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10/21/16 9:00 EST INSP TV "State Plate" SEASON 1
Topic Started: Apr 5 2016, 05:06 AM (1,533 Views)
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Family Entertainment Network INSP Announces New Original Series State Plate

April 04, 2016 5:20pm

Platinum Selling Artist and Beloved American Idol® Winner Taylor Hicks Has Been Named As Host of the Culinary Travel Series

Indian Land, SC (PRWEB) April 04, 2016

INSP has commenced production on a new original weekly series, State Plate, with plans for the series to debut on the network in the fall of 2016. The announcement was made by Doug Butts, SVP of Programming at INSP.

Butts also announced that Grammy award and former American Idol® winner, Taylor Hicks, has been named as the host of the series.

State Plate will celebrate the unique food traditions of all 50 states. "In each episode we dig into the distinctive foods of a particular state," Butts said. "Unlike most food shows, we won't be touring restaurants; this is about the food itself, how it is grown and the people who bring it to our dinner tables. What emerges is the trivia and unknown stories behind our states' most emblematic foods."

"Taylor's wide popularity, experience as a restaurateur, and down-home charm make him an ideal host for a traveling food series." Butts said. "In each episode of State Plate, he travels to a particular state, where he will ‘assemble' a plate filled with the food most associated with that state. He'll sample everything from crab cakes in Maryland and peaches in Georgia; to chili in Texas and potatoes in Idaho. As he makes his way from coast to coast, Taylor will visit farms, ranches, markets, festivals, and other diverse and unusual locales. In the process, viewers share in the journey as he uncovers the rich details behind each state's unique food traditions. It's a heaping helping of America's most beloved cuisine, rich in history, folklore, and flavor."

"State Plate has tested very well, and audiences agree that this series complements and enhances INSP's family-oriented schedule," Butts said. "We are thrilled that viewers will be taking this journey with such a beloved personality as Taylor Hicks.

State Plate is produced by RIVR Media. The series is scheduled to premiere on INSP this fall.


About INSP
INSP is available nationwide via DirecTV (channel 364), Verizon FiOS (channel 286), AT&T U-verse (channel 564) and more than 2,800 cable systems. Click here to find INSP in your area. For quality dramas, positive entertainment and inspiring stories, celebrating the American spirit and honoring timeless traditional values, it's INSP.

About RIVR Media
RIVR Media is an American-based TV production company, specializing in reality, documentary and digital programming. RIVR has produced over 2000 shows for 21 cable networks including such series as Renovation Realities, Escaping Polygamy, Trading Spaces, Whale Wars, and Fat Guys in the Woods, to name a few.


Alabama 'Idol' Taylor Hicks to host new TV series, 'State Plate'

Taylor Hicks returns to TV screens in fall 2016 as the host of a new food and travel series, "State Plate." Hicks, a country-soul singer and Alabama native, made his TV fame on "American Idol" in 2006. He'll perform with other alumni on that show during the Season 15 finale. Posted Image Courtesy of Fox, top, and Taylor Hicks.)
Mary Colurso
April 07, 2016

The show, produced by RIVR Media, is set to air on INSP, a family-friendy channel formerly known as the Inspiration Network. Hicks -- best known to viewers as the Season Five winner of "American Idol" -- will travel to all 50 states, sampling regional cuisine and delving into its origins and creation.

Doug Butts, senior vice president of programming at INSP, described the concept of "State Plate" in a press release:

"In each episode of 'State Plate,' he travels to a particular state, where he will 'assemble' a plate filled with the food most associated with that state," Butts said. "He'll sample everything from crab cakes in Maryland and peaches in Georgia to chili in Texas and potatoes in Idaho. As he makes his way from coast to coast, Taylor will visit farms, ranches, markets, festivals and other diverse and unusual locales. In the process, viewers share in the journey as he uncovers the rich details behind each state's unique food traditions. It's a heaping helping of America's most beloved cuisine, rich in history, folklore, and flavor."

Hicks, 39, is a country-soul singer, a longtime foodie and a partner in a Birmingham barbecue restaurant, Saw's Juke Joint. He's also a familiar face on television, after his "Idol" run in 2006, a 2015 guest appearance on "Hell's Kitchen," a song spoof in 2011 on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" and more.

"Taylor's wide popularity, experience as a restaurateur, and down-home charm make him an ideal host for a traveling food series." Butts said. "Unlike most food shows, we won't be touring restaurants; this is about the food itself, how it is grown and the people who bring it to our dinner tables. What emerges is the trivia and unknown stories behind our states' most emblematic foods."

3. Gulf Breeze News

Q: Earlier this year, I was thrilled to see so many familiar faces on the series finale of “American Idol.” It got me to wondering what Taylor Hicks has been up to. -- Tanya T., Biloxi, Mississippi

A: Taylor has been touring and recording pretty much nonstop since he became America’s fifth “Idol.” Aside from his hectic tour schedule (go to to see if he’s performing near you), he’s also working on a new food/travel show airing this fall on INSP called “State Plate,” wherein Taylor visits all 50 states and highlights each one’s food, people and culture.

I recently spoke with Taylor, and he thinks this new project is a “home run”: “I look at it like there’s an element of ‘Dirty Jobs by Mike Rowe,’ only it’s farm-to-table. I definitely get my hands dirty. I don’t want to say that I get my hands dirty with farm animals, but I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say that (laughs).

“We really dig in, exploring each particular food: where it comes from and the people behind it. If you want something to be successful, you have to appeal to a broad audience, and you won’t find a broader audience than exploring the particular foods that people love in every state.”

4. Platinum Selling Artist and Beloved American Idol® Winner Taylor Hicks Has Been Named As Host of the Culinary Travel Series

Musician and restaurateur Taylor Hicks tastes his way across the United States on a quest to assemble plates that represent each state’s most historic, famous, and tastiest foods.

He samples crab cakes in Maryland, peaches in Georgia, chili in Texas, potatoes in Idaho, and all manner of dishes as he makes his way from coast to coast. Along the way, he visits farms, ranches, markets, and festivals in order to uncover the stories and legends behind each state’s unique food traditions. It’s a heaping helping of America’s most beloved cuisine, rich in history, folklore, and flavor.

5. 5. PR/WEB

INSP Announces Premiere Date for New Original Series State Plate

Hosted by Platinum Selling Artist and Popular American Idol® Winner, Taylor Hicks. Premieres Friday, October 21st at 9:00PM ET
INSP has set the premiere date for its newest original series, State Plate. The culinary travel series, which is hosted by Taylor Hicks, will debut on the network on Friday, October 21st at 9:00PM ET. The announcement was made by Doug Butts, SVP of Programming at INSP.
In each episode of State Plate, Hicks goes on an unforgettable culinary tour across a particular state to assemble a plate of that state’s most emblematic foods. As he makes his way from coast to coast, Taylor will sample everything from crab cakes in Maryland; to peaches in Georgia; to chili in Texas; to potatoes in Idaho. In the process, he will visit farms, ranches, markets, festivals, and other diverse and unusual locales to uncover the rich details and history behind each state’s unique food traditions.
“When we made the announcement that we were greenlighting State Plate a few months ago, there was an overwhelmingly positive response on our social media platforms from our viewers,” said Butts. “In this series, Taylor brings us the stories of the people who grow, catch, raise, and make the food we eat every day. And who better to bring us their stories than Taylor Hicks? He’s funny, witty, engaging and, he’s a die-hard foodie who is also a restaurant owner. We are confident our viewers will thoroughly enjoy taking these journeys with Taylor.”
State Plate is produced by RIVR Media. For additional information, please visit
About INSP
INSP is available nationwide via DirecTV (channel 364), Verizon FiOS (channel 286), AT&T U-verse (channel 564) and more than 2,800 cable systems. Click here to find INSP in your area. For quality dramas, positive entertainment and inspiring stories, celebrating the American spirit and honoring timeless traditional values, it’s INSP.
About RIVR Media
RIVR Media is an American-based TV production company, specializing in reality, documentary and digital programming. RIVR has produced over 2000 shows for 21 cable networks including such series as Renovation Realities, Escaping Polygamy, Trading Spaces, Whale Wars, and Fat Guys in the Woods, to name a few.
About Taylor Hicks
Taylor Hicks is an accomplished author, actor and entrepreneur. He launched his career as one of the most popular AMERICAN IDOL winners of all time, and has since gone on to prove himself a dynamic and multi-faceted powerhouse, dominating in music and on Broadway. Hicks is also the owner of the BBQ restaurant Saw’s Juke Joint located in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.

About Taylor Hicks
Taylor Hicks is one of the most beloved and popular American Idol winners of all time. From the start, Hicks' material on the mega-hit show set him apart, with a unique take on Country, Southern Soul, R&B and Blues. Sixty-four million votes were cast and nearly 37 million American viewers and more than 200 million viewers worldwide tuned in to crown Hicks the Season 5 winner of American Idol, making it one of the most-watched TV events of the last decade. Hicks' star continued to rise after he stepped off the Idol stage. Less than three weeks after his Idol victory, his debut single, "Do I Make You Proud," entered at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100, Pop 100, and Single Sales Charts. His self-titled album (Arista), debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and was quickly certified RIAA Platinum. Hicks is the first male Idol winner to be featured on a Grammy Award-winning album, Jimmy Fallon's "Blow Your Pants Off," which took home the 2013 Grammy for Best Comedy Album. Hicks' career has included stints on Broadway, a national tour with a hit musical, as well as headlining Paris, Las Vegas and other Caesars Entertainment properties all over the United States.

6. Video advertising the State Plate Show provided by INSP TV

7. The INSP STATE PLATE web page : Image Posted Image

8. AD VIDEO FOR STATE PLATE : credit to Taylor Hicks

9. Celebrity Extra Interview:

September 13, 2016
Taylor Hicks, "State Plate Is a Home Run!"

Taylor Hicks won the hearts of music fans countrywide — and then worldwide — when he won the fifth season of “American Idol.” He went on to tour the U.S., co-star as Teen Angel in the Broadway touring production of “Grease,” was a part of Jimmy Fallon’s Grammy-winning album “Blow Your Pants Off” … and the list goes on. Now members of the Soul Patrol (Taylor’s large and dedicated fan base) can catch Taylor this fall when he hosts “State Plate,” which debuts on the INSP network Oct. 21. I caught up with Taylor recently, and he filled me in on performing on the series finale of “Idol,” his hectic tour schedule and “State Plate.”

Celebrity Extra: Earlier this year, you came back to “American Idol” to mentor this last crop of singers. Why did you decide to do that, and what was the experience like?

Taylor Hicks: I love the educational process, instructing the singers and trying to cultivate their talent. That’s one of the things that I tried to do. Also, I have a saying, and someone told me this when I was going through my so-called break in the business. They said, “If you weren’t supposed to be here, then you wouldn’t be.” I have some friends who have caught a break, and I can see that they are nervous, and if you put that in perspective, that if God hadn’t intended for you to be there, then you wouldn’t be there. I think calming of the nerves is probably the most important thing to really be able to entertain and perform and move through the process of a show like that.

CE: Tell me about coming back to perform on the series finale.

TH: The finale was great, and I think I can speak for all of the idols and the winners and even the contestants who have been on the show that the way “American Idol” took its final bow was a true class act. The whole world celebrated, especially this country, they celebrated the last year. I think the way they celebrated the last season, and I think the way they celebrated the show in the finale, was a really wonderful way for all of America to have celebrated it.

CE: It’s so amazing when you think that the show was on for 15 years!

TH: “Idol” being on for 15 years, that’s just a testament to what the show has been able to do and how much talent has come from it.

CE: As a performer, you play big stadium gigs as well as more intimate club settings. Is it fun — and beneficial — for you to get to exercise those different kinds of performance muscles?

TH: I’ve always been a live performer, and I’ve been doing a lot of little intimate venues and acoustic shows. I think it’s not only important to do the full band, the big live shows, but I also think it’s important to do the smaller acoustic, intimate settings where you can really be up close and personal with the audience. And also you can be more of a storyteller. I think people enjoy that part of it just as much as they do kind of the live big-band atmosphere. I love both. I just love performing, so it’s the best of both worlds. You get the storyteller version where you get some stories about “Idol,” and also I get to explain my journey — people get to understand my past. And then the live big-band show is obviously more of a full production.

CE: So your fans get the best of both worlds, and you do, too, as the performer.

TH: Yes, very much so. I think it’s fun to exercise both. Luckily I grew up in both settings, so I’m familiar with both. I grew up on the panhandle of Florida playing at a place called the Flora-Bama, and that taught me a lot. Great musicians and songwriters like Sonny Throckmorton, Jimmy Buffett and Jimmy Louis were in that group. They’ve entertained people in that setting just as much as you would with a full band. I’ve been lucky to be privy to both of those.

CE: Tell me about “State Plate.” From what I’ve read about it, I really like the concept.

TH: In my opinion — and I might be a little bit biased because I’m hosting the show — the concept rivals any travel and food show on TV. And I’m speaking from a conceptual standpoint. Everybody from their respective states is very prideful of what comes out of their state, whether it be entertainment, whether it be sports, whether it be food. And this particular concept — being able to fill up a plate of food that’s an appetizer, entree, dessert that’s completely indigenous to each state — is a concept I think has got so much potential, and that’s the reason I’m so excited about it. Having traveled all my life and being from Alabama, you can’t not be a foodie. That’s just the way it goes, and we have so many different styles of food that have cross-pollinated our food culture. It’s got the potential to become a really popular show because people want to know what foods are indigenous to each state, and people want to see their state do well. I couldn’t be more excited for this show.

CE: How did you become involved with the show?

TH: I’ve been pitching shows since I had my Vegas show for two years. Obviously, you can tour the food of Las Vegas for years and still not eat everything. So, I’d been pitching food ideas to particular networks for years, and this concept from the folks at INSP network was brought to me, and it was just a great concept and fell in line conceptually with my Vegas idea. It broadened it to be able to hit every state in America. If you want to have something that is successful, you have to appeal to a broader audience. I just think this idea is a home run.

CE: Explain the concept of the show to me.

TH: There’s a farm-to-table element to it. I look at it like “Dirty Jobs by Mike Rowe,” but it’s only farm-to-table food. I definitely get my hands dirty — whether it’s dairy, whether it’s cattle — I just go into the particular food and really just dig in about where it comes from. What’s the origin of it? And sometimes that takes a little digging, no pun intended.

CE: I live in Orlando, Florida, so I have to know if you’ve come to Florida yet and if you’ll divulge any secrets from your trip.

TH: As a matter of fact, I’m in Florida right now. We’re wrapping up shooting here. I wish I could spill all of the info to you, but Florida is such a diverse state. We cover from the northwest to the southwest to the northeast — we try to cover all of the state. This one was tough, but I think we conquered it. And you can’t really cover the state in one plate in some of these states like Florida, Texas, California and some of the bigger states. So maybe we’ll come back for a second helping. Who knows?

10. Travel Pulse

Former Idol Taylor Hicks Travels With Taste on ‘Slate Plate’

Taylor Hicks, season five winner of "American Idol," is a platinum selling artist and best-selling author as well as the man responsible for an entire “Soul Patrol” movement in pop culture. To that impressive resume you can add host of the INSP original series “State Plate” (which will premiere at 9 p.m. Oct. 21).
“It’s a dream come true,” said Hicks, who is from Birmingham, Alabama. “I've always wanted to host my own show. I'm on horseback steering cattle. I'm in Maine lobstering. It's almost like Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs meets Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
On the show, Hicks visits farms, ranches, markets, festivals, and other exciting locales to uncover the stories and legends behind the state’s unique food traditions. During his premier season, he visits Arizona, Illinois, Wisconsin, Maine, Florida, Texas and Louisiana. He also samples crab cakes in Maryland, peaches in Georgia, chili in Texas, and potatoes in Idaho.
“I've been a foodie all my life,” said Hicks. “I've grown up in restaurants, obviously playing music and traveling as much as I have.”
Hicks credits “Big Momma,” his great grandmother, with starting his love of food. “She could fry chicken and there wasn’t one thing that she couldn't cook,” says Hicks. “I studied her in the kitchen a lot. There are relatives in my family who can make fried chicken. Then there are some relatives in my family who make meatloaf that glows in the dark. There's been quite a juxtaposition of culinary skills in my family. On Thanksgiving we always joke that whoever stays the shortest is the one can't cook the dressing.”
When he wasn’t performing, he admits to watching Food Network, including the “Next Food Network Star.” “I like Martie Duncan,” he said. “She was one of the best Food Network stars. I love all the shows. When I was on the road in the tour bus, we would always have the food channels on.”
A few years ago, he took his love of food to a new level and became an owner in Saw’s Juke Joint, a barbeque and blues bar in his hometown of Birmingham.
“I've actually pitched to host food shows on television before and the stars aligned,” he said. “Being able to talk about foods that are iconic to a particular state has been awesome. It’s educational show for me as I go along, and I'm hoping that it could be for the viewer as well.
Wait... no Alabama?
“We're saving Alabama for a big grand surprise,” says their hometown star. “It’s a work in progress, but our goal is to do all 50 states. I've been shooting State Plate on the weekdays, and touring on the weekends.”
However, hosting a show isn’t quite the same as performing in front of an audience, something Hicks has been doing his entire adult life. “Hosting has been a learning process, including making guests feel comfortable,” he says. “It’s their moment and they need to be comfortable.”

11. Reel Life With Jane

‘State Plate’ Host Taylor Hicks Dishes on His Fave Foods
By Lisa Iannucci - October 8, 2016

Deep fried cheese curds. Taylor Hicks told me that’s the one thing I must try when I’m in Green Bay, Wisconsin this weekend.

“Without a doubt, hands down,” he said.

What the heck does Taylor Hicks know about deep fried cheese curds? After all, isn’t he the Season Five American Idol winner? The man behind the Soul Patrol movement? Of course he is, but today this self-professed foodie is also an owner in Saw’s Juke Joint, a barbecue and blues bar in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. He’s also living out another one of his dreams, which is to host a food show.

While he is currently touring the country, he’s been filming episodes of Slate Plate, the show in which Hicks visits farms, ranches, markets, festivals, and other locales to uncover the stories and legends behind the state’s unique food traditions.

During the first season of Slate Plate, which premieres on INSP on Oct. 21 at 9 p.m., Hicks visits Arizona, Illinois, Maine, Florida, Texas, Louisiana and, of course, Wisconsin.

“When I was in Wisconsin, we went straight to Saxon Creamery and it was amazing,” he said. “We go to the origin of where these foods are made — whether it’s the dairy cow, or whether it’s the fields. It’s truly a farm-to-table concept. But you can’t go to Wisconsin and not eat deep fried cheese curds.”

Hicks credits ‘Big Momma,’ his great grandmother, with starting his love of food and says he’s spent a lot of time watching the Food Network.

For this article, I decided to have some fun with the soul man and ask him some fun questions about food:

Have you ever cooked for a date? What did you make, and how did the date go?

