Chefs from some of Chicago’s hottest restaurants soon will be dishing it out on NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5’s 11 a.m. weekday newscast.
Starting April 15, they’ll appear with news anchors Stefan Holt and Marion Brooks several times a month to show viewers how to prepare their most popular entrees.
Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5, said a new kitchen has been built in the studio to accommodate the chefs. “We’re hooking up the cameras and lights now,” he said.
First up will be Rick Bayless, world renowned chef of Chicago’s Frontera Grill, and star of the PBS series "Mexico: One Plate at a Time," based on his book of the same name.
The new feature follows the departure last week of Wayne Johnson after nine years at NBC 5 as a free-lance contributor of lifestyle segments, including cooking and home entertaining.
“I never thought of myself as a chef . . . just an everyday Joe who tried to convince a lot of other everyday Joes that cooking and entertaining wasn't that difficult,” Johnson wrote on Facebook. “It was a unique position for the station to support and I'll always be grateful for having had the opportunity.
In other news on TV’s eat beat, WTTW.com this week will premiere "FoodPhiles," a short-form digital series profiling Chicago area restaurateurs, chefs, barristas and other culinary professionals. The 13-part series launches in its entirety Thursday on a mobile-optimized website, wttw.com/foodphiles, which also will include stories and recipes.
“Food is obviously a necessary and enjoyable thing,” producer Dan Protess said in a statement. “But beyond that, it offers a great window into culture, history, and even politics. By talking with these chefs, I learned so much about our city and its diverse communities.”