First Week of Filming America’s Test Kitchen

Our director, Herb, on the right with a hungry look.

A few shots from the first week of shooting the 2012 season of America’s Test Kitchen. Friday was our outside grilling day and it was a perfect, sunny 70 degrees. The best recipe so far was the Caramel Cake — half a dozen cakes disappeared in minutes. This week is a full schedule of cooking, tasting, and filming — more photos will be posted daily.

Peter handles our flying jib, the camera we use for closeups.

Talia greens up the set.

Erin, our test kitchen director, checks the schedule.

Melisssa, our producer, and Herb, our director.

Dan rushes hot coals off the set.

Published in: on May 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm  Comments (28)  

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28 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. mmmm…. Caramel Cake. Can’t wait to get that recipe!

  2. This message is for Chris. My wife (Lisa) and I live in Sacramento, CA. I read in your blog that your daughter is working on a farm about 2 hours from here. Just curious where that is. Santa Cruz or farther north? We use to live in Santa Cruz and love that area! A lot cooler in the summer, that’s for sure.
    Love your programs/blogs/books/magazine. It’s all good!

  3. To whom it may concern,

    Can you tell me how to become part of your studio audience and where and when you film your cooking show.

    Thank you,

  4. When will you be old enough to know that there are a lot of us old and young people who are single and would like to have a cook book for one person? Not all of us like to cook and then have to keep half of the food for another day

  5. Best show of it’s kind on TV.I stopped mt subscription for 3 of the sites , cooks country. atk, atk tv. Simply I didn’t like the books sent to me. we should be asked via e-mail if we’d like to have them delivered or not. I know I have the option too return, but I’d like to be the one to have it delivered and not forced on me. Thanks, Great shows Jim Scott Mentor OH

  6. Do you offer any tours of the Test Kitchen in Boston?

  7. I watch each sunday and dearly love, not just right here, but the whole website….not to mention the magazine. You all are just great and I enjoy each and every one of you.

  8. Smells good already!



  9. I really enjoy your letters and my subscription of “Cooks Illustrated”. When will I know when to renew my subscription?

    Do you have any maple syrup left for sale?? Thanks, Keith Petterson, Kelseyville, CA

  10. How can I be in the live audience?

  11. When I was taught to eat properly, I was taught to cut meat or whatever like this. Put the fork into what you are going to cut holding it in your left hand and the knife in the right hand to cut with. i then cut the piece of meat still holding it with the fork that was stuck into it. When cut, i put down the knife and transferred the fork to the right hand so you are to eat with the right hand. The chefs of today are repulsive when they just use the fork that is stuck into the meat and use the fork to eat with…just stick it into the mouth. No manners. Are all the chefs of today left-handed are too lazy to eat properly. Where have manners gone….Gone with the Wind? They all do it and it aggravates me to no end. “Do you understand what I am trying to explain this dilema? Sincerely, Nola Custis at

  12. After seeing these pics I believe it would be interesting to see a show based on behind the scenes footage. Showing how the program is put together and the behind the scenes folks that are doing it.

    Thanks for a wonderful program I have enjoyed it for years!!


  13. I would like to know how it is decided which receipes will make the show.

  14. I think that would be a great idea and show too. Who washes all of the dishes that have been used and then seem to vanish – I want one for my kitchen – whatever – whoever – it is.

  15. Who does your filming?

  16. I hereby volunter to be your official “Taster”.

  17. Just love the newsletters and the pictures! Everything I have made from your cooking shows and the cookbooks have turned out just wonderful!

  18. My 19-yr old son knows not to bother me on Saturday morning to early afternoon, as I watch all of the cooking shows on PBS. Cook’s Country & ATK are my favorite. I have used the “massive” Cook’s Illustrated Cook Book for the past yr. & love it. Please continue your GREAT work & never leave PBS!!
    Tandi Cline
    Sacramento, CA

  19. I love watching the show. I get so much information that I have actually implemented into my own cooking and kitchen. Keep up the good work. P.S. I love the product corner that shares what your best buy is for your money. I love the fact that you don’t always have to spend 200.00 for a skillet, the 45.00 one is just as good! Thanks again

  20. Thanks for a fantastic show. Love every episode.

  21. Hi geek with the glasses,

    I love the show. However, (isn’t there always a however) I’m allergic to cheese. I’m not sure if it is uniquely “American”, but it is not worth the effort to be sure as it leaves almost immediately at both ends. I’m sure I’m not the only person having such a problem; also, there are those that are lactose intolerant.

    Since you do so many different cookbooks, why not one for those like me.

    Thanks for your consideration, Larry

  22. I look at your Show on PBS all the time. I love how your show comes up with many good ideas and make over on recipes. I do not and still can’t picture myself making french fries in cold peanut oil.

  23. June9-ll – Deloris Bellass said:
    I watch the show every (in sunney California) saturday, enjoy it very much, also print out the recipes. Please keep up the good work on the program, as I would miss it veery much, it is my entertanemt, asIm 86 years old.

    • Searching for old friend, Peggy bellas, from Monroe high school. Are u het mother?

  24. We want video! And where is Peggy?

  25. Hadn’t realized you did an entire season in such a short time. It must be tough to eat all those dishes each day. I commend you!!!

  26. Just love the show. You cook with the philosophy I do, only better.

    Where is the list of what is up for next season? I’m trying to find out what and when I can see on PBS to tease me, and then get it on the web to pick it apart.

    I am particularly interested in the science, techniques, and tips related to cooking standards and lore; with useful video and commentary.

    I also take heed in my purchases based on your equipment and taste tests. Your preferences have educated mine.

    I’m using your show as a slow motion culinary school applied to my tastes and my friends. What’s up next and when is it on?

    One complaint: could the site designers give me the option to turn the auto replay off? It can become mind numbing, and out of sinc when trying to watch and do at the same time. Hitting pause and play with sticky fingers can get ugly.

  27. My husband and I are diehard Cook’s Country and America’s Test Kitchen fans. We have been looking at your shows since it’s inauguration. We love the fact that you explain the science of food. We have tried a lot of your recipes and have yet to be disappointed. We would love to be part of your studio audience. How do we go about doing this? We would really appreciate this.

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