America’s Test Kitchen

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“America’s Test Kitchen” is the most-watched cooking show on public television, with over 2 million viewers tuning in during an average minute. In January, “America’s Test Kitchen” launched its 17th season with hosts Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin Davison. Both will join Arizona Horizon host Ted Simons to discuss their popular show.

TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," WE'LL VISIT WITH THE HOSTS OF AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN, BRIDGET LANCASTER AND JULIA COLLIN DAVISON. AND WE'LL HEAR ABOUT THE FIRST SELF-PRODUCED PLAY PUT ON BY THE TEMPE CENTER FOR THE ARTS. THOSE STORIES NEXT, ON "ARIZONA HORIZON."

NARRATOR: "ARIZONA HORIZON" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE ARIZONA FRIENDS OF PBS. MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU.

TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO "ARIZONA HORIZON." I'M TED SIMONS. THE REPUBLICAN PLAN TO REPLACE OBAMACARE WOULD LEAD TO 14-MILLION "FEWER" AMERICANS INSURED BY NEXT YEAR, A NUMBER THAT GROWS TO 24-MILLION BY 2026. THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE NON-PARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE. MOST OF THE UNINSURED IN 2018 WOULD BE AMERICANS WHO CHOOSE NOT TO SIGN UP FOR HEALTHCARE BECAUSE THEY NO LONGER WOULD INCUR A PENALTY. THE C-B-O ALSO ESTIMATED THAT PREMIUMS ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE UNDER THE PLAN BY 15-TO-20-PERCENT OVER THE NEXT TWO-YEARS, BUT BY 2026 THOSE PRICES ARE EXPECTED TO DROP BACK DOWN TO 10-PERCENT BELOW OBAMACARE LEVELS. THE C-B-O ALSO SAYS THAT G-O-P PLAN WOULD REDUCE THE DEFICIT BY 337-BILLION DURING THE NEXT 10 YEARS. THOSE CUTS WOULD COME FROM REPEALING CREDITS FOR THE UNDERINSURED AND THE POOR. AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN IS THE MOST POPULAR COOKING SHOW ON P-B-S, WITH HOSTS BRIDGET LANCASTER AND JULIA COLLIN DAVISON HELPING VIEWERS NAVIGATE THE WORLD OF FOOD.

NOW WE ARE GOING TO MOVE OVER TO OUR MIXING BOWL.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO LET IT COOL? YOU USE IT WHILE IT'S WARM?

THAT'S RIGHT. THIS WILL COOL IT DOWN, 2/3 CUP OF MILK. ADD THAT IN THERE. I'LL WHISK IT AT THIS POINT TO INCORPORATE IT.

YOU GOT ME HOOKED. I'M SO INTRIGUED AT THIS METHOD.

TED SIMONS: LAST NIGHT BRIDGET AND JULIA HOSTED A DINNER AT TARBELL'S RESTAURANT IN PHOENIX. AND TONIGHT, THEY JOIN "US' HERE ON "ARIZONA HORIZON." GOOD TO HAVE YOU BOTH HERE. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.

YOU ARE NOT IN BOSTON. GOOD THING. IT'S WARMER HERE.

I LOVE YOUR WEATHER.

I'M SURE YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE SHOW, BUT FOR THOSE THAT AREN'T, WHAT IS AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN?

BRIDGET LANCASTER: WHAT A GREAT QUESTION. IT'S A PLACE WE DON'T ACCEPT NATURALLY THE FOOD IDIOMS. WE TEST EVERYTHING, SUSPECT EVERYTHING, THINK THERE COULD BE CHANGE, USE SCIENCE TO PRODUCE BETTER COOKING CLASSICS.

TED SIMONS: IT'S FOOD, IT'S ALL TYPES OF THINGS. THE WHOLE NINE YARDS.

BRIDGET LANCASTER: TASTING, RECIPES, MULTIPLE AVENUES, BOOKS, COOKING SCHOOLS -- ALL SORTS OF THINGS.

TED SIMONS: DESIGNED TO WHAT? WHO GETS HELPED BY THIS?

JULIA COLLIN DAVISON: THE HOME COOK. EVERYONE. ON AVERAGE, WE HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO TEST A RECIPE OVER 100 TIMES.

TED SIMONS: MY GOODNESS.

