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Series / The Galloping Gourmet

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The Galloping Gourmet followed in the footsteps of Julia Child's The French Chef, creating the first cooking-as-entertainment show.

After a brief stint working in hotels, chef Graham Kerr worked for the British Army as a catering advisor and then moved to New Zealand to do the same for the Royal New Zealand Airforce. Some of his recipes made it into radio segments and magazines while he was in New Zealand, and when television reached the country he would do cooking demonstrations for various shows.


This led to a series of books. One of these, "The Galloping Gourmets", was written around a worldwide tour he and wine expert Len Evans took to sample various styles of cooking. This basic concept formed was used for his TV show, The Galloping Gourmet.

Filmed in Ottawa from 1969 to 1971, each episode would feature footage of Kerr eating dinner with his wife Trina at an exotic locale, followed by a cooking demonstration of one of the dishes. Unlike previous cooking shows, Kerr's recipes would feature ingredients home cooks would have trouble finding, and methods that they would have difficulty duplicating. The cooking was aimed more at entertainment, with Kerr joking with his live audience as he prepared dishes. Each episode would end with Kerr bringing an audience member to the stage to eat his creation.


After his wife's heart attack in 1986, he had a Heel–Face Turn and shifted to working on diet cookbooks. He developed the "MinMax", which was based on exchanging harmful ingredients. The Graham Kerr Show used the same format as The Frugal Gourmet, re-creating the original show's recipes using this system. And dieters rejoiced.

The Galloping Gourmet provides examples of:

  • Don't Try This at Home: Invoked a couple of times, not because a dish was dangerous to cook, but because it was far too complex for amateur cooks to make at home.
  • Fancy Dinner: At the start of each episode.
  • Food Porn
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: By the bucketload, but particularly the episode featuring the English dish Spotted Dick.
  • Once an Episode: Kerr would leap over a chair during the intro, hence the show's title.
  • One I Prepared Earlier
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  • Spiritual Successor: The Graham Kerr Show, which made healthier versions of many of the Gourmet's recipes.
  • Unfortunate Ingredients: The food featured less than healthy ingredients, particularly large amounts of clarified butter. At one point, a member of the audience criticized him for this, to which he replied...
    Graham: Madam, you could go outside and get run over by a bus and just think what you would have missed!
  • Unintentional Period Piece: By virtue of its concentration on contemporary gourmet food, not to mention its set and the fashions of the audience members.


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