Raw Ingredients podcast

Join Chef Pete Blohme as he travels around the world, meeting up with food personalities, and chatting all things food!
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Feb 12, 2020

Growing up in South Philly, many would have thought Steve Martorano didn’t stand much of a chance for more than going into the family business. With his father making only $166 a week and his uncle in the mob, Steve knew one thing – he didn’t want either of those lives for himself. But what was he to do? School was never his strong suit, so he set out on his own journey to success, but not without a few failures along the way, which only made him stronger and more determined to show the world what he is made of. After spinning records for a few years as a DJ in the 70s, Steve opened up his first delivery sandwich shop in his apartment. He was a one-man show with an increasingly popular business. His sandwiches became such a hit in South Philly that Martorano outgrew his space and opened a take out restaurant in a strip mall. Here Martorano made pizza, sandwiches, pasta dishes and homemade water ice. A few years later, the demand outgrew his location again, and Martorano moved to a freestanding, sit down restaurant. In the early 90s, the US economy took a turn for the worst and Steve lost everything. He knew it was time for a change. In 1993, he moved to Ft. Lauderdale with merely $40 to his name and opened a new restaurant on Oakland Park Boulevard – Café Martorano. 18 years later, Café Martorano has become a worldwide sensation. The restaurant chain has expanded into five locations – the original one on Oakland Park Boulevard, one at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida, at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, at Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and at Harrahs Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Martorano brand has also launched a wine label, pasta sauces, a Yo Cuz! apparel line, Jewerly line, a self published book “Yo Cuz! My Life, My Food, My Way and his second book “It Ain’t Sauce, It’s Gravy… How Food Saved my Life” published by Knopf.  Steve Martorano has raised the bar for the restaurant industry. The “Godfather of Italian-American cooking” has taken the craft of cooking to new levels through a dream, persistence, and hard work. With his self-taught talent, Steve has created a venue in which as owner he is the cook, the DJ and the operator. The Martorano restaurants offer a unique atmosphere that combines exceptional food with extraordinary music and movies. This rare environment has allowed Martorano to create an ambiance that attracts clientele ranging from locals to the sexy, hip crowd to some of entertainment’s hottest celebrities, and has even been featured on television shows such as The Real Housewives of Miami and Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best? and the Jimmy Kimmel show just to name a few. Rags to riches business is the only restaurant that has managed to create a modern and cool atmosphere while maintaining that welcome-to-the-family vibe.

Feb 6, 2020

Chef Pete sits down with Robert Kabakoff of RHK Consulting Group. RHK Consulting Group’s founder and owner Robert Kabakoff has led an impressive career of culinary invention. He recognized his passion for cooking and baking at an early age and has been following through on that passion with determination ever since. In 1986, he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America which further fueled his drive. At twenty-five years young, he was named Executive Chef for Troon Golf and Country Club, earning Chef of the Year and winning the National Championship for Hot Food Cooking twice. After eight years as Corporate Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Training for Hillstone Restaurants, Kabakoff branched out to open his own consulting group along with restaurants in Bend, Oregon, Chicago Illinois, Spanish Fort Alabama, Cedar Rapids Iowa and Washington D.C.

Jan 23, 2020

Chef Pete Blohme talks to Bob Omainsky of Wintzell's Oyster House!

Jan 9, 2020

In this episode of the Hot off the Press Podcast, Panini Pete Blohme interviews Bobby “the Butcher” Marcotte who is a fellow Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives alumnus and winner of Guy's Grocery Games in 2017. He is best known for Tuckaway Tavern & Butchery in a small town in New Hampshire. 

Marcotte has been in the restaurant business for 25 years, jumping right into the chaos at age 13 and never looking back. His father was a former Navy chef who ended up working in restaurants. Marcotte’s help was needed in the dish pit one night, and he realized that was where fit in. 

He opened Tuckaway eight years ago – a 250 seat butcher shop and steak house. He recently branched out with Hop & Grind, which focus on craft beers and craft burgers. 

Marcotte said he learned a lot about the restaurant business by watching people ahead of him. From these people, he realized what he wanted to do and what he didn’t want to do and created his own style. He also reads a lot of books, and he and Blohme discuss some of his favorites and what he’s learned from them. 

Marcotte’s style is to go the extra distance for his guests and focus on overall hospitality. He pays his employees well and focuses on food quality. The two restauranteurs discuss this and other important leadership skills. 