JULIA COLLIN DAVISON: A RECIPE TAKES ABOUT 20 WEEKS FOR US TO DEVELOP. WE USE A SCIENTIFIC PROCESS WHERE WE MAKE THE VERSION YOU MADE BEFORE AND A FEW NEW VERSIONS THAT TEST A VARIABLE. ALONG THE WAY, YOU LEARN WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOESN'T. THE T.V. SHOW IS THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS.

TED SIMONS: HOW MANY TIMES DOES THE RECIPE JUST NOT WORK?

BRIDGET LANCASTER: IT'S HAPPENED A FEW TIMES. LUCKILY IT DOESN'T HAPPEN A LOT OF TIMES. WHEN WE THINK WE ARE DONE WITH THE RECIPE, WE SEND IT TO THE VIEWERS AND ASK THEM TO GIVE US FEEDBACK. THEY HAVE TO RESPOND 80% WOULD MAKE IT AGAIN. IF NOT, IT GOES BACK TO THE TEST KITCHEN. AS MANY TIMES AS IT TAKES TO MAKE IT PERFECT.

TED SIMONS: EVER HAVE A RESPONSE NOT WHAT'S EXPECTED?

JULIA COLLIN DAVISON: YEAH, IT'S DISAPPOINTING. THE RECIPE IS NO GOOD IF SOMEONE AT HOME CAN'T REPRODUCE IT LIKE WE DO. THAT'S OUR BAR. IF THEY CAN, WE LOVE IT.

TED SIMONS: SOMETIMES IS IT TOO DIFFICULT? IS THERE TOO MUCH NUANCE INVOLVED?

JULIA COLLIN DAVISON: THERE ARE LOTS OF QUESTIONS ON THE SURVEY. WERE THE INGREDIENTS EASY TO FIND? DID YOU HAVE THE EQUIPMENT? WAS THE EXPLANATION OF WHAT TO DO CLEAR ENOUGH? DID YOU LIKE IT? DID IT MEET EXPECTATIONS? WE LIKE TO SAY WE MAKE THE MISTAKE SO THE HOME COOK DOESN'T HAVE TO.

TED SIMONS: ALL RIGHT. YOU HAVE BEEN WITH THE SHOW HOW LONG?

BRIDGET LANCASTER: 17 YEARS. WE ARE GETTING READY TO FILM OUR 18TH SEASON IN MAY.

TED SIMONS: YOU ARE HOSTS NOW. YOU WEREN'T ALWAYS HOSTS. AS A MATTER OF FACT, YOU MOSTLY WEREN'T HOSTS. THERE HAS BEEN A HOSTING CHANGE. WE WON'T GET INTO THAT, BUT YOU ARE BOTH CO-HOSTING. DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO DO THIS? WERE YOU ALWAYS SAYING, I THINK WE CAN DO THIS?

BRIDGET LANCASTER: THIS IS A NATURAL PROGRESSION FOR BOTH OF US. WE HAVE A DIFFERENT ASPECT NOT ONLY THROUGH THE TEST KITCHEN, BUT WE STARTED WORKING BEFORE THERE WAS A T.V. SHOW. WE HAVE SEEN IT FROM THE BEGINNING. FOR THEM TO SAY, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT HOSTING? IT WAS EXCITING FOR US. WE KNOW THERE ARE MORE STORIES TO TELL. THERE ARE A LOT MORE OUT THERE. THERE ARE NEW FACES WE ARE BRINGING ON TO THE CAMERA THIS YEAR. YOU WILL SEE A LOT OF NEW ADVENTURES.

TED SIMONS: HOW HAS IT CHANGED WITH YOU GUYS AS HOSTS?

JULIA COLLIN DAVISON: WE GET TO COOK TOGETHER. WE HAVE BEEN ON 14 YEARS AND NEVER COOKED AT THE SAME TIME. THAT'S FUN. THAT'S PURE FUN. SOME OF THE OLD FAVORITE CAST MEMBERS ARE THERE. ADAM, JACK, SO ON. BRIDGET AND I HAVE A UNIQUE VIEW ON THE TEST KITCHEN. WE HAVE BEEN THERE SO LONG WE KNOW THE PLACE INSIDE AND OUT. WE ARE EXCITED TO SHARE OUR VISION OF THE TEST KITCHEN, WHAT IT'S LIKE TO WORK THERE, WHAT THE DAY IN THE LIFE IS, SHOW YOU WHAT IT'S LIKE AND TELL THAT STORY.

TED SIMONS: WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF SHOWING, TELLING, TEACHING SOMEONE HOW TO COOK AND DOING IT ON TELEVISION?

