The Cooking Channel, just four months old, focuses on the “how-to”. It shares some of the same stars with its sister station: Rachael Ray, Emeril Lagasse and Bobby Flay.

The Food Network — available in 90 million households — has educated home cooks nationwide about cooking techniques and ingredients, and has fanned the cult of “celebrity chefs.” When those guys who labored in the back of the house got in front of cameras, they became household names. Suddenly, ‘cheffing’ was cool.


The Food Network featured Wolfgang Puck’s “Ultimate Kitchens,” Emeril Lagasse’s “Essence of Emeril,” “East Meets West with Ming Tsai,” “Cooking Live Primetime” with Sara Moulton, “Gordon Elliott’s Door Knock Dinners” and more.


New talent popped up. There was Mario Batali and Bobby Flay. Alton Brown and Rachael Ray. Paula Deen and Tyler Florence. Giada De Laurentiis and Ina Garten. Sandra Lee and Guy Fieri.


Now comes another cooking network — the Cooking Channel. It’s a spin off of the Food Network. Scripps Networks Interactive owns both networks, though the Tribune Co. owns one-third of the Food Network.


There is a difference between the two.


The Food Network airs instructional cooking programs in the daytime and fills primetime with food-related entertainment shows such as cooking competitions, food, travel and reality shows.


The Cooking Channel, just four months old, focuses on the “how-to”. Its mission is to show you how to cook. It shares some of the same stars with its sister station. You’ll find programs there hosted by Rachael Ray, Emeril Lagasse and Bobby Flay.


About a quarter of the shows are imports from Australia, Canada and the U.K. (i.e. David Rocco’s “Dolce Vita,” Rachel Allen’s “Bake!” and Nigella Lawson’s “Nigella Feasts”).


Others are classics: Graham Kerr’s “Galloping Gourmet,” Julia Child’s “The French Chef,” Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright’s “Two Fat Ladies” and Sara Moulton’s “Sara’s Secrets.”


Among other instructive programs are “French Food at Home,” “Indian Food Made Easy,” “Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam,” “Spice Goddess,” “Unique Eats” and “Chefography.”


You get the picture. If you’re a foodie who wants to feel more comfortable in the kitchen, you may want to check out the Cooking Channel.


Food editor Kathryn Rem can be reached at 788-1520 or kathryn.rem@sj-r.com.