Southern style spaghetti and extremely well, other than the fact that we were so full we really didn’t get to talk to each other that much.

I’m Italian. What is southern style spaghetti?

It’s sweet. There is a secret ingredient that goes into southern style spaghetti that also goes into southern sweet tea, as well.

What country would you like to visit just to taste the food?

It’s got to be Italy.

Amen to that.


What would you like your last meal to be?

I would probably say turkey and dressing.

What food looks disgusting, but tastes delicious?

Patty melts.

Cake or pie?


Milk chocolate or dark chocolate?

Milk chocolate.

Ice cream cone or snow cone?

Ice cream cone.

Spicy or mild?


Salty or sweet?


Hamburger or Taco?


At a movie, candy or popcorn?


I hoped you’re going to tell me layered with butter.

Yeah. I get butter. Truffle butter.

Iced coffee or hot coffee?

Neither, sweet tea.

Favorite pizza topping?

Black olives.

Favorite ice cream flavor?

Neapolitan. I get them all.

What did you have for dinner last night?

Grilled Atlantic salmon.

When are we getting new music?

Spring of next year. I’m in the studio right now as we speak.

12. Everbrite

American Idol winner, Taylor Hicks, is returning to TV as host of the new food and travel show, “State Plate.” The show will celebrate the unique culinary traditions of all 50 states, following Hicks as he travels to farms, ranches, markets and festivals in each state. “State Plate” premieres on INSP, October 21.
Doors open 30 minutes before showtime. VALID ID REQUIRED FOR ENTRY for security purposes (No age minimum). This event will be streamed LIVE on! Make sure to check out the BUILD Series Newsletter for updates and information about our events:

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Taylor Hicks gets a heaping helping of American cuisine as host of a new TV show, 'State Plate'

Taylor Hicks -- a soul singer, Alabama native and "American Idol" winner -- travels to nine states on the INSP TV show, exploring cuisine and culture. "It's really specific to the states we visit," Hicks says during an interview with "I'm on a lobster boat, discussing the economics of their No. 1 food prospect and how they like to cook it." (Photo courtesy of INSP)
Mary Colurso |
October 20, 2016

When the stage lights dim and the crowds go home, what's a soul singer to do?

If your name is Taylor Hicks, the answer to that question is easy.

Plant beans in Arizona. Shuck clams in Massachusetts. Saddle up for a cattle drive in Texas. Harvest rice in Louisiana. And hop on a lobster boat in Maine.

The "American Idol" winner, 40, has been traveling the country over the past six months, filming a new food and travel series, "State Plate," for INSP. As host of the TV show, his mission is to explore the culture and cuisine of as many states as possible, via hands-on experiences that go from farm to table.

"People ask me what I've been up to, and I can honestly say, 'I've been milking a dairy cow. What have you been up to?'" Hicks says, laughing during a phone interview. "For me, personally, it's been a very educational experience."

He hopes viewers will learn something, too, as they watch his adventures during the first season, which runs Oct. 21-Jan. 20. "State Plate," set to air on Fridays at 8 p.m. CT, will have nine states on its agenda during that timeframe.

Alabama wasn't on the list for the initial go-round, but Hicks promises that his home state will be a priority for the show in the future. ("We have all intentions to make Alabama an important plate on 'State Plate,'" says Hicks, a Hoover native. "I'm hoping that we're going back for second helpings.")

The show did make a trip to Georgia, where Hicks worked with shrimpers, extolled the virtues of boiled peanuts and visited peach and pecan orchards. Louisiana also represents the South during Season One, with an emphasis on dishes such as red beans and rice, gumbo and po' boys.

"Louisiana was one of my favorites, not just from a culinary perspective, but from a musical perspective," Hicks says. "We bring on celebrity guests to talk about their specific states, and they're iconic ambassadors for the food."

As Hicks explains it, "State Plate" begins each episode with an empty plate, then proceeds to fill it with an appetizer, entree, sides and dessert. The goal: to focus on items that are tightly linked to the state's agriculture and food industries.

"I love taking the process and going from the origins to the table," Hicks says. "And I don't mind eating anything."

Hicks, a longtime foodie, says he expanded his palate in unexpected ways for the show, digging into cheese curds, lamb stew, Navajo fry bread and more.

At the same time, Hicks found himself in rugged situations that sometimes proved challenging — herding steer on horseback, for example, or harvesting the hearts of palm trees.

"Being from Alabama, I enjoy fishing and hunting and the outdoors," Hicks says. "I don't mind going into a swamp and wrestling an alligator to get a bag of crawfish."

Music isn't the only passion of Alabama native Taylor Hicks.

Hicks declined to elaborate on his gator encounter, pointing viewers to the Louisiana episode for illumination. Suffice it to say that he emerged intact, ready for more sedate chores such as baking bread, making bratwurst and judging a chili cook-off.

While he's extremely comfortable in front of the camera — "When you go through a season of 'American Idol,' you can shoot pretty much anything," Hicks says — "State Plate" asked Hicks to stretch his skills as an entertainer.

"This is opening me up to a whole new side of acting and hosting," Hicks says. "Any host, at the beginning of your career, you're really trying to break the ice and allow your guests to be comfortable. I like breaking the ice and I like breaking bread. Some of that has been a little bit tough. I feel like I have a knack for this, but I also have a lot to learn."

On occasion, Hicks shares the spotlight on "State Plate" with guest star Maureen McCormick, of "Brady Bunch" fame and "Dancing With the Stars." But for most of the season, Hicks is front and center as the show's primary tour guide.

"It's something so different for me, because I'm just so used to traveling to play music," Hicks says. Because of that perspective, he approaches the show "almost like an album, and each episode is like a song."

Fans will be happy to learn that music pops up from time to time on "State Plate," via the singer's trusty harmonica. Overall, though, Hicks says his inspirations lean more to Anthony Bourdain, "Dirty Jobs" and "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."

"Some days, I'm covered in dirt and I'm worn out," Hicks says. "It can be a grueling process, but it's new to me and I love it. I'm tired and happy, all the time."

14. Channel Guide Magazine

Alert the Soul Patrol! Taylor Hicks Is On a Culinary Journey In State Plate

October 20, 2016 Kellie Freeze

Taylor Hicks is ready to fill his plate with something great.
American Idol’s Season 5 winner, Taylor Hicks is on the road. And he is hungry. The charismatic silver fox is traveling around the country with the culinary travel series, State Plate, to explore America and assemble a plate of each state’s emblematic foods.

In each episode, which airs on family-friendly network INSP, Hicks will sample everything from Maryland crab cakes; to Georgia peaches; to Idaho potatoes. And while he’s nibbling, he’ll visit farms, markets, festivals and anywhere he can uncover tasty details and history behind each state’s unique food traditions.

Sampling feasts of local specialties sounds like a real-deal meal, so I caught up with the charming crooner to get the dish on State Plate.

Channel Guide Magazine: Hello, Taylor!
Taylor Hicks: Hey, what’s up Kellie?

I love the idea of traveling and exploring the tasty food unique to each ares. Tell us about State Plate.
It’s a pretty amazing concept. We go into each state and discuss the iconic foods that are from that particular state. It is truly a farm-to-table concept because I am more on the farm than I am in the establishments. I really love that because everybody is into farm-to-table, and everybody is into local. This brings out all of those aspects and really educates people on what foods really come from what state.

Do you also investigate some of the other components that go into some of those meals?
Yes, we do. We take an entrée like red beans and rice, and we go into the dish. We talk about the ingredients and the spices that are in the dish that make it so iconic to that state. And obviously, there’s a musical element too. I’m definitely breaking out the harmonica at points too.

Great. Where are some of the places that you’re going to be visiting in this series?
I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that at this point. I can tell you that Maine was a beautiful state not only for the people but obviously for the lobstering — which a southern boy doesn’t ever get to do.

State Plate
Taylor Hicks loved lobstering while in Maine for State Plate.
Texas was such a blast. One word — brisket. I’ve definitely learned to rope and ride because we do go to the farms. Getting up on a horse and riding off into the sunset and steering cattle is not out of the question on this show, which I love. It kind of takes a Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs approach to the farm-to-table aspect and educate people on iconic foods from each state. It’s truly American, in my opinion.

How did you choose not only the state but the cuisine? I’m sure some states have a very clear food identify, but some maybe a little murkier.
Yeah. You have to do some research. Hopefully, the show will go into a few seasons where we can actually cover all 50 states. But because some states are bigger than others, there may need to be a “second helping” sort of speak.

That sounds like delicious research!
That would be a great name for a show, Delicious Research. That’s exactly what I’m doing. I enjoy it so much. Obviously being a foodie from Alabama, this show really touches on who I am as a person and that’s someone that has been a musical gypsy, sort of speak, but also a foodie gypsy as well.

Is there an episode that you did when you saw it on the rundown sheet, you just started drooling?
Louisiana hands down. You can’t get away from crayfish down there.

Are we going to see like a big crawfish boil?
You definitely will.

Is there anybody who is going on this adventure with you, Taylor?
Maureen McCormick was on the show for a little while, so she’s kind of my host in the beginning, and then I kind of take over from there. So you’ll see Maureen featured in some segments.

Where did your love affair with food come from?
I think just in the kitchen, in the family kitchen, growing up. Then obviously traveling as much as I did when I was in my younger days as a struggling performer. I loved to go and kind of go from town to town and see what people have to offer from a culinary perspective. I got to do that in the South. Now, I’ve kind of taken that mindset and applied it to the whole country, which is such a blessing.

What came first, your love of food or your love of travel?
I would probably have to say food. There’s been food around me, obviously food and music, and travel comes with it. No question hands down food, then music, then travel.

When you’re on tour, what kind of food do you seek out?
Well, it just depends. Sometimes the band and I will get into kind of a greasy spoon mode where we go and check out the diners and the great dives of each particular area that we are playing in. Sometimes we will have a flare for oriental; what Thai place is the greatest. Being a Southern guy, I like to look for the meat and threes. I always try to go for the soul food places. I guess it depends on what part of the country we’re in and what we’ve got a hankering for.

How did you get involved in the restaurant business?
After Idol, I wanted to be involved with it because I had grown up around it. When I had the opportunity I co-owned a fine-dining restaurant, but now I’m involved with Saw’s BBQ in Birmingham, Alabama which it’s the world’s most amazing BBQ. For me, it runs the gambit of what a great BBQ place should be. It’s not necessarily just barbecuing meat. I think BBQ in the South is not only, “Can you cook BBQ pork?” but “Can you cook BBQ chicken?” And, “Can you fry okra?” All of those elements have come together co-owning Saw’s. It’s just been a blast.

Tell me more about what kind of food you’re serving at Saw’s … I’m drooling.
Well, you start with pork. I mean the pork is amazing, but my favorite is the sweet tea fried chicken sandwich, which it’s the best chicken sandwich on Earth, in my opinion. When you brine chicken in sweet tea and pickle juice for 24 hours, and deep fry it, and put white BBQ sauce over it, you’ve lived.

You mentioned that each episode of State Plate is going to have a musical component. Is music the perfect accompaniment to a good meal?
I think it is depending on what kind of meal you’re having and what kind of music is going on. Music and entertaining have been something that I’ve always had a knack for, and luckily I’m blessed to be able to make a living do it. Now, it’s just moved over into the food component because I always like to tell people, “you cannot be from Alabama and not be a foodie.”

15. Billboard

'American Idol' Alum Taylor Hicks to Host New Food and Travel Show 'State Plate': Exclusive Video
10/20/2016 by Michele Amabile Angermiller

As the owner of Saw’s Juke Joint, a barbecue and blues bar in Birmingham, Alabama, American Idol Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks knows a little something about good food.

“You can’t be from Alabama and not be a foodie,” he tells Billboard.

“I’ve always been interested in hosting a food and travel show,” he says. “I cast the net, and INSP had a genius concept in a food show. I’ve been pitching food concepts and show ideas to different networks, and this was a home run because it literally touches on every state. It touches on the culinary arts of every state, and not only that, but it’s kind of a cross between Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives – you know, a history lesson in what iconic foods make up each state. So it’s kind of the best of both worlds.”

The concept of State Plate is simple, he explains. In each episode, Hicks will visit a specific state and fill up a plate with “emblematic state foods," including appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts. Hicks will visit Maine, Illinois, Arizona, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Georgia and Wisconsin.

In his travels, he shucked clams, rode horseback, planted beans, and hopped on a lobster boat in his quest to sample the unique cuisine of each region.

“Our goal is to reach all 50 states,” he says. “I’m really excited, because it’s also educational, and a never-ending culinary journey. I love meeting the people who really make up some of these wonderful culinary ideas that keep the tradition and patriotism of their own states. They carry that torch. It’s such a unique way to learn about the specific foods that make up our country.”

Hicks -- who returned to our television sets in April for the American Idol series finaleis well seasoned himself, with chops honed not only on the Fox singing competition, but with appearances on shows like The Choice and Law & Order, Special Victims Unit.

Hosting a television show, he says, is a natural step for performers closely aligned with the medium.

“I’ve always told myself that for who comes off of American Idol it’s always smart to stay close to television,” he says. “Because that’s where people know you from.”

So what is Hicks learning on his magical mystery food tour? Read on for Hicks' thoughts, and watch an exclusive clip from the show:

Tell us about State Plate. It’s great to see you back on television. You and Kellie Pickler (who has her own reality show, I Love Kellie Pickler, on CMT) both have shows!

She’s one that has been close to TV. People that were on our season -- you know, we were so visible from TV. It’s just really smart to stay close to the medium in which you broke. Music is important, too, but for me it always seems to connect when there’s the television angle.

On this show, you are trying the cuisine and sampling food at festivals, fairs, and farms.

It’s a really cool concept, because it’s truly a farm-to-table show, so to speak. It’s going to wherever this iconic state food is made and finding its origins, and more times than not it is the farm. Somebody asked me what I’ve been up to, and I always like to say, "I’ve been on a dairy farm milking cows, what about you?" It’s really, truly going to the farm or going to a production facility, or sometimes it’s a plant.

One state you visited is Georgia. Did you learn many different ways to make food with a peach?

We did! We touched on that in the state of Georgia with peaches! This has definitely been an educational experience for me because it’s the first show of my own that I’ve ever hosted and also I get to learn about the people and the foods that really make the state iconic when it comes to culinary arts.

Are you also in the kitchen, watching people prepare the dishes?

Oh yeah, we literally start from in the ground to the table, so I’m definitely getting my hands dirty. There are different foods from each state that people don’t know about, but these foods are foods that everybody in their own state knows about. So that’s what I’ve enjoyed, just traveling around and really seeing the country, and also talking with the people that make the products and the foods iconic. It’s awesome.

What was your favorite place so far?

Maine is a beautiful state. Being from Alabama I didn’t really get to travel in my younger years. I was always traveling performing music, but I didn’t get to play up in the northeast, and Maine is a wondrous state -- for not only its scenery but also its foods.

In the middle of all of this, you are recording new music! What can you tell us about that?

I’m trying to put together new music for release in the spring of next year. New music for me has obviously been a slow burn, but with the new television show and some really great things happening with that, it’s definitely moved the process along a lot quicker. I know the songs that I want to record, and that’s 75 percent of the battle, being emotionally connected to your music and knowing that every song that you’re going to record is a song that you whole-heartedly believe in and you’ve had time to live with. For me, that’s where the best art comes from a musical perspective and it’s time to do that now.

I have some really great material and now it’s time to record it. I’m looking to record in Nashville, and that’s one of my favorite places to record -- because if I’m on a food kick, I definitely like nice southern food to go with lunch every day at the studio.

Where do you like to eat in Nashville?

I love this restaurant Firefly, the culinary scene is pretty happening. There’s Kayne Prime -- that’s a great steak place. Obviously we do our meat 'n threes, and there’s a plethora of the meat 'n threes that you get. It’s good old southern comfort food, and if you’re recording music, musicians definitely like to be comfortable.

If State Plate gets a second season, where do you want to go?

Well we’ve stayed up in the northeast and the south, and we went over to Arizona. We’ve got nine states, and we’re trying to touch on nine more with the second season. I probably shouldn’t say “in the second season,” assuming that there might be one, but it’s kind of funny -- I kind of look at it like this is Idol season one, you know what I mean? Because you have a host, you have a show, and we really are on the ground floor, and we travel a lot of different places.

I just enjoy hosting this show because I think it’s truly a great concept. People are very interested in food shows these days and this is one that kind of touches on all the aspects of them.

16. AUDIOBOOM / Brandon Vogt

a. Talks about State Plate .....iconic foods from each State ..... new venture for him ...... hopefully it is educational for everyone.... Taylor is familiar with Southern palates, so traveling outside of that area is an adventure.
b. New CD .... in Nashville finishing it up at the Studio..... it's been a long time and he has gotten good material .
c. What has Taylor done ..... Toured in Grease, the live performing helped in acting ....touring the country with a small acoustic show ..... In Vegas as a headliner.... a few TV cameos / appearances.
d. Season 5 was Brandon's favorite season. He does several songs from Idol. He has to take care of the fans that took care of him. You have to bring along the Idol audience as well as cultivating new ones. Taylor felt that 15 yrs is long enough for a TV show. It was time to stop and they stopped it with a good ending celebration.
f. Season 5 was soooo deep: He does keep in touch with all the cast and help each other out occasionally. They have all be successful to a point. Kelly Pickler, Katherine , Daughtry, Elliott, Ace , Bucky , Mandesa
g. The CD is hopefully dropping soon as time is catching up with him.......needs it.
h. Taylor's fans are very very loyal to him. He started at the FloraBama and has moved forward from there.
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17. Alabama 'Idol' Taylor Hicks to host new TV series, 'State Plate'

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Taylor Hicks returns to TV screens in fall 2016 as the host of a new food and travel series, "State Plate." Hicks, a country-soul singer and Alabama native, made his TV fame on "American Idol" in 2006. He'll perform with other alumni on that show during the Season 15 finale.
(Right photo: Tamika Moore | Left photos: Courtesy of Fox, top, and Taylor Hicks.)

Mary Colurso

April 07, 2016 at 2:50 PM

The show, produced by RIVR Media, is set to air on INSP, a family-friendy channel formerly known as the Inspiration Network. Hicks -- best known to viewers as the Season Five winner of "American Idol" -- will travel to all 50 states, sampling regional cuisine and delving into its origins and creation.

Doug Butts, senior vice president of programming at INSP, described the concept of "State Plate" in a press release:

"In each episode of 'State Plate,' he travels to a particular state, where he will 'assemble' a plate filled with the food most associated with that state," Butts said. "He'll sample everything from crab cakes in Maryland and peaches in Georgia to chili in Texas and potatoes in Idaho. As he makes his way from coast to coast, Taylor will visit farms, ranches, markets, festivals and other diverse and unusual locales. In the process, viewers share in the journey as he uncovers the rich details behind each state's unique food traditions. It's a heaping helping of America's most beloved cuisine, rich in history, folklore, and flavor."

