Sacramento Bee photograph/Kevin German
Biba Caggiano is about to return to national TV. The nation, however, is Canada, at least at the outset. Caggiano is one of 13 high-profile food celebrities - and the only one from California - to be chosen by Food Network Canada to be profiled for a new biographical series called "At The Table With..." Each episode will focus on one of the 13 and will run 30 minutes.
Other culinary figures to be featured include New York City chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Marcus Samuelsson and Daniel Bouley, cookbook authors Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, Madhur Jaffrey and Sara Moulton, and Chicago restaurateur Charlie Trotter, says Mary Luz Mejia, associate producer with Fir Valley Productions in Toronto, an independent production company preparing the series for Food Network Canada.
"She's a legend in the world of Italian food," says Mejia in discussing the selection of Caggiano for the series. "I grew up in Canada, and watcher her (cooking) show when I was in my late teens and early 20s. She was approachable and down to earth, and her food made my mouth water. If I could have eaten through the TV I would have."
A production company is to visit Sacramento in mid-July, and plans to film Caggiano at her midtown Sacramento restaurant Biba, at her home and at a cooking class she will be giving. "We want to show what makes them as great as they are," says Mejia of the subjects.
The series is to start airing in October in Canada. Ultimately, it may be shown in the United States as well because Food Network Canada is affililated with the Food Network in New York City.