On this episode of “Hot Off the Press” Chef Pete gives listeners a recap of all the happenings of the year. With multiple Food Network episode features, new restaurant openings, and even a trip to Washington D.C. to represent the industry on Capitol Hill, 2017 has been one for the books. Be sure to stay tuned to “Hot Off the Press” to see what’s in store for 2018!
On a recent trip to "Panini Pete's" on the campus of West Virginia University, Pete caught up with former WVU quarterback star Pat White. A Daphne, Alabama native (Pete’s hometown), White played for WVU before being selected by the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft. He became the first quarterback in NCAA history to win four bowl games in a row (five including the Senior Bowl) and broke numerous Big East Conference and NCAA records. White finished sixth in Heisman voting in 2007 and seventh in 2008. He was a three-time All-Big East first-team selection, and WVU was 42-9 in White's four seasons. In addition, White was drafted by the Anaheim Angels in the Major League Baseball draft but declined the offer to play college football instead. His career concluded with a final stop in the Canadian Football League playing for the Edmonton Eskimos before retiring in 2015 after a traumatic head injury. White now works as a financial representative for Northwestern Mutual in the Greater Pittsburgh area.
White and his brothers are also the founders of Blueprint Performance, a program that provides coaching, on the field training and academic prep to help high school students make the transition to college athletes.
White hosts a weekly podcast where he talks WVU sports and takes fan questions with WVU alum and radio host Matty Staudt. Check out "The Pat White Podcast" here and be sure to connect with White on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
On this episode of “Hot Off the Press” Chef Pete broadcasts live from the 10th Annual Oyster Cook Off and Craft Beer Weekend at the Hangout in Gulf Shores, Ala. Acclaimed celebrities and James Beard Award-winning chefs along with breweries from all over the country teamed up for one of the Gulf Coast’s fastest-growing food competitions. Participants served up a multitude of curated oyster varieties judged on presentation, flavor and creativity in a blind taste test. The weekend also featured concerts from Rodney Atkins and Anderson East.
OK Bicycle Shop was the Overall Winner and also took first place in the Cajun Category. Hugo’s Oyster Bar held the number one spot in the Rockefeller Category and Walker’s Drive In took the top prize in the Raw Category.
Pete caught up with Sean Beyo of Hog Island Oyster Company in Marshall, California to get the story behind one of the West Coasts’s premiere producers of certified sustainable shellfish. These marine biologists turned oyster farmers started this operation in 1983 with a five-acre shellfish lease that today includes locations in Marshall, Napa and San Francisco.
Pete also took the stage with one of the most influential pit-masters in the industry today, Chris Lily of Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q. Widely recognized as one of the oldest and most prestigious barbecue restaurants in the world, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q was founded in Decatur, Ala. in 1925. Lilly is a five-time Memphis in May Grand Champion and seven-time winner of the Pork Category. Other competition accolades include Grand Champion of the American Royal Invitational, Reserve Grand Champion of the Jack, winner of the inaugural King of the Smoker and first place ribs at the Houston Livestock and Rodeo World Championships.
On this episode of “Hot Off The Press,” Chef Pete brings you all the action hot off the grill from Lynchburg, Tennessee, host of the 29th Annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue and home to the famous Jack Daniel’s Distillery. Sixty-seven championship teams from the U.S. and 23 international teams from countries including Austria, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland, competed in the invitation-only cook-off for the coveted Grand Champion title.
“The Jack” kicked off Friday evening with a VIP party on “BBQ Hill” featuring live music from Nashville recording country artist and X-Factor Top 8 Finalist, Skyelor Anderson. “Big Jim” Stancil of Bareknuckles BBQ in Oxford, Georgia, served up tacos made with delicious American Wagyu Outside Skirt Steak from Snake River Farms in Idaho, while guests also enjoyed a Southern-style buffet of fried chicken and "fixins" catered by the folks at Jack Daniel’s.
