Diary of a Wannabe TV Chef Part 11

October 1, 2009 at 7:29 am

Originally posted at Edible TV on September 30, 2009.

This is the latest installment in a continuing series that documents my personal quest to become the host of my own cooking show. Since this is a relatively new “career,” there are no vocational programs or community college courses to prepare me for it. From what I have seen, the two most important elements in securing such a position are passion for food and plain old dumb luck. Born with a passion for food, I set out to make my own luck.

It’s Always Darkest Right Before It Goes Pitch Black

Wow!  Life is great.  I am actually making money writing about food and travel.  Notoriety?  Yep, I’ve got some of that, too.  I’ve just published an interview with Food Network star Bobby Flay and my series on tailgating (Saturdays in the South) has created a bit of a buzz here in college football obsessed Alabama.

After a night out on the town with a co-worker I pop into a 24-hour eatery to scarf down some horribly un-healthy food.  Nachos at 2AM anyone?  I pass a table of drunken foodies who are discussing the upcoming visit of Bobby Flay to the Port City.  I’m not sure exactly how but I got pulled into the conversation but one point someone asks me if I have read the interview with Flay in ‘Zalea magazine?

I wake up one day to find a voice message from my editor that asks me to call the magazine when I get a chance.  I’m pumped because the last time I had a message like that it was to tell me that I was interviewing an Iron Chef.  We have been efforting the great Emeril Legasse who had just opened a restaurant in nearby Gulfport, Mississippi.  Could it be?  Or maybe Alton Brown perhaps?  His show Feasting on Asphalt 2 was taped right here in the heart of Katrina Country.

The recession really hadn’t been recognized as such yet but it was about to hinder my goals for the second time in less than a year.  The newspaper that was the parent company of the two periodicals I wrote for was shutting down production on the weekly rag and cutting out freelance on the remaining monthly magazine.  Once again, I was out of a job.

To make matters worse, the part-time gig I had waiting tables at a cheesy Italian chain restaurant was now my lone source of income.  Big national chains are the scourge of the restaurant industry.  They are a menace to locally owned restaurants, shamelessly enslave their employees and quite literally poison their customers all in the pursuit of the almighty buck.  And now, through no fault of my own I was forced to prostitute myself at one of these denizens of culinary corruption.

At least I have a potential cooking show in the works. . . right?

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Stuart Reb Donald

Stuart is a celebrity chef and award winning food writer. Donald performs live cooking demonstrations and penned the cookbook Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor."

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