Gastronomy L.A. 1968 – Past Daily Weekend Pop Chronicles
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You don’t hear about them much anymore, but Cooking shows on radio were practically a staple in the American diet all the way from the 1920 until somewhere around the 90s. It was only after TV became the predominant medium (and later on as Cable allowed narrow-casting and creating entire channels devoted to Food) that radio as the imparter of all things Gastronomy began to fade. Even into the 1980s there were still cooking shows on the radio, but even those slowly gave way to talking about food, not necessarily the preparation of it. The prevailing attitude was; people would prefer to see how things are cooked, rather than hear about how things are cooked.
Listening to this show, hosted by the celebrated L.A. Chef Mike Roy, you get an idea of how our eating habits changed over the years – what we put together and how we put it together and what we were using to cook with. The mantra Locally Grown and Organic was heard primarily in Health Food Stores and as an offshoot of counterculture, not in chain supermarkets. We didn’t think twice about processed foods, or using high-calorie ingredients – it was just the way America ate in the 1960s. And even though it was changing, and we were becoming more health-conscious, especially in our food choices – a concerted effort to live and eat healthy wasn’t as prevalent at the time as it is now. I mean, we still had cigarette advertising and nobody heard of the word Cyclamates yet.
So to get an idea of what out Pop Culture was like around food – here is a one-hour episode of the 5-day a week radio program, broadcast over KNX from May 9, 1968. Chef Mike Roy is on location at the Ralphs on San Vicente, and co-host Denny Bracken is holding forth at the studio. A typical one hour cooking show exactly as it was heard all over Los Angeles and much of Southern California in May of 1968 – complete with HOllywood telephone prefixes.