Some of the top pitmasters and personalities in the barbecue circuit, a host of celebrity judges, and Tennessee Whiskey royalty were in attendance, including the legendary Frank Bobo—5th Master Distiller who oversaw the historic rise of the Old No. 7 Brand during the 1970s and most of the 1980s—and current Jack Daniel’s Master Distillers Jeff Arnett and Chris Fletcher. Pete caught up with Stretch Rumaner of “Grinders," three-time barbecue world champion Tuffy Stone, and “The Jack” emcee Chip Chapman.
Saturday festivities began with the longstanding tradition of the apron signing by “The Jack” judges prior to the competition. Each team competed in seven categories – pork ribs, pork shoulder/butts, beef brisket, chicken, dessert, cook’s choice, and Jack Daniel’s sauce.
Rocky Top Barbecue of Jonesborough, Tennessee, claimed the top spot and a $10,000 cash prize. The American Dream BBQ Team from Tecumseh, Oklahoma, was named the Reserve Grand Champion, taking home the second-place cash prize of $2,500. Other teams rounding out the top 10 are:
3. Smokin’ Hoggz BBQ (Abington, MA)
4. Parrothead Smokers (Dakota Dunes, SD)
5. Gettin’ Basted (Springfield, MO)
6. Lucky’s Q (Waverly, IA)
7. R Butts R Smokin (Liberty, MO)
8. Drilling & Grilling BBQ Team (Glenn Rock, PA)
9. Shake ‘N Bake BBQ (New Haven, MO)
10. Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q (Decatur, AL)
“Hot Off The Press” podcast debuted at “The Jack” in 2015 so it’s a favorite of the HotP team. Can’t wait to be back next year!
On this episode of “Hot off the Press” Chef Pete and fellow MESSLORDS Linkie Marais and John Conley take a break from serving troops in Okinawa, Japan, to chat with a local radio show about some of the behind-the-scenes happenings on this latest tour.
The celebrity chef trio spent their only day off during the “Fork Full of Freedom” Tour to share with listeners what it means to each of them to be able to “serve those who serve us.”
Part of Navy Entertainment MWR Program, the primary purpose of MESSLORDS is to work with all facets of the U.S. military and their families, both domestically and abroad, to provide entertainment, education and boost morale through culinary related shows and demonstrations. MESSLORDS provides celebrity chefs and other culinary related personalities with a vehicle capable of presenting shows and demonstrations at select military bases and installations. The culinary experts of The MESSLORDS offer educational opportunities as well as healthy rivalries through demonstrations and cooking competitions.
Award-winning Chef John Conley, owner of Salsa Brava and Fat Olives in Flagstaff, Arizona, has been serving food in the Flagstaff area for more than 20 years. He started cooking at the age of 13 and got his first job in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher in Phoenix. Conley has been featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives” and Guy Fieri’s “Guy’s Grocery Games.” Follow Chef John on Facebook.
Immigrating to the U.S. in 1999, Linkie Marais and her family settled in Tupelo, Mississippi where she began her culinary career piping cakes for a local catering company. After earning a degree in Culinary Arts and a minor in Food Arts from Mississippi University for Women, Linkie’s career took off as she held various pastry and executive chef positions in Oxford, Mississippi before making the move to Massachusetts’ acclaimed Montilio’s Bakery. After discovering her love for grilling during a Big Green Egg® competition, Linkie’s passion for grilling began to take her career in a new and exciting direction. as Linkie is considered the best among the few females who have mastered the art of grilling. Connect with Linkie on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Thanks to our episode sponsor, Chef Works.
On this episode of Hot Off the Press, Chef Pete sits down with his longtime friend and owner of Café Acadiana in Silver Hill, Alabama, Gerald Ardoin. Pete first met Gerald during the early days of "Panini Pete's" when Gerald worked as his local U.S. Foods sales rep.
The youngest of six children, Gerald grew up in his family’s grocery business before his father purchased a “fried chicken and ice cream joint” in Opelousas, Louisiana in 1979, and reopened it as Ardoin’s Seafood. Gerald continued working in the family business until his father’s retirement in 1995 and, with the help of his father, opened his own restaurant in the same Louisiana area shortly after.
