JAMESTOWN — Dolores “Peach” Sampson, a local foodie celebrity, died Jan. 13.
Sampson was one half of the dynamic duo on “Cooking with Peachy and Elaine” on Jamestown Cable 8. The beloved show ran for 17 years and starred Sampson and Elaine Agnello, who died in 2011.
Dan Shea, Sampson’s grandson, fondly remembers the Peachy and Elaine cooking show from his youth. Shea recalled that he had been on his grandmother’s show a few times and noted that his grandmother was just as loving and funny off-screen as she was on-screen.
“I was usually too modest to mention my grandmother’s fame in the small town when I was younger, but people always tended to find out who I was,” Shea said. “’You’re Peachy’s grandson!’ they might say. They weren’t wrong. My grandmother was a local celebrity, but she was mostly just my grandmother to me. She cooked, cleaned and sewed like any other grandmother. It turns out that she spent 17 years on television.
He said he later began to realize the impact his grandmother had on her viewers.
“When I started to get a little older, I started to understand how much she meant to so many people,” Shea said. “The show hasn’t aired for almost 15 years, and my grandmother still had strangers approaching her in 2021 to discuss episodes, recipes and her chemistry with Elaine.”
Randy Sweeney, then publicity manager for Quality Markets, contacted Elaine and Peachy to see if they would be interested in doing a cooking show. The first episode of “Cooking with Peachy and Elaine” broadcast in November 1984.
The couple started the show at Paragon Cable and eventually moved to Time Warner Cable. In a 2011 article in The Post-Journal, Sampson said the two would tape two half-hour episodes back to back every two weeks. The same episode would run five nights in a row.
Sampson and Agnello would cook three to four recipes during each episode that resulted in a full meal. For every two episodes they produced, they earned $150.
The last episode of the show was taped in December 2008.
Shea said Sampson continued her love for cooking despite the TV series ending. Often, he enjoyed his grandmother’s cooking with her family members.
“For years I’ve been blessed with the best Sunday dinners imaginable,” he said. “A typical Sunday feast at my grandparents house was some kind of roast beef with vegetables and lots of gravy, followed by a perfect pie, probably cherry or rhubarb. Over the holidays, things sped up as she made her famous ‘Raspberries on a Cloud’ dessert, which was an odd combination of saltine crackers, egg whites, heavy cream and raspberries.
In the 2011 report, Sampson recalled her “wonderful friendship with Agnello” and the sadness of his passing in 2011. “She was my best friend,” Samson said. “I could tell him anything. I was always trying to play tricks on him. She was always so direct.
Sampson also thanked the show’s fans for sticking with her, and she and Agnello gave viewers a big thumbs up.
Shea said her grandmother was known for her personality.
“When she wasn’t cooking, she was probably making someone laugh, but not always on purpose,” he said. “She was a goof and was always ready to be the butt of a joke if it produced a laugh. The fun energy she displayed on TV was the same fun energy she displayed at home.
Her initial concern about mentioning her famous grandmother has since subsided, Shea added.
“I was usually too modest to mention my grandmother’s small-town fame when I was younger, but I have no problem bragging about her today,” he said. “My grandmother was an incredible cook and an even more incredible person. I’m glad so many people knew her. »