Lots to set your TiVos for.
On March 9, the Travel Channel premieres the series "Food Wars," pitting two purveyors of a city's signature food against each other. The Chicago episode, at 9:30 p.m., is all about Da Beef Sandwich, as done by Al's Beef and Mr. Beef. Host Camille Ford will lead a blind taste-test of each restaurant's sandwich and proclaim a winner. If this preview clip is any indication, you can expect lots of beefy dudes professing their [bleeping] love for their favorite [bleeping] beef sammie.
And at 9 p.m. March 30, moto chef Homaro Cantu's much-anticipated "Future Food" series on Planet Green has its debut.
Cantu has been sharing snippets of the action via his Twitter account and his Disruptive Food site; there's more on Planet Green's site. Episodes look promising and clever: In the premiere, Cantu and his team create a seafood menu without any seafood and test it out on customers at Mitsuwa, the suburban Japanese food emporium. In another episode, the chefs riddle a bunch of bratwurst with paint gun pellets, then take a flamethrower to them, ultimately creating sausages that they hawk outside of Hot Doug's.
All this culinary mayhem sounds deliciously juvenile, but Cantu has a much larger, heavier goal in mind: to change how we think about food so that ultimately, we can end world hunger. If Cantu has his way, those edible packing peanuts and edible menus that he's made a signature at his restaurant will someday feed people in Third World countries.
Like we said, set your TiVos.