Jeff Smith (chef) Edit
Jeff Smith was the author of several best selling cookbooks and the host of The Frugal Gourmet, a popular American cooking show which began locally in Tacoma, Washington in 1973 as Cooking Fish Creatively, and later moved to WTTW in Chicago, and finally, to Natan Katzman's A La Carte Communications. In each episode, Jeff Smith and his assistant chef Craig Wollam prepare step by step instructions on the preparation of international meals. He goes to different places by showing food from many different cultures. He was also the spokesman for Columbia Crest Wines from 1990 to 1995, and appeared in the music video for Cake's "Love You Madly" in 2001.
Early life Edit
Smith was born on January 22, 1939. He graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 1962, and in 1965, from Drew University Theological School in New Jersey, which ordained Smith a minister in the United Methodist Church. He was a chaplain at the University of Puget Sound from 1966 to 1972. In 1966, Smith married his wife Patricia "Patty" Smith, and had two sons, Channing and Jason. Patricia is credited by ongoing the nickname "Frugal Gourmet". He appeared on the Phil Donahue show in 1983, promoting his paperback cookbook. He published his first cookbook in 1977 entitled Recipes from the Frugal Gourmet.
In 1972, Smith left the university to open his deli and kitchen supply store called the Chaplain's Pantry, as well as the Judicial Annex, where Smith also offered his cooking students to the public. In 1981, Smith had heart valve surgery. In 1983, after Smith was selling the Chaplain's Pantry, he packed up and moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he became the host of The Frugal Gourmet, and gained national recognition. In 1987, PBS aired its first Frugal Gourmet special entitled The Frugal Gourmet: A Colonial Christmas with Friends.
Smith aired first cooking show locally in 1973 by KTPS-TV, and the show was called Cooking Fish Creatively, on Smith's first cooking show, he prepares step-by-step instructions on different cooking techniques and dishes to cook fish. At the end of the show, Smith would close each episode of Cooking Fish Creatively by saying "Like love, fish is good for your heart".
The first six episodes of Cooking Fish Creatively were broadcast in black-and-white, but KTPS-TV got federal grant for color cameras and Smith wanted to design another cooking show. Following a move to WTTW in Chicago after his appearance on the Phil Donahue show in 1983, he began wearing a necktie and a striped apron to become The Frugal Gourmet, and gained national recognition. Elmo appeared many times on The Frugal Gourmet starting with the fire and flame special, and he later appeared to cook pizza, as well as dim sum.
During each half-hour episode, Smith and his assistant chef Craig Wollam prepare step-by-step instructions on a mad-dash through a wide variety of cooking techniques and dishes without wasting your money. He goes to different places by showing food from many different cultures. Smith was joined by his assistant chef Craig Wollam in 1986, and stayed until the end of the series in 1995.
The theme music used for his program was a piece of the famous Water Music by George Frederick Handel called the Bourree movement. In the early years, The Frugal Gourmet used the MotorWeek theme to open and close the program. In 1990, Smith finally took The Frugal Gourmet to Natan Katzman's A La Carte Communications, where the company also created Julia Child's later series produced by Maryland Public Television, such as Julia Child: Cooking with Master Chefs, In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs, and Baking with Julia. Smith has also appeared in TV commercials for Columbia Crest wines from 1990 to 1995. His show aired for a total of 261 episodes over 14 seasons from 1983 to 1995.
Smith would close every episode by saying "Until i see you again, this is the Frugal Gourmet; i bid you peace, bye-bye". In 1995, he hosted The Frugal Gourmet Keeps The Feast for the Odyssey Network. and then, Smith retired from television, in 1995 that same year, he acted in the film Grumpier Old Men. In 2001, Smith appeared in the music video for Cake's "Love You Madly".
Sexual abuse allegations Edit
In 1997, Smith had sexual abuse allegations without criminal charges. At the age of 14, after Smith picked him up as a hitchhiker, the case never went to court.
Smith died in his sleep of heart disease at the age of 65 on July 7, 2004. Smith was survived by his wife Patricia "Patty" Smith, and two sons Channing and Jason, and well as daughters in law Yuki and Lisa.