In 1984, MPT engaged world-class talent to showcase the appeal and accessibility of the culinary arts. The first modern-era series, Madeleine Cooks, hosted by French chef and restauranteur Madeleine Kamman, aired for two years to wide acclaim. It was followed by Cuisine Rapide, hosted by New York Times food writer and fellow French chef Pierre Franey. In 1993, MPT began a long association with chef, author, and TV personality Julia Child, beginning with the program Julia Child: Cooking with Master Chefs (1993) and then In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs (1995-1996) and Baking with Julia (1996-1999). The latter two earned national daytime Emmy® awards for “Outstanding Service Program.”
Local cuisine was the focus of Chesapeake Bay Cooking with John Shields in 1998, one of a dozen cooking series produced by and at MPT during the 1990s. And in 2003, American culinary writer Steve Raichlen began hosting a series of successful programs: Barbecue University with Steven Raichlen (2003-2006), Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen (2008-2011), Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke (2015-2017), and Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire (2018-present). Project Smoke became one of the most-played national series in MPT history, appearing on nearly 98 percent of public TV channels.