The Minimalist Joins Cooking Channel

In January, after 13 years and almost 700 columns, Mark Bittman announced the exit of The Minimalist from the Dining section of the New York Times. But just because you can no longer find him in print, doesn't mean he isn't around. Find your favorite home cook...right here on the Cooking Channel. The Minimalist premieres Sunday, March 6th at 10:30 a.m. EST.

But before you tune in (the first episode is all about pasta), here are 5 Things to Know About The Minimalist.

1. Mark Bittman has no formal training in the kitchen.

But he has years of experience. He's been an avid home cook since 1968, a professional food writer since 1980 and has several cookbooks to his name. And he's had the opportunity to cook with the best of the best in the food world. Fans love his simplified approach to cooking and his tried-and-true recipes.

2. He drove a cab in New York City.

It was one of several odd jobs he did right out of college. “People find it exciting, but it’s not that exciting,” he said.

3. He wanted to write about politics.

He said he wanted to write about politics because "he knew how to fix everything." Fortunately for us, he found his way to the stove and food writing, and it all clicked.

4. He writes an Opinion column for the New York Times.

This is a recent development, coinciding with the end of his Minimalist column in the paper. While he was sad to end the cooking column, he said the joy he's feeling "in beginning a Times Opinion column is immeasurable." His first piece set out a Food Manifesto for the Future; his most recent column addressed oatmeal at McDonald's.

5. His kitchen is smaller than yours.

Well, this might not be true. But he does cook in a small kitchen (here's a picture). And if he can make do, so can you. "Heat is heat, after all." So get cooking!

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