Hicks, 39, is a country-soul singer, a longtime foodie and a partner in a Birmingham barbecue restaurant, Saw's Juke Joint. He's also a familiar face on television, after his "Idol" run in 2006, a 2015 guest appearance on "Hell's Kitchen," a song spoof in 2011 on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" and more.

"Taylor's wide popularity, experience as a restaurateur, and down-home charm make him an ideal host for a traveling food series." Butts said. "Unlike most food shows, we won't be touring restaurants; this is about the food itself, how it is grown and the people who bring it to our dinner tables. What emerges is the trivia and unknown stories behind our states' most emblematic foods."

Hicks, a Hoover native, will perform tonight with other alumni on tonight's "American Idol" finale, as the Fox series ends its 15th and final season.

"I'm so grateful for the platform that 'American Idol' gave me as a performer and a recording artist," Hicks said in a statement. "I'm looking forward to returning to the show one last time."

On Wednesday, he shared some of his "Idol" rehearsal experiences on social media, taking over the Instagram account from Hollywood.

18. Build Series

19. Travel + Leisure

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20. EURWeb


*Platinum selling artist and “American Idol” champ Taylor Hicks takes viewers on an unforgettable culinary tour of the nation with his new cooking series “State Plate.”

Hicks is on a quest to assemble a plate of each state’s most emblematic foods. Along the way, he visits farms, ranches, markets, festivals, and other exciting locales in order to uncover the stories and legends behind the state’s unique food traditions.

He describes the show as, “A truly farm-to-table concept. It’s a cross between Dirty Jobs and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

Taylor has a deep passion for food. Not only does he enjoy throwing down in his own kitchen, he is co-owner of Saw’s Juke Joint, a BBQ and blues bar in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.

EUR/Electronic Urban Report chatted with Hicks about some of his stops on “State Plate,” which is currently streaming on He also explained what makes the series so unique compared to similar cooking shows on TV and the Internet.

“Everybody has their own kind of niche as far a food show goes. Well, this food show is different because it really does educate the person. My question to the audience is: Do you know what famous foods come from North Dakota? Do you know what famous foods come from Rhode Island? This type of show truly educates the audience not just about their own particular region that they live in from a food perspective, but also other regions of the country,” Hicks explained. “Not only that, ultimately the goal is to travel to all fifty cities and use it as an educational tool for students. It’s a great way of connecting the history of this country through food.”

Check out the rest of our Q&A with Taylor Hicks below.

Considering your background in music, what prompted you to get into hosting a food show?
Taylor: I’ve been on the road as an entertainer for all of my life, and obviously growing up in different restaurants, and actually co-owning a restaurant right now called Saw’s BBQ. I’ve been pitching ideas to host a food show for a while now. And this one has just hit a home run. The concept is absolutely amazing.

“State Plate” gives viewers a history lesson through food. Did you learn anything culturally surprising while filming the series?
Taylor: Each state has its own culture and each state has its own food culture, and when I’m going to each state finding these iconic foods, there is a unique type of people that actually grow these foods and have these dishes, and it’s truly is a great representation of just how diverse our food and agriculture is in the country.

Take us through some of the places you visit for this first season.
Taylor: We do lobstering in Maine. We go down into Louisiana and we crawfish, and we go into Texas and do brisket. I‘m actually doing a lot of herding of cattle and livestock. It’s a show about foods that are iconic to each state, and it’s such a great way for people to see my personality as opposed to the musical side. I’m learning as much as the viewer is as we go along.

Which city left the most savory impression?
Taylor: I would have to say New Orleans. New Orleans has always had my heart from the very beginning. Not just from a people perspective but from a food perspective. There’s a lot of soul in New Orleans.

If you could eat one dish for 30 days, what would it be?
Taylor: Crawfish etouffee.

You’re the co-owner of a BBQ and blues bar in your hometown, and you enjoy throwing down in the kitchen. Does managing employees take the joy out of cooking?
Taylor: Absolutely not. If there is love in the kitchen, then there’s love in the restaurant.

What’s your favorite holiday meal to cook?
Taylor: I would say sweet potato casserole.

With marshmallows?
Taylor: Ya know, I don’t do marshmallows in my sweet potato casserole. I work strictly on the crust. I like to do a really nice, fine almond-cinnamon crust over the top.

Considering your accomplishments to date, is there one that is most meaningful to you?
Taylor: I think every accomplishment is meaningful to me. Each of them has their own weight, so to speak. I would say being able to give back to my community is one of my favorite things to do, through whatever charities that I’m working with. Giving back is the main thing.
taylor hicks

Are there any other projects you’re working on this fall or next year?
Taylor: I’m working on a new album that’s going to be released next year. So, I’m going to be doing the State Plate, and I’m the studio working on the new record. So there will be new music too.

What is your idea of happiness?
Taylor: My idea of happiness is knowing that you have happiness within yourself to be who you are.

Tune in to “State Plate” with host Taylor Hicks on the family entertainment network INSP, which is available nationwide via DirecTV, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse and more than 2,800 cable systems. Click here to find INSP in your area.

INSP is available nationwide via DirecTV (channel 364), Verizon FiOS (channel 286), AT&T U-verse (channel 564) and more than 2,800 cable systems. Click here to find INSP in your area. For quality dramas, positive entertainment and inspiring stories, celebrating the American spirit and honoring timeless traditional values, it’s INSP.

21. Equanimity Magazine

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Exciting news! Tune in for an INSP ‪#‎FacebookLive‬ broadcast this Saturday at 3p ET for an exciting announcement from American Idol winner and host of ‪#‎StatePlateTV‬, Taylor Hicks!
And don't miss your chance to have him answer YOUR question, LIVE! Leave your questions for Taylor in the comments below!

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1. Taylor announced the show will begin Friday , October 21, 2016 !!!!!!! Hopefully there will be some viewing parties . He also has a VIP sweepstakes ( all expense trip for two to Memphis , M&G , going to Beale street ) to enter. The show is 3/4 done........about 10 States the first season . www. #StatePlateTV
Social media : www. @insp_tv

2. Tuscon doing a Lamb Stew was awesome. He was in Boston where he had Boston Creme Pie ( he has never had it ).

3. Taylor balances touring and filming by doing 16 to 18 hr days. He loves to perform and to eat..... sleep can wait.

4. Taylor explains State Plate : In each State foods are highlighted. He fills up a plate of food that is indigenous to each State , from appetizer, entree , side and dessert.

5. Taylor's favorite food for the holidays is dressing .............. stuffing ............

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credit to Saxon Creamery

Friday, October 21st at 9p ET

Bloomer Wisconsin is the jump rope capital of the world! But the only jumping singer and host Taylor Hicks will be doing this week is jumping for joy, as he savors delectable delights on his quest to discover the country’s most delicious foods.

This week he tastes his way across…you guessed it…Wisconsin! Go along for the ride, as he milks a cow to make squeaky fresh cheese curds, grinds pork and makes bratwurst with a local bratwurst legend, and visits a facility that produces more sauerkraut than anyone else in the world.

Taylor also serves up a huge pot of chicken booyah and makes his own unique version of the delicious fruit-filled kringle pastry.

Booyah! It’s an overflowing plateful of mouthwatering Wisconsin cuisine filled with the stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Cheese Curds
Saxon Creamery | Lisa Hall & Karl Klessig |
The Saxon Farm has been in the Klessig family since 1850. Today, brothers, Karl and Robert Klessig, along with their respective wives, own the farm and creamery, ushering in the fifth generation to raise cows on carefully tended land that includes 850 acres of pasture, 250 acres of alfalfa and corn silage and 135 acres of wildlife habitat that they are dedicated to preserving in conjunction with the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association.

Their passion for the environment extends to their farming methods by practicing rotational grazing. Approximately 500 cows are moved from pasture to pasture at strategic times, allowing some pastures to “rest” and regrow, while the cows graze elsewhere on fresh grass. This way, the cows are continuously consuming the highest-quality, lush and nutritious grass, which results in milk that produces award-winning, rich-colored cheeses of superior and unique flavor. All of Saxon’s specialty cheeses are individually handcrafted to meet the dairy’s high standards of taste and quality.

Lisa Hall was always passionate about homegrown, fresh, quality foods. So taking a management job at Saxon Creamery was a natural fit. Not only does she get to work with local distributors, promote the brand’s image, develop ways to expand the market, among other responsibilities, she also pitches in as a taste tester, sampling fresh, new cheeses before they hit the stores.

Cheesy Fact: Wisconsin has the most dairy farms in the country, a total of 11,400. That makes for a lot of cheese!


Entrée: Bratwurst
Schwai’s Meat & Sausage Market | Tom Schwai

Schwai’s meat market has been in business for more than 70 years. Today with third generation, Tom Schwai at the meat grinder, the brats are made the old-fashioned way, based on his father’s family recipe, with AAA choice, lean cuts of meat, hickory-smoked with no MSG or gluten, just spices and seasonings, wrapped in an all-natural casing. And once one of his 1/3-pound brats hits a sizzling grill, it cooks up to tender, flavorful perfection with no shrinkage.

With two markets now open, Tom is busier than ever, but you’ll still see him grilling and selling brats at farmers markets, street fairs, festivals and events—from the Strawberry Festival to Augtoberfest, church feasts to school fundraisers.

Fire up the Grill: What’s Wisconsin’s answer to the southern barbecue? The brat fry!

Side 1: Sauerkraut
GLK Foods | Ryan Downs & Ron Worm

They’ve been making sauerkraut since 1900, and today they are the largest sauerkraut producer in the world, carrying on their 100-year family tradition of making the finest-quality, freshest and most savory sauerkraut. They are in America’s top-selling brands.

Every year GLK Foods processes 140,000 tons of raw cabbage sourced from local family farms. With their state-of-the-art farming and processing methods they are able to ensure the quality, freshness and crispness of every ounce of sauerkraut that leaves their facility.

From traditional flavors to new, innovative products, the company offers traditional and Bavarian style tart and tangy Silver Floss; crispy, crunchy refrigerated Krrrrisp Kraut; Cortland Valley Organic; raw, probiotic-rich natural Saverne; and Latino-influenced hot and spicy Curtido, and much more

Listen to Your Gut! Fermented foods are trendy for a reason! They’re healthy! The probiotics used as a natural preservative when fermenting sauerkraut, help aid digestion by restoring a healthy balance of good bacteria in the digestive tract. Plus, sauerkraut is rich in vitamins C, B, especially B12, and the “forgotten” vitamin—K!

Side 2: Chicken Booyah
Hannon’s Booyah | Monette Bebow

Cooked over the course of two days, blending the savory flavors of shredded chicken, a variety of veggies and legumes you buy, or pick from the garden—carrots, peas, beans, onions—stirred in an enormous pot, often employing special “Booyah kettles,” some capable of holding 50 gallons of broth, chicken booyah is a longstanding staple at community events, church, school and non-profit fundraisers and other celebrations.

While the origin of the mouthwatering soup can stir up a heated debate, Monette Bebow-Reinhard is certain its roots are firmly planted in her family tree, crediting her grandfather, the son of a Belgian immigrant, Alex Hannon as the inventor of the century-old dish when he was a mere 12 years old in 1893.

And where did the name “booyah” come from? Some say it’s the Belgian phonetic spelling, translation or variation of the word “bouillon,” or broth, derived from the French. Others tell the story of Andrew Rentmeester, a lumberjack turned school teacher, who, when placing an ad at the newspaper for a school fundraiser, misspelled the word “bouillon,” when the clerk asked what would be served.

There’s one thing all parties can agree on: Booyah is a delicious way to bring family, friends and community together.

What Not to Put in: According to Monette, there are certain ingredients that should never go into an authentic Booyah—rice, noodles and tomatoes! In a November, 2015 Green Bay Press-Gazette article, she said, “Tomatoes? If they put tomatoes in it, I won’t try it. Rice or noodles? Yuck!”


Dessert: Kringle
O&H Danish Bakery | Matt Horton

Christian Olesen immigrated to Racine, Wisconsin from Denmark as a young boy in the early 1900s. In 1949, he teamed up with Harvey Holtz and O&H Bakery began creating light, flaky and flavorful Kringle.

In 1963, Christian’s son Ray and wife Myrna bought out the Holtz share and they began to teach their sons Dale, Mike and Eric the business. Today, Eric and his wife Lisa run the business, bringing in the fourth generation of family bakers, including Peter their son and Matt Horton, their son-in-law.

In 2015, O&H moved to a new 44,000 square-foot headquarters and bakery. They may have upgraded their facility, but the family still produces the tasty pastry made from quality ingredients, adhering to family tradition, values and integrity.

And the Winner Is…The Kringle! The Official State Pastry of Wisconsin.


1. In Cleveland, WI with a baby lamb June 2, 2016 Posted Image

2. May 31, 2016 Posted Image

3. Washington County Insider

The Schwais are preparing to host an American Idol
Author: Judy Steffes |

On Thursday American Idol winner Taylor Hicks will be at Schwai’s in Fredonia.

The salt-and-pepper haired Hicks was a contestant in the fifth season of Idol in 2006 and now he’s hosting a new network TV show ‘State Plate’ where he highlights iconic foods in particular states.

“They’re doing a show about Wisconsin brats and it was between us and Johnsonville,” said Tommy Schwai. “If you want the best, I told them to come out here.”

It was Wednesday morning and Tommy arrived at the meat market at 5 a.m. “I’ve been stuffing sausages,” he said untangling a handful of white, slippery casings. “We have one of the biggest parish festivals coming up at St. John Vianney on N. Calhoun Road in Brookfield.”

The Schwai’s were contacted by the show’s producer in May. A letter detailed the premise of the show, on the family-friendly INSP network.

The letter read, “This is the first season of State Plate and it is set to air this fall hosted by Taylor Hicks, (American Idol winner, foodie, and restaurant owner).

We want to feature the brats/sausages, and we would love to come to your shop.

Our shoot would include having an on-camera person, the owner/manager/or staff member (hopefully you Tom!) explaining to Taylor the history of the brats in Wisconsin, and talking about your history and your company, whatever you would like to share. Then you would show Taylor how to make your famous brats.

We want to see Taylor, dressed in the right clothes, hats, gloves, whatever, like he was really at work that day. So whatever process you would like for him to participate in the making of the brats… we are open to whatever ideas you may have.

The entire duration of the filming should not take more than 2 hours. You mentioned that you make the best and adjust the time of day to whatever works best for you.”

According to INSP, Hicks is a partner in a barbecue restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama. The food show will be different as Hicks won’t go from restaurant to restaurant but “he’ll visit farms and ranches, markets and festivals and uncover the details behind each state’s unique food tradition.”

Tommy said he said he knew Taylor Hicks from TV.

“I can remember watching him when he was doing his audition,” he said. “Simon Cowell said, ‘you’re never going to win,” the other two voted for him and he won.”

Tommy couldn’t come up with the name of a Taylor Hicks song but did say he sang country music. “He is a good looking guy – he’s got grey hair like me,” he said tipping his hat.

Kathy Schwai bustled about the shop, cleaning. “She’s doing a lot of cleaning but when you get a special guy in here like Taylor Hicks you have to clean up just a little more,” said Tommy.

Kathy stopped for a minute to talk. “How’d you find out about this,” she asked directly. “You always get the dirt.”
Kathy wound through the story of how Hollywood found them…. And it went a little something like this.

“The producer contacted me and her mother’s best friend recommended they come and talk to us because in her mind we had the best brats and we thank her for that recommendation,” she said.

“I have to show him how to do everything,” said Tommy. “We’re going to do brats – he’s gonna get what he gets and that’s what he wants.

“We’re going to make brats and he’s going to eat brats here.”

The Schwai’s said they weren’t nervous – they had served famous people before like former Brewers managers Buck Rodgers and George Bamburger, Green Bay Packers Lionel Aldridge, and Doug Gonring from West Bend Elevator. “Once you try a Schwai’s brat you’re going to come back,” said Tommy.

After making the brats the Schwai’s will be cooking out so Hicks can sample some of what he created. “We’re going to have special Taylor Hicks brat package and people can buy the brats he helped make,” he said.


Filming of the show gets underway Thursday morning. Watch for exclusive updates at

4. Tommy and Taylor Hicks credit to : Judy Steffes

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6. St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter & The Micah Center A food stand to help the needy Taylor exams the food , helps to prepare it and goes out onto the street to "hawk" his wares.......NOW THAT'S AN AMERICAN IDOL

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October 19, 2016
State Plate with Host Taylor Hicks

On the Menu Today~
Looking for something to do Friday Nights?
Look no further....
State Plate with Taylor Hicks,
airs on Friday Nights at 9 pm ET.

State Plate is a heaping helping of Americas'
most beloved cuisine, rich in history, folklore and flavor.
Each state has it's favorite foods.
Foods that are synonymous with that state.

State Plate creates mini biographies, or "foodographies" on each state food.
I have always been a huge fan of Food/Travel shows,
finding them fun, interesting and informative.
Some of my favorite shows are been Food/Travel shows.
State Plate will definitely be added to that list and
Taylor Hicks is a natural!
I think he has found a "new" calling in life.
Taylor is everything you'd want in a host...
Charming, adventurous, fun and humorous,
along with an obvious love of food.

Taylor visits farms, ranches, markets and festivals.
He is uncovering the stories and legends behind each
state's unique food traditions.
The people he meets take pride in their states' food.

Taylor Hicks piles his plate high with delicious delights,
tasting some of the states' most symbolic and popular foods.

The first state Taylor will be visiting and tasting his way through
is my home state of Wisconsin.
Taylor will be tasting:

Squeaky Cheese Curds from: Saxon Creamery
Delicious and intensely flavorful cheese~

1/3 pound Bratwurst from Schwai's Meat and Sausage
Wonderful authentic hickory and hardwood natural flavor~

The Worlds Largest Producer of Sauerkraut from: GLK Foods
A Family-Owed Company with a 100 Year Tradition~

A Bowl of Chicken Booyah from: Hannon's Booyah
Learn How Wisconsin's Chicken Booyah Was Born~
Booyah is the Belgium pronunciation for soup.

An Award Winning Danish Kringle from: O & H Danish Bakery
We love a flaky kringle, here at Turnips 2 Tangerines.

Next Week: Illinois

2. YBBG Style

Sunday, October 23, 2016
State Plate with Taylor Hicks

On October 21, 2016, INSP TV introduced a new food show hosted by none other than Taylor Hicks. Hicks is the winner of Season 5 of American Idol. You may remember his soulful singing coming with a southern gentile drawl and shock of gray hair.

Now you can see Hicks prepping and testing out home grown dishes all across the US on INSP (Find INSP in your area here). I had an exclusive preview of the first episode that debuted this past Friday October 21, 2016, and it was all about the best dishes Wisconsin has to offer.

When I think of Wisconsin, I think of CHEESE!! I love cheese! Hicks was in cheese heaven on this episode. He also learned of Wisconsin's Danish lineage as he tasted pastries and other dishes.

