Cooking Shows Are Going to the Dogs

Dog show!

In today's world of cooking shows on every network from PBS to Bravo to the Travel Channel, there's a format for every viewer.

Like cutesy meals that don't require a lot of effort?  Rachael Ray or Sandra Lee.  Enjoy watching people digest ungodly and ill-advised foods?  Andrew Zimmern.  Rather see the pros dish it up?  Lidia Bastianich or Jose Andres.  Want to watch a battle royale?  Iron Chef or Top Chef.  Even Christopher Walken has a cooking show.  Sort of.

But we've been sadly lacking in shows with canine cooks.  Until now.

Cooking with Dog is a Japanese show -- of course -- that features a silver poodle named Francis as its host.  Speaking in stilted voiceovers that sound eerily like a Japanese version of H.A.L., Francis directs viewers through a human assistant on how to create popular Japanese dishes like gyudon and yakibuta ramen.

In the above video, Francis demonstrates (again, through his human co-host) how to create a rather vaguely-named "Sweet Potato Dessert."  Never mind that "Francis" looks decidedly female in most episodes with his tamed coif and and bright jewelry.  His soothingly monotonous voice, accompanied by the hypnotic piano arpeggios of Chopin's "Waltz in D flat major," will lull you into drowsily but happily perusing the different episodes, perhaps learning to make katsudon along the way. 

There are at least 30 different episodes to choose from, ranging from main dishes to desserts. And while Francis makes an entertaining if odd host, the only thing I can think of as I stare at his furry little body during each show is Thank God poodles don't shed.


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