'Scraps' host Joel Gamoran and Brooks Reitz
It goes without saying that it's not unusual for local chefs and restaurateurs to show up on TV. With the sheets still warm from Top Chef: Charleston,
Food Network's continual recruitment of local talent for Chopped
, not to mention Anthony Bourdain's megawatt visits, spotting film crews in Charleston kitchens is about as normal as seeing carriage horses on our streets.
And the latest show to make a visit highlights one of the city's most camera-ready restaurateurs, drama major and restaurateur Brooks Reitz. The owner of Leon's, Little Jack's Tavern, and forthcoming Melfi's stars in the premiere of new FYI Network show Scraps
The premise behind this latest food-focused program is this: Sur La Table Chef Joel Gamoran travels the U.S., meets other chefs, then uses out-of-the-box ingredients to craft meals using food waste and scraps. In March Gamoran stopped by Leon's to craft a meal with Reitz and Seaborn Oyster Co. owner Cyrus Buffum. The group went oystering, then prepared a meal of used shrimp shells to make a shrimp shell butter to top the grilled oysters and served that with dill pickle juice-fried chicken thighs using leftover pickle juice. (Full disclosure: I participated in the filming of the dinner and may or may not have added some commentary to the show — fingers crossed I didn't say anything too stupid.)
Scheduled to premiere this Sun. May 21, the 10-episode series is produced by Katie Couric via her Katie Couric Media and RAIN for FYI. In a press release for the show, Couric says “Food waste is such a huge problem in this country and more and more people want to do something about it. I’m so excited for Chef Joel Gamoran to introduce viewers to wonderful places and delicious recipes using ingredients we never imagined could taste so good. Joel’s energy and enthusiasm are infectious.”
Brooks and Buffum were in New York City last night for the premiere viewing of Scraps
at Lincoln Center and met Couric who Brooks says is a badass. "So kind, but also very real, and a little irreverent. Loved meeting her," he adds. And as for the Charleston episode, he's pleased with the final product.
"I promise you — this thing turned out amazing. I am so, so proud to have been a part of it, and I was skeptical, but I was floored by just how beautifully the episode turned out. I think it represents Charleston well, and it takes a look at a serious food waste issue in a fresh, modern, non-preachy way."
Tune in Sunday at 10:30 p.m. to see the Charleston episode of Scraps