So the premise of the show is that Hicks travels around to different food producers to find the foods that best represent the state. He piles them on the plate at the end of the show. Some dishes will make it, others will not. From INSP:

Each of our nation’s 50 states is identified with specific foods: crab cakes in Maryland, potatoes in Idaho, chili in Texas, lobster in Maine. We all know Georgia is known for peaches, peanuts, and Vidalia onions, but why? How did these foods become associated with this state more than any other? As food and culture are inextricably bound together, the story of a state’s cuisine is also the story of its culture.
In each episode of the INSP original series State Plate(which will premiere on the family-entertainment network on Friday, October 21st at 9:00P ET), platinum selling artist and popular American Idol® winner, Taylor Hicks takes viewers on an unforgettable culinary tour of a particular state, on a quest to assemble a plate of the state’s most emblematic foods. Along the way, he visits farms, ranches, markets, festivals, and other exciting locales in order to uncover the stories and legends behind the state’s unique food traditions. It’s a heaping helping of America’s most intriguing cuisine.

I am a foodie in a sense, and I love the stories behind food. In my family, cooking in my granny, grandma and mama's kitchens were a rite of passage that I am grateful for, now and forever. I learned a lot of family history through making different dishes. One story I never learned was how my grandma started making goulash.

Goulash is an Hungarian dish...and we are not Hungarian. In Wisconsin, they are trying to make a dish called Booyah their state soup. Hicks talked to a couple of residents and lawmakers about the push to make this chicken stew a recognized state soup on the show. I honestly didn't think Hicks liked the soup as much as he liked the other dishes.

Overall, I enjoyed the show. But then again, I like most shows about cooking and eating. There are a couple of things I hope will change as the show goes forward. 1. I hope all the dishes don't end up on the plate. 2. I need Hicks to learn about food safety and proper practices in a kitchen. I understand the desire to nibble...but there's a way to nibble properly in the kitchen, especially commercial kitchens. Hicks's way on this first show was not the proper way!

Take a look at some examples of the foods Hicks tried out in Wisconsin: go to link !!!

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Friday, October 28th at 9p ET

Did you know ice cream sundae was given its name in Evanston, Illinois? Well, this week, singer and entertainer Taylor Hicks enjoys a few scoops of the creamy confection as he tastes his way across Illinois looking to discover the state’s most emblematic foods.

Come along as he visits the cornfields that produce the official state snack: popcorn. He also learns how to bake the perfect bread for the famous Italian beef sandwich, and he heads to the windy city to get the low down on deep-dish pizza and the Chicago-style hot dog.

To top it all off, Taylor visits the birthplace of the ice cream sundae. It’s a plateful of Illinois cuisine filled with the stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Popcorn
Von Bergen’s Country Market | Mike Von Bergen

Take a trip to Von Bergen’s Country Market, and you’ll feel right at home because this farm and market is a family affair with Mike Von Bergen at the helm. The market offers the freshest local and regional fruits and veggies with much of the produce grown right on the Von Bergen’s farm—including their popular homegrown popcorn kernels, which can be popped in oil or in an air popper with equally tasty results. This family farm is also family-friendly, hosting seasonal events, for kids and adults who want to feel like kids again.

Pop(corn) Quiz: Are the ears of corn grown for popcorn different from the corn on your dinner plate?
Answer: Yes! Corn grown for popping have smaller kernels with lower moisture than other corn. That’s what makes them “pop.”

Entrée: Italian Beef Sandwich
D’Amato’s Bakery | Rosanna & Nick D’Amato

Rosanna and Nick D’Amato’s Italian bakery is truly a hidden gem. Established in 1970, the long-standing bakery is famous for its coal-burning brick oven—one of only two remaining in Chicago. Customer favorites include their savory tomato bread, Italian and French breads, focaccia, meatball and beef sandwiches, subs, panini, pizza and sesame bread sticks. This popular, traditional Italian restaurant also creates scratch-made pastries and cookies, including what one Facebook reviewer called “The best cannoli anywhere.”

Dip or Not to Dip? Two popular ways to eat the Italian Beef Sandwich are “Hot Dipped” with bread dipped in gravy before piling on the beef and giardiniera (sautéed Italian sweet green peppers).

“Sweet Dry,” beef placed between slices of plain, dry bread, topped with giardiniera.

Side 1: Deep Dish Pizza
Gulliver’s Pizza & Pub | Dino Karageorgis

Posted Imagecredit to Dino Karageorgis

Gulliver’s opened in 1965 in a relatively small 100-seat restaurant featuring the North Side’s original pan pizza. They proved so popular that over the years, they expanded that location to seat 350 pizza lovers! But that still wasn’t big enough. Today, they also serve diners at two additional locations bringing their world-famous pizza to thousands more.

The one thing that hasn’t changed over time is the winning recipe—pizzas baked in a brick oven to produce the perfect crust, using only fresh, high quality ingredients.

As we learned, the good folks of Chicago love their toppings, and Dino Karageorgis goes all out – from pepperoni to pineapple, anchovy to Alfredo sauce!

The Dish on Deep Dish: In 1943, entrepreneurs, Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo wanted to put their own spin on the traditional, thin crust pizza and took the beloved food in a completely different direction. Deep Dish Pizza, now a Chicago icon, was introduced to the public when Sewell and Riccardo opened the original Pizzeria Uno in Chicago’s Near North Side almost three-quarters of a century ago.

Side 2: Hot Dog
Kim & Carlo’s Chicago Style Hot Dogs | Kim Basile

Kim Basile is from Royal Arkansas, a very small town just outside of Hot Springs. She started working in the food business at the age of 13, and continued to work in restaurants all through junior high and high school.

Kim moved to Chicago shortly after graduating from high school with the intention of studying art. Throughout college, she continued to wait tables. Eventually, she changed her major, and completed a degree in Social Work at the University of Illinois. She was a social worker for a little over a year, but continued to waitress. The food industry stuck with her and she realized the restaurant business was her true calling.

In the early nineties Kim opened her first hot dog stand and she loved it! She hasn’t looked back. She had a small walk up window on Ontario Street for several years and eventually was awarded a contract with the Chicago Park District.

Kim now has three locations in Chicago; two hot dog stands on the Museum Campus and one hot dog stand in Eckhart Park, which is located in West Town.

“I have been in the hot dog business for twenty five years, but have worked in the restaurant industry for thirty eight. I love what I do and feel very fortunate to have such great locations in the city and wonderful employees to help me. I couldn’t do any of it without my fantastic staff,” Kim says.

Kim and husband Carlo, a classical and Flamenco guitarist, have a five year old daughter, Isabella. When not serving hot dogs to hungry customers, the family loves to travel.

“We have visited over forty countries. Most recently we took our daughter to China, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam.”

Kim plans to keep selling hot dogs for at least a few more years, but she still has her eye on that long-ago dream. “…my goal is to eventually go back to school and finally finish my art degree.”

Hot Dog Bites Back! When you bite into your Chicago-style hot dog it should have a “snap” to it, a little resistance from the casing. Use that comment around the hot dog cart, and you’ll sound like a real connoisseur

Dessert: Ice Cream Sundae
Hartigan’s Ice Cream Shoppe | Marcia Hartigan

Marcia (Savely) Hartigan met her future husband, Terry, when they were in their teens, while working at a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store in the late 70s. By 1980, Marcia now a sophomore, the couple negotiated to buy the store with Terry managing the business rather than pursuing college. After the duo married they settled into life serving ice cream, but in 1996, they decided to go out on their own, taking down the Baskin-Robbins sign and replacing it with Hartigan’s Ice Cream Shoppe. Now the hunt was on to find the creamiest, sweetest, most delicious ice cream to serve their customers. They found it, thanks to Marcia’s girlhood memory, at a family-run dairy in Wisconsin.

In 2004, after 20 years of marriage, Terry sadly, passed away. Marcia continues the Hartigan’s tradition, running the shop with the help of a group of young, enthusiastic employees.

They offer more than 50 flavors, including soft-serve yogurt and sherbets, not to mention the delightfully decadent sundae bar with 17 tempting dishes, including Marcias Matterhorn Sundae and the Krazy Kookie Sundae!

Fun Fact: The Ice Cream Sundae got its name in Evanston, Illinois. When the town fathers deemed the selling of ice cream sodas on Sundays as sinful, they passed an ordinance prohibiting the practice. So resourceful confectioners, decided to sell the “soda” without the actual soda, resulting in a dish of ice cream topped with syrup, and to quell the objections of naming it after the Sabbath, store owners altered the spelling of “Sunday” to “Sundae.”

Dessert: Ice Cream Sundae
Kris Hartzell | Kris Hartzell
Website coming soon

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Taylor Hicks : I may or may not be in the "Windy City" shooting an episode for my new TV show ‪#‎StatePlate‬ that premiers this fall.

Chicago: While in Chicago, Taylor took in the sites of the city !!!!

Outside the Shedd Aquarium

Posted Imagecredit to : Rita Scott Mallernee'

Posted Imagecredit to Lindsey McKay

Posted Image credit to Bobette Bergen

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1. ‎Joni Higginbotham‎

It goes without saying that I absolutely love Taylor Hicks, but I have to comment on tonight's State Plate that showcased Illinois. There are more cities in Illinois than Chicago and us downstate residents (close to Springfield- capital of Illinois) it would have been nice if they would have featured the Springfield "horseshoe" plate special which originated in Springfield, IL and maybe not have 3 things on that plate coming from Chicago alone. Needless to say, I was disappointed with tonight's show as they should have called in not visiting Illinois but visiting Chicago!

2. Danny Latham

State Plate was gooooood!!!! Sampling my birth state of Illinois tonight. Pizza, Italian Beef, and hot dogs!!! All Chicago style!!! Our Soul Man is on it!!!!

Posted ImageTHE APPETIZER ....
Posted ImageTHE ENTREE....
Posted ImageTHE DESSERT....

3. Taylor Hicks on Chicago Faves, His New Music & Why He Thinks Illinois' Food is Among the Best in the Nation
By Emma Sarran Webster | May 12, 2017

We checked in with singer Taylor Hicks to talk Chicago, American Idol, his upcoming City Winery show, and why Illinois is one of his top states for food.

It’s been more than 10 years since Taylor Hicks won season five of American Idol, and he hasn’t slowed down since. The Alabama native has continued to hone his performance craft—and not just in the way of singing. Since his big win, Hicks has indeed had major success with his music (his self-titled album, Arista, debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and was certified RIAA platinum), but he’s also penned a best-selling autobiography, Heart Full of Soul; was featured on Jimmy Fallon’s Grammy Award-winning album, Blow Your Pants Off; starred as Teen Angel in Broadway’s musical Grease; opened a popular barbecue joint in Alabama; and is the current host of INSP’s State Plate.

He certainly hasn’t abandoned his roots as a musician though. Hicks is currently on tour and will be coming to Chicago for a performance at City Winery on May 18. We caught up with him on the phone to chat about American Idol, his new music, and why Illinois’ “State Plate” was one of the best.

What can fans expect from your upcoming performance in Chicago?
TAYLOR HICKS: I’ve had an amazing run of City Wineries this year. It’s a really cool food and music concept. And what I’ve done is I’ve created a really intimate, acoustic show where it’s just a couple of guitars and me. As many bigger venues as I’ve played, this particular tour has been mostly small, intimate venues to try out new music and to give my fans a different look. It has been so band-oriented and big production; this is just the opposite of that and I’ve really enjoyed doing it. It's a very up-close-and-personal show.

How has your music evolved over the years?
TH: Well, I think my songwriting has gotten better, and the musicianship. Since we’re speaking about City Winery, I guess I feel like my artistry is kind of like the wine they sell there: It’s getting better over time.

American Idol ended its run on FOX last year. What was it like seeing that come to a close?
TH: It was pretty amazing the way that everyone celebrated the show. It was a pretty awesome experience to be on that show at the time, when it was America’s pastime. For me, that's allowed me to be able to say that I’ve worked over a decade in show business.

You’re currently recording your next album. How’s that going?
TH: I’m really, really enjoying it. I’m currently in Zac Brown’s studio in Nashville, Southern Ground, recording the album. The music that’s coming out of the studio is very rootsy—it’s kind of a rootsy, country, soul sound. And that’s pretty much who I am in a nutshell, so it’s going really, really great. I like to say if Zac Brown and Jackson Browne had a baby, it would probably be me on this record.

You’re also the host of State Plate on the INSP network. Tell us about that.
TH: I’ve been in television off and on for 10 years, but I also started a barbecue restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama [with] my partners called Saw’s BBQ. [And] the INSP network folks and I got together to discuss a concept where we go around to each state and fill up a plate of food that is iconic to just that state. I have learned more about food and all of these iconic foods than I ever have before, and I think what’s great about it is the show actually takes a lot of concepts from all the great shows around. It’s a little bit of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, it's a little bit of Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs, and it has a touch of Bourdain.

What has been your favorite plate so far?
TH: Illinois is definitely up there. From Chicago dogs, to the Italian meat sandwiches, and obviously deep dish pizza. Illinois has got a great array of different kinds of foods and I had a really great time traveling through the state of Illinois and learning about all of these iconic foods.

What are you looking forward to doing or seeing while you’re here?
TH: Whenever I travel through the city you can catch me sitting there at Buddy Guy’s Legends a good bit. Chicago has so much to do you obviously can’t cover it in one day, but I definitely like [it]. I carry my harmonica and play a lot of Chicago blues when I come into town. And eat.


1. Corn is the premier crop of Illinois ;;; 25 million acres of corn occupying 75% of the State farmland . 2.3 Billion bushels of corn produced each year.
2. There are 333 popcorn farmers in Illinois
3. Pop corm Kernals are smaller and lower in moisture than regular corn
4. Pre-Columbian Tribes invented popcorn in 5000BC. It was invented in Illinois and in 2003 was named the official snack of the state.
5. The Italian Bread is the key to the beef sandwiches so adored . It is hand made and cooked in a coal burning oven.
6. The ice cream sundae was invented in northern Illinois when there was a ban on soda..........
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Friday, November 4th at 9p ET

Go west, young man! Maybe not so much to settle the frontier, but to eat! This week singer and entertainer Taylor Hicks tastes his way across Arizona on a quest to discover the state’s most symbolic foods.

Join him as he herds Churro sheep, plants tepary beans, discovers the surprising birthplace of the chimichanga, and more! Then sit down to Arizona’s finest, a meal of tender lamb stew, versatile Navajo fry bread, crispy chimichanga, tasty tepary beans and sweet prickly pear cactus candy. Hungry? Get ready for a plateful of Arizona cuisine filled with a heaping side of stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Churro Sheep Stew
47 Ranch | Deb & Dennis Moroney | Learn More

Entrée: Chimichanga
El Charro Café | Carlotta Flores | Learn More

Side 1: Tepary Beans
Tohono O’Odham Community Action | Samantha Felix | Learn More

Side 2: Navajo Fry Bread
Emerson Fry Bread | Roxanne Wilson | Learn More

Dessert: Prickly Pear Cactus Candy
Cheri’s Desert Harvest | Cheri Romanoski | Learn More

1. Charlotta Flores
April 11 ·

Did you know the chimichanga is Arizona's iconic state plate? Here I am with Taylor Hicks, the host of a new food and travel series, "State Plate." I am sharing with Taylor the history of the chimi and how to create one. Arizona's Chimi will be featured in the first segment this fall. Stay tuned for details!

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2 Posted Imagecredit to: Roxanne Wilson

Loren showing Taylor Hicks how to make Frybread inside😬
Co-Owner/CEO at Big Muzzy Food Truck and CEO/Co-Owner at Emerson Fry Bread
Studies Basics at Arizona Culinary Institute
Lives in Phoenix, Arizona

3. TUCSON El Charro Café is going to be featured on a new TV show called "State Plate" hosted by "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks. The show, which will premiere on this fall on INSP, is about the iconic foods of each state. Stay tuned for more info about when this episode will air.

"One of America's 21 Most Legendary Restaurants"
- Gourmet Magazine, October, 2008

Established in 1922, El Charro Café of Tucson, Arizona is The Nation's Oldest Mexican Restaurant in continuous operation by the same family. Featuring traditional Northern Mexico-Sonoran style and innovative Tucson-style Mexican Food, El Charro Café is truly as Gourmet Magazine wrote: "A Taste Explosion".

With a large array of award winning hand-crafted recipes based on Sonoran and Local ingredients, El Charro Café is a passage to Tucson's Culinary History that has been won the dining icon acclaim from all over the world. People come from all corners of the globe to experience El Charro Café and we invite you to do the same.

The El Charro Café family is proud to be considered one of America's dining icons, but we will never rest on our laurels and will continue to develop delicious hand-crafted food and beverage recipes sure to please most any palate or dietary requirement. We are innovators and originators and have proven this with our efforts in maintaining old world quality with new found concepts such as recipes lower in trans fat or designing dishes for those who need to dine gluten free!

Whatever your needs, El Charro Café and family are prepared to show you that; "We are not the best because we are the oldest, We are the oldest because WE ARE THE BEST!" ARIZONA SHOW PREVIEW

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Posted ImageDrinking Cactus

Posted ImageSheep Stew Posted ImageFry BreadPosted Imagetapary beans Posted Imagecactus candy


1. Sheep are raised for wool and meat . They eat desert plants that give their meat an amazing flavor. The sheep graze for 12 hrs each day.
2. Cattle are another agricultural commodity. The 5 C's for Arizona are Cattle, Cotton, Citrus, Climate and Copper
3, Navajo Ingenuity has given us Fry Bread. Flour, sugar, salt and lard are mixed and deep fried. They are served with sweet and savory toppings.
4. The chimichanga are "burritos" that are put into the deep fryer for 4 minutes. Charro's is the birth place of the chimichanga; it's name comes from a cuss word .
5. The southern part of the State likes corn tortillas and the northern part floured ones.
6. Tepary Beans ( white and brown) are served boiled . The bean can withstand the most severe droughts.
7. Squash, corn and beans grown together are called The Three Sisters .
8. There are 90 different species of cacti. Prickly pear cactus juice was first used to treat burns and diabetes. Now the juice is solidified and covered with sugar to make an outstanding candy.
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Friday, November 11th at 9p ET

This singer hits the high seas! Will entertainer and host Taylor Hicks haul in a big lobster catch? Maybe if he sings sweetly to the crafty crustaceans—or he just may try it the way the locals do it, with grit and skill! Yes, Taylor travels to Maine to seek out the state’s tastiest foods in this episode of State Plate.

Join him as he heads to the mudflats to go digging for soft-shell clam “steamers,” works with a horse to hill potatoes in the field, and learns how to cook authentic bean-hole beans over hot coals.

Then it’s out to sea, as he also goes lobster fishing to get to the main ingredient of Maine’s famous lobster roll.

Fried Potatoes in Lard

The Maine menu wouldn’t be complete without dessert! Taylor finishes it off with a slice of fresh blueberry pie.

