Saffire executive chef Vinny Tardo is going to be featured as a contestant tonight (Tuesday, June 24) at 9 p.m. CDT. The episode is called "Swai Not?" and is described as:
"Falafel mix and date paste are among the mandatory ingredients in the appetizer round. Also: A fish proves puzzling for the competing chefs; and there is hesitation about transforming a cookie."
Next week on July 1, Sloco chef Jeremy Barlow will compete in an episode titled "Short and Sweetbreads" featuring:
Sweetbreads and a strong spice blend show up in the first two rounds. For dessert, the final two chefs serve dishes that are chocolaty, salty and fruity.
From chefs to coaches to a fireman, only one Nashvillian, Kristen Gregory of Firefly Grille, has brought home the grand prize from these multiple episodes. Hopefully either Tardo or Barlow can improve our average!
First of all, I like to participate in food competitions, particularly ones that include barbecue, so I've attended and judged both of the first two WFCs. You can too! Second, the WFC is this November in Las Vegas, which is not a bad place to be, and hotels aren't that exorbitant Nov. 12-18. Thirdly, I continue to be impressed by the scale and organization of the event, considering almost the entire staff has to put it together from thousands of miles away.
That's right, the World Food Championships are based out of Nashville, where a small local advertising agency known as MMA Creative has taken their experience as the marketing arm of the Kansas City Barbecue Society and multiplied it by many levels of complexity to create an event that crowns a champion cook from many different disciplines.
Under the leadership of president Mike McCloud, in addition to the event management and marketing, MMA also handles the production of an upcoming six-week television series coming to a new network that will share the fun and drama of the World Food Championships with the country. A&E is rebranding their Bio network as FYI on July 8. One of the first shows the new channel will feature is The World Food Championships, premiering on July 10.
Here's how the network describes the series:
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.
The pair visited Nashville in December to film an episode titled “Barbecue in Music City.” Keith West of Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant, Brandon Frohne of Mason's Bar and Shane Autry of Smoke Et Al were interviewed about Nashville barbecue and cooked up their respective restaurants' renditions of a creative barbecue dish. The three chefs competed for a $10,000 cash prize and the Golden Skillet award.
I happened to be present for the filming of Autry's segment, and his pork belly slider topped with fried pork skin could definitely be tough to beat, although I have no knowledge of the final results. The episode will premiere this Tuesday, April 22, at 8:30 p.m. following an episode based in New York City.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. On Thursday night, you can see for yourself when How It’s Made features Christie Cookies in a new episode that airs on The Science Channel at 8 p.m. There’s a marathon of past shows leading up to the premiere of the Christie Cookie episode; they feature the production processes of everything from veggie burgers and pork pies to hats and wax figures. The other segments that air in the new episode feature rawhide lampshades and MRI scanners. Clearly, the Christie Cookie segment will be the most mouth-watering of them all.
Anyhoo, the folks at Christie Cookie were happy to have the show film in their factory here in Nashville. According to brand manager Caroline Sloan, “We enjoyed working with the crew to tell our story and share the goodness of our chocolate chip cookies. They loved the premium chocolates, real butter and hands-on approach to our baking philosophy.” The segment features both the food-service and direct-to-consumer cookie production.
If you miss the show at 8 p.m. Thursday, just check the schedule for repeat airings throughout the following week.
How It’s Made, featuring Christie Cookie
Thursday, April 10, at 8 p.m.
The Science Channel
Miller even scored an appearance on The Splendid Table with Lynn Rossetto Kasper where he discussed how Red Kool Aid (Red as the flavor and the color) was the official beverage of the soul food universe. You can hear his interview here.
During his visit to Nashville last year, Miller also taped a segment of Nashville's premier literary television show, A Word on Words with the esteemed John Seigenthaler. The episode will air on WNPT on Sunday Feb. 9, at 10:30 a.m. Will Seigenthaler ask Miller for a sample of a Koolickle? I don't know, but I sure hope so!
