In this episode of “Hot off the Press,” Chef Pete Blohme chats with Navy Entertainment Program Director Karen Fritz just back from her European tour with Mess Lords. Featured on the Food Network program "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" hosted by Guy Fieri, Mess Lords is a group of celebrity chefs that have teamed up to help boost the morale of those in the United States Armed Services. As a founding member of the organization, Chef Pete and his team of Mess Lords offer cooking demos, culinary shows, entertainment, and of course good eats to the men and women who selflessly serve our country.
Karen has worked with the U.S Navy for 25 years, 12 of those with Navy Entertainment and MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) where she travels more than 300,000 miles and produces 300 shows each year to put smiles on the faces of military service men and women stationed in the United States and abroad. From musicians and movie stars to comedians, UFC fighters and professional chefs, the shows feature some of the top acts in the entertainment arena today including Creed, Darius Rucker, and Sugarland. While the job may not be suited for everyone, Karen says that the reward far outweighs the exhaustion that comes with this type of lifestyle.
Take a listen as Pete and Karen talk about their experiences over the years serving the troops through the MWR program, including a favorite memory of a trip that involved loading 50 cases of tomatoes, 80 cases of lettuce, and 100 jars of pickles on a helicopter to make paninis for 800 marines and more than 2,000 sailors! But they both agree it’s not about the cooking or entertainment, but having the opportunity to thank the troops for all that they do.
For more information on Navy Entertainment and MWR ongoing tours, visit www.navymwr.org. Check out Mess Lords on Facebook at facebook.com/Messlords.
On this episode of “Hot off the Press” Chef Pete flips the script on executive producer for the Lex and Terry Show, Devell “Dee” Reed. The Lex and Terry Show is a 5-hour syndicated morning radio show based in Dallas, Texas, that broadcasts from 5 a.m. - 10 a.m. CST in more than 25 states. In addition to an XM broadcast, the Lex and Terry Radio Network offers a live viewing of the show through Ustream, a daily podcast of the complete program on iTunes, Clear Channel's IHeartRadio network, and Lex and Terry's very own IPhone app.
Lex Staley is a 25-year veteran of the radio industry with a successful track record both on the management and talent sides of the business. He is best known in the industry for his ability to turn around inefficient, poorly performing stations, helping them achieve double-digit market share and raise the ratings meter. Terry Jaymes has more than 20 years of experience in radio, television and stand-up comedy. He formerly hosted the nightly "Entertainment Report" for Jacksonville-based WJXT News. In addition, he appeared regularly on television shows Sunday Comics, Comic Strip Live, and Pure Insanity. Some of his other TV credits include national ads and a recurring role on the soap opera Santa Barbara.
Originally a native of Tampa, Florida, Dee Reed moved to Jacksonville in 1994 and began working as a club DJ. An entertainer and comedian, Dee said he would listen to the Lex and Terry Show on his drive home after working the night shift for a Hip-Hop and R&B station. After noticing the show’s stunt guy was unreliable at best, Dee called the show, said he could do a better job, and the rest is history. Dee performs various duties for the show, including screening phones, scheduling guests, serving as the proprietor of the Lex and Terry Store, and participating as part of the on-air talent. He most recently hosts “Under the Shade Tree with Dee & Sarah.”
A self-proclaimed foodie, Dee talked with Pete about some of his favorite restaurants in the Dallas area, his 5-week stint as a vegetarian, and the possibility of his own cooking show in the near future. Another one of Dee’s “claims to fame” is his collaboration with Pete on the Dee-stroyer Burger which is a regular on the list of specials at Panini Pete’s.
Stay tuned for more information about an event with Dee and the Lex and Terry crew at the new Panini Pete’s Destin location set for August.