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THE FOOD FLIRTS

Ancient food royals - the Brass sisters in Chinatown, Boston, Mass.
Courtesy of Bruce Seidel/Hot Lemon Productions
Ancient food royals - the Brass sisters in Chinatown, Boston, Mass.

Fridays, June 24 - July 29, 2022 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV / On demand now with KPBS Passport!

Cookbook authors and culinarians Marilyn and Sheila Brass – the Brass Sisters known as “The Food Flirts,” are passionate food explorers of a certain age on a mission to tackle their culinary bucket list one bite at a time. Over six episodes, the Boston-based ladies “flirt” their way into chefs’ kitchens to uncover ethnically unique and delicious foods, then head home to experiment with the recipes themselves — creating cross-cultural culinary mash-ups that viewers can try at home. The series follows the ladies through mash-up adventures in which a “modern” burger mixes an Indian dosa with a cheeseburger, or a pastrami ramen noodle kugel recipe. The sisters’ fanciful recipes and unscripted realness brings together their unique tastes and unique personalities.

FOOD FLIRTS: Preview: Season 1

“The Brass Sisters have always been two favorite food people in Boston, and I’m thrilled to bring them to a wider audience with THE FOOD FLIRTS series, in partnership with PBS,” said Producer Bruce Seidel. “It’s Two Fat Ladies meets Julia Child – these women have food chops, an alluring sense of humor, and they’re always ready to share wisdom learned along the way!”

The Brass sisters flirting to the camera at Shojo Kitchen in Boston, Mass.
Courtesy of Bruce Seidel/Hot Lemon Productions
The Brass sisters flirting to the camera at Shojo Kitchen in Boston, Mass.

The longtime Cambridge, Massachusetts, residents have 130 years of combined baking and cooking experience. Recently named “Food Heroes” for their various food contributions by the Mayor of Cambridge, Marilyn and Sheila are the authors of “Baking With The Brass Sisters” (St. Martin’s Press 2015); “Heirloom Cooking With The Brass Sisters” (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2008); and “Heirloom Baking With The Brass Sisters” (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2006), which was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation award in the Dessert and Baking category.

Their books are consistently best-sellers; Food & Wine magazine has called the sisters “dessert geniuses,” and selected their books for its annual The Best of the Best 25 Cookbooks.

The Brass Sisters have appeared on many television programs during their careers. Nationally, the duo headlined a one-hour special on Cooking Channel, “The Brass Sisters Celebrate the Holidays,” hosted the public television show “The Brass Sisters: Queens of Comfort Food” and appeared on THROWDOWN WITH BOBBY FLAY on Food Network (beating Iron Chef Flay with their pineapple upside-down cake).

Noodle meditation with the Brass sisters at Shojo Kitchen in Boston, Mass.
Courtesy of Bruce Seidel/Hot Lemon Productions
Noodle meditation with the Brass sisters at Shojo Kitchen in Boston, Mass.

Marilynn and Sheila have appeared on local television and radio programs in 22 cities in 15 states, as well as in Canada, and have appeared three times at The James Beard House as part of the Beard on Books series.

The Brass Sisters have curated one of the country’s most comprehensive collections of culinary antiques, including: a copper batterie de cuisine from the early 19th century; chocolate, ice cream, candy, aspic and other food molds; menus; and food advertising signs and artifacts. Their collection includes 6,500 cookbooks, some dating from the 1600s, as well as 1,800 books on antiques. 

EPISODE GUIDE:

“Burger Meets Dosa” Friday, June 24 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV - Follow the Brass sisters as they tackle their burger bucket list, then “flirt” their way into an Indian kitchen to uncover the mystique of Indian dosa. After some careful experimentation in their home kitchen, they serve up the cheeseburger dosa.

“Pastrami Meets Ramen” Friday, July 1 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV - Join the sisters as they learn how artisan pastrami is crafted, take a ramen noodle and broth making lesson, teach viewers about the Jewish comfort food noodle kugel and then give birth to the pastrami ramen noodle kugel.

Sheila curing pastrami at Mamaleh's Deli in Cambridge, Mass.
Courtesy of Bruce Seidel/Hot Lemon Productions
Sheila curing pastrami at Mamaleh's Deli in Cambridge, Mass.

Episode 3: "Cape Cod Road-Trip" Friday, July 8 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV - Follow the Brass sisters as they "flirt" their way into several Cape Cod kitchens and discover a melting pot of sweets and treats, from American to Greek to South African and more!

Episode 4: "Thailand Meets Tres Leches" Friday, July 15 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV - Join the Brass sisters as they experience Thai rolled ice cream and take producer Bruce to a tres leches cupcake baking lesson. Back in their kitchen, they make tri-flavored ice cream and a tres leches cake frosted with Thai ice tea whipped cream.

Thailand Meets Tres Leches: Preview:

Episode 5: "Pretzel Meets Chocolate" Friday, July 22 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV - Find out what Bavarian pretzels, stone-ground Mexican chocolate and French brioche have in common. Join the Food Flirts as they discover each and create a spectacular chocolate pretzel brioche bread pudding with raspberry whipped cream.

Episode 6: "What Is A Food Incubator?" Friday, July 29 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV - Join the Brass sisters as they discover what a food incubator is, learning about chutney, out-of-the-ordinary cookies and savory rugelach. They then whip up cashew and chutney treats into a "tower" of rugelach with balsamic and fluff drizzle.

Watch On Your Schedule:

Episodes are available on demand with KPBS Passport, a benefit for members supporting KPBS at $60 or more yearly, using your computer, smartphone, tablet, Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire or Chromecast. Learn how to activate your benefit now.

Join The Conversation:

PBS Food is on Facebook, Instagram + @PBSFood on Twitter #FoodFlirtsPBS

Credits:

Produced by former Food Network and Cooking Channel Executive Bruce Seidel of Hot Lemon Productions.