After losing his daughter to cancer, Marcotte also now focuses heavily on philanthropy and giving back to cancer research. Listen to learn more.

Jan 7, 2020

Chef Pete Blohme chats with Lane Zirlott of Murder Point Oysters!

Dec 19, 2019

On this episode of the Hot Off the Press podcast, Pete welcomes Johnny Hernandez from San Antonio to the show to discuss his culinary journey, his catering background, his path towards being an expert in traditional Mexican food, and his philanthropic efforts in the San Antonio area.

Hernandez worked in his parents’ kitchen as a boy and knew that he wanted to work in the field for the rest of his life. His father encouraged him to get an education at the best culinary school he could find. Hernandez attended the Culinary Institute of America, and he feels the mentoring and education put him on the path to success.

Since then, he has made a name for himself in San Antonio, owning a catering business and a number of restaurants, with five more in the works, inspired by Mexico and focused on authentic Mexican food. Hernandez traveled through Mexico to learn about the food, culture, beverages and décor and became committed to that style. He strives to be the expert on Mexican food in his region of the United States, and that mission drives many of his decisions. 

Hernandez has also established Kitchen Campus, a permanent after-school culinary program for high school kids to learn about the restaurant businesses. His annual Paella Challenge has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the program in the past 10 years. 

Dec 12, 2019

In this episode of Hot Off the Press, Pete Blohme does a live interview from Ed's Seafood Shed on the Causeway in south Alabama with Martie Duncan, a former Food Network Star and Alabama culinary legend. 

Duncan, who is based in Birmingham, finished as the runner-up on season 8 of Food Network Star and was mentored by Alton Brown during the show’s competition. With a background in parties and entertainment experiences that revolve around food, Duncan – the face of Martie Knows Parties – stepped out of her comfort zone while on the show. At the same time, she made a name for herself and her culinary abilities. 

Duncan was told by Bobby Flay to be the best advocate that she could for Alabama, and her books have done just that. Birmingham’s Best Bites and Magic City Cravings feature some of Birmingham’s best and most requested recipes. Duncan’s third book, Alabama Cravings, was released in 2018. The book is a “road trip of food” from around the state of Alabama, featuring 97 recipes from restaurants from around the state as well as music and art. 

Listen as Duncan and Blohme discuss her culinary journey, her books, her crazy experience trying out for Food Network Star, and more. The interview was done during a book signing at Ed’s so enjoy the off-the-cuff and live experience.

Dec 4, 2019

On this week’s Hot off the Press podcast, Panini Pete talks shop with a friend, and fellow Mess Lord, Brian Duffy. 

Duffy grew up in Philadelphia and worked a few kitchen jobs before going to culinary school at Philadelphia’s The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College. A few days after graduating he moved to the Florida Keys and worked in a restaurant for about a year. He then returned to Philly and worked under James Beard Award-winning Chef Jean Marie LaCroix at The Four Seasons. Since then, he has become a restaurateur and celebrity chef with his own shows on the Food Network (Opening Night) and Spike TV (Bar Rescue). 

Duffy said he had no idea what he was doing when he started and learned a lot of what he knows now through trial and error and mistakes. Now, he does a lot of consulting to help other restaurants figure out what they’re doing wrong, using what he has learned over the years to help them turn things around and be successful.  

With a new Food Network show based on his consulting business, Duffy and Pete discuss what skills are needed to really make it in the restaurant business and processes chefs need to master to ensure efficiency. 

Duffy is also the father of two girls and makes sure they are up in time for school no matter where he is in the world. Listen to how he does it all this week.

Nov 20, 2019

“It’s not life and death. It’s just lunch and dinner.” 

This week, Panini Pete welcomes long-time friend and restaurateur John Conley to the podcast. In this episode, Conley discusses how he got into the profession – working at a deli at the age of 13 – and how his career has grown from there. He also compares the restaurant business with the profession of smoke jumping and how the structure of the latter helped him do better at the former.  

In his more than 30 years in the business, Conley has seen a shift in his priorities. He treats his employees like family and encourages them to find importance in their lives outside of their jobs. Listen to him describe this journey with Pete and why he thinks this aspect of his business and his life is so important.

Conley is well-known in Flagstaff and beyond for his restaurants Salsa Brava, which he opened at the age of 21, and Fat Olives Italian Kitchen. Salsa Brava continually wins awards for its Mexican fare in Arizona. As the father of a child with Down syndrome, Conley is also working to open a breakfast restaurant that hires people with disabilities, which is just another example of how he is now focused on family and the community at this point in his career. 

