A new cooking competition series is coming to a computer screen near you. “Bringing It To The Table” separates itself from “Chopped” and “Top Chef” by focusing exclusively on Black chefs, giving them a chance to show off their skills as it dispels myths about Black cooking.
“Many times when we think of chefs of color, we think of barbecue and fried chicken,” series creator and executive producer Aminah ‘Chef MiMi’ Robinson said in a statement. “And although we love it, it’s not all that we can prepare. But it is society’s stereotypes as seen so often in the media food space.”
In addition to breaking down culinary stereotypes, the show’s six Cheftestants will compete in Oakland, Ca., for culinary dominance while being judged by celebrity Chef Robert “Stew” Stewart.
For Darion “Chef Dee” Williams, he felt compelled to join the competition because of the revolutionary aspect of featuring successful Black chefs.
“I had already previously — maybe 6 months before — went on the Food Network and did two shows,” Williams told Atlanta Black Star. “I was new to the Bay Area and when I [spoke] to Chef Mimi [and] I was really inspired [about the fact that] this is an opportunity for Black chefs to actually make a name for ourselves … Everyone has a cooking competition, but we’ve never had one of our own.”
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That representation is key for Robinson, who began breathing life into “Bringing It To The Table” since 2014. She said she wanted to showcase a group of chefs who have varied backgrounds. Specializations range from vegan and healthy cooking to a “California twist” on cooking.
“I want the world to know that Black chefs are diverse within our own community,” Robinson said. “In addition, I wanted to introduce Black women chefs who are marginalized and overlooked.”
Williams, who is a sous-chef at The Grill On The Alley in Dallas, believes the show will help raise his profile as a chef.
“Regardless of where you come from,” he added, “we can do just as good as them if not better.”
The six-part series premieres Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, Nov. 23 and will be available for download on “Vimeo on Demand” for $9.99.
Robinson said a second season is gearing up for production in San Francisco.