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10/21/16 9:00 EST INSP TV "State Plate" SEASON 1

Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

11:06 AM - Apr 05, 2016 #1


Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

10:52 PM - Apr 07, 2016 #2

17.  Alabama 'Idol' Taylor Hicks to host new TV series, 'State Plate'

Taylor Hicks returns to TV screens in fall 2016 as the host of a new food and travel series, "State Plate." Hicks, a country-soul singer and Alabama native, made his TV fame on "American Idol" in 2006. He'll perform with other alumni on that show during the Season 15 finale.
(Right photo: Tamika Moore | Left photos: Courtesy of Fox, top, and Taylor Hicks.)

Mary Colurso

April 07, 2016 at 2:50 PM

The show, produced by RIVR Media, is set to air on INSP, a family-friendy channel formerly known as the Inspiration Network. Hicks -- best known to viewers as the Season Five winner of "American Idol" -- will travel to all 50 states, sampling regional cuisine and delving into its origins and creation.

Doug Butts, senior vice president of programming at INSP, described the concept of "State Plate" in a press release:

"In each episode of 'State Plate,' he travels to a particular state, where he will 'assemble' a plate filled with the food most associated with that state," Butts said. "He'll sample everything from crab cakes in Maryland and peaches in Georgia to chili in Texas and potatoes in Idaho. As he makes his way from coast to coast, Taylor will visit farms, ranches, markets, festivals and other diverse and unusual locales. In the process, viewers share in the journey as he uncovers the rich details behind each state's unique food traditions. It's a heaping helping of America's most beloved cuisine, rich in history, folklore, and flavor."

Hicks, 39, is a country-soul singer, a longtime foodie and a partner in a Birmingham barbecue restaurant, Saw's Juke Joint. He's also a familiar face on television, after his "Idol" run in 2006, a 2015 guest appearance on "Hell's Kitchen," a song spoof in 2011 on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" and more.

"Taylor's wide popularity, experience as a restaurateur, and down-home charm make him an ideal host for a traveling food series." Butts said. "Unlike most food shows, we won't be touring restaurants; this is about the food itself, how it is grown and the people who bring it to our dinner tables. What emerges is the trivia and unknown stories behind our states' most emblematic foods."

Hicks, a Hoover native, will perform tonight with other alumni on tonight's "American Idol" finale, as the Fox series ends its 15th and final season.

"I'm so grateful for the platform that 'American Idol' gave me as a performer and a recording artist," Hicks said in a statement. "I'm looking forward to returning to the show one last time."

On Wednesday, he shared some of his "Idol" rehearsal experiences on social media, taking over the Instagram account from Hollywood.

18.  Build Series


Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

11:14 PM - Jul 12, 2016 #3

Exciting news! Tune in for an INSP ‪#‎FacebookLive‬ broadcast this Saturday at 3p ET for an exciting announcement from American Idol winner and host of ‪#‎StatePlateTV‬, Taylor Hicks!
And don't miss your chance to have him answer YOUR question, LIVE! Leave your questions for Taylor in the comments below!


Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

10:28 PM - Nov 12, 2016 #4



credit to Saxon Creamery 

Friday, October 21st at 9p ET

Bloomer Wisconsin is the jump rope capital of the world! But the only jumping singer and host Taylor Hicks will be doing this week is jumping for joy, as he savors delectable delights on his quest to discover the country’s most delicious foods.

This week he tastes his way across…you guessed it…Wisconsin! Go along for the ride, as he milks a cow to make squeaky fresh cheese curds, grinds pork and makes bratwurst with a local bratwurst legend, and visits a facility that produces more sauerkraut than anyone else in the world.

Taylor also serves up a huge pot of chicken booyah and makes his own unique version of the delicious fruit-filled kringle pastry.

Booyah! It’s an overflowing plateful of mouthwatering Wisconsin cuisine filled with the stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Cheese Curds
Saxon Creamery | Lisa Hall & Karl Klessig |
The Saxon Farm has been in the Klessig family since 1850. Today, brothers, Karl and Robert Klessig, along with their respective wives, own the farm and creamery, ushering in the fifth generation to raise cows on carefully tended land that includes 850 acres of pasture, 250 acres of alfalfa and corn silage and 135 acres of wildlife habitat that they are dedicated to preserving in conjunction with the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association.

Their passion for the environment extends to their farming methods by practicing rotational grazing. Approximately 500 cows are moved from pasture to pasture at strategic times, allowing some pastures to “rest” and regrow, while the cows graze elsewhere on fresh grass. This way, the cows are continuously consuming the highest-quality, lush and nutritious grass, which results in milk that produces award-winning, rich-colored cheeses of superior and unique flavor. All of Saxon’s specialty cheeses are individually handcrafted to meet the dairy’s high standards of taste and quality.

Lisa Hall was always passionate about homegrown, fresh, quality foods. So taking a management job at Saxon Creamery was a natural fit. Not only does she get to work with local distributors, promote the brand’s image, develop ways to expand the market, among other responsibilities, she also pitches in as a taste tester, sampling fresh, new cheeses before they hit the stores.

Cheesy Fact: Wisconsin has the most dairy farms in the country, a total of 11,400. That makes for a lot of cheese!


Entrée: Bratwurst
Schwai’s Meat & Sausage Market | Tom Schwai

Schwai’s meat market has been in business for more than 70 years. Today with third generation, Tom Schwai at the meat grinder, the brats are made the old-fashioned way, based on his father’s family recipe, with AAA choice, lean cuts of meat, hickory-smoked with no MSG or gluten, just spices and seasonings, wrapped in an all-natural casing. And once one of his 1/3-pound brats hits a sizzling grill, it cooks up to tender, flavorful perfection with no shrinkage.

