Television is perhaps the most patient teacher of all, and by watching cooking shows on cable, it wasn’t long before I was triumphantly pulling a fragrant and complicated-looking “braciole” (a skirt steak pounded flat, spread with a mixture of herbs and breadcrumbs, rolled into a tight “log” and tied up, then seared and subsequently braised in tomato sauce) from the oven. As I wrote the initial draft of this thesis, the more I began to think about the actual mechanics of food television. Do these shows increase the likelihood that people will cook for themselves? Do people watch to learn, or just to entertain themselves? I hope that this book will, at the very least, encourage people to think more about cooking, about the food they eat, and about the shows they watch. At the very least, I now have plenty of fascinating stories about food TV of my own.