In May of 2006, Fred and Rebecca Gerendasy launched Cooking up a Story. Through their independent film company, Potter Productions, the duo had extensive experience with gastronomical subject matters, including two award-winning movies on the subject of BBQ – Now You’re Cookin’: Inside the World of Championship BBQ and BBQ Secrets: The Master Guide to Extraordinary BBQ Cookin’. With Cooking up a Story, they had a new goal in mind – to reach the gourmand who is as interested in the people behind the food’s preperation, as they are in the food itself. Rebecca, who credits her 25 years in the television news business as the reason for her concern with human-interest stories, directs the pieces. Episodes are meant to tie together cultural, personal, and gastronomical themes that the creators feel is lost in more celebrity-based cooking shows.
While the clips are not totally unlike something one might find on the Food Network, they do offer a distinctly intimate look at their subjects. Each episode is roughly six minutes in length, and covers one particular restaurant or subject. Don’t expect pieces on Zagat-rated locales, however. A fourth-generation sausage making family, a winery that specializes in winter production, a religious chocolatier, and a traveling barbeque chef round out some of the pieces you’ll find, all of them with a distinctly local feel. Each topic is topped off with a deleted “leftover” scene, man-on-the-street interview clips, and a preview of an upcoming episode. The site also includes a recipe archive and flickr albums that will whet your appetite.
The dedicated sausage making family of Portland, Oregon’s Otto’s Sausage Kitchen, is anachronistically intriguing. After you’ve witnessed the rather graphic sausage production on Cooking Up A Story, follow the link to the family’s own page. Aside from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, it might just be the most advanced site dedicated to hot dogs you’ve ever seen.