Paul Gerrard is a TV food critic. He’s a shady guy taking a 25% cut from local restaurants in exchange for positive reviews. If they don’t pay up he’ll ruin them. Ruin them. Italian restaurateur Vittorio Rossi isn’t happy with this arrangement and wants it to end. Paul injects wine with poison he extracted from a blowfish.
Columbo turns up at 9 minutes and 41 seconds. He speaks Italian, enjoys the hospitality of all the bribed restaurants and then catches Paul Gerrard with a tricksy columboid involving switched glasses.
This episode is directed by Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme and is rich with information on Columbo. Columbo does a little cooking, nothing fancy though, he grew up near China town and has probably eaten more egg rolls than cannelloni, Mrs Columbo is at night school and about to sit her final exam in accounting, his pop used to cook for the kids when his mom was in hospital having a baby- which was about once a year for a while, he spent most of his time in the kitchen as a child because the living room was only used for funerals and visits from teachers.
I watched this episode in bed. Last days of Rome.