In 2004, Gerald and his family moved to Baldwin County, Alabama, where he took a job as a sales representative with U.S. Foods. After 10 years with the major food distributor, Gerald and his wife, Cristina, renovated a building in downtown Silverhill and opened Café Acadiana in the heart of this little Mayberry-like Gulf Coast town in 2013, returning to what he loved best.
The menu is a mix of All-American and seafood dishes including steak, burgers, po-boys, gumbo and fried, grilled, and blackened seafood, all with a Cajun flare. A local favorite, the Boudreaux’s Burrito is a crawfish, shrimp and crabmeat stuffing-filled burrito topped with a creamy crawfish and shrimp sauce. Three and a half years after first bringing a little Cajun cuisine to south Alabama, Gerald has expanded the restaurant, adding a catering service and selling his own Cajun spices and rubs.
On this episode of “Hot Off the Press” Chef Pete catches up with Tiffanie Barriere, renowned bartender and mixologist of the James Beard Award-winning One Flew South Restaurant located in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Under Tiffanie’s creative direction, One Flew South was named "Best Airport Bar in the World" by Tales of the Cocktail and hailed as one of the best by numerous press outlets.
Dubbed “The Drinking Coach” due to her passion for and knowledge of spirits and her ability to “coach and coax” her customers into trying new drinks, the Louisiana native discovered her love for the cocktail culture while working behind the bar in college. She credits her success to her mentor who encouraged her to try something new behind the bar every day.
While working in corporate training for Longhorn Steakhouse, Tiffanie stumbled into an interview that landed her in front of One Flew South's award-winning Chef Duane Nutter and the rest is history. Since the restaurant’s opening in 2008, Tiffanie has overseen and operated the award-winning beverage program at One Flew South in the world’s busiest airport.
This year Tiffanie joined Chef Nutter and restaurateur Reggie Washington to bring their trademark “southern food with national influence” to the Port City of Mobile, Alabama. Southern National Restaurant opened in the Mobile Arts District, just across from the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception housed in a mid-nineteenth century building located at 360 Dauphin Street.
Check out this episode as Tiffanie talks about her travels and love of the beverage industry and what’s on tap for her future.
On this episode of “Hot off the Press” Chef Pete and fellow celebrity chef “Mess Lords” Celina Tio and Sikey Vlahos broadcast from Whidbey Island, Washington, where they brought some Southwest to the Northwest serving up pork chili, fish tacos and cocoa bread budding to sailors stationed at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
The event, sponsored by Navy Entertainment, was part of this year’s Mess Lords tour where a group of celebrity chefs team up to help boost the morale of those in the United States Armed Services. As a founding member of the organization, Chef Pete and crew offer cooking demos, culinary shows, entertainment, and of course good eats to the men and women who selflessly serve our country.
Chef Pete was joined by James Beard Award-winning chef Celina Tio, owner of The Belfry in Kansas City, Missouri, and formerly Julian, her first proprietary restaurant which is set to close this summer. Tio said she plans to turn her focus to The Belfry, which she recently reopened, and expand its role to include more private and special events.
After earning a degree in hotel and restaurant management from Drexel University, Tio started cooking at Philadelphia's Ritz-Carlton hotel. By age 23 she had become the chef of the hotel's Grill Room. Her culinary career also includes time at Walt Disney World and seven years heading the kitchen at Kansas City’s renowned American Restaurant. Tio has competed on Bravo TV’s Top Chef Masters, as well as Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef and Iron Chef America.
Sikey Vlahos and his family emigrated from Greece in 1971 when he was just 7 years old. After graduating high school in 1984, Sikey and his mother opened Voula’s Offshore Café in Seattle, and the restaurant is still thriving after more than three decades under the family’s ownership. Featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners Drive-Ins and Dives and known as one of the best breakfast eateries in Seattle, Voula’s serves up American diner classics with a Greek twist.
