No stranger to food TV shows like Bravo’s Top Chef, Iron Chef America on Food Network and Hulu’s A Day in the Life, Girl & the Goat chef and restaurateur Stephanie Izard is turning the tables, hosting Tastemade’s new series The Curious Chef, which debuts on the streaming channel tonight at 7 p.m.
The cookbook author, James Beard Award-winning chef, and owner of multiple restaurants including the Girl & the Goat in L.A.’s Arts District, visits different fellow chefs and home cooks on a cultural exploration of traditions.
The culinary road trip kicks off with the joys of Jamaican cooking as she visits L.A. home cook and musician Kat Williams for a jerk elote lesson, rediscovers the allure of allspice and checks into the kitchen of Sattdown Jamaican Grill in Studio City for Chef Tony’s famous oxtail stew. It inspired Izard to turn up the heat in her Chicago restaurant by introducing habaneros to the Midwestern menu.
“I still love cooking competitions, but it’s so fun to do something different and be out there learning,” Izard tells L.A. Weekly over the phone from her South Pasadena home. “I got my inspiration from growing up with my mom, who was a home cook. We cooked together and every week we’d put a menu up on the refrigerator of what we were going to have every day of the week, so my friends could pick which days they wanted to come over. We had moo shoo pork and tempura nights and made foods from all over the world.”
Izard will visit home chefs from Nigeria and discover new ingredients in the upcoming weeks and explore Israeli cuisine by helping build a 100-pound shawarma with layers of lamb belly slathered in spices in the Dr. Sandwich kitchen. She’ll join UPS driver and home chef Fernando Carrillo for a backyard BBQ and make a trip to Carnitas el Momo to learn the art of slow cooking and techniques of flavor.
“It’s teaching me how to be a better home cook myself,” she says. “Sometimes you get chef’s block and really have to work on getting inspired. It’s not just about going out and eating in restaurants, but going into other people’s homes and seeing what they cook every day. You don’t need a big kitchen or a bunch of fancy gadgets. People always ask me what my favorite gadgets are. All I need is my chef’s knife and a peeler.”
The series is available across platforms including YouTube TV, Samsung TV Plus, VIZIO SmartCast TVs, The Roku Channel, Comcast Xfinity X1, SLING TV, Fubo, Tubi, and is also be available on demand on Tastemade+.
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