Here are five reasons why you should tune into (or set your DVR for) "From Spain with Love" (Saturdays, 8:30 p.m.):
It's Spain. There's a reason why travel and food shows have been camped in Spain for the last decade. Sure, sure, there's El Bulli's Ferran Adria and the modernists pointing cuisine forward in the boldest of directions. And, yes, the ingredients that the country produces are second to none. But the contrast in food subcultures -- from Basque to Andalusian and everything in between -- provides a near obscene resource for a show like this.
It's subtitled when necessary. There's a wonderful moment in the premiere when host Annie Sibonney, a Canadian, talks her way into a male-only gastronomic society in San Sebastian. As she stands at the door and negotiates with a friend, you see the conversation as it happens on screen and realize the taboo her friend must break just to let her inside. He KNOWS the other men are going to give him grief for this. And yet, there's no voiceover. No translator. No aside to tell you what is really being said. Even the best travel shows sometimes feel awkward because little moments have to be explained in English. Later, as Sibonney helps famed chef Andoni Luis Aduriz prepare a dish, he chides her in Spanish and she responds, "I know how to cut a potato!" in English. It's genuine. Having a host who can speak the language is invaluable.
It’s a fresh face. "I never really started out to do television," Sibonney told The Stew, but you wouldn’t guess it by her performance. If she doesn’t yet have that great "look at me" presence that someone like
It’s not a recipe show. One of the things the network has gotten right in its first year is to play to viewers’ love of food culture. There’s a time and place to tell us how many cups of milk went into a dish, but the kitchen of a