We all know that cooking shows on television are very popular amongst groups of all ages. You have Hell’s Kitchen, Top Chef, Iron Chef, Master Chef, Chopped, Kitchen Nightmares and the list goes on and on. You also have a slew of good chefs such as Gordon Ramsey, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Rachael Ray, Barefoot Contessa, and Justice Stewart 🙂 just to name a few. Let’s face it, we all love food. We are the only species on earth that prepare and serve food in an ton of different ways. I love watching most of the cooking shows on TV, and I enjoy learning cooking tips from the pros. I always would watch the competition shows such as Hell’s Kitchen and scream at my television at bad cooks, wondering how they got there. Then I get a buzz from a Neighborhood Chef producer, Lakesha Wright, who just happened to have seen one of my dishes on a mutual friend’s social network page. Her first question was, “would you like to cook on our new cooking show?” What!? Me, cook on camera? No way, I won’t dare embarrass myself for all to see, not to mention my stage fright! I felt the need to do a little more investigating before I decided whether to do it or not. Who are the Neighborhood Chefs?
The show was created by the husband and wife team, Samuel & Nicole Small. The parent company, DBC Productions, which not only brings you Neighborhood Chefs, it also brings you Jazz Sessions, Fashion World Magazine, Funny Farm comedy series and more, which are all shown on IBchannel.tv. IBChannel provides a forum for filmmakers and producers who are looking for additional outlets for their content. On September 13th 2011, an old idea — the cooking show — came to life, but with a twist. Neighborhood Chefs premiered. The show highlights the average person who can really get busy in the kitchen, that hidden gem of a cook who may live right next door to you, and you had no idea. The show is a platform for not just the amateur chef, but also eateries and professional chefs as well. So after some encouraging advice from my girlfriend, I decided to give this thing a try.
The morning of the show I was my usual self, frantically running around doing everything at the last minute: some food prep, supermarket run, barbershop, etc. That’s just my style, lol. Upon arriving to the set, I was welcomed by the friendly staff which put me at ease immediately. The chefs highlighted there that day were Chef Jim Takacs (Waterfront Alehouse) with his delicious shrimp, avocado & mango salad, Chef Yvette Woodward and her savory vegetarian fried rice with tofu, and Chef Arianne Benford who demonstrated her polenta with yogurt-batter fried chicken and homemade cinnamon & clove applesauce. Chef Joseph Coco made a gorgeous eggplant Parmesan, and then went on to make eggplant rolatini and eggplant heroes (yes, eggplant three ways). Chef Marie Borusso made beef tenderloin in puff pastry with gorgonzola cheese & caramelized onions. Chef Roshon Martin’s (Uptown145 catering) tropical sea bass with spinach, rice & shrimp was a great dish, and, last but not least, Chef Latoya Shauntay Snell (The Cake Monologues) impressed everyone on set with her Parmesan-crusted chicken breast with pears in wine sauce.
My dish of choice was peppered chicken with mangoes, rum and cashews which is posted here. Things were running behind schedule so I was to go on later than expected. It wasn’t a problem since Chef Roshon kept me in stitches with his one-liners and facial expressions. Not to mention I had the opportunity to watch the other chefs in action and taste the great dishes which is always a pleasure. So while I was setting up and laying out my ingredients with 5 minutes before my segment, I realized something wasn’t right. Hmmmm, OH NO! I had forgotten my scallions at home! Since this was a major ingredient for my dish, and there were none on the set, it was back to the market I went. So after dashing about 8 blocks round trip (I went the wrong direction at first), I had my scallions. I began my segment a little nervous after the adrenaline rush of the “scallion crisis” and it was visible. But after the first break, I settled down to do what I love doing, which is cook good food. I put the finishing touches on my dish and everyone who tasted it gave it rave reviews. The dish was described by one of the tasters as “a blend of flavors that came as a tasty, tender surprise” and “salty, sweet, spicy, savory, and all delicious!’ So overall I had a great time taping the show and I want to thank Neighborhood Chefs for giving me the opportunity to showcase my skills. I hope to be back. So get yourself over to www.ibchannel.tv and check out Neighborhood Chefs and see what’s cooking! I will keep my fans in the loop about an air date for my segment. Special thanks to Sam & Nicole Small, Lakesha Wright, Glenis Morris, David Rivera, Ariana Matherson, Darcel Morgan, Rodney Fuller, and last but not least Mr. Wendell :)) I had a wonderful time with you guys! **UPDATE Feb. 2012** I am now part of the DBC family as executive producer for Neighborhood Chefs webTV show. 🙂