With two markets now open, Tom is busier than ever, but you’ll still see him grilling and selling brats at farmers markets, street fairs, festivals and events—from the Strawberry Festival to Augtoberfest, church feasts to school fundraisers.  

Fire up the Grill: What’s Wisconsin’s answer to the southern barbecue? The brat fry!

Side 1: Sauerkraut
GLK Foods | Ryan Downs & Ron Worm

They’ve been making sauerkraut since 1900, and today they are the largest sauerkraut producer in the world, carrying on their 100-year family tradition of making the finest-quality, freshest and most savory sauerkraut. They are in America’s top-selling brands.

Every year GLK Foods processes 140,000 tons of raw cabbage sourced from local family farms. With their state-of-the-art farming and processing methods they are able to ensure the quality, freshness and crispness of every ounce of sauerkraut that leaves their facility.

From traditional flavors to new, innovative products, the company offers traditional and Bavarian style tart and tangy Silver Floss; crispy, crunchy refrigerated Krrrrisp Kraut; Cortland Valley Organic; raw, probiotic-rich natural Saverne; and Latino-influenced hot and spicy Curtido, and much more

Listen to Your Gut! Fermented foods are trendy for a reason! They’re healthy! The probiotics used as a natural preservative when fermenting sauerkraut, help aid digestion by restoring a healthy balance of good bacteria in the digestive tract. Plus, sauerkraut is rich in vitamins C, B, especially B12, and the “forgotten” vitamin—K!

Side 2: Chicken Booyah
Hannon’s Booyah | Monette Bebow

Cooked over the course of two days, blending the savory flavors of shredded chicken, a variety of veggies and legumes you buy, or pick from the garden—carrots, peas, beans, onions—stirred in an enormous pot, often employing special “Booyah kettles,” some capable of holding 50 gallons of broth, chicken booyah is a longstanding staple at community events, church, school and non-profit fundraisers and other celebrations.

While the origin of the mouthwatering soup can stir up a heated debate, Monette Bebow-Reinhard is certain its roots are firmly planted in her family tree, crediting her grandfather, the son of a Belgian immigrant, Alex Hannon as the inventor of the century-old dish when he was a mere 12 years old in 1893.

And where did the name “booyah” come from? Some say it’s the Belgian phonetic spelling, translation or variation of the word “bouillon,” or broth, derived from the French. Others tell the story of Andrew Rentmeester, a lumberjack turned school teacher, who, when placing an ad at the newspaper for a school fundraiser, misspelled the word “bouillon,” when the clerk asked what would be served.

There’s one thing all parties can agree on: Booyah is a delicious way to bring family, friends and community together.

What Not to Put in: According to Monette, there are certain ingredients that should never go into an authentic Booyah—rice, noodles and tomatoes! In a November, 2015 Green Bay Press-Gazette article, she said, “Tomatoes? If they put tomatoes in it, I won’t try it. Rice or noodles? Yuck!”


Dessert: Kringle
O&H Danish Bakery | Matt Horton

Christian Olesen immigrated to Racine, Wisconsin from Denmark as a young boy in the early 1900s. In 1949, he teamed up with Harvey Holtz and O&H Bakery began creating light, flaky and flavorful Kringle.

In 1963, Christian’s son Ray and wife Myrna bought out the Holtz share and they began to teach their sons Dale, Mike and Eric the business. Today, Eric and his wife Lisa run the business, bringing in the fourth generation of family bakers, including Peter their son and Matt Horton, their son-in-law.

In 2015, O&H moved to a new 44,000 square-foot headquarters and bakery. They may have upgraded their facility, but the family still produces the tasty pastry made from quality ingredients, adhering to family tradition, values and integrity.

And the Winner Is…The Kringle! The Official State Pastry of Wisconsin.


1. In Cleveland, WI with a baby lamb  June 2, 2016

2.  May 31, 2016  

3.  Washington County Insider ... ican-idol/

The Schwais are preparing to host an American Idol
Author: Judy Steffes |

On Thursday American Idol winner Taylor Hicks will be at Schwai’s in Fredonia.

The salt-and-pepper haired Hicks was a contestant in the fifth season of Idol in 2006 and now he’s hosting a new network TV show ‘State Plate’ where he highlights iconic foods in particular states.

“They’re doing a show about Wisconsin brats and it was between us and Johnsonville,” said Tommy Schwai. “If you want the best, I told them to come out here.”

It was Wednesday morning and Tommy arrived at the meat market at 5 a.m. “I’ve been stuffing sausages,” he said untangling a handful of white, slippery casings. “We have one of the biggest parish festivals coming up at St. John Vianney on N. Calhoun Road in Brookfield.”

The Schwai’s were contacted by the show’s producer in May. A letter detailed the premise of the show, on the family-friendly INSP network.

The letter read, “This is the first season of State Plate and it is set to air this fall hosted by Taylor Hicks, (American Idol winner, foodie, and restaurant owner).

We want to feature the brats/sausages, and we would love to come to your shop.

Our shoot would include having an on-camera person, the owner/manager/or staff member (hopefully you Tom!) explaining to Taylor the history of the brats in Wisconsin, and talking about your history and your company, whatever you would like to share. Then you would show Taylor how to make your famous brats.

We want to see Taylor, dressed in the right clothes, hats, gloves, whatever, like he was really at work that day. So whatever process you would like for him to participate in the making of the brats… we are open to whatever ideas you may have.

The entire duration of the filming should not take more than 2 hours. You mentioned that you make the best and adjust the time of day to whatever works best for you.”

According to INSP, Hicks is a partner in a barbecue restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama. The food show will be different as Hicks won’t go from restaurant to restaurant but “he’ll visit farms and ranches, markets and festivals and uncover the details behind each state’s unique food tradition.”

Tommy said he said he