But over the past couple weeks, I've been surprised by two more Nashvillians that I hadn't heard a peep about. I don't feel too bad about not knowing about the first contestant since he's not actually a restaurant chef. Chopped likes to feature firefighters every now and then — first, because they are dedicated public servants, and second, because they have a reputation for often being pretty talented firehouse cooks.
(SPOILER ALERT!) Robert Corbin is a first responder firefighter from Nashville. Corbin lives on a farm and brought his Southern food sensibilities to the show as he had to deal with the incongruous ingredients offered to him in his basket before each round of appetizer, entree and dessert. For the opening round of the Jan. 12 episode, he was confronted with wildfire lettuce, 'nduja (a spreadable pork sausage from Italy), burrata and Indian roti bread. Corbin stuffed the sausage into some mushroom caps and jalapenos and then made roll-ups out of the roti. The judges were impressed and passed him on to the next round.
For the entree round, Corbin opened his basket to find a rack of wild boar ribs, ghost peppers, cucuzza squash and saganaki, which he used to fashion a dish of fried boar chops with roasted potatoes and pasta. While the judges said the extra starch of the undercooked pasta was superfluous, they still passed him on to the final dessert round. Desserts seemed to be Corbin's specialty since he claimed to come from a long line of meringue makers. He combined wafer cookie sheets, vanilla pudding cups, lemon soda and a blow torch to create a blueberry pudding with lemon meringue, which he bruleed with the torch. (They say most firemen have a touch of pyromaniac in them.) Unfortunately, his pudding did not set in the short time it spent in a water bath, and Corbin lost out to an L.A. firefighter who bravely made ice cream for the first time in his life. Still, it was a fine showing.
Wahlburgers is an unscripted (read: reality) show that features Mark Wahlberg and brothers Donnie (of New Kids on the Block, also an actor currently starring in CBS' Blue Bloods) and Paul. Together they own and operate the Wahlburgers burger restaurant in Boston.
Paul Wahlberg is the chef, and the restaurant (and impending expansion) is the basis of the show, but the family relationships (including being in business with your brothers) will be a big part of it as well. In other words, the show will be about the Wahlbergs as much as the burgers.
The 10 a.m. episode, titled "Moonshine and BBQ," focuses on Nashville, where they will visit some local favorites. Here's the synopsis:
Tom and Henry arrive in Nashville eager to sample the cities [sic] best culinary creations. They bravely attempt to eat Mother Cluckin' Hot Chicken, and use moonshine to extinguish the flames. Then, the brothers battle preparing dishes inspired by Nashville.
Though officially from Murfreesboro, Jay Qualls Cakes is located in Nashville, and Qualls has produced wedding cakes for numerous country music stars including Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride and Hillary Scott. During last week's season premiere episode, which showed contestants' auditions, Qualls shared his personal story of weight gain and loss and coming to terms with his sexuality. The glimpse we got of his personality indicates he’ll be fun to watch.
Qualls previously competed on a Cake Boss spinoff, Next Great Baker (placing fourth), but he prepared a savory dish, a ginger pork dumpling to impress the Taste judges. However, his skill with cakes was probably a key factor in being chosen by three of the four judges to join their team, since pastry is something many chefs and home cooks tend not to practice. Of the judges who offered him a spot, Qualls chose to join Nigella Lawson’s team.
The Taste airs Thursdays at 7 p.m. on ABC, and this week's episode is the beginning of the real competition. You can follow Jay Qualls on Twitter and Facebook for some behind-the-scenes commentary and other news and learn more about his cakes on the company’s website.
Thanks @HipsterBeatings! Nice read...
I'll leave this here as their selections are actually better than the above. Gummy bear…
But this looks like a suitable substitute
I would cut someone for a box of FX chocolates. All sold out.
I do agree with Arnold's. But not really on their route back to AF1.