NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Masters announced today that Feast it Forward™ has provided major funding for a "chefs flight" of four documentaries on culinary legends James Beard, Julia Child, Jacques Pépin, and Alice Waters, premiering May 2017 on PBS as part of the series' 31 st season. New documentaries American Masters - James Beard: America's First Foodie and American Masters: Jacques Pépin - The Art of Craft will be paired with encore presentations of American Masters:Julia! America's Favorite Chef and American Masters:Alice Waters and Her Delicious Revolution, respectively.
"We are thrilled to be able to bring the savory stories behind these culinary geniuses to viewers thanks to Feast It Forward's generous support. Collectively, they set America's dinner table, and I think people will enjoy seeing the connections between each of these chefs and how we eat today," said Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters. "We are elated to be supporting such important programs. The food world is beyond grateful for these iconic chefs and we are indebted to them for the path they helped pave for us to walk. Our online network tells the story of people, places and experiences that connect us to one another in ways that are beyond the plate and bottle, so it was a natural fit to be part of this impressive series. Along with celebrating the work of James Beard, Julia Child, and Alice Waters, it's a true honor to say we took part in sharing Jacques Pépin's story. I think it is safe to say I speak for masses who grew up watching him with such admiration; this is our way of saying thank you. It's time to give something back for all those years he shared with us," said Katie Hamilton Shaffer, founder and president of Feast it Forward, the new online lifestyle network featuring all things food, wine and philanthropy with a taste of music. American Masters - James Beard: America's First Foodie Premieres Friday, May 19, 9-10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)Experience a century of food through the life of one man, James Beard (1903-1985). Dubbed the "Dean of American Cookery" by The New York Times, Beard was a Portland, Ore., native who loved and celebrated the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. He spoke of the importance of localism and sustainability long before those terms had entered the vernacular. At a time of "all things French," Beard appreciated what America had to bring to the table, and was the first chef to go on television to teach not only women, but men, how to cook. A cookbook author, journalist, television celebrity and teacher, Beard helped to pioneer and expand the food media industry into the billion-dollar business it is today. Written and Directed by Elizabeth Federici. Produced by Elizabeth Federici and Kathleen Squires. A production of Federici Films LLC and THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC's American Masters for WNET. American Masters:Julia! America's Favorite ChefFriday, May 19, 10-11 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)Celebrate the life and legacy of Julia Child (1912-2004), fondly remembered for introducing French cuisine to American home cooks through her television series - beginning with WGBH's The French Chef in 1963 - and books. The film tells two love stories: one between Julia and Paul Child, the other between Julia and French food. Originally broadcast in August 2004, the film features previously unseen photos, including several from Paul Child's personal archive, granted exclusively to the film's producers. Child was a pioneer in public television's long tradition of cooking programs, revolutionizing the way America cooks, eats and thinks about food. Directed by Marilyn Mellowes. A WGBH production. American Masters: Jacques Pépin - The Art of CraftPremieres Friday, May 26, 9-10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)Discover the story of Chef Jacques Pépin (b. December 18, 1935), a young immigrant with movie-star looks, a charming Gallic accent, and a mastery of cooking and teaching so breathtaking he became an early food icon—joining James Beard and Julia Child among the handful of Americans who transformed the way the country views the food world. Not content cooking in French palaces, where he was the personal chef to three French presidents including Charles de Gaulle, Pépin's American journey took him through the kitchens of Howard Johnson's, bringing his commitment to great taste, craftsmanship and technique to American popular food. With his landmark cookbooks and television shows, he ushered in a new era in American food culture - a story that continues to unfold. Produced and directed by Peter L. Stein. Executive producer Michael Isip. Co-executive producer Susie Heller. A KQED Production in association with THIRTEEN's American Masters for WNET. American Masters:Alice Waters and Her Delicious RevolutionFriday, May 26, 10-11 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)Follow Alice Waters (b. April 28, 1944) through a year of seasonal shopping and cooking, and discover both the recipes and vision of an artist and an advocate. She and her now-famous restaurant Chez Panisse became a major force behind the way Americans eat and think about food, launching the explosion of local farmers' markets and redesigned supermarket produce departments. Waters planted an organic garden at the local inner-city middle school, at a state prison and at the Clinton White House. She is an activist with a flawless palette who has taken her gift for food and turned it into consciousness about the environment and nutrition, and a device for social change. Originally broadcast March 2003. Directed by Doug Hamilton. A production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC's American Masters for WNET. Launched in 1986, American Masters has earned 28 Emmy Awards — including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards and many other honors. To further explore the lives and works of masters past and present, the American Masters website ( http://pbs.org/americanmasters) offers streaming video of select films, outtakes, filmmaker interviews, educational resources and In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive: previously unreleased interviews of luminaries discussing America's most enduring artistic and cultural giants as well as the American Masters Podcast. The series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and also seen on the WORLD channel. Major support for American Masters is provided by AARP. Additional funding is provided by Rosalind P. Walter, Ellen and James S. Marcus, Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Judith and Burton Resnick, Vital Projects Fund, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Lenore Hecht Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, and public television viewers. About WNETWNET is America's flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (KidsThirteen, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET's groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history game. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender identity, First Person, and an intergenerational look at tech and pop culture, The Chatterbox with Kevin and Grandma Lill. In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming anytime, anywhere: www.thirteen.org/passport. About Feast it ForwardExploring beyond the plate, bottle and guitar, Feast it Forward Network seeks to feed the soul with entertaining, inspiring and educational programming. As their Ultimate Airstream Film Lounge continues to hit the road and engage viewers while hosting unique lifestyle events, its flagship "live studio showroom" will open in downtown Napa Spring of 2017. A two story experiential estate, it will feature a 16 premier vintner tasting collective, a full demonstration studio kitchen, educational outdoor entertaining space, performing music stage, interior design showroom and much more. Beyond the growing online network programming which features master chefs, actors, tastemakers, and musicians, this live studio will truly bring Feast it Forward Network to life as viewers will be able to personally experience all things food, wine and philanthropy...with a taste of music. More information can be found at feastitforward.com Websites: http://pbs.org/americanmasters, http://facebook.com/americanmasters, @PBSAmerMasters, http://pbsamericanmasters.tumblr.com, http://youtube.com/AmericanMastersPBS, http://instagram.com/pbsamericanmasters, #AmericanMastersPBS
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