On this episode of “Hot Off the Press” Chef Pete catches up with longtime friend Lucy Buffett at the world-famous LuLu’s at Homeport Marina in Gulf Shores, Alabama, while on a little break from her summer-long tour for the release of her second cookbook Gumbo Love: Recipes for Gulf Coast Cooking, Entertaining, and Savoring the Good Life. In this delicious love letter to the Gulf Coast's vibrant food culture, the restaurateur and beloved younger “crazy sista” of music legend Jimmy Buffett, has put together a collection of over 100 recipes showcasing the Caribbean, Cajun, Cuban, Mexican, Old Florida, and Creole influences of Gulf Coast cuisine. Incorporating stories from Lucy's childhood growing up in Mobile, Alabama, adventures traveling the seas as a cook, time spent working as a chef in New Orleans, and her philosophy of relaxation, gratitude, and seizing the day, Gumbo Love entertains and inspires as it serves up recipe after recipe, each tastier than the last.
And of course, the coastal-inspired cookbook wouldn’t be complete without a few of those refreshing frozen concoctions that help us hang on! The Bama Breeze, inspired by Jimmy Buffett’s song of the same name, is a favorite of locals and tourists alike:
THE BAMA BREEZE
1 Lime, cut into wedges
1/2 ounce simple syrup (recipe included below)
3/4 ounce ruby red grapefruit-flavored vodka
3/4 ounce coconut rum
cranberry juice, enough to fill the cocktail shaker
How to Make It
Put 2 lime wedges in the bottom of a metal cocktail shaker. Add the simple syrup, vodka, and rum.
Muddle gently, avoiding the lime rinds, which can add a bitter taste.
Fill the shaker with ice and cranberry juice. Pour the mixture back and forth between the shaker and a large mixing glass a few times.
Pour the drink into a glass, add a straw, garnish with a lime wedge, and enjoy the Breeze!
To make the Simple Syrup:
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, pour the syrup into a storage container. It will keep, refrigerated, for a long time.
On this episode of “Hot Off the Press” Chef Pete dishes with the queen of sassy Southern fiction, Mary Kay Andrews. The beloved, bestselling author stopped by Sunset Pointe while on tour to promote her latest project, The Beach House Cookbook: Easy Breezy Recipes with a Southern Accent, which released last month.
A former journalist for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Savannah Morning News and The Marietta Journal, Andrews has penned 24 novels and sold an estimated 8 million copies worldwide. Her first novel, Every Crooked Nanny, was published in 1992 and Andrews went on to write ten critically acclaimed mysteries under her real name, Kathy Trocheck. However, Andrews is best known for her beloved Savannah beach reads inspired by her own Florida childhood and her love of Tybee Island, which include The Weekenders, Beach Town, Ladies' Night, Summer Rental, Deep Dish and Hissy Fit.
She and her family divide their time between Atlanta and Tybee, where they cook up new recipes in two restored beach homes, The Breeze Inn and Ebbtide, both named after fictional places in her novels. But, no worries. You don’t have to own a beach house to enjoy these family recipes. All you need is an appetite for delicious, casual dishes, cooked with the best fresh, local ingredients and presented with the breezy flair that make Mary Kay Andrews’ novels a summertime favorite at the beach.
From, potato salad, and pudding parfaits to her New Year’s Day Open House menu of roast oysters, home-cured gravy, grits 'n’ greens casserole, an early spring dinner of cherry balsamic-glazed pork medallions and bacon-kissed Brussels sprouts to Fourth of July buttermilk-brined fried chicken and lemon-cream cheese pound cake, The Beach House Cookbook will supply ideas for menus and recipes designed to put you in a permanently carefree, coastal state of mind all year long.
You can win an autographed copy of The Beach House Cookbook! Now through Monday, July 3rd tweet the podcast link and be sure to mention @hotppodcast to be entered in a drawing to win a signed copy.
On this episode of “Hot Off the Press” Chef Pete welcomes home bestselling author, actress and comedian Annabelle Gurwitch. A native of Mobile, Ala., Gurwitch is best known for her time as hostess of the TBS original series “Dinner and a Movie,” a role she says she reluctantly took but that quickly gained her a loyal comedic following.
