnick, Ellen and James S. Marcus, Vital Projects Fund, Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation and public television viewers.

Transcript Print

James Beard was America's first foodie he was the first televised chef. He elevated the idea that American food could not only be novel but fresh farm-to-table. But you know how people often put extra ingredients into hamburger - you mean cereal? Yes. No, I'm a purist.

His knowledge of food was encyclopedic . I mean, he didn't know just about one varietal of blueberries, he knew ten.

Hmm, I'll have that recipe for my next book.

Do you cater? We all need to cook. We all need to eat, but we now have a different perspective on food. I think America is better educated about nutrition, the importance of fresh ingredients. It's way more than what we're eating - it brings the outside into the kitchen. What we learn about James Beard is going to be a surprise. He loves to eat, he loves food.

It's someone who had a vision of what it should be like - talking about organic food, simple food, and that was very important for a young chef, and it created a new generation of chefs.