Over to 101 Cookbooks, there is a lively thread going about cooking for beginners. The advice is reasonable, (soups, pastas as opposed to Giacometti sculptures re-created in phyllo, with each limb stuffed with a different forcemeat), but flabbergasting. A remarkable number of commenters suggest beginning by watching one or another program on Food Network, or other TV show. I am a book guy, vocationally and avocationally, but this seems like a pretty dramatic epistemic shift. Are there really people who learn to cook from TV? Not get inspired to do a dish they saw Pepin do, but learn to cook?