Dear Straight Dope:
I know that you must be the most intelligent human being in the world. I realize this because my last name is also Adams. I've also read "The Prince" by Machiavelli and understand that flattery will get me everywhere. Oh great one, what became of the greatest and most drunk TV cook commonly referred to as the Galloping Gourmet? I vaguely remember watching this cullinary giant at the tender age of 7. I also recollect that he gained much of his inspiration by drinking large quantities of wine while on the air. What was his name? What became of him? Finally, but least of all, may I become a great chef by drinking large quantities of alcohol on television?
Nicholas G Adams
Well, Nicholas, I do hope you’ll accept the answer from an non-Adams. I’ll do what I can under that handicap.
According to the website entitled Wellness on the Web with Graham Kerr (the Galloping One’s real name):
“In his days as the Galloping Gourmet he practiced “hedonism in a hurry,” creating dishes overflowing with cream, butter, egg yolks and deep-fat fried.
“In 1972, while recuperating after a near fatal accident, Graham began to experiment with a low-fat cooking style to help ease his family’s stomachs while traveling at sea. The family, however, rebelled against Graham’s first efforts of his “caring” cuisine, claiming the food to be bland and unremitting.
“It wasn’t until his wife Treena’s heart attack in 1986 did Graham really begin to refine his low-fat cuisine, realizing he needed to wrap the “caring” with pleasure. The same year Graham decided that his personal mission would be to help Treena make healthy and creative lifestyle changes that would last.
“After a 23 year journey of intensive nutritional research, combined with his years of cooking experience, Graham created the techniques he uses today. He has shared these discoveries through his books and television series, as seen on PBS and The Discovery Channel and continues to communicate his message of combining sound nutrition with creative cooking on an international level.”
His new, healthier cooking show, “Swiftly Seasoned” can be seen on your local PBS station, and you can catch his Web show on the New Atlantis site.
Now as to whether drinking while cooking can make you a great chef, I don’t know, but it never seemed to hurt Julia Child any, either.
Send questions to Cecil via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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