Since the public broadcasting episodes on UHF TV stations in the 1960’s, I’ve enjoyed watching cooking shows. In 1969, the Grandfather of all modern cooking shows debuted with Graham Kerr’s “Galloping Gourmet”, revolutionizing televised cooking programs. He added the spice to the genre that made it not just attention holding, but insprational and fun.
In April of 2009, I seized the opportunity to attend Graham’s public lecture at the Ball State (my Alma Mater) Alumni Center as part of the John P. McGovern Lecture Series.
In the company of his lovely wife Treena, he lectured on the importance of diet on health and longevity. The couple’s near fatal traffic traffic accident in the early 1970s followed by Treena’s heart attack and subsequent stroke in the 1980s, resulted in an overhaul of Graham’s cooking approach from the rich cream and butter creations that made his show popular in the earlier years, to the use of food promoting healing and healthy lifestyles.
Graham went on to profess his newly acquired passion for gardening and now personally grows a large portion of the ingredients for he and his wife’s cooking endeavors.
Graham and Treena are also very devout followers of the Christian faith.
Following the lecture, Graham opened up for personal discussion and the line of eager attendees instantly grew out the door of the assembly hall, I being one of them. When my co-hort and I finally reached Mr. Kerr, we had a brief discussion about general cooking and then I asked him one question – “How did you manage to keep from spilling wine all over the set when you hopped over the sofa with a full glass at the end of your shows?”. “Simple.” he replied, “Saran wrap!”.
Outside of operating Kerr Corporation, public speaking engagements, book writing, and gardening, Graham still makes an appearance on cooking shows from time to time and as recently as May of this year joined Mario Batali, Sara Moulton, and Guy Fieri as guests on Rachel Ray’s show.