Everyone has a bucket list of things to accomplish in their lifetime – hike the Appalachian Trail, visit Graceland, go on a New Orleans ghost tour – but Chef Todd Fisher hungers for experiences with a bit more meat to them! Follow this life-long restaurateur in “UNITED STATES OF FOOD” as he visits venues with the best and most innovative menus in America.
Here’s his take on the show and food:
There has been many food-hunting shows on air recently. What makes United States of Food stand out from the rest?
“I think that the medium in which we deliver the contents plays an important role because it is Discovery and there is a great teaching element to our show. Although it’s not a show about a cook book, but we do talk about technique and styles. We deliver the information in to educate and we also add a tremendous amount of fun and personality and kind of off-the-cuff spontaneous interaction with not only guests but the chef and/or restaurant owners. And I think that for me, it’s my 20-plus years in the kitchen that lends itself so well to both the educational aspect of it but also the fact that I’m not an actor. I’ve never been on TV and this is my first opportunity doing television. So I say to people all the time that I’m not an actor but an exceptional reactor. So I react to the scenarios around me and it’s very organic and natural and it’s not really a forced or scripted show in any way. And I think it sets itself apart in those two ways specifically.”
How do you choose the place or venue for every single episode? What’s the process like?
“What we do is we all come together; my production company, Sharp Entertainment out of New York City, Discovery Communications, and the executives there as well as myself and we each bring a list of places that we’ve either been to, heard of or, you know, have longed to go to. And then we talk about them, discuss them, do some research on each of them to find out which ones are going to make the cut.”
You’ve already released your bucket list in the restaurant in “United States of Food”. But what is your bucket list in your career?
“Well, I hope someday I will be asked to participate on Saturday Night Live. That is on my bucket list of things to do. Career-wise I am hoping to do such that more food specials like South Beach Food and Wine and different food festivals that I have not done previously. And I also – one on my bucket list is to open a – what I would call a – it would be more of a Chef Todd experience where restaurants and a cooking school.“
You’re really into meat and hamburgers! So, have you ever felt sick of eating meat or of eating the same thing over and over again?
“Well, you know, I have a radio show called The All American Carnivore, and I hope that I never get sick of eating meat because that would be bad for the business. Again, do I occasionally participate in meatless Mondays and things of that nature? Yes. Do I occasionally eat just a wholegrain and no meat or all seafood diet? Yes, depending on what’s happening in the local economy/new products that I might be trying. As well, I love all foods, not just meat. Again, I love potatoes, I love broccoli. All in all, I love food.”
Are there any specific food items that you’d really want to feature?
“I think for me yes. And I think it is actually fried chicken, because there are so many different versions that inevitably are the same thing, but the differences in spice, the differences in marinate or brine, the differences between pressure-fried or deep-fried, you know, even n some of the air-fried chickens out there are – it would be an interesting concept for people to see how different they can be and yet they’re all basically the same thing, a lot like burgers.”
What’s the difference between working as a chef and a host?
“The difference is I’m not. When I’m the host I’m not necessarily the guy in charge. I’m kind of taking my lead from the chef or the restaurant owner, trying to glean from them or extract from them the information that we want to share with our viewers. When I am the chef, I am in charge and I am dictating everyone what I need them to do, what we accomplish as a team to get through service or to get out a party or whatever the case may be. But a lot of it is the same in that I’m passionate about what I do; I want to be the best at it, whether I’m cooking or hosting. Like when I’m in the kitchen as a chef I’m teaching, and I’m hoping always to be teaching with humour or experience, always teaching something.”
How would you best describe yourself as a chef, originally on the show?
“What I actually say on YouTube is that no one word can describe me. That being said, if I had to pick a word, I think I would say that I’m a fun, excited and passionate chef. And I’m passionate in all regards not only to the food or eating, but passionate about the places and the experiences that we’re having. When I talk about my food style or my own personal style of doing things, I talk about experiential dining meaning that I want to create an experience through food, fun and fellowship & relationship.”
Do you have any other passion other than meat?
“I do. I have several. The one that is most obvious is my passion for doing things with them and kind of helping create and teach great young people life skills and things. And then I am an avid basketball player. I love basketball and baseball.”
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From pop culture mainstays like Chicago’s Billy Goat Tavern, whose cheeseburgers were made famous by Saturday Night Live to a rumoured haunted grill-your-own-steak joint in Allegan, Michigan. “UNITED STATES OF FOOD” will definitely leave you drooling in front of your television screens!
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