Now that’s a mouthwatering plateful of Maine cuisine filled with the stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Steamers
Omm Outfitters | Nathaniel Theriault

Nathaniel Theriault owns Omm Outfitters – World Class Adventures. He’s loved being out in nature, the woods and the wild his entire life. He has been a registered Maine Guide since he was 18 years old. He now is a pilot and part of Mossy Oaks Prostaff team. While continuing his career as a guide, he attained a degree in business from the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

Digging Clams: Soft shell clams live in Maine’s mud, sand and gravel intertidal areas.

Entrée: Lobster Roll
Guy Randlett | Guy Randlett

Guy Randlette is a professional lobster fisherman, registered Maine Guide, outdoorsman and hunter.

Shell Game: Did you know lobsters shed their shells? Adult male lobsters shed twice a year, females once a year. The new shell is soft for months as it hardens. The meat of soft-shell lobsters is sweeter and more tender.

Side 1: Bean Hole Beans
Elliot Scott | Elliot Scott

Side 2: Maine Potato
Norlands Living History | Nicol Miller

Nicol Miller is the Program Coordinator at the Washburn-Norlands Living History Center, Maine’s oldest living history museum, where visitors journey into the past and experience life on a farm in the 1800s. At Norlands, all the staff portray real people who lived in the neighborhood in the 19th-century. Nicol portrays “Edward Pratt” (b.1837 d.1913), who owned a farm three miles from the Norlands. As Farmer Pratt, Nicol leads educational programs for schoolchildren, teaching them how to care for livestock, to farm using traditional methods, and to develop a personal connection to the past. With Norlands since 2014, Nicol has a background in art, archaeology and anthropology.

The Norlands preserves the heritage and traditions of 19th-century rural life in Maine, celebrates the achievements of Livermore’s Washburn family, and uses living history methods to make the values and activities of the past relevant to present and future generations.

One Potato, Two Potato…What happens to potatoes that don’t make the grade? Many companies in Maine are conducting research to see if waste potatoes can be used to make plastic products and biodegradable packaging. So someday, you might carry your potatoes in a bag made from potatoes!

Dessert: Wild Blueberry Pie
Winslow Farms | Sarah Boudreau

Dessert: Blueberries
Libby & Sons | Aaron Libby

Posted Image Cozy Harbor , Maine

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1. Q1065

New National TV Show ‘State Plate’ Will Feature Maine Food
By DJ Fred October 5, 2016

Just like folks in other states in the country, here in Maine we are what we eat!
A new show called State Plate will debut on INSP TV on Friday, Oct. 21 at 9 p.m., and each episode will feature a different state and what foods are associated with that particular area.
There’s crab cakes in Maryland, chili in Texas, peaches in Georgia, and of course lobster in Maine. A press release from the network says, “As food and culture are bound together, the story of a state’s cuisine is also the story of its culture.”
State Plate is hosted by American Idol season 5 winner Taylor Hicks, and the Maine version will air on Friday, Nov.11, at 9 p.m. Taylor has a deep passion for food and is the co-owner of Saw’s Juke Joint, a barbeque and blues bar in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Along the way, he visits farms, ranches, markets, festivals, and other exciting locales in order to uncover the stories and legends behind the state’s unique food traditions.

Will Taylor Hicks haul in a big lobster catch? Maybe if he sings sweetly to the crafty crustaceans—or he just may try it the way the locals do it, with grit and skill!
Join him as he heads to the mudflats to go digging for clams, works with a horse to hill potatoes in the field, and learns how to cook authentic bean-hole beans over hot coals.

Then it’s out to sea, as he also goes lobster fishing to get to the main ingredient of our famous lobster rolls. Then, it’s time for desert as Taylor finishes it off with a slice of fresh blueberry pie.
The episode promises to be filled with the stories and legends behind the Maine’s tastiest foods!

Read More: New National TV Show 'State Plate' Will Feature Maine Food |

Appetizer: Posted ImageEntree: Posted ImageDessert: Posted Image


1. Digging for soft shell clams in the mud flats of Maine requires stamina and a clamming permit.
2. At low tide, look for holes in the mud beds , get your rake behind and under the holes and pull up on the rake. Harvest the clams
3. The squirt of the clam is its defense mechanism.
4. There are 68,000 acres of fertile mud flats in Maine. ...June - Sept is harvest time.
5. The butter used to season the clam after it is steams is called wax.

6. Lobsters traps are dropped at night and buoys are used to mark where the trap is ..... different buoys for different lobstermen.
7. 3 1/4 inches is the legal limit for keeping a lobster .

8. Bean hole beans are cooked buried in a pit 2 to 3 ft. deep. You put a trash can in the hole and fill around it with dirt. Pack it and then remove the trash can and a deep round hole exists. Put your beans in a covered pot in the hole and set it on fire. Cover the hole and let the beans cook.
9. Molassas , mustard and pepper are added to the beans before cooking.

10. There are 60,000 acres of potato fields in Maine making it the biggest crop.
11. Hilling - the process of turning the soil around the potatoes to ensure that they stay buried as they grow.
12. Fry the sliced potato in a skillet with lard until crisp.

13. Wild blueberries are called low bush and cultivated berries are called high bush.
14. It takes 8 cups of blueberries to make one blueberry pie. Posted Image
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Friday, November 18th at 9p ET

From the sandy beaches to the…well, swampy swamps, host Taylor Hicks hits the road to The Sunshine State seeking out Florida’s most popular and emblematic foods!Posted Image

With the help of iconic actress Maureen McCormick, Taylor uncovers the stories and legends behind the Sunshine State’s traditional cuisine. Not only do they enjoy some tasty tidbits, but they also dive into some unique Florida experiences.Posted Image

Join Taylor as he learns how to harvest a local favorite called swamp cabbage, and Maureen heads out to sea to fish for stone crab.

They also sample alligator bites and a Florida fruit that is almost as popular as the orange: the Kumquat. And, of course, they can’t leave the great state of without indulging in Florida’s a savory slice of key lime pie.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Gator Bites
Wild Bill’s Airboat Tours | Aaron Bengwerff

Wild Bill’s Airboat Tours is the first airboat tour in Florida approved by The U.S. Coast Guard. The company takes tourists, thrill seekers, wildlife enthusiasts and others up for an adventure on an exciting (often soaking!) ride down the Withlacoochee River into unspoiled wilderness, through wetlands and swamps searching for Florida alligators.

They accommodate large or small groups, those who want to mosey down the river and those who want to cut through the water at speed.

How well did Taylor Hicks survive his tour with Captain Aaron at the helm? Did he have an alligator sighting? You’ll have to watch to find out.

See ya later, Alligator! And you’d be running fast if you saw this guy hanging around! The Florida State record for the longest male alligator is 14 foot 3-1/2 inches, a gator from Lake Washington in Brevard County.

Appetizer: Gator Bites
Bret Johnson | Bret Johnson More Info coming

Entrée: Stone Crab Claws
Fresh off the Boat Seafood | Dylan McClain

Family owned and operated for 25 years, Fresh Off The Boat Seafood provides premium seafood, specializing in Florida stone crab from the Gulf of Mexico. They offer premium quality, fresh stone crabs taken directly from their own boats, processed, cooked, shipped and delivered to customers’ doors the very next day.

How to Crack the Claw: Stone Crab claws are hard and sharp. The temptation is to take a mallet and whack it! Stop! Step away from the hammer! You’ll only end up with tiny shards of claw embedded in the meat. Use a butter knife, instead. You read that right. A butter knife. Place the claw in the palm of your hand and using the handle of the knife, strike the claw to simply fracture the shell on both sides. Now, just pull from the tips of the pinchers to remove the meat. Still difficult? Continue to fracture until the meat comes out easily.

Side 1: Swamp Cabbage
Summer Corbitt | Summer Corbitt

For Summer Corbitt, cutting down a cabbage palm tree, paring it down to the heart and cooking it up with salt pork or a ham hock is a matter of pride that goes beyond winning prizes at fairs. It’s family. It’s a typical, regional side dish she can share at a potluck or serve at holidays, special occasions or to friends who’ve never tasted the rich, soft stew. It’s about tradition. It’s about her earliest memories of being on her dad’s farm.

Summer admits there’s one reason some people might not experience the savory taste of this special side dish.

“Most people are nervous to try something called Swamp Cabbage, and it does look a little “swampy,” but nine-out-of-ten people who try it really love it,” she says, “For me, I love the rich pork flavor and the slightly creamy taste the swamp cabbage produces. Swamp Cabbage just tastes like home to me because it is so unique to our area and because we’ve been making it as a family for as long as I can remember.”

The palm heart is naturally fibrous and takes a few hours to boil down. One has to be careful to cook it just to the point of being tender. If it’s overcooked, it becomes too mushy, and not recognizable as swamp cabbage.
Pick Your Palm:
For the sweetest swamp cabbage, cut down an average-size tree. Trees that are extra-large or that grow close to the water tend to have hearts that taste bitter.

Media: Caloosa Belle

Cooking Swamp Cabbage with Summer Corbitt
Dec 3rd, 2016 · by Val White ·

Summer Corbitt and her brother Field Corbitt, both LaBelle natives, helped put LaBelle on the map this past week and they did it through their love of Swamp Cabbage. Summer, has always been a lover of the local delicacy; growing up as a fifth generation LaBellian she developed a love for Swamp Cabbage at an early age and she’s been touting its praises everywhere she goes ever since.

It was during her time working in entertainment marketing for CNN Atlanta when she first caught the attention of her friend, and freelance producer Laurel Ripley, when Summer made the dish for her colleagues at their company pot lucks. When a cooking segment on a television show featuring iconic state foods presented itself, Summer was an obvious choice for the spot.

It was on a new traveling food series, State Plate, airing on the INSP (formerly Inspiration Network) channel that Summer had the chance to bring our much loved local cuisine to the masses! State Plate, hosted by Alabama native and American Idol Taylor Hicks will cross the country creating iconic dishes most loved by the locals in the prospective areas.

Summer was thrilled to accompany Taylor and a film crew down to LaBelle to introduce the tradition of cutting down the Cabbage Palm, paring it down to the heart of the Palm, and stewing it in the time honored way her family has been doing for years.

Bringing a television crew to a local orange grove, owned by Bryan Beer Jr., the process began by Field Corbitt demonstrating how to properly cut down the Cabbage Palm Tree with a chain saw. After procuring the heart of the tree Summer was joined by Hicks in her actual home kitchen to cook up the beloved stew.

When all was said and done Summer and her brother Field were thrilled to have been a part of the production and even more so by spreading their love of our regional iconic cuisine.

At the request of the production team we were unable to share the information on the show before it’s airing but you can now find information and see clips of the episode of State Plate: Florida on and

Side 2: Kumquat Marmalade
Kumquat Growers | Greg Gude Posted Image

The Gude family has been in the kumquat growing business since 1971. For almost 27 years, Greg Gude, General Manager of Kumquat Growers, has overseen the harvesting, packing, processing and shipping of Fresh Florida Kumquats. In addition to shipping fresh kumquats to restaurants and individual customers, the company also sells a variety of jams, jellies, sauces and pie.

Known as “the little gold gems of the citrus family,” kumquats are believed to be native of China. They come in four varieties, but the ones that grow best in Florida are the sweet, round-shaped Meiwa, and the tart, oval-shaped Nagami. The taste is distinctive, a sweet and sour sensation.

Kumquat season runs from November through about April. That’s when the Gudes and their employees, many of whom have been with the company for over 30 years, kick into high gear.

Kumquat Fact: Kumquats are the only citrus fruit you can eat “skin and all.” In fact, the peel is the sweetest part and can be eaten separately.

Dessert: Key Lime Pie
Mike’s Pies | Michael Martin Posted Image

In the mid-70s, native Floridian Mike Martin, then a linebacker at the University of Kentucky simply couldn’t wait for the holidays to enjoy his mother’s sweet pies. So he asked her to give him a crash course in pie making, especially cherry pie, his favorite at the time. And that started a lifelong love of baking.

In 1992, he finally gave in to friends and family who’d urged him to start selling his pies and he opened a small retail store in Tampa, and business took off, selling to loyal local customers and restaurants.

Today, his award-winning company has grown, to national proportions with distribution in 38 states, and is housed in a 30,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility. But still Mike holds true to his mission: to provide consistent, high-quality desserts, made without adding fillers, preservatives or other artificial ingredients. And how could he not stick to his values! His mom’s recipes continue to be the backbone of his success.

As for that young linebacker with a sweet tooth? He’s older now, but the sweet tooth is still there! His website states, “…Mike still engages in ‘quality control’ every chance he gets.”

Mike’s Pies has won 13 National Championships at the annual Great American Pie Festival.

And his authentic Key Lime Pie is one of them as a four time national champion! The pie filling is made with egg yolks, condensed milk and Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Juice®. Nothing else. It’s poured into a scratch-made graham cracker crust and baked to perfection—cutting no corners, because as Mike says, “There are no corners on pies!”

Pie Chart:
113 million — the number of Americans who have eaten pie for breakfast
9% — the number of Americans who prefer to eat their pie crust before the filling
6 million — the number of American men between the ages of 35 and 54 who have eaten the last slice of pie—and denied it!
47% — the number of Americans who associate the word “comforting” with pie

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Entree :Posted Image
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1. Ellen Schned

Hanging with Taylor Hicks at Independent Show in Orlando, former American Idol, now star of INSP's State Plate...and handsome devil!!Posted Image

2. Melissa Krupin Posted Image

3. David Starrett Posted Image

4. original_kindleWalt Disney World Sw Posted Image

5. Denise Wiseman Maynard Posted Image


1. The alligator is a descendant of a prehistoric bird
2. You can't make a living hunting for wild gator, most are farm raised for selling .
3. Gator bits are breaded with egg/breadcrumbs and deep fried in oil for about 5 to 6 minutes.

4. Stone Crab season is from October through May
5. Since the early 1900's stone crabs have been harvested for their claws. When caught the claw is torn off the crab and the crab is thrown back into the water to rejuvenate their claws.
6. Stone Crabs molt every year and they also lose claws in fights.
7. 2 to 3 million stone crab claws are caught each year and eaten pretty much in Florida.

8. There are 25 different varieties of palm trees in Florida
9. The sable palm is the one used for harvesting the heart of palm used in swamp cabbage.
10. Years ago , the Seminole Indians saw bears eating the palm fronds and realized there was something in there to eat.

11. The kumquat is called the sweet tart of Florida ; while the orange is called the sweet heart.
12. 1 acre of kumquats yields 8000 lbs of fruit , all picked by hand
13. To make marmalade: equal parts sugar, kumquat sliced thin and a dash of lemon juice; cook in a micro wave for a few minutes

14. There are NO KEY LIMES in Florida or elsewhere in the U.S. The key lime trees were destroyed in Hurricane Andrew ( 1992) , so all key limes come from Mexico.
15. It is essential to have egg yolks, condensed milk and key lime juice to make a key lime pie. It is baked in the oven .
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Friday, November 25th at 9p ET

The man who has his own barbecue joint is in for some BBQ—Texas style! Taylor Hicks is not only in show biz, but he’s in the restaurant business, as well, and he knows his barbecue!

In the Lone Star State he saddles up, lopes off on a cattle drive and chows down on some tender, spicy barbecue brisket, and makes cowboy-style pan de campo over a campfire. The Texas state food is chili, so the pressure is on when Taylor judges a chili cook-off between two legends of the chili world. Then he makes a sweet onion casserole at the largest onion farm in America. Can’t go without dessert! Taylor learns a family’s cherished recipe as he helps bake a big ole Texas sheet cake.

Posted ImageTaylor , home on the range

It’s a heaping plateful of savory cuisine, as big as Texas itself, filled with the stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: BBQ Brisket
Beaumont Ranch | Traci Garrison

Beaumont Ranch opened its doors in 1997. From a few guest cabins the ranch grew into the luxurious vacation destination and event venue it is today. The atmosphere may feel spa-like, but they still hold true to their roots and remain dedicated to putting family first. Beaumont is not only a resort and guest ranch; it’s a real, working cattle ranch housing herds of Longhorn Cattle, llamas, horses and other wildlife.

Entrée: Pan De Campo
Beaumont Ranch | Traci Garrison

Cowboy Trick: The traditional way to make Pan de Campo is in a Dutch oven, but if you’re riding the lonesome trail and camping out overnight, it’s not likely you’ll find appliances around. So, simply wrap the dough around a stick and cook your bread over coals.

Side 1: Chili
Suzanne Sweet | Suzanne Sweet

Suzanne Sweet was born November 16, 1964 in Ruston Louisiana. She moved with her parents to Dallas, Texas in 1968. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 1990 with a BS in Education. Having been diagnosed with Type I Diabetes in 1969, Ms. Sweet began to suffer the effects of her disease, including vision loss. Due to her health issues, she postponed her wedding to Earl David Sweet, but later married on May 23, 1991. A son, Hudson Bradford Sweet was born in April 1994.

In the fall of 2013 when Hudson left for college Suzanne began spending more time in Terlingua, Texas where she had started judging chili contests several years earlier. It was then she decided to try her hand at cooking chili.

She won her first cook off in August of 2014. In 2015 she won The State Fair of Texas Chili cook off in two categories. She also joined the High Sierra Cooking Team. In 2016 she won the Texas Open, which is the Texas State CASI Championship and then the ICS Arkansas Championship. These events qualify her to cook in the ICS World Championship and the Terlingua International Chili Championship the fall, 2016.

Chili to Die For! Legend has it that famed frontiersman Kit Carson’s dying words were “Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili.”

Side 2: Sweet Onion Casserole
Dixondale Farms | Emily Lord

Dixondale Farms has been providing a wide variety of family-grown onion plants since 1913. It wasn’t until 1990, when UPS began delivering to their area in Carrizo Springs, did they start selling their onion plants on a small scale. Today, the farm ships over 800 million onion plants to farmers, home gardeners and garden centers across the nation.

Cry-Free Chopping! No need to start making dinner by sobbing at the cutting board. Before you cut into your onion, place it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Supposedly, freezing the onion slightly prevents the release of the tear-inducing chemicals.

Dessert: Texas Sheet Cake
That’s the Cake Bakery | Monte & Grandma Nancy

That’s the Cake is a family-owned bakery specializing in cakes that truly reflect the events for which they were made. From simple, sweet sheet cakes to elaborate 3D sculpted masterpieces, each cake is made by hand with the finest ingredients after consulting with the customer to ensure their needs are met.

Owner and Master Decorator, “Grandma” Nancy has over 25 years of experience as a baker. She discovered her talent as she created sweet goodies for her six children. Baking allows her to express her creativity, unleashing her artistic side as a cake decorator.

General Manager and Head Baker, Monte is also the bakery’s tech guy, social media guru and transmitter of all the latest company news. He’s also the one to handle specific questions about customers’ orders.