Gurwitch has an impressive background in TV and as a writer. She’s written for countless magazines, and has appeared on a variety of talk shows, including Real Time with Bill Maher, The Anderson Cooper Show, Red Eye, and CNN's Show Biz Tonite. Her acting credits include Seinfeld, Boston Legal, Dexter, Daddy Day Care and Melvin Goes to Dinner. Gurwitch is also a prominent figure in the atheist and Jewish communities, active in the sustainability movement, and a comedic commentator on politics and culture.
Her latest book, “Wherever You Go, There They Are,” is a hysterically funny and slyly insightful new collection of essays about her own family of bootleggers, scam artists, and hucksters, as well as the misbegotten cults, spiritual communities, and show-biz klatches who have become surrogates along the way. As Gurwitch likes to put it, ““No matter how hard you try to escape your crazy family, you just end up in another crazy family.”
With her wry wit and hard-learned wisdom, Gurwitch explores the inescapable, yet rewarding, realities of life with her family—the one she was born with and the ones she found along the way, including show business, a Greenwich Village cult, a tribe of vegan Cosplaying plushies, the "Arbonne sisterhood," The P.T.A. of the Walter Reed Middle School, and most recently, the ladies who brunch at The Jewish Home for The Aged in Miami, Florida. She's learned that for better or for worse (you can guess which) it's worth celebrating the traditions, rituals, and recipes that come with a shared mythology and legacy, even if her own inheritance amounts to a small plot of land split between five relatives on an ill-fated sliver of sand known as Massacre Island (or as those of us on the Gulf Coast call it, Dauphin Island).
Hilariously written and filled with surreal, yet poignant, family moments, Gurwitch delivers a provocative treatise on the importance and insanity of family.
On this episode of “Hot off the Press” Chef Pete broadcasts from the Deep Fried Studio at the Container Yard in downtown Mobile, Ala., where he and local legend and catering king Alec Naman talk about food, family, and his journey from opening a gourmet shop to becoming the Gulf Coast’s premier caterer.
With over 25 years of experience in the industry, Naman’s Catering offers full service catering and event management for corporate events, galas, fundraisers, and weddings in Mobile and Baldwin Counties as well as the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The award-winning caterer— voted “Best of the Bay” and “Best Caterer” by the Mobile Press Register nine years in a row—offers a variety of cuisine, from southern cuisines to ethnic menus.
A second-generation Mobilian, Alec’s family immigrated to the United States from Lebanon in 1899 bringing with them old family recipes and a passion for preparing delicious Mediterranean meals. Alec grew up in the grocery business helping in the family store, Naman’s Food Market. At six years old, he was bagging groceries and making runs to the local farmer's market every morning to pick out the produce that would be sold that day. Alec’s venture into the culinary arena was almost inevitable, or as he likes to put it, “All we’ve known is food for over 100 years. If I had known anything else, I’d have probably done that.”
Well-respected as a mentor among his culinary peers, Alec attributes his success to valuing and instilling the importance of hospitality and having a servant’s heart into his leadership team.
In the latest episode of “Hot off the Press” Chef Panini Pete and partner and HOTPpodcast producer Keith Glines sit down for a spirited conversation with Atlanta-based bartender and mixologist Tokiwa (Toki) Sears about the history of bartending and the resurgence of the craft cocktail culture.
Known to many as “Miss Libation,” Toki’s resume includes time crafting c ocktails at the world famous Holeman and Finch, as head mixologist at Southern Art and Bourbon Bar in the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead, as well as the renowned One Flew South in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. During her time alongside Executive Chef Duanne Nutter at One Flew South, the restaurant was named #1 airport bar in the world by Tales of the Cocktail, a spirits and bartender convention held in New Orleans every year.
One of the top personalities in the bartending and beverage industry today, Toki’s philosophy of perfecting the art and craft of mixology is using fresh ingredients and quality spirits so that cocktails mirror the cuisine coming out of the kitchen.
