Earlier this week, the James Beard Foundation held a reception for their annual culinary awards. One of the most well-respected events in the industry, their awards carry weight. After instructional children’s cooking vlog Spatulatta took home the 2006 James Beard Award for Best Webcast, which was the first award ever given in the new category, interest and celebrity appearances increased rapidly.

So while the Culinary Institute of America‘s Pro Chef travel series, Savoring the Best of World Flavors: India, Spain, Mexico, and Thailand, deserved the 2007 award with its immersive cinematography and rich detail about lesser known foods in countries that Americans have a tendency to take for granted as takeout menu staples, the press surrounding the award might have served a vlog with a smaller budget like Spatulatta better than a series that was designed to be purchased as a DVD.

All the same, the series is worth checking out. Hosted by Bill Briwa and produced by John Barkley and Greg Drescher, the show is colorful, laden with music, and generally gives you the feeling that you’re watching a documentary that looks like the Food Network but has the content of PBS. Essentially, it’s food porn with a brain.

So if you’re as much of a food dork as I am and get excited by statements like “Oaxaca, the Land of the Seven Molés,” check out the Savoring the Best of World Flavors series on CIA Pro Chef.

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