And unworthy of your time. Shame on PBS, the home of Julia Child and Jacques Pépin. Their new show “Roadfood” is supposed to be an homage to Jane and Michael Stern, authors of the seminal “Roadfood” books, but the episode filmed in Rhode Island seems like a hastily researched treatment featuring a spectacularly unfit host. (Let me clear, I in no way blame any of the restaurants and markets for participating in this production — they would have been crazy not to.)
First published in 1977, the original Roadfood became an instant classic. James Beard said, “This is a book that you should carry with you, no matter where you are going in these United States. It’s a treasure house of information.”
Stepping into their shoes to host the new program is an actor who played an angel on the CW. Those are his credentials. Misha Collins appears to have had little interest in food prior to this new job, nor did he bother to read the material his producers pulled up from their Google search. Gail Ciampa writes of his visit to a wonderful Providence seafood market for the ProJo:
The next stop is Fearless Fish Market on West Fountain Street in Providence, a retail business owned by Stu Meltzer. Here Collins is surprised to hear that people in Rhode Island buy squid to make calamari at home.
Wow. Adding insult to injury, the show forces us to revisit a regrettable past event involving the chairman of the state democratic party, Joe McNamara, a misogynistic DINO, who created the video entry into the state’s 2016 DNC convention roll call segment, which featured a man who wasn’t sure he’d be voting for Biden. New rule: No show about food, or eating, or Democrats, should ever again include Joe McNamara.
The new PBS show is sponsored by a tea brand owned by Coca-Cola and a financial services company. Given that the “Roadfood” name and the Stern website now appear to belong to the show, it looks like the Sterns have decided to cash in, which I understand. They are still cool with me. Their impact on the food universe of the 70s can not be overstated. They celebrated road food and diners at a time when the foodie universe badly needed to be brought back down to earth. They are great writers and a lot of fun.
Gail Ciampa is also a pretty great writer. She ends with this observation from the Fearless segment:
Meltzer makes a warm squid salad for Collins, who says that doesn’t sound appetizing. Collins, who played an angel named Castiel on “Supernatural,” doesn’t seem like a food guy.