BRIDGET LANCASTER: IT'S ENJOYABLE IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT. WE ARE TALKING FOOD. EVERYONE LIKES TO COOK OR EAT OR BOTH. WHEN WE SET OUT TO TEACH PEOPLE ON T.V., WE ARE NOT SAYING, MAKE A RECIPE. FOLLOW IT. WE ARE EXPLAINING THE REASONING AND SCIENCE BEHIND THE RECIPES. WE HOPE PEOPLE WILL TAKE THE RECIPE AND INCORPORATE IT INTO THEIR HOME COOKING.

TED SIMONS: AGAIN, YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE WHEN YOU SAY IT'S BROWNING HERE OR THERE, THE CAMERA HAS TO SHOW IT. YOU HAVE TO SAY IT, EXPLAIN IT, UNDERSTAND THE WHOLE NINE YARDS, RIGHT?

JULIA COLLIN DAVISON: THERE IS A LEARNING CURVE TO COOKING AND TALKING AT THE SAME TIME. THE THING ABOUT TV, THE MAGIC OF TV, IT TAKES TWO AND A HALF HOURS TO MAKE A STEW. WE ARE NOT IN THE STUDIO TWO AND A HALF HOURS FILMING ONE RECIPE, OF COURSE. IT'S THE MAGIC OF TWINS. A TWIN IS THE SAME FOOD IN THE SAME POT COOKED TO THE NEXT STAGE. YOU DON'T SEE OFF CAMERA THE ROW OF POTS WITH THE FOOD COOKED TO THE NEXT SECTION. YOU ARE ON AIR EXPLAINING IT WELL AND THEN BRING IN THE TWIN AND EXPLAIN THE NEXT STAGE. IT'S KIND OF HALF COOKING AND EXPLAINING.

TED SIMONS: THERE ARE TIMES YOU SAY, THIS WILL TAKE 45 MINUTES. I'M THINKING, OH REALLY? WHAT ARE WE DOING IN THE MEANTIME. AND VOILA, THERE IT IS.

BRIDGET LANCASTER: MAGIC OF TELEVISION.

TED SIMONS: DID YOU HAVE A CHEF INSPIRATION? DO YOU HAVE A COOKING INSPIRATION? WHO DID YOU LOOK UP TO WHEN YOU WERE STARTING, PERHAPS YOU STILL LOOK UP TO?
BRIDGET LANCASTER: I THINK JULIA AND I WOULD BOTH SAY JULIA CHILD HAD A HUGE IMPACT ON US, ANOTHER PBS CHEF. SHE WAS SOMEONE WHO MADE COOKING ACCESSIBLE AND FUN AND HUMOROUS AND REAL. THAT'S SOMETHING WE HOPE TO PORTRAY. I WOULD SAY MY GRANDFATHER WHO WAS FAMOUS FOR HIS PASTRIES, CREAM PUFFS AND OTHER THINGS FOR HIS TECHNIQUE AND POSITION. HE HAS A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR TOO. I THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT, WHEN YOU ARE LOOKING AT TELEVISION PERSONALITIES, AND ESPECIALLY FOOD, YOU CAN'T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY. IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE KITCHEN, TABLE, WE ARE ALL EATING TOGETHER. IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE ENJOYABLE.

JULIA COLLIN DAVISON: INSPIRATIONS? JULIA CHILDS FOR SURE. SHE SHARES MY NAME. OR RATHER I SHARE HER NAME. I HAVE BEEN COOKING OUT OF HER COOKBOOKS SINCE I WAS A KID. SHE STARTED FOOD ON T.V. SHE WAS THE ORIGINAL COOKING SHOW. ALSO, LYDIA. SHE HAS WONDERFUL ITALIAN FOOD. SHE TELLS THE STORY. WE LIKE TO TELL THE STORY OF THE RECIPE, TELL THE STORY OF WHERE THE DISH CAME FROM. SHE'S GOOD AT STORY TELLING AND COOKING AT THE SAME TIME.

TED SIMONS: THAT'S INTERESTING. AS FAR AS QUESTIONS FROM VIEWERS, WHAT DO YOU HEAR THE MOST?

