TV Show Celebrates 30 Years of “Great Tastes”


Earlier this month, Manitoba’s longest-running local food show began its 30th season.

“Great Tastes of Manitoba” began when a committee of representatives from various producer councils and associations conceptualized it in the spring of 1990. The first program aired in November 1990, and has been on the air ever since.

Thirty seasons later, the show is watched by more Manitobans than anything else on Food Network, according to information provided by the show.

The majority of viewers of “Great Tastes of Manitoba” are their household’s primary grocery shoppers, a group that the show says has historically been elusive for the agriculture industry.

The show reaches an average of 27,800 adult viewers in Manitoba each week and is one of only four Canadian-produced shows (aside from broadcast news) to make the top 40 TV charts with a 35-year-old female audience and more in Winnipeg, they said. in an August 22 press release.


The good tastes of Manitoba

The majority of “Great Tastes” watchers are also their household’s largest grocery shopper, according to the press release. He added that this means “Great Tastes” reaches an audience that the agriculture industry often struggles to connect with.

Ordinary people in a kitchen

“I’m a bit of a foodie, and I’m a farmer and a television producer,” said program producer Donalee Jones, speaking on the phone from her family grain farm near Cartwright.

She said she was passionate about cooking shows before signing as the producer of “Great Tastes of Manitoba”. They helped her feel comfortable in the kitchen.

As a producer, she tests recipes to make sure they work in her home kitchen. That means they can’t be too “bosses,” she said.

Jones said simplicity and accessibility are the mandate. Ingredients should be affordable and readily available in grocery stores.

“People are watching food television more than ever, but they are cooking less. – Donalee Jones

The good tastes of Manitoba

“People are watching food TV more than ever, but they are cooking less,” Jones said. She added that it’s more important than ever to have people in the kitchen.

“If you can read a recipe, you can cook,” said Susan Riese, director of public relations and consumer marketing at Manitoba Pork.

Riese contributed to the show for 13 years. She also develops recipes that Manitoba Pork contributes to the show.

She has no culinary training, quite the contrary. Riese laughed, remembering boycotting “home economics” in Grade 7 in favor of the store class.

“I didn’t want any of it,” Riese said. “So it’s really, really funny and ironic that I’m sort of coming back to this as an adult.”

Riese said she draws on more than 35 years of home cooking experience and a lot of trial and error.

“The goal is not to have to be a chef to make the recipes,” she said.

Showcase farming families

To celebrate their 30th anniversary, “Great Tastes of Manitoba” will introduce viewers to farm families in Manitoba through video episodes on their website.

“The family farm is more than a concept for me,” said show host Dez Daniels. “It was all my start.”

Daniels, who is known in Winnipeg as a seasoned radio host, grew up on a mixed farm east of Yorkton, Saskatchewan. She milked the cows there before and after school from 6 to 11 grade.

She said she appreciates the dedication it takes to farming and is happy that they can focus on rural and farming life.

Riese said that during her time on the show, she saw her attention turn to a more farm-to-food message, incorporating more facts about farms and farmers.

“People want to know where their food comes from,” Riese said.

“Food is the big unifier,” Jones said in a press release. “I think if we can connect with consumers during those times around the table, the shared love of food, it often involves a family tradition, I think we can really make an impact and in turn build their confidence. “

“I think ‘Great Tastes of Manitoba’ was ahead of its time. It was trendy when the local wasn’t, ”said Ellen Pruden, a Manitoba Canola Growers employee. “Now with social media it’s so cool Manitobans can connect with their local food expert and farmer to find out more about the ingredients they’re buying at the grocery store. “


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