Even after 30 plus years, Conley said he still loves what he does and loves going to work every day, but he also loves fishing and takes time for himself when he needs it. He encourages his employees to do the same and makes it a point to be invested in the lives of his employees. 

Tune in for the details. 

Jun 20, 2018

In Part 2 of the "Hot Off the Press" GTMO episode, Chef Pete continues to bring all the action from the most recent Mess Lords “Fork Full of Freedom” trip to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. 

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.

On this most recent tour, Pete caught up with pro BMX dirt rider Mike "Hucker" Clark and professional skateboarder Omar Hassan who were also part of the tour to entertain sailors through Navy Entertainment's MWR program. The three talked the evolution of their respective sports, their thoughts on success, and even a little food.

Mountaineer Roasting.  Located on the 5th floor of Evansdale Crossing at West Virginia University, Mountaineer Roasting Company is the proud coffee partner of WVU. Expertly roasted in small batches right on campus, every cup enjoyed supports WVU student scholarships and international learning experiences. Enter code PANINI15 when ordering to receive a 15% discount!

May 8, 2018

On this episode of “Hot Off the Press” Pete sits down with fellow Mess Lords and celebrity chefs Celina Tio and Nick Liberato on their recent “Fork Full of Freedom” trip to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  

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.

After earning a degree in hotel and restaurant management from Drexel University, Celina Tio started cooking at Philadelphia’s Ritz-Carlton hotel. By age 23 she had become the chef of the hotel’s Grill Room. Celina moved to Orlando, Fla., to work for Walt Disney World. There she helped open two specialty restaurants: Spoodles, which features Mediterranean cuisine, and Citricos, specializing in Southern French dishes. Celina became known during the following seven years heading the kitchen at Kansas City’s renowned American Restaurant. There she garnered local and national accolades, including 2005 “Chef of the Year” by Chef magazine and the James Beard Foundation’s 2007 “Best Chef: Midwest.” She subsequently left to open her own restaurant, Julian, in Brookside, Kansas City, in 2009. While at Julian, Tio appeared on several television cooking series such as Top Chef MastersIron Chef America and The Next Iron Chef. She opened a second restaurant, called Collection, in 2013, and The Belfry the following year. Follow Celina on Twitter

Nick Liberato has been cooking professionally for 18 years, and now calls the Southern California coast his home. Nick is a personal chef to the stars and a revered cocktail mixologist. Nick has participated in include multiple stints at The James Beard House in New York (2005-2010), Bogota Food and Wine Festival in Colombia (2011-2012) as well as various events spanning locations from Sydney to Tokyo. In October of 2012, Nick traveled to Italy to and cooked his way through the whole country, region by region for two months. Nick has appeared on Top Chef Masters on Bravo TV and has appeared as a chef multiple times on Spike TVs hit show Bar Rescue. Nick currently owns/operates his Catering business Calidelphia and is executive chef/partner of The Venice Whaler in Venice Beach California. After years of honing his craft with various chef positions at LA hotspots, Nick landed a position at Sona, where he became the protege to chef David Meyers; he was heavily influenced by modern French and Japanese cuisine. After having the opportunity to work and study cocktails with the famous Milk & Honey in New York City, Nick went on to consult and create a variety of cocktails at The stylish French brasserie Comme Ca in West Hollywood, West Los Angeles’s Toscana, and David Meyer’s new Pizzeria Ortica in Costa Mesa, CA. Having studied various techniques with an eye for detail and a vision for food service, a short list of Nick’s celebrity clients include Tom Hanks, Barbra Streisand, Anthony Kiedis, The Beastie Boys, Hank Azaria and Cher. Connect with Nick on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.  

Special “shout-out” to this episode’s sponsor, Mountaineer Roasting.  Located on the 5th floor of Evansdale Crossing at West Virginia University, Mountaineer Roasting Company is the proud coffee partner of WVU. Expertly roasted in small batches right on campus, every cup enjoyed supports WVU student scholarships and international learning experiences. Enter code PANINI15 when ordering to receive a 15% discount! 