JULIA COLLIN DAVISON: THAT THEY LOVE THE TASTINGS AND TESTINGS BY FAR. AT THE MAGAZINE, WE TASTE TEST SUPERMARKET INGREDIENTS IN BLIND TASTE TESTS. IT'S FASCINATING FROM MY SIDE TO SEE THE RIGHT OR WRONG CHICKEN BROTH. WE TASTE SOUP SIDE BY SIDE. ONE TASTES LIKE DISH WATER. THE OTHER IS THE BEST SOUP YOU HAVE EVER HAD. THAT JUST DEPENDS ON WHAT BRAND YOU BUY AT THE STORE. YOU FORGET THAT THE BRANDS HAVE THAT BIG OF AN IMPACT ON HOW YOU COOK. I SAY THAT THE INGREDIENT TASTE TESTS ARE SOMETHING PEOPLE LOVE AND WITH GOOD REASON.

TED SIMONS: SAME THING FOR YOU? WHAT DO YOU HEAR? THE RESPONSE YOU GET.

BRIDGET LANCASTER: I KNOW THEY LOVE KNIFE SKILLS. JULIA AND I HAVE CHOPPED ONIONS 26 YEARS, MULTIPLY THAT BY 26 SEASONS AND WE STILL DO IT. PEOPLE LOVE THAT. THEY WANT TO LEARN THE BASICS.

TED SIMONS: YES.

BRIDGET LANCASTER: SHOW ME. SHOW ME HOW TO CHOP A CARROT, CHOP AN ONION, CHOP PARSELY. THEY WANT TO SEE THE KNIFE SKILLS, THE BASICS.

TED SIMONS: YOU HAVE A RECIPE. YOU HAVE GONE THROUGH IT, DID THE PROCESS HERE. YOU JUST DON'T LIKE IT. IT'S JUST SOMETHING -- COME ON, THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING?

BRIDGET LANCASTER: I HAVE A SECRET KRYPTONITE. THE ONE INGREDIENT I'M NOT CRAZY ABOUT IS BEATS. ABOUT IS BEATS. I TRY TO EAT THEM ALL THE TIME. ROAST THEM, GRILL THEM, EVERYTHING. I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS. BEATS ARE NOT EVERYWHERE. THEY ARE NOT IN EVERY DISH. IT'S NOT LIKE I HATE SALT. IN THE TEST KITCHEN, THERE ARE ONLY A COUPLE OF RECIPES WHERE WE ARE NOT GOING TO SEND IT OUT. IT'S NOT GOING TO MAKE IT TO THE SHOW OR MAGAZINE.

TED SIMONS: IT'S NOT GOING TO LEAD THE PARADE, IN OTHER WORDS. ANYTHING YOU THINK, THIS IS NOT MY CUP OF TEA.

JULIA COLLIN DAVISON: THERE'S NOT ONE THING. I'M AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EATER. I LIKE TO SAY I EAT UP TO MY POTENTIAL.

TED SIMONS: GOOD FOR YOU. WE'LL GET TO HEAR AND SEE YOU MORE THIS EVENING. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO SEE THE SHOW GO FROM HERE.

JULIA COLLIN DAVISON: AS THE SHOW IS MOVING TO A NEW TEST SPACE. THAT WILL BE INTERESTING. YOU WILL SEE THE TEST KITCHEN IN ACTION. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THE TEST KITCHENS IN THE BOOKS. THAT'S THE STORY OF THE TEST KITCHEN. IT'S THE PEOPLE THEY KNOW AND RECIPES THEY DEVELOP.

TED SIMONS: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE?

BRIDGET LANCASTER: IT STARTED WITH CLASSIC AMERICAN FOOD. CLASSIC AMERICAN FOOD CHANGES EVERY YEAR. NEW PEOPLE COME INTO THE COUNTRY AND INCORPORATING THEIR OWN FOOD IN NEW THINGS. THINGS LIKE APPLE PIE, THERE ARE NEW TAKES ON IT. WE HAVE STARTED GOING INTO THAT DIRECTION EVEN MORE. IT'S GETTING EVEN BROADER.

TED SIMONS: VERY GOOD. WE'LL CATCH UP WITH YOU LATER HERE ON ARIZONA PBS. WELCOME TO PHOENIX. WELCOME TO THE SHOW. GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE.

JULIA COLLIN DAVISON: THANK YOU.

TED SIMONS: COMING UP ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," THE NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE TEMPE CENTER FOR THE ARTS TALKS ABOUT A NEW PLAY AND AN UPCOMING FESTIVAL. THAT'S NEXT.

Bridget Lancaster: "America's Test Kitchen" host
Julia Collin Davison: "America's Test Kitchen" host

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