RokuGuide Review: Food Network fans will find several good channels in the food category on Roku. One of your first stops should be Chow, which offers close to a dozen series, with individual videos ranging in length from less than a minute to 15 minutes or more. Most are around two to five minutes, though, so don't expect half- to full-hour episodes like you get on the Food Network.
The series currently offered on Chow are:
- CHOW Tour Handmade - The best food and drink offerings from Portland, Oakland, Austin.
- Obsessives - Profiles of people obsessed with food and drink - pickles, absinthe, coffee, sake, tea, wedding cakes, and much more. If it's related to food or drink, someone is obsessed with it.
- You're Doing It All Wrong - Professionals show you the right way to eat sushi, cook bacon, make grilled cheese, pour beer, and more.
- CHOW Tips - "Super-short simple tips that make you cook, prep, and eat better."
- My Go-To Dish - Celebrities and well-known chefs demonstrate how to prepare their favorite recipes, such as actress Molly Ringwald roasting a chicken.
- Cooking with Grandma - Real-life grandmothers prepare their family's favorite dishes.
- Field Trip - Visits to the places your food comes from. Currently this series addresses only tomatoes, giant pumpkins, and a tofu factory.
- CHOW Cooks From Books - "Recipes from cookbooks - new releases and classics we love - are brought to life."
- Supertaster - Taste tests ranging from the IHOP bacon burger and Sonic hot dogs to $2,000 single-malt Scotch and $150 bottles of beer.
- The Pefect - Hamburgers, slicing tools, tortillas, and many more examples of perfection in the world of food and drink.
You won't have to sit through any commercials, but watching Chow will require more interaction than many of you may like. As I stated above, the videos are short, and there is no "play all" option to let you start at the beginning of a series and watch all episodes without touch the remote. The videos on Chow's website let you put individual videos into a playlist - that would be useful addition here. The addition of video release dates would also be helpful. There is a "Latest Videos" category, but within each series you can't tell how old each video is, so it's not obvious if content is new or not.
Chow on Roku offers all of the series that are available under "Shows" on the Chow website, but the website also offers a category called "Collections". Here videos are offered by topics such as holidays, cookies, cocktails, grilling, etc. This makes it much easier to find videos of interest, and there area also many videos that don't appear to be available on the Roku channel.
Still, aside from these minor wish-list items, Chow's Roku channel will make a great addition to the channel lineup of anyone with an interest in food and drink.
Developer's Channel Description: CHOW.com is the online destination for all of your cooking and entertaining needs. It's where smart people go for great food, intelligent restaurant advice, and original videos.
CHANNEL STORE CATEGORY: Food