I ran into a buddy of mine on the train to work today. Topics of conversation included Breaking Bad, bodega umbrellas, and cooking with dog. Wait. What? “It’s some weird cooking show on YouTube from Japan,” he said, “the dog’s named Francis.”
Cooking With Dog is, literally, a YouTube cooking show with a “canine host” and a “mysterious Japanese Chef whose real name is not disclosed.” It’s hard to tell whether my spechlessness comes from a sublime experience of inexplicable beauty or if I’m utterly dumbstruck. Is this show sincere or ironic? Or both? The show’s basic premise is totally absurd, yet the directions for various dishes, like Yakibuta Ramen and Tamagoyaki, are clever, effective, and easy to follow. And it’s pretty remarkable how restrained Francis is; I mean, what’s stopping him from eating the delicious food he’s telling his assistant, and us, to make?
Francis is also an adorable poodle. Needless to say, this is unlike any cooking show you’ve ever seen. It goes in the opposite direction of other unorthodox cooking shows, where the weirdness is focused on the dishes and ingredients themselves. Here, the dishes are classic Japanese fare, but the, uh, “people” are not who we usually imagine our chefs. It might also be one of the few cooking shows I’ll actually try to cook along with, and maybe I’ll finally get the nerve to invite Baguette Bardot over for dinner.