How to Move a Cake: If your cake is just one tier, it can be placed on an adult’s lap in your car. For cakes 2 tiers or more, make sure it’s on a level surface, and an SUV is best. In all cases, crank up the AC, pick up your cake at the last stop before its destination and don’t channel your inner race car driver.

1. Suzanne Pratt Sweet

Filmed an episode of "State Plate" with American Idol Star Taylor Hicks today. With Jim Ezell — with Jim Ezell and Taylor Hicks in Dallas, Texas. Posted Image

2. The Cake Bakery

Friends, fam! We'll be on TV this fall! @taylorhicksofficial is hosting #stateplatetv on the #insp network! We couldn't be more excited to share the legendary Texas Sheet Cake and some history about it and the ways of #TTCBakery
Thank you, Taylor for stopping by and come back anytime! #sweets #tv #taylorhicks #texassheetcake #americanidol #television #cakes #dallas #fortwprth #dfwcakes #dallasbakery #arlingtonbakery #love

Posted ImageTaylor sneaking in the back of the kitchen to find the cake's secret recipe.....Sneaky , sneaky

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The Main Courses: Posted Image

The Dessert:
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1. There are 11.8 million head of cattle in Texas
2. Cattle drives move cattle from one field to another so as to keep the grazing pastures even and the cattle full
3. Spanish settlers brought cattle to Texas.
4. During the Civil War, only Texas had beef
5. Each year Texas makes 10.5 billion dollars off cattle
6. Brisket is cut from the breast/pectoral muscles of the cow and slow cooked for 12 hrs.

7. Texas is the # 1 producer of cattle AND lamb

8. Camp Bread is made from flour, salt, baking soda, lard and water .......all mixed together and pan fried in a cast iron skillet over coals .
9. All of the ingredients could be carried in a saddlebag and as such, made it easy for cowboys to have a hardy food while on the trail .
10. The official Texas cooking vessel is the cast iron skillet.

11. Chili is the official dish of Texas
12. There are NO beans in Texas chili, but you can add what you want to the meat and gravy . ( onions, peppers, tomatoes , beans )

13. The biggest crop in Texas is the onion. Texas makes about $350 million a year.
14. There are short day onions, intermediate day onions and long day onions ( in different parts of the state ) , but the Southern part of Texas can grow all three.
15. For Onion casserole , saute onions in butter/ crackers/ Parmesan cheese and put into a casserole . Bake in oven.

16. The Texas flat cake is just a chocolate cake , 1 inch thick, topped with icing made of butter, chocolate, confection sugar . Pecans are added to the top of the icing. As the cake sets, it becomes more solid and the texture is like a cross between a cake and fudge.
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WEEK SEVEN ( Jan. 6, 2017 )


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Host Taylor Hicks is getting ready to laissez les bon temps rouler! That’s right! In this episode, he heads to Louisiana where the jazz is cool and the food is spicy hot!Posted Image

Join him as he hunts for crawfish deep in the swamps, harvests rice on a giant combine, learns how to make the perfect Po’ boy sandwich!

And if you think the food is hot, wait till you hear this heated debate! According to one source the state cuisine of Louisiana is gumbo. But some may beg to differ! So which one food best represents the Pelican State? Is it gumbo, jambalaya, or étouffée? You’ll have to watch to see who wins this one!Posted Image

Louisiana being a state known for its lighthearted, joie de vivre, we end on a sweet note when Taylor tries his hand at making beignets in the kitchen of Café du Monde.

It’s a zesty plateful of Louisiana cuisine filled with the stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Crawdads
Personal farm | Hank Rimmer Posted Image

Entrée: Po’ Boy
Parkway Bakery & Tavern| Justin Kennedy

Parkway Bakery & Tavern | Justin Kennedy

Po’ Boy Sandwich | Website

With more than a hundred years of memories on the walls, Parkway has become a New Orleans legend. Named “Best Po’boy in Louisiana” in USA TODAY’s “10 Best Readers’ Choice” Contest in 2016, this treasured institution has come to symbolize “the real New Orleans” for locals and visitors from all around the world.

Since 1911, they’ve been a family run business with a reputation for high quality, delicious food and real New Orleans hospitality. General Manager, Justin Kennedy carries on that tradition and work ethic. He makes sure everything is made from scratch and always fresh. You’ll never taste premade roast beef at Parkway. In fact, over 1,000 pounds of beef is slow cooked in Parkway’s kitchen each week, along with over fifty gallons of gravy.

The restaurant features spacious seating and parking, plus a full bar, photo booth, and more—something for everyone at Parkway.

They’re proud to symbolize home for many New Orleanians who’ve had to move away and connect with their city through our food, laughter, and friendship. Whether a local or a visitor, Parkway has a seat waiting for you.

Party with the Poor Boys! When you think New Orleans, you think “party!” Well, the Poor Boy Sandwich has its very own celebration! The Oak Street Po-Boy Festival is a one-day event with live music at the feast and in restaurants, local and regional breweries, arts and crafts, a 3K race, and every type of mouthwatering Poor Boy sandwich imaginable!

Side 1: Gumbo
Mother’s Restaurant | Roland Swazy

Roland Swazy has been the head cook at Mother’s Restaurant for the last 15 years. He started working at the restaurant in 1987 as a dishwasher, and worked his way up the ranks from biscuit and pie maker to cook. Chef/Partner Jerry Amato, who sadly passed away, March 12, 2016, mentored Roland and taught him how to cook Mother’s specialties. Indeed Roland is his protégé. In his current role, Roland supervises the production of thousands of meals per week. He is a native of New Orleans and a graduate of Walker L. Cohen High School.

The internationally-known restaurant, famous for its Shrimp Creole, jambalaya and red beans, and other regional specialties, remains a family eatery, now with Denny Amato, Jerry’s nephew taking over the day-to-day business.

Listen to Your Mother! Mother’s Restaurant has its own dictionary and recipes. Study up before you go. Here’s one entry to start you off: “Debris” is the roast beef that falls into the gravy while baking in the oven.

Side 2: Red Beans & Rice
Fruge Aquafarms | Courtney & Mike Fruge Posted Imageharvesting rice

Frugé Aquafarms | Courtney & Mike Frugé

Red Beans & Rice | Website

Rice and crawdads go great together—even off the dinner plate! Frugé Aquafarms harvests two crops of rice every year. Not only is rice a nutritious food, but once the grain is harvested, the crawfish eat the remaining rice stalks.

Mike and brother, Mark Frugé started their company on a 20-acre, Branch, Louisiana crawfish farm as a way to help pay for college. Today, their farm stretches to 3,500 acres, still in the heart of “Cajun Country,” shipping fresh products throughout Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

Mike is a hands-on company owner who revels in analyzing all aspects of the business, even when pursuing his passion as an outdoorsman—whether it’s fishing or serving as a duck- and goose-hunting guide.

Mike’s wife, Courtney serves as the Marketing Director for Frugé Aquafarms, Frugé Seafood Company and, creating and/or overseeing all the advertising and promo materials and coordinating event planning. She is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in graphic design, a talent, which we hear she sometimes uses to prank her colleagues!

In addition to her work at Frugé Seafood, she owns Frugé & Frugé Graphic Design, a full-service design company, located in Crowley, LA.

It’s All in the Timing!

Rice: According to the LSU Ag Center, rice planted in southwest Louisiana by April 15 has the best chance of producing a good second crop, but the first crop should be harvested by mid-August.

Crawdads: Everything depends on water temperature and weather! But a very general timetable has the harvest from December, to a peak period around mid-March with continued harvest into July.

Dessert: Beignet
Cafe Du Monde | Burt Benrud Posted Image

Café Du Monde | Burt Benrud

Beignet | Website

The Café Du Monde opened in the French Market section of New Orleans in 1862. In 1942, Hubert Fernandez bought the coffee shop, and now, three generations later, the iconic, open-air café is still a family-run business, known for their chicory-flavored coffee and their mouthwatering, world-renowned beignets.

In a video featured on their website, Café Du Monde Vice President, Burt Benrud says, “Every culture has a fried dough, and our culture here, our fried dough is the beignet. People in New Orleans grow up eating beignets.”

When you visit Café Du Monde, you can watch the pastry chef at work, creating the sweet delights. The beignets are rolled out and cut into squares, fried in cottonseed oil, and topped with a generous amount of powdered sugar.

“It’s truly amazing how people identify with that taste, the beignets,” Burt says, “How they expect what those beignets are going to taste like.”

A beacon of hope in the devastated city after Hurricane Katrina hit was the day Café Du Monde re-opened its doors for business.

“When we re-opened after the storm, moms brought their school kids on their way to school to come celebrate the re-opening of the Café Du Monde,” Burt says in the video, “I got really choked up that morning watching how happy everybody really was that we had finally done so.”

The Café Du Monde opening, once again, after the storm was such a symbol of the city’s strength and resilience that the event gained national media attention.

Café Du Monde is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, except Christmas.

Beignet the Café Du Monde Way…

A few tips from the chef:

Don’t overmix your dough, or your beignets will be tough
Ideal temp for cooking oil should be 370 degrees F
You want your beignets to puff up and be light. So don’t add too many to the oil at one time or they’ll come out flat.

1. David Segrave Jr.
near New Orleans, LA ·
Eating at mothers and in walks the silver fox Taylor Hicks from american idol interveiwing people.Posted Image

2. porchswingpictures Hanks Seafood Market Posted Image

3. theshelleykay #cafedumonde. He's filming his new show #stateplate for the #insp network.

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4. Cali Lynn Martinez

Taylor Hicks at Cafe Du Monde!! Chatted with him for a bit about American Idol and he offered to take our selfie. Down-to-earth dude.

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Posted Imagecredit to andrea harv


THE APPETIZER: Mudbugs Posted Image

THE ENTREE: Redbeans and Rice; Po'boy; Gumbo
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1. Cajun Cooking is a mixture of French and Creole

2. Crawdads are called Mudbugs because they live in the mud and the traps are stuck in the mud for harvesting. The mudbug circles to cage trap and climbs into the hole .............It can't get out. Traps are placed about 10 feet apart in the bayou.
a. 100 million lbs of crawfish are reaped each year in LA.
b. 90% of all crawfish come from LA.
c. The harvest season is from April thru August
d. Just tear off the heads and a few legs and such out the meat for a delicious treat that is a combination of lobster/crab/shrimp taste.

3. The Rice harvester separates the chafe from the grain . Rice began in LA in the early 1700's .

4. History of the Po'Boy Sandwich : In 1929 during the depression, the street car conductors ( major means of transportation in New Orleans at the time ) were not getting paid, so they went on strike. The Martin's grocery store decided to give free food to the poor boy conductors if they showed their street car passes. Ergo: the name Po'Boy

a. The most important ingredient is the bread. It can only be made in LA as the below sealevel condidtions make for perfectly baked , airy, low density bread. The Parkway Bakery is the oldest Po'Boy bread bakery in the world.
b. The cold lettuce, cold tomatoes, and cold mayo combined with the hot fried shrimp make the perfect sandwich.

5. Etouffee, gumbo and jambalaya are all Cajun Stews. The differences are subtle , but noticeable .

a. Etoufee is a shellfish stew, Cajun in origin dating back to the 1920's with butter and the holy trinity prominently featured; it is the most souplike dish.
b. Gumbo is a stew with chicken and sausage . It is the State food of LA and is derived from French, Spanish, Native American and African influences. It is made with dried file herb. Filé, is a spicy herb made from the dried sassafras
c. Jambalaya is a thick stew made with rice , chicken and sausage . In the 1800's the Spanish and French influenced this preparation.

6. Beignet

a. Dough is prepared and fried in cottonseed oil for about a minute or more and then coated with powered sugar.
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Friday, January 13th at 9p ET

Posted ImageOpening the Show

There really is a state dessert, and for Massachusetts, it’s the Boston cream pie! Singer and host, Taylor Hicks, heads to the Bay State to get a mouthwatering taste of its finest and most symbolic foods.

Hit the road (and the deep sea!) with him as he shucks clams on the beach to make fresh clam chowder, goes deep sea fishing to catch striped bass for fish and chips, discovers what puts the Boston in Boston Baked Beans. He also learns the art of making traditional New England bulkie rolls.

Now about that dessert…Taylor takes you to the birthplace of the Boston cream pie and makes his own rendition.

It’s a heaping helping of Massachusetts cuisine filled with the stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Clam Chowder
Cathart Beach | Brian Cullen

President and CEO of Yoho Raw Bars & Clambakes, Brian Cullen was working construction when he started holding annual weekend clambakes on the beach of Nantucket. The event grew year after year from a fun party for family, friends and locals to a feast where fresh fish and clam chowder lovers arrived from as far away as Japan, Nicaragua and the Netherlands! Cooking on the beach was a passion, and Brian’s specialty, his wife’s grandmother’s creamy clam chowder, using fresh-shucked clams and home-cured bacon was always a big hit. When people started asking if he had a card, he realized he could turn his passion for the ocean, the beach and cooking into a catering business. Today, he serves fresh fish, lobster, muscles and, of course, his signature clam chowder at all types of events, from upscale parties to family reunions on the beach. Posted Image

And if you’re wondering what Yoho means, it’s not an acronym for a trendy Nantucket neighborhood. Yoho is said to be an ancient, mythical creature, but these days the name has become synonymous with a particular social culture.

“Yoho has come to mean a breed of people who live close by the sea, collecting and celebrating its bounty and enjoying it in an unconventional but thoroughly joyous manner,” Brian says on his website.

Diggin’ for Clams: How do you know if you dug up a clam or some unidentifiable floating object at the shoreline? Clams should feel like little stones in your rake. Posted ImageShucking the Clams

Entrée: Fish & Chips
Barnstable Harbor| Nick

Posted ImageTaylor catching 29 inch striped bass

Nick Betti and his father, Bob started Cape Cod Family Charters ten years ago. They fish Cape Cod Bay for striped bass, bluefish, and bluefin tuna, allowing corporate teams, families, groups of friends and others experience the thrill of deep sea fishing.

Now 26 years old, Nick has been fishing Cape Cod Bay since he was a child. At the young age of 15, he started as a mate, and by the time he was 21 he became captain.

The Betti’s fish May through October, but, Nick states, the fishing is fantastic the whole time.

On State Plate, you’ll meet Eric Scherer. Raised on Cape Cod, 53-year-old, mate Eric has been fishing his whole life, for both commercial and charter businesses.

The family owns two boats the smaller, Elisabeth B, and the boat featured on State Plate, the larger Escape, a 35-foot Cabo sport fishing boat that carries up to 6 people.

In addition to their website, Cape Cod Family Charters can be found on Instagram and Facebook.

Fish Tale! What’s the number 1 most sought-after fish around Cape Cod? The Atlantic Cod, of course! You’ll find a carving of the popular fish in the Massachusetts State House along with the motto: “Land of the Sacred Cod.”

Fish Tale 2! The state record for the biggest cod caught is 92 pounds on July 5, 1987

Catching Bass which can be used as a substitute for cod in Fish and Chips : Posted ImageBait that the bass feed upon. The bait used on the fishing hooks mimics these little suckers

Side 1: Boston Baked Beans
Paula’s home | Paula Marcoux

A resident of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Paula Marcoux is a food historian and the author of Cooking with Fire, a cookbook that contains 100 recipes that bring out the rich flavors of cooking over a wood fire. She has worked professionally as an archaeologist, cook, and bread-oven builder. She is the food editor of Edible South Shore magazine, writes on food history topics for popular and academic audiences, and consults with museums, film producers, and publishers. She also gives regular workshops on natural leavening, historic baking, and wood-fired cooking.

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A Bean Town Tradition – A Sabbath rite among the early Pilgrims and Puritans held that they should not work or cook hot meals on Sundays. Some clever settler devised a way around the rule, that still allowed them to be observant: Cook baked beans on Saturday, and leave it overnight in a hot brick oven. On Sunday they could enjoy a hot meal. Right up until the early 1900s (some say till the 1930s), baked beans and brown bread was a Sunday tradition.

Side 2: Bulkie Rolls
Bluemoon Bagels Cafe | Daniel Freedman

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Daniel Freedman is a 4th generation master baker and the owner of Blue Moon Bagel Café. Dan began his career at age 11 at Green Freedman’s on Harrison Avenue in Boston where he worked with some of the area’s top Eastern European bakers.

Freedman attended baking school at the prestigious Dunwoody Institute of Minneapolis where he graduated with honors as well as a master’s course in baking technique from the San Francisco School of Sourdough Baking.

He went on to open the award-winning Freedman’s Bakery of Brookline and Boston. At the time, Freedman’s of Boston, located in Quincy Market was the highest grossing store (per square foot) in the entire United States.

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After more than 35 years of baking, Daniel has developed a unique style of integrated old world techniques mixed with modern technology and methods. He has won numerous awards by various publications, including “Best Cookie” (almond macaroon), “Best Bagel,” and “Best Challah.”

His current Bakery, Blue Moon Bagel Cafe, of Medfield, Massachusetts has served the community for over 20 years, and delights its customers daily with its artisan bread, fresh bagels, and fan favorite items including the Power Booster Cookie, and the original Gilchrist Almond Macaroon made famous from Boston’s Gilchrist department store.

On a Roll! The Bulkie Roll is often compared to the Kaiser roll! But do not confuse the two, especially in Massachusetts! Bulkies are slightly crisp on top with bread that’s not chewy, sweet, yellow or egg-flavored. Kaisers are much sweeter.

Dessert: Boston Cream Pie
Omni Parker House | Lori Tower

The original Boston Cream Pie (then called a Chocolate Cream Pie) made its spectacular debut as a dessert created especially for guests at the prestigious Parker House Hotel in Boston. The inspiration for the pie dates back to colonial days, and was sometimes referred to as a Pudding-Cake Pie, which itself, may have had its beginnings in Britain.

Around 1855, Parker House chef, Monsieur Sanzian, began playing with the recipe, adding chocolate frosting on top and almond slivers around the side, and the “pie” became his masterpiece, and a part of history. Like then, today’s Boston Cream Pie is more cake than pie, but M. Sanzian’s recipe remains the same. Nobody dares alter this delectable delight, even over 160 years later.

A Pie in the Eye of the Competition! Not surprisingly, Boston Cream Pie is the official Massachusetts state dessert. But which sweets did it knock out of the game? Toll House Cookies…and Fig Newtons!

1. Angela Santiago
July 14
Taylor Hicks is here filming at the wharf today. Pretty cool 😎

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Posted ImageOmni Parker House credit to lorimaejune

Posted Imagecredit to andrea


Cape Cod Times:

Idol alum Taylor Hicks on TV singing praises of Cape's fish

"The heart of some of Massachusetts' most iconic foods are right there on Cape Cod," Hicks, 40, said Monday in a telephone interview. The "State Plate" series on INSP network visited 12 states in its first season. The episode featuring Massachusetts airs at 9 p.m. Friday.

By Gwenn Friss

"American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks was on Cape last summer not to sing, but to sing the praises of iconic local foods - including fish and chips - for his new show, "State Plate."

"The heart of some of Massachusetts' most iconic foods are right there on Cape Cod," Hicks, 40, said Monday in a telephone interview. "And I'm such a big fan of the area. I've always enjoyed traveling through there and performing. It's just a gem of a place; the people are so warm and so nice."

The "State Plate" series on INSP network visited 12 states in its first season. The episode featuring Massachusetts airs at 9 p.m. Friday. The family-friendly network, founded in 1978, shows a mix of movies, TV shows and original programming. Check for local channels.

With Cape Cod Family Charters' Nick Betti and mate Erick Sherer at the helm of "The Escape" on July 14, Hicks set up on the back deck of the 35-foot Cabo sports fishermen craft. He caught and released several juvenile striped bass before hooking a keeper, a 29-inch specimen that weighed 10 to 15 pounds.

"He can fish. He was talking about fishing growing up and how he fishes now whenever he can," says Betti, 26, a marine engineer who works on a Gulf of Mexico oil tanker but spends the tourist season on Cape helping with his family's charter business.

Betti says the production crew from INSP wanted to fish for cod to make fish and chips, but agreed on striped bass because the water was too warm for cod when the show filmed in July.

"Erick has commercially fished for a lot longer than me. He explains the fisheries, on camera, and does a really good job," Betti said.

Returning to the charter company's dock in Barnstable Harbor, Hicks and Betti walked the striper over to Mattakeese Wharf, where the chef made it into fish and chips.

"We ate outside. It was wonderful; I loved it," Hicks said.

A partner in Saw's BBQ in his home state of Alabama, Hicks said everybody he knows cooks.

"When you're in Alabama, food is as much a part of the culture as music or anything else. Everybody gets in on cooking their own dishes. Cooking and grilling is just part of your makeup."

After winning the fifth season of "American Idol" in 2006, guitarist and songwriter Hicks returned to touring and recording with his own band, renamed the Little Memphis Blues Orchestra. He also got involved in a wide array of pursuits, playing Teen Angel in a national tour of "Grease" and playing himself, along with Ashanti and Clay Aiken, as a panel of music judges on a 2013 episode of "Law and Order, SVU."

Hicks said he'd been exploring the possibility of a food-related TV show and "State Plate" felt like the perfect fit.

After leaving Barnstable, Hicks and crew headed to Plymouth to learn to make baked beans in an outdoor wood-fired oven with author and former Plimoth Plantation food historian Paula Marcoux.

"They wanted me to represent baked beans on their 'State Plate,' so I had one batch already in the wood-fired oven, and all the ingredients on hand to make another batch."

Marcoux said she fears an unexpected ingredient, a torrential downpour that afternoon, may have left her looking like a "drowned country rat" on camera, but the beans came out well.

"It's great to see that there's interest in America's food history out there," Marcoux wrote in an email Monday. She wrote of "State Plate," "I hope viewers will feel inspired to try cooking and eating some of the wonderful local foods we New Englanders have let get away from us over the decades. It can be a revelation to go back to older takes on seemingly familiar items, like baked beans, that over the last century have been processed into pale, over-sweetened industrial versions of their former homely but delicious selves."

Cape Cod Family Charter owner Robert Betti shared a fish recipe for striper and Marcoux offers the baked beans recipe found in her book.

Capt. Bobs Italian Striper*

Small/medium size filet of striped bass (fresh)

Olive oil
Crushed tomatoes
Black olives pitted
Black Pepper
* All quantities are to taste.
Place filet in baking dish , poor mixed ingredients over filet. Bake at 350 degrees until fish is done. It will turn opaque and flake easily.

Baked Beans

Serves 8

The following recipe features ingredients and proportions authentic to nineteenth-century usage. The finished beans are savory, brothy, and complex, flavored with, more than sweetened by, molasses. They are a revelation of essential beaniness, in terms of both texture and flavor, compared to the syrupy article usually on offer. Go out of your way to find good quality dry beans. Traditional for this purpose, and for good reason, are a few heirloom varieties with excellent flavor and texture: Jacob's Cattle, Yellow Eye, Soldier, and Marfax. Salt pork made at home, or by a trusted butcher, elevates these beans yet further.

2 pounds dry beans
Teaspoon salt, or more
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
3 tablespoons molasses
1 medium onion (optional)
8-12 ounces salt pork

1. Twenty-four hours before you want to eat them, rinse the dry beans and put in the pot you intend to bake them in. Cover them with abundant cool water and let soak for 4 to 8 hours.

2. Parboil the soaked beans. Add more water to the beans, if necessary, so that they have at least an inch of coverage. Place them over a medium flame and bring to a very gentle simmer. Cover and cook very gently until the skins of the beans wrinkle when you dredge up a few and blow on them. This generally takes at least an hour, the time required depending entirely on the age and quality of the beans.

3. Place the salt, pepper, optional mustard, and molasses in the bean pot. Ladle in some of the bean broth and stir to combine. Add the beans and the optional onion, either chopped or whole. Cut into the rind of the salt pork in a cross-hatched pattern. Bury it just below the surface of the liquid.

4. Place into a moderately hot wood-fired oven and leave in the residual heat overnight.

Find Gwenn Friss on Twitter: @dailyrecipeCCT


Posted Image Dinner in Massachusetts

Appetizer: clam chowder
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Entree: Baked Beans, Fish/Chips / Bulkie Roll

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Dessert: Boston Cream Pie

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1. Clam Chowder

a. The water ( temp and sand quality ) in Nantucket Sound is perfect for clamming.
b. Jan 21 is National NE clam Chowder Day
c. The purple layer in the clam shell was used to make jewelry by the Indians . It was also used a money ( WAMPUM ) . This "wampum" could be used to pay tuition at Harvard in the olden days.
d. Bacon, salt, potatoes are cooked in clam liquor. Add heavy / light cream. Add clams last so as not to overcook them .

2. Fish and Chips

a. any white fish can be used for fish and chips
b. Fish has to be over 28 inches long to be considered a keeper.
c. You jig the line with bait that resembles the sand eels that striped bass eat. This will get the fish to hook onto your line

3. Baked Beans

a. It takes 5 hrs to prep the ovens for cooking the beans
b. To white beans, add salt pork, black strap molasses and cook 9 hrs in the oven.

4. Bulkies ( Polish name )

a. At the turn of the 19th century bulkies were considered staples of the NE diet. They are rarer today and are known as Vienna Rolls, Keiser rolls or hard rolls in other parts of the country.

b. Dough balls are turned and hit , six times and then flattened before being baked.

5. Boston Cream Pie

a. It's a cake not a pie. Originally it was baked in a pie pan beause there were no cake pans. In the 1850's the French brought cake pans to America.
b. In 1996 The Boston Cream Pie became the official dessert of Massachusetts
c. The Omni Parker House Hotel originated the pie.
d. A pie consists of a white cake with vanilla pastry cream, toasted almonds and chocolate ganache

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Friday, January 20th at 9p ET

What does American Idol winner Taylor Hicks do when he’s not touring the country singing and entertaining? He goes back on the road, only this time it’s to seek out the America’s most delicious foods—state by state!

So let’s hear it for some Georgia pride! Because this week, Taylor tastes his way across Georgia on a quest to sample the state’s most emblematic foods. With the help of iconic actress Maureen McCormick, Taylor uncovers the stories behind Georgia’s traditional southern dishes.Posted Image

Join Taylor as he hauls in boatloads of shrimp at a seaside dock, and Maureen learns how to mill corn into grits. Posted Image
They also sample boiled peanuts at a roadside stand and discover why Georgia onions are among the sweetest in the country. For a perfect ending, they visit a pecan orchard for pecan pie and a peach orchard for peach ice cream.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Boiled Peanuts
Davis Produce Stand | Sherry Davis

The Davis Produce Stand has been in the family for three generations. Sherry Davis continues the legacy offering travelers, tourists, commuters and locals one of Georgia’s favorite treats: boiled peanuts.

Peanuts are cooked for four to five hours then soaked in salt water for about one hour. How can you tell if they’re ready to eat?

“When they’ve sunk, that’s when they’re done,” Sherry says.

Tip: The best boiled peanuts are those made from raw or “green” peanuts, harvested June through September.

Appetizer: Shrimp
Ambos Seafood | Drew Ambos

Many companies boast that they’ve been in business for two, three, four decades, and while those milestones are admirable, and certainly worth touting, the Ambos family is starting to count into the centuries! Their name has been associated with fresh, quality seafood for 150 years, starting with Henry Ambos sometime in the mid-1800s.

Today, Drew Ambos and brother, Hal are the fifth generation to carry on the family legacy as seafood dealers. Their sales include domestic, wild-caught shrimp, a variety of fish, crab and oysters.

Seafood? Georgia? Aren’t they known for peaches and peanuts? Might be time to expand the horizons!

“Shrimp is Georgia’s most valuable seafood crop, with an estimated value of 10 million dollars,” says Drew.

Trivia: What happens to the jellyfish that often get caught up in the Ambos fishing nets? Posted Image
They’re dried, preserved and shipped to the Far East for consumption.

Entrée: Fried Chicken
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Side 1: Vidalia Onions

You could say digging in the dirt is in Ronnie Mathis’ DNA. The son of a farmer, Ronnie knew he wanted to carry on the family legacy from the tender age of five—though, he probably didn’t know the word “legacy” at the time! Growing up on a 175-acre Georgia farm, typical dinner conversation between Ronnie, his parents and his seven brothers and sisters was always about farming practices and techniques. There was more than enough work to go around, so when five-year-old Ronnie asked to have his own garden, naturally, his father was reluctant, but he agreed to help his son start the vegetables, and stressed it would be Ronnie’s responsibility to keep the garden up—and he did. In fact, it thrived, except for that small incident when the cows got loose and ate all the corn.

Now, more than 30 years later, Ronnie is still a farmer, running his family farm, growing Vidalia onions among other vegetables, plus blueberries and blackberries, certified naturally grown. In fact, two decades ago, Ronnie ventured into organic farming, at a time when the practice was more difficult than today and long before it was trendy.

Several years ago, Ronnie and a fellow farmer, approached the local school board, administration and nutrition department about bringing healthy farm-fresh foods into the schools’ menus. Ronnie supplied produce from his farm in a test program, and it was a success. The pilot program grew to become Northeast Georgia Farm to School. Ronnie has served about 12,000 or more students with his farm’s smoothies, vegetables and fruits.

A Work of Art: The Vidalia onion is not only sweet and tasty, it’s famous, so famous it has its own museum in…you guessed it: Vidalia, Georgia!

Side 2: Grits

Before Anson Mills founder, California native, Glenn Roberts made his mark in the world of heirloom organic grains, he worked as a busboy at his mother’s restaurant (when he was a mere youngster), played French with the San Diego Youth Symphony and later fourth chair in the San Diego Symphony.

He attended the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, a freshman, at 17 on music and science scholarships, and after graduation joined the Air Force. Still seeking adventure once his military stint was over, he sailed the world on private yachts as a navigator and mate. This was the endeavor that led to his real passion—a love of indigenous tropical foods and agriculture. Returning home, he studied architectural history and the history of food.

In 1998, he left a lucrative corporate career, rented a large metal warehouse, bought four native granite stone mills and opened Anson Mills.

Two years later, he had a good harvest 10 varieties of heirloom Southern Dent corns from which he milled grits for chefs in the Carolinas and Georgia, and as word spread, to discerning chefs around the country.

Cool Fact: Glenn’s crops are all “field ripened.” He explains the term on his website:

“We allow our crops to ripen in the field, further promoting their viability, and store them cold and fresh from the field as “new” crops to extend that viability—another practice applied since antiquity, climate permitting. Field-ripening also enhances the flavor of the grains.”

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Dessert: Pecan Ice Cream
Lane Packing, LLC | Mark Sanchez

Lane Southern Orchards has been in business, growing peaches and pecans since 1908. They have about 3,000 acres of pecan groves, and ship around 2 million pecans around the world.

In 2006, Mark Sanchez joined the staff as CEO to aid with the farm’s expansion. Today, not only is Lane a working farm, but it also includes a large roadside market, a café, bakery, a pavilion and play area that may be rented out for parties, and the company has branched out into commercial sales.

In addition, the farm hosts seasonal events, including farm tours, an Independence Day picnic and patriotic celebration, strawberry picking, a pumpkin patch and a 7-acre corn maze open during their Farm Fall Festival.

In 2015, Lane Southern Orchards won a national award in the “Small Business Revolution” campaign that honors 100 of the country’s most compelling small businesses.

Though they have grown beyond the small family farm they once were, those deep, century-old roots are firmly planted in the community. Lane is one of the largest employers in their small county. They work with local hospitals and host an annual golf tournament that raises nearly $50,000 that is invested into their community.

Fun Fact: How do you get the pecans off the tree?Posted Image

Shake! Shake! Shake! A worker attaches a machine to a limb and, literally, shakes the tree so the nuts loosen and come raining down!

Dessert: Peach Ice Cream
Pearson Farm | Al Pearson

The Pearson Farm has been in the family since 1885 when Moses Winlock “Lockie” Pearson and his wife, Cornelia Emory “Emma,” moved to the Fort Valley, Georgia area and planted the first peach trees. With each generation, the family acquired more land and grew more peaches.

Though Al Pearson went away to the University of Georgia, after graduation, he returned to his roots and farmed the land. Like Al, his son, Lawton, a law school graduate came home to continue the family legacy, a fifth generation peach farmer. Today the family’s peach orchard stretches across 1,500 acres. That’s a lot of peaches!

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Aside from shipping their fresh peaches all over the country, Pearson Farm is also famous for their homemade peach ice cream.

Ice Cream Tip: Mary, Al’s wife is at the churn, whipping up the tasty, frosty delight! So what makes Pearson Peach Ice Cream special, aside from lots and lots of the extraordinarily sweet, fresh-picked Pearson peaches?

“…when you have a soft ice cream it doesn’t kill the peach oil because you don’t have to freeze it as hard. Frozen ice cream you lose it and you have to add artificial peach flavoring,” Mary says.

Appetizer: boiled peanuts and shrimpPosted Image

Entree: fried chicken, fried onion, gritsPosted Image

Dessert: pecan pie, peach ice cream Posted Image


1. The peanut was brought to Georgia by African Slave cooks
2. Shrimp can be caught all year long and amount to $10,000,000 a yr in revenue
3. The most valuable fruit crop in Georgia is NOT the peach, but the Blueberry. with a 250 million dollar harvest.
4. Corn turns into grits. The older the grain, the better the corn for grits. There is more flavor in GA corn due to soil and the depth of the roots
5. There are more then 40,000 farms in Georgia
6. The Vidalia onion from Vidalia , GA is the sweetest onion in the world. It is the official vegetable of GA. There are 20 counties that can market their onions as Vidalias.
7. A simple fried chicken recipe: salt and pepper the chicken , roll in flour several times , fry in Crisco and margarine ( or bacon grease ) .
8. 1/3 of the US pecans are grown in GA. Pecans have the highest level of anti-oxidants for nuts
9. Peaches were brought to GA. by Monks in 1571
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NEBRASKA January 27, 2017

The Columbus Telegram

'American Idol' winner sinks teeth into local cuisine

What’s more Nebraskan than steak and corn? Maybe throw in some cheese frenchees for an appetizer and popcorn balls and kolaches for desert?

The INSP show “State Plate” hosted by "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks filmed in Nebraska last fall so Hicks could taste some of the Husker state’s finest. “State Plate” looks at different states’ iconic dishes and the connection between a state’s agriculture and cuisine.

Hicks and the crew stopped by Johnny’s Cafe in Omaha for steak, Daniels Produce outside Columbus for sweet corn, cheese frenchees and popcorn balls and Kolache Korner Cafe in Prague for a taste of the Czech pastry.

“One of the (show) producers just called my cellphone out of the blue,” said Daniels Produce office manager Kelly (Daniels) Jackson. “Someone had referred us to them as the sweet corn producer in the state.”

The producers wanted to film the third week in September, but Daniels usually finishes harvesting its sweet corn by mid-September. So they reserved a section of crop for filming.

“I really wanted them to come out,” said Jackson. “I thought it would be really fun to talk about how it’s produced. And meet Taylor Hicks, obviously.”

The producers also asked Jackson if they could make popcorn balls at the local farm for the show. She said, why not?

“Then they asked, ‘Do you know any restaurants in Columbus or the surrounding area that serve really good cheese frenchees?’” said Jackson. “Every time I’ve had cheese frenchees it’s been homemade by my mother-in-law.”

So the whole family was recruited to prepare sweet corn, popcorn balls and cheese frenchees for the show.

When the crew arrived they headed straight to the field where Jackson’s father and brother, Andrew and Jason Daniels, showed Hicks how to operate a sweet corn chopper and harvest the crop.

“I really enjoyed going to the farms,” said Hicks. “I think we all should understand the farmers that are working hard to get food that we love on our plates.”

Hicks couldn’t wait until the corn was cooked to start eating.

“Sweet corn off of the stalk is the sweetest corn you can get. And that was something I’d never had," said Hicks, who won the fifth season of "American Idol" in 2006.

Jackson was in her office during the corn-picking segment, then got a call from the producer letting her know they were ready for her to help cook the corn and popcorn balls.

“I walk into my kitchen, the kitchen I’ve walked into every day of my life, and there’s Taylor Hicks drinking ice tea and talking football with my dad,” she said.

Hicks has been to Omaha a few times on concert tours, but hadn’t visited other parts of the state until then.

“Just the people are really, really nice,” he said. “I definitely like their passion for football.”

After cooking the sweet corn and making popcorn balls, the family and crew went to the home of Jackson's mother-in-law Kathy for cheese frenchees.

“It’s like a grilled cheese on steroids,” Hicks said of the deep-fried sandwich.

“We got all the grandkids together and they got to eat cheese frenchees with Taylor,” said Jackson. “And they’re super-excited to be on TV.”

Posted Imagecredit to : Kelly Jackson

The honeybee may be the state insect of Nebraska, but right now, all the buzz is about singer and entertainer Taylor Hicks. In this episode of State Plate, he hits the road, and tastes his way across the Cornhusker State! His mission: to discover Nebraska’s most iconic, beloved traditional foods.
Posted ImageCornfield

In a state known for its high-quality steak, Taylor discovers why connoisseurs love corn-feed beef, and he gets a tasty lesson in the differences in cuts of steak. You can’t be in the Cornhusker State without paying tribute to the sweet vegetable for which it’s named—corn. And Taylor does it as only he can behind the wheel of a corn topper during a sweet corn harvest. Taylor also discovers the story behind the state’s beloved cheese frenchee Posted Image

and gets baking tips as he prepares two of Nebraska’s favorite desserts – the popcorn ball Posted Image and the kolache.

It’s an overflowing plateful of Nebraska cuisine filled with the stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods.

