This week, it's our pizza and barbecue culture that takes center stage .... er ... screen. Pizza Masters is a show on the Cooking Channel that features two NYC cousins, Sal Basille and Francis Garcia, as they travel the country seeking out the best pies. This week's episode features Nick Pellegrino of Mangia Nashville, the wildly entertaining weekend pop-up Italian ristorante that cranks up the Dean Martin and puts out tasty Italian food at Franklin's Cool Cafe.
Pellegrino's episode premieres at 12:30 in the morning on Wednesday May 7, but if you're not a night owl it will rerun at 8:30 that evening and again at 4:30 p.m. May 10 and 1 a.m. May 11. Check your local listings or set your DVR to watch Nick charm the heck out of the hosts.
Another Nashvillian showed off his chops (and ribs and butt) on a recent episode of BBQ Pitmasters on Destination America. Ken Wood leads the Charcoal Cowboys competitive barbecue team, and is noted for achieving a perfect score of 180 for his brisket at the Music City BBQ Festival. His task on BBQ Pitmasters was to create some exemplary Memphis-style barbecue using spare ribs and pork butt from Buedel Fine Meats and Provisions. (Buedel is a sponsor of the Peg Leg Porker team, so I've been lucky enough to sample their excellent products. It's hard to screw them up.)
I won't give away the ending, since the episode re-airs on May 10 at 7 pm, but I will say that Ken acquits himself very well against two other competitors from Tennessee. His attitude and technique were top-notch, and I'd love to try his 'cue some time. Tune in to see if he moves on to the finals for a chance to win $50,000.