The Great American Recipe: Release Date, Celebrity Judges, And More - What We Know So Far

Apparently, you cannot run a network without some kind of cooking competition. At least, that kind of thinking seems to have inspired PBS and Virginia Public Media (VPM) which will premiere a cooking competition show this summer called "The Great American Recipe."

When it was announced back in August, the show consisted of little more than a title and a press release filled with platitudes about representing the multifaceted nature of America's identity. "We each have distinct backgrounds and experiences that will bring different perspectives to cooking styles from across the nation in this exciting new series for PBS," Graham Elliot, one of the judges, said at the time.

In recent days, however, a follow-up press release dropped which contained slightly more information. Namely, we now know when in the summer we can expect the show and have a better idea about what "The Great American Recipe" will actually look like, including what it's about, and who will appear on it.

What is the release date for The Great American Recipe?

In the Corporation of Public Broadcasting's latest press release, we received a more concrete date for The Great American Recipe than "summer 2022." The show will premiere on Friday, June 24 at 9 p.m. EST. Hourlong episodes will then air every Friday until August 12.

You can watch the program on your local PBS channel, as well as on the PBS app or via The difference between PBS co-producing a cooking show and a competition made for Netflix or Discovery+ is that you do not need to subscribe to anything to watch it while it's airing. However, if it were to become a permanent part of the PBS app's video collection, you may have to become a member to watch it after the fact.

For most people, that may not be an issue, as once one has finished watching a cooking competition series, the impulse to rewatch may not be as strong as, say, rewatching your favorite sitcom. Potential fans who do have this desire can console themselves with the fact that becoming a paid PBS subscriber also unlocks a slew of other programming, including PBS's "Masterpiece" catalog.

Who will appear on The Great American Recipe?

"The Great American Recipe" will feature a star-studded cast of notables from the food world. As the press release states, the show will be hosted by Alejandra Ramos, a food writer who makes regular appearances on "The Today Show."

The judges are Leah Cohen, Tiffany Derry, and Graham Elliot. Cohen is the owner and operator of the restaurant Pig and Khao and competed on the fifth season of "Top Chef." Likewise, Derry owns and runs Roots Southern Table. She also competed on "Top Chef," becoming a fan favorite in Season 7. This theme continues with Elliot, who was a judge on "MasterChef" and "Top Chef" as well as a successful restaurateur.

As for the contestants, it seems that the show has yet to reveal this information. We know that they will come from all over the country, but how many and whether they will be eliminated each episode or left together until the finale is yet to be seen. What is made abundantly clear, though, is that the show wants to prioritize the different roots of American dishes. "As a chef with Filipino and Romanian-Jewish heritage, I have always loved to create dishes that blend cultural influences, and I am proud to be part of a unique series that will celebrate the wonderful diversity of our nation's cuisine," Cohen said in the press release.

What is The Great American Recipe about?

As stated previously, "The Great American Recipe" is a public broadcasting competition that wants to highlight the diversity of American cuisine. "Each contestant's regional and ethnic cuisine represents the many flavors that make up the melting pot of our great nation," Steve Humble, VPM's chief content officer, said in a press release.

But what does that actually mean for the show? Well, it seems the emphasis is less on competition than on the stories that go into the food. Whether this means that contestants will be asked to make dishes from different American regions or that the challenges will be informed by each contestant's background is yet to be seen. What we do know is that in the end, the winner's dish will grace the cover of "The Great American Recipe Cookbook," a cookbook containing dishes from everyone involved with the show.

This last part has some fine print, however. As Reality Blurred writes, the "sharing" of recipes will give the rights of those recipes to PBS without credit or compensation. "You understand that you will not be paid, nor receive any fees, sums, consideration, or remuneration of any kind for the Material, the use of your Name and Likeness or any rights granted to PBS and/or any Sublicensees herein," they quote from the show's casting application. In a later press tour, Steve Humble claimed that the contract language had "definitely" changed and that PBS will only license the recipes. Perhaps it was only generic reality TV contract stuff. We'll see.