Cable-access production values are a few grams shy of a ‘good thing,’ but The Hippy Gourmet has more in common with Martha’s Kitchen than Wayne’s World.

 

BY ED MURRIETA

Behind the heavy-lidded gaze, shaggy gray beard and mellow baritone of a Summer of Love dee-jay lays a classically trained French chef who wants to feed the people and feed your head. If his television cooking show, cookbooks and DVDs reap profit and popularity, that’s far out, too, man.

Bruce Brennan is The Hippy Gourmet, a Jerry Garcia-meets-James Beard bear of a man whose cable-access cooking show originates from San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. The show, 50-plus episodes strong, airs weekly on nine Bay Area stations and recently started in Amsterdam, Boston, Chicago and New York.

Production values lean a few grams shy of a “good thing,” but “The Hippy Gourmet” has more in common with “Martha’s Kitchen” than “Wayne’s World,” pardoning the psychedelic music, paisley graphics and occasional presence of Manny the Hippy, famous for his tripped-out tete a tetes with David Letterman.

“‘The Hippy Gourmet’ is the antithesis of most TV cooking shows,” says producer-director James Ehrlich. “Bruce is the anti-Emeril.”

“Not a lot of clip, clip, clip, action, action, bam, bam, bam,” Brennan adds in his best mellow bellow.


Published Feb. 19, 2003, San Francisco Examiner.


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