Video producer turned food show creator Caroline Shin has high hopes for her weekly web based cooking show, Cooking with Granny. It kicks off on Tuesday, February 24.
Shin’s source of inspiration for the show was not hard to find. At age 60, her grandmother left Korea for the US to take care of Shin and her siblings while her busy parents managed the family business. As soon as Shin’s grandmother arrived, a relationship of love and food consumed Caroline.
“She has an appreciation for good food. It’s a known thing that she is an amazing cook, “ Shin said. “She would tell us stories about her journey from North to South Korea during the cold war. It was really brutal and as a kid I admired her survivor spirit. She has been very close to me and I feel the show is a memoir to her. “
You won’t find a huge fancy kitchen, utensils or measuring cups on Cooking with Granny. The show features a diverse group of grandmothers and is not your typical how-to show. The stars of the web series are not from culinary schools or winners of some food competition. They are your everyday grandmothers.
“It’s not a cooking show or a demonstration. It’s a recipe and a personal story,” Shin told me. “The recipes need to be supported by a personal story. I chose our grandmothers, because when you look at the time period when they were from, they went through some really watershed moments. For me, I think learning a personal story is so much more engaging and that is the kind of story telling I want.”
Shin has had the idea for her show since 2012, but only finally decided to try and make this a reality in 2014. After her Kickstarter campaign met it’s goal, she produced her pilot featuring of course, her grandmother. The show was originally called Home Cooking. Her grandmother was astonished to see herself on video for the first time when she previewed the pilot and said, “That’s me!”
About a week prior to our interview, I learned Shin’s apartment was burglarized. It was a disheartening blow to all her hard work on the show. Her mac book pro and external drive which stored much of her work was stolen among many other things. After our interview, she shared her painful experience in a blog for the Huffington Post.
Her sold out launch party in Astoria, Queens will be held the same night of the premiere. She’ll be serving up her grandmother’s pork belly and there will be appearances by some of the grandmothers from future shows.
The show is publicized through word of mouth and social media. Many friends have already reached out to Shin to nominate their own grandmothers. Each episode is shot in the grandmother’s own kitchen where they are comfortable. There are nine episodes ready for this season.
“What about grandfathers?” I asked Shin.
‘Oh, I would totally be open to them!” Shin replied.
“Cooking with Granny” can be found via an internet or Youtube search. If you would like to nominate your grandmother, email Carolin Shin at [email protected].