Dig in for a taste of tele­vi­sion in­spi­ra­tion

There are shows for pros, am­a­teurs, even pot­heads

USA TODAY International Edition - - LIFE - Kelly Lawler Colum­nist

There’s no bet­ter time to flex your culi­nary skills than dur­ing the lazy, hazy days of sum­mer.

The weather is per­fect for grilling, and on rainy days it’s a good time to stay indoors and try bak­ing. And if you’re search­ing for in­spi­ra­tion, look no fur­ther than your TV.

Sum­mer is flush with food shows to give you the nudge to get in the kitchen. With all the cook­ing, grilling and bak­ing com­pe­ti­tions out there, at least one will con­vince you to slap on an apron and at­tempt to nail a de­lec­ta­ble cre­ation. We rounded up a few fa­vorites pre­mier­ing in June and July.

‘MasterChef’ (Fox)

The ninth sea­son of Fox’s re­li­ably fun home cook­ing com­pe­ti­tion (Wed­nes­days, 8 EDT/PDT) kicked off a few weeks ago. And it’s worth­while, con­sid­er­ing the show proves that even non­pro­fes­sion­als (and in the ju­nior ver­sion, kids) can whip up restau­rant qual­ity food. The best part of“Master Chef” is how ed­u­ca­tional it is. Judges Joe Bas­tianich, Aaron Sanchez and even no­to­ri­ous hot­head Gor­don Ram­say cri­tique the con­tes­tants’ food, but they also teach ea­ger home cooks about the culi­nary arts.

‘Gor­don Ram­say’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back’ (Fox)

Ram­say isn’t al­ways as nice and re­laxed as he is on “MasterChef,” in­clud­ing in his lat­est show for Fox (Wed­nes­day, 9 EDT/PDT). If you miss the fire of his “Hell’s Kitchen” days and you want to see how even top restau­rants can have bad days, “24 Hours” sends Ram­say on the road to save restau­rants on the brink of clo­sure.

‘Cook­ing on High’ (Net­flix)

If you ever looked at your fa­vorite cook­ing shows and thought they could in­clude more pot, Net­flix is here for you. “Cook­ing on High” (stream­ing June 22) is billed as the “first-ever com­pet­i­tive cannabis cook­ing show,” and the tongue-in-cheek se­ries asks con­tes­tants to pre­pare mar­i­juana-in­fused dishes for some very re­laxed judges. This may be one show that’s best not to im­i­tate, un­less you live in Colorado or Wash­ing­ton.

‘Girl Meets Farm’ (Food Net­work)

Food blog­ger Molly Yeh brings her farm­house-chic decor and cook­ing style to this new Food Net­work se­ries (June 24, Sun­days, 11 a.m. EDT/PDT). The author of “Molly on the Range” is a dar­ling of the hip food-blog­ging world and fa­mous for bring­ing her Jewish and Chi­nese her­itage to the ta­ble. Her blog and cook­books make it easy to cook with her.

CHANTELL LAUREN/ FOOD NET­WORK

Food blog­ger Molly Yeh in­vites view­ers into her kitchen on “Girl Meets Farm.”

FOX

Gor­don Ram­say is ubiq­ui­tous, with two shows on Fox this sum­mer.

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