May 1, 2018

On the latest episode of "Hot Off the Press" Chef Pete catches up with Bill Walton, aka "Dr. Oyster,"  the oyster aquaculture extension specialist with Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. He is an associate professor in Auburn University’s School of Fisheries, Aquaculture & Aquatic Sciences and a marine Extension specialist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Working along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico at Auburn University’s Shellfish Lab in Dauphin Island, Ala., he conducts applied research with local shellfish farmers, shellfishermen (commercial and recreational), and national and local organizations. Before moving to the Gulf, he did similar work along the coast of Massachusetts.  In particular, Bill focuses on development of oyster mariculture in the southern U.S. as a sustainable, environmentally friendly industry that creates jobs, increases incomes, and preserves a traditional way of life.

In addition, Bill and his wife, Beth, along with their partner Troy Parnell and his wife, Camellah, started the Fairhope-based catering service "The Wandering Oyster," that specializes in catering oyster raw bars, featuring world-class oysters from across the country. 

For more information, visit

Apr 20, 2018

On this episode of “Hot Off the Press” Chef Pete road trips to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi to visit The Shed BBQ and Blues Joint in Ocean Springs. A family-owned restaurant, Brett Orrison, Brooke Lewis and Brad Orrison began their BBQ and Blues journey in 2001. This wild ride has taken them on quite a successful trip.

The Shed has been featured on national TV shows and has landed a number of world championship awards for their famous barbecue and for their secret rub. Most recently, The Shed was named the best BBQ in the state of Mississippi by the Food Network, and Southern Living Magazine ranked the Shed number one on their Great American Bucket List.  Winning over 20 awards for their sauces at the National BBQ Association Convention, as well as the Grand World Championship in the Whole Hog Division at the Memphis in May World Championship, are only a few notches in the belts of The Shed’s BBQ competition team. Most every item on The Shed’s menu has won prestigious awards. From all of the meats, the sauces, to Daddy O’s coleslaw. 

The Original Shed is located in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. There are now 3 Shed BBQ locations along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Shed also offers online ordering and catering.

Mar 26, 2018

After a little bit of a holiday hiatus, "Hot Off the Press" podcast is back in full swing this spring kicking off 2018 from Orange Beach, Ala, with one of our favorite HotP guests and longtime friend Johnny Fisher. It's been more than two years since Chef Pete caught up with Johnny on location from his most recent restaurant opening, Fisher's at Orange Beach Marina. Fisher's Upstairs and Fisher's Dockside are two restaurants housed under the same roof—one offering a more upscale, timeless dining experience and the other a more casual dining option. Both with incredible food, first-class service and an atmosphere arguably unmatched along the Gulf Coast.

Johnny's passion for the industry has also landed him opportunities to lend what his team calls the "Fisher's Factor," to some of the most iconic places along the Gulf Coast, including New Orleans’ House of Blues, Lulu’s at Homeport Marina in Gulf Shores and  The Gulf at Perdido Pass in Orange Beach.

His most recent venture will bring Caribibean-inspired cuisine to the coastal dining scene. Playa—Spanish for "beach"— will open later this year at Sportsman Marina on Canal Road in Orange Beach.  The restaurant will feature three-time James Beard semi-finalist Chef Bill Briand’s menu of Caribbean and seafood flavors served in a care-free and beautifully designed casual atmosphere with Gulf views on the marina. Last year, when Shipp's Harbor Grill closed its doors and went up for sale, Johnny's creative culinary wheels started to spin and he decided to purchase the building. He and partners Earl and Bennett Long, Executive Chef Bill Briand, and Director of Operations and Wine Buyer Sara Kavanaugh are preparing to open the restaurant in April.

For more information visit or Also, follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Nov 29, 2017

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. 

Nov 16, 2017

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, you’ll also here from Oyster Cook Off host and Food Network star Martie Duncan, Pensacola chef and cookbook author Irv MillerGuerrilla Gourmet owner James Carter and many more.

Oct 31, 2017

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! 

Oct 6, 2017

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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

Thanks to our episode sponsor, Chef Works. 

Sep 15, 2017

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.

For more information visit or call (251) 945-CAFÉ. You can also connect with Cafe Acadiana on Facebook.

Aug 29, 2017

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.

Tiffanie’s accomplishments include BarSmarts Advanced Certification—the acclaimed, industry-leading bartender education program—and an ambassador for Avion Tequila.

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.

Connect with Tiffanie on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Jul 31, 2017

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.

Connect with Tio on Facebook and Twitter.

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.

Connect with Voula’s on Facebook and Twitter.

Jul 18, 2017

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:


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.

For more information on Lucy, her cookbooks or any of her restaurant locations visit You can also connect with Lucy on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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