The trio chatted about Toki’s recent educational excursion to Mexico where she and a dozen other bartenders were selected by Avion Tequila to study the complex process of tequila-making.
Toki recently received her BarSmarts Advanced Certification—the acclaimed, industry-leading bartender education program—and is currently studying to be a Certified Spirits Specialist.
In the latest episode of “Hot off the Press” Chef Panini Pete and partner and HOTPpodcast producer Keith Glines broadcast from Sunset Pointe to talk Tequila 101 with Cuestion Spirits Company CEO, Jason Fandrich.
A manager in the Nashville music scene, Fandrich said he reached a point when he realized it was time for a career change. In other words, he needed to pay the bills. After sending out his resume, Fandrich was approached by a major entertainment company to oversee the rum division of the business. After talking with a friend about what his next step would be, and sharing his concerns about leaving the entertainment industry, his friend reassured him, “You’re not. It’s all the entertainment industry.” But just two weeks after accepting the position, Fandrich received a call that his division had been bought out and the job was no longer available.
Shortly after, as fate would have it, Fandrich stumbled on to what he says was the best tequila he’d ever tasted at a street sampling while vacationing in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Little did he know that first sip of Cuestion was about to launch him into the booze business after all and into a partnership to distribute the tequila world-wide.
Founded in 2007 by Jose de Jesus Dominguez Figueroa and Jose de Julio Marquez Ochoa, Cuestión Tequila is 500 years in the making. According to Fandrich, distilling top-notch tequila begins with first recognizing that the process is horticulture before it’s alchemy. Not sacrificing quality for quantity is what sets Cuestion apart. Cuestion uses only matured Blue Weber agave plant aged in the fields of Jalisco, Mexico, for about ten years. Hand-picked by los jimadores, noble farmers of the fields, each blade is sheared from the core in preparation for its journey. Cuestion is aged 50% – 300% longer than almost any other premium tequila on the market in whiskey-cured, charcoal finished American Oak barrels.
The award-winning spirits which include Cuestion Tequila Blanco, Cuestion Tequila Reposado, and Cuestion Tequila Añejo, have received 24 gold medals in blind tasting competitions to date.
On this episode of “Hot Off the Press,” Chef Pete shoots the bull, or the hog rather, with barbecue royalty Pat Martin at his newly-opened Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint in downtown Nashville, and special guest Billy Durney from Hometown Bar-B-Que in Brooklyn, New York.
Two years in the making, the downtown Nashville location of the Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint empire opened this past August and is a 13,000 “pit master playground” that includes a private dining area upstairs, a downstairs casual restaurant and a beer garden bar.
Pat Martin’s whole-hog approach to barbecuing makes him one of the most popular pit masters in the restaurant industry. Martin says the legendary West Tennessee-style whole hog technique to cooking that he uses creates the most unique taste you can get with barbecue pork — slowed-cooked over coals, but not overly smokey, with a delicate, floral flavor.
Martin jumped in with both feet and opened his first location 10 years ago in Nolensville, Tennessee—just south of Nashville—with only one employee and a $65,000 line of credit. What started out as a very small operation with no refrigeration, his dad washing dishes and mom making coconut cakes to sell, has now grown to four restaurant locations and features on Food Network, Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, and The Today Show.
Martin is also a member of Fatback Collective — a philanthropic group of restaurateurs, pit masters, chefs, farmers and writers who strive to help others in times of need in the diverse and modern South. Find out more about Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint by visiting www.martinsbbqjoint.com.
Chef Pete and Hometown Bar-B-Que’s Billy Durney first met at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party charity event in Madison Square Park last year.
Durney spent almost 20 years in the security and private protection field, where he kept a close eye on some of the country's most public figures. What started as a hobby of smoking meat in his backyard for family and friends and delivering to local bars and restaurants, finally became a longtime dream fulfilled for the Brooklyn native when Hometown Bar-B-Que opened in the beautiful little sea village of Red Hook in 2013.