Daniels Produce | Kelly Jackson

Cheese Frenchees, Corn, Popcorn Balls

Posted ImageA joyful taste of Cheese Frenchee

Office Manager at Daniels Produce, Kelly knows what it takes to run a family farm. Her parents Andy and Tannie Daniels have been farming for more than 40 years. Once Tannie and the kids sold produce at a roadside stand. Today they operate five retail stands throughout Nebraska and sell at six farmers markets. That’s in addition to farming more than 500 acres of sweet corn, bell peppers, cucumbers, cabbage and zucchini, among other vegetables.

The farm grows only bi-colored sweet corn that’s handpicked and hydro-cooled to preserve the natural sugars.

Be Corny in the Produce Aisle! To make sure you’re getting the freshest corn, pull back the husk and poke a kernel with your fingernail. If juice squirts and it’s slightly cloudy, the corn is fresh. If there’s no juice or it’s thick, the corn is old.

Johnny’s Cafe | Sally Kawa


In 1922, with just enough money to purchase the building next to the South Omaha Stockyards, Polish immigrant, Frank Kawa opened a small, one-room, eight-table bar serving meals to the stockyard workers and cattle haulers. The building came with a huge sign that read “Johnny’s.” With no money to replace it, Frank not only acquired a restaurant, but a new nickname, too.

Nearly 100 years later, having survived prohibition, wars, the relocation of the stockyards, Johnny’s is a bustling business and a South Omaha staple, still family-owned and operated, now, by Frank’s granddaughters, Sally and her sister Kari. The restaurant serves only USDA Prime or Choice grades of Midwest-raised, corn-fed beef, individually-selected, hand-cut and slowly aged on the premises in their own butcher shop. Johnny’s has been voted Best of Omaha for 9 straight years.

Your Steak Style: Most people are pretty particular about how their steak is cooked. Here’s an ordering guide, courtesy of Johnny’s website:

Rare – Red, cool center
Medium Rare – Red, warm center
Medium – Pink center
Medium Well – No pink
Well Done – Cooked throughout

Kolache Korner Cafe

Posted ImageTaking a bite of kolache

In 1983, Adolph and Gladys Nemec set up a table on the corner of Nebraska Highways 79 and 92, selling their fresh, baked pastries, including the traditional favorite, kolache—and Kolache Korner was unofficially born. The couple “employed” any number of their nine grown children, often among them, Mark. The stand was a success, and a few years later, Mark’s sister opened a retail store in town. Having been laid off from his office job, Mark agreed to help out at the store, just until he found another corporate position. Soon he realized he’d rather spend his days in a kitchen instead of a cubicle. Today, he runs the business, keeping it upbeat, warm and inviting, with good food, tasty kolache—and totally a family endeavor. And you just might hear him jamming a few polka tunes with the family band!

Put a Ring on It! The Kolache originated as a semi-sweet wedding dessert in Central Europe.

Posted ImageThat Chech tradition of playing accordian with a pan full of kolache

Appetizer: Cheese Frenchee
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Entree: Steak and Corn on the Cob

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Dessert: Popcorn Balls and Kolache

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1. Corn ears are sweetest at the top of the stalk ; the male reproductive organ is at the top of the stalk where the pollen is blown down to the corn silk that attaches to each kernal of corn where fertilization occurs. Posted Image

2. Where is the Beef????

Posted Imagetenderloin

Posted ImagePorterhouse and T-Bone

Posted ImageRib Eye and Prime Rib

Posted ImageSirloin

3. Corn fed beef has the most fat and is the best tasting beef . Grass fed is leaner and less flavorful.
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Friday February 3, 2017

Posted Image

Amber waves of Grain: Posted Image Purple Mountain's Majesty: Posted Image

It’s only fitting that Taylor Hicks should travel to Colorado. After all, the largest flat-top mountain is in Grand Mesa. Okay…you’re thinking. Well, “mesa” means table in Spanish, and what do we do at the table? Eat!

Singer and entertainer Taylor Hicks tastes his way across the Centennial State on a serious quest to discover the state’s most emblematic foods.

Things heat up in southeastern Colorado, as he roasts Pueblo green chilies then turn cool and sweet when he picks Rocky Ford cantaloupes. In Denver, he scientifically proves just how much sugar is in Olathe sweet corn. And in the heart of the Rockies, Taylor tries his hand at herding world-renowned Colorado lamb, and samples the state’s famous Rocky Mountain oysters.

It’s an overflowing plateful of Colorado cuisine with the stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods.

Living Water Ranch | Vanessa Stahla

Rocky Mountain Oysters & Lamb

Vanessa Stahla and husband Rex have a passion for healthy living. Before they started Living Water Ranch, they did their best to buy fresh, organic and non-GMO foods, supporting local farmers and vendors as much as they could. The biggest challenge on their healthy-eating journey was finding natural grass-fed meats that were antibiotic and hormone free.

So they bought a farm and started raising beef and lamb to their high standards—completely antibiotic- and hormone-free; roaming-at-will, grass fed and finished on their tall, sweet, foothill mountain grass. On the farm’s website, Vanessa says, she realized what “we had been missing all this time. The meats tasted so much better than any of the natural meats we had bought before.” And because the animals are not fed grain to fatten them up before slaughter, the resulting meat is lean and therefore, healthier than the average cut of other so-called natural meats.

Vanessa and Rex wanted their friends to enjoy the delicious meats, too, so they shared, and when the response was overwhelmingly positive, they started taking a selection of their grass-fed beef and lamb to local farmers markets, and during that first summer they struggled to keep up with the demand.

Today, with their three sons by their sides and the stunning Rocky Mountains in the background, Vanessa and Rex run a successful family farm.

Don’t be Sheepish…Grass-fed lamb is a nutritious lean meat. Here are ways to enjoy different cuts:Posted Image

Shoulder – Stew
Shank or Breast – Braised
Lamb Chops or Rack of Lamb – Roasted or quick-broiled
Ground Lamb – Sautéed

Tony’s Market | Mick Rosacci

Olathe Sweet Corn

In 1978, driving home from church one Sunday, Tony Rosacci’s young son, Danny, pointed out an abandoned 7-11. Tony had been in the food retail business all his life, but his dream was to have his own butcher shop. Danny suggested this could be his chance, and Tony took it. He was a butcher, and had no aspirations to expand his market beyond meat. Problem was business was booming. Over the years, the family business outgrew the small shop and added services and products, including a deli, seafood, poultry, sides and more. Today, Tony’s Market has four Denver metro area stores, with Tony’s Burgers, a casual restaurant within the downtown Denver store, Tony Rosacci’s Fine Catering and TR BBQ. The family catered for the Denver Broncos for 11 years before the team built a facility with their own kitchen, and now feed the Colorado Avalanche hockey team. State Plate fans will meet Head Chef Mick Rosacci, who will share tips about Olathe Sweet Corn

All You Can Eat! During the first weekend in August every year, Olathe, Colorado hosts the Olathe Sweet Corn Festival. The price of admission includes all the corn you can eat, and apparently attendees love their corn. The festival goes through more than 70,000 ears of corn each year.

Disanti Farms

DiSanti Farms | Dominic DiSanti

The DiSanti family started farming in Pueblo, Colorado in 1890. Dominic DiSanti is a fifth generation farmer growing a variety of crops from cucumbers to cantaloupe, watermelon to winter squash and dozens of others. One of the farm’s most popular products is the medium-sized, hot Pueblo Pepper, most commonly used to make Green Chile. The DiSanti’s roast the tasty peppers throughout the season.Posted ImagePueblo Pepper on the left; Mexican pepper on the right

“Words cannot describe the phenomenal smell of Fire Roasted Peppers at DiSanti Farms. Leaving you begging for tortillas or an inevitable bowl of Green Chile this aroma fills our neighborhood and is a sure sign that the summer harvest is here,” the family writes on their website.

Dominic is a graduate of Colorado State University with a B.S. degree in Soil and Crop Science and Agricultural Business. He’s on the Board of Directors of The Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and is one of the founders of The Pueblo Chile Growers Association, an organization dedicated to building awareness of the Pueblo Chile Pepper.

Too Hot to Handle! Was that pepper spicier than you expected? Don’t reach for a glass of water to cool the heat. Drink milk! Milk contains casein which will bind the pepper’s hot capsaicin oil and wash it from your mouth.“

Take Corn, peppers, carrots , onions and cut into pieces . Place in foil and grill or roast . Posted Image

Hirakata Farms | Diane Mulligan

Rocky Ford Cantaloupe™ Posted Image

“We are a family farm that continues to carry on the tradition of our ancestors,” states the Hirakata Farms website.

Indeed, now, fifth generation Michael Hirakata heads up the sales department and is also chairman of the Rocky Ford Growers Association, a group of local growers committed to producing the sweetest, juiciest cantaloupe that bears the trademark name. The association also oversees the safety and integrity of the produce. One way the association brings awareness to their members’ signature cantaloupe is through the annual Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Creations Cook-Off that draws the area’s top chefs. Diane Mulligan, who introduces State Plate viewers to the exceptionally sweet melon, is a spokeswoman for the Rocky Ford Growers Association.

Sweet Talk: Want to eat healthy? No need to give up sweets! Satisfy your sweet tooth with 1 cup of cantaloupe cubes (5.5 oz.) for just 53 nutrition-packed calories.

Appetizer: Rocky Mountain Oysters Posted Image
Entree: Lamb, corn , peppers
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Dessert: Cantaloupe Posted Image


1. There is more sweetness in corn than in most fruits. This is the devise used to measure sweetness ......Posted Image

2. To get sheep into their proper places for feeding and watering , herding the sheep is essential Posted ImagePosted Image

3. Llamas are used to keep predators away from the sheep. They can kill coyotes. Posted Image

4. There are more cantaloupes in Rocky Ford Colorado than people. Posted Image

5. Calves are castrated early and their testicles used for Rocky Mountain Oysters. Cut lengthwise, flatten, coat and fry .
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Friday, February 10th at 9p ET


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Eureka! Yes, it is exciting that singer and entertainer Taylor Hicks is heading to California in this episode of State Plate! But “Eureka” is also California’s state motto translated from Greek, meaning “I found it!” The motto was adopted in 1849 and is associated with the discovery of gold. Will Taylor strike “gold” in his search for California’s most iconic foods?

As he tastes his way across the Golden State, Taylor tries his hand at harvesting artichokes and grafting avocado trees. On the coast, he learns how to make the famed San Francisco fish stew, cioppino, and tastes sourdough bread made with a special yeast that thrives in this area of the country. For dessert, Taylor shakes things up with a mechanical tree shaker in order to harvest almonds.

It’s a plateful of California cuisine filled with the stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods.

California Avocado Commission | Cristina Samiley

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As a public relations representative for the California Avocado Commission, Cristina knows her avocados. In fact, many of the organization’s press releases include several recipes made with the rich, flavorful, nutrient-dense fruit. That’s right; avocado is a fruit. Naturally sodium and cholesterol-free, and packed with good fats, avocados also contain nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folic acid. California avocados are hand-grown, nurtured and hand-picked by family farmers, some having farmed the fertile California soil for several generations. In our episode of State Plate, Christina and Taylor will put you in a party mood with a big bowl of tasty guacamole.

Touchdown! Guacamole!

Football fans gear up for the biggest party of the year in February! The big game! What’s in that bowl on the snack table? Guacamole! Fans will enjoy more than 45 million pounds of avocados on Super Bowl Sunday.

Ocean Mist Farms | Chris Drew

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In 1924, Italian immigrants, Daniel Pieri and cousins Amerigo and Angelo Del Chiaros formed the California Artichoke & Vegetable Growers Corporation. They leased land south of Castroville, and partnered with local vegetable grower, Alfred Tottino. Their headquarters consisted of a wood and tin shed. No electricity or phone. Contracts were signed by handshake. In 1995, the company was renamed Ocean Mist Farms, now a major farming venture joined by other multi-generation farmers.

Today they are not only the largest grower of fresh artichokes in the country, but they’re still a family-owned operation. With headquarters in Castroville, California, known as “The Artichoke Capitol of the World” and home of the annual Castroville Artichoke Festival, Ocean Mist grows artichokes year-round in three of California’s most fertile farming locations: Castroville, Oxnard and Coachella. They’ve come a long way from the wood and tin shed, and as for electricity, Daniel and his cousins would probably marvel at their industry-leading field-packing and cooling technology and innovative packaging.

In our State Plate episode, Taylor gets to know Chris Drew, VP of Operations at Ocean Mist who will guide you on your adventure

All Choked Up…

What puts the “choke” in “artichoke?” Fuzz! Deep inside the center of the artichoke is a fuzzy layer that covers the heart of the vegetable. This is called the “choke.” Similar to seeds in a melon, the choke is inedible, and you’ll have to carefully scrape it off the cooked artichoke before eating.

Posted ImageArtichoke Heart

Claudio’s Specialty Breads | Dario Cantore
Sourdough Bread

Claudio Cantore grew up surrounded by the aroma of oven-fresh bakery items. As a child he assisted in his father’s bakery, Fratelli Cantore, in S’Antonino di Susa, a small town in the Piedmonte region of Italy.

Today, that family legacy is in the capable hands of his younger brother, and Claudio has expanded the Cantore baking legacy to The United States. A third-generation master baker, specializing in the delicate process of baking sourdough bread, Claudio and wife, Gayle, founded Claudio’s Specialty Breads in Castroville, California in 1990. They are a family-operated, award-winning wholesale bakery. In addition to sourdough, the company produces traditional Italian breads, biscotti, breadsticks and pastries, all made to order, often working with chefs to deliver exactly what they envision on their menus. Between the bakeries in the US and Italy, the Cantore family has been creating delicious baked goods for over 100 years—always family owned and operated.

In our episode of State Plate, Taylor Hicks meets with Dario Cantore, who will guide him in the fine art of baking Claudio’s famous sourdough bread.

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Buttered slice of sourdough. Italian bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The next time you bite into a tasty piece of bread, you can thank the ancient Egyptians. Around 3,000 B.C., they invented the oven and discovered yeast leavening.

Phil’s Fish Market | Phil DiGirolamo

Who whipped up a heaping bowl of cioppino, took on Chef Bobby Flay on the Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay—and won? That’s right, Phil DiGirolamo, and now Phil graces your TV screen on INSP’sState Plate, featuring the flavorful fish stew that earns accolades from customers and food critics near and far.

Phil’s Fish Market has been family-owned, an institution with its funky atmosphere and exceptional menu, for more than 30 years, serving a variety of seafood dishes, created from fresh-caught fish in Monterey Bay. Phil credits his grandparents as the inspiration for the most popular item on the menu: cioppino, a hearty meal of Dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, squid, scallops and snapper simmered in a heavenly-spiced tomato sauce. His grandfather fished the Monterey Bay for years aboard a small skiff, bringing in an abundance of the bay’s freshest fish. When it was time to eat, all the fishermen threw a sampling of their catch into one big pot, cooked it up and enjoyed. Back at home, his grandmother, Nina, perfected the savory sauce. The blend of fish and sauce is what makes Phil’s delectable cioppino stand out among others. The serving size is big—like Phil’s joyful personality. Not only does he serve his signature cioppino in his restaurant, but customers can take it to go—by the bucket!Posted ImagePhil uses 7 different sea food ingredients for his cioppino

Phil has some advice for people ordering his famous cioppino.

“It’s not a meal that you eat quick and run out. It’s a meal you eat with friends, with your family, you enjoy. It takes you an hour, maybe two hours. And it’s a lot of fun.”

A San Francisco Original

Some people may dispute the year cioppino was first created, but one thing sources can agree on is the location: San Francisco. One source puts the savory stew’s arrival in the late 1800s when Italian immigrants from Genoa settled in the area. While out at sea, fisherman would cook up a meal with “the catch of the day.” Soon this mouthwatering dish became a staple in the area’s many Italian restaurants.

Mandelin | Kim Vetsch


According to a 2002 Los Angeles Times article, Kim and husband Thomas fell in love under an almond tree, and so began the dream of growing almonds. Today they harvest 1,200 acres of sweet almonds for the wholesale market. In addition, Thomas and Kim offer delicious natural and blanched whole almonds, sliced almond, almond flours, sweet almond paste and colorful marzipans for consumers through the farm’s sister company, Mandelin, established in 1994. All Mandelin manufactured produces are Non-GMO, gluten free, Kosher certified and processed without any other nuts, peanuts or food items in their facilities.

To Bee or Not to Bee

Almond trees flower between February and March, but they’re not self-pollinating. They need honey bees (and other pollinators) to move the pollen between the trees and flowers for fertilization. So every spring, almond growers bring in bees from all over the state to start the process. It’s a win-win! The almonds grow, and the bees get a nutritious feast.

Harvesting is done with a machine that shakes the tree and hundreds of almonds fall to the ground for delicious tasting. Posted Image

Appetizer: Guacamole Dip Posted Image

Entree: Cioppino, artichokes and sourdough bread Posted Image

Dessert: roasted , salted almonds Posted Image


1. The avocado comes from trees that originally sprouted from one single tree. Posted Image Through the grafting process , done over decades , thousands of avocado trees are now in California. The Haas Avocado is the most popular . To graft, one takes a stem from the tree and cuts a vee into the stem; then it is taped (grafted) onto a seedling and put into a nursery for a year. It is then planted outdoors. Posted Image
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2. The artichoke is cut before it flowers.
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3. More seafood is consumed in California than any other State: Posted Image

4. 99% of all Artichokes are grown in California
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2016 Cynopsis TV Awards
Edison Ballroom, New York City
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

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What better way for Cynopsis to celebrate our 20th Anniversary than by honoring the best of the best in the industry we’re so proud to cover? A reception to celebrate our two decades took place February 7 at the Edison Ballroom in New York City, followed by a dinner highlighted by the presentation of the very first Cynopsis TV Awards, saluting excellence in national television programming. Also, two special awards were presented to honorees Linda Boff, CMO for GE and Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO & Founder for Horizon Media, for their extraordinary contributions to the industry.

The industry’s top advertising talent was celebrated at the inaugural Cynopsis Buyers & Planners Awards. Strategists, communicators and executors of campaigns were recognized for their incredible contributions across broadcast, cable and digital platforms.

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Travel Channel Andrew Zimmern

In Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, the adventurous host follows the paths of famous travelers to delve deep into local delicacies.


Taylor Hicks/State Plate An INSP Original Series
Travel Channel Josh Gates

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State Plate An INSP Original Series
Each episode of State Plate revolves around a different state’s most symbolic foods. Former American Idol host Taylor Hicks hosts.


Cooking Channel Cheap Eats
Cooking Channel Haylie’s America
Cooking Channel Man Fire Food
Insight Production Company Ltd. The 
Amazing Race Canada
Travel Channel Bizarre Foods with Andrew 

Travel Channel Expedition Unknown

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1. Yaaaaaas!!!! #StatePlateTV is the #Cynopsis TV winner for 2017 Best Reality Travel Series!! Way to go Taylor Hicks and crew!! — with Taylor hicks and Insp.

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4. Taylor sitting at the table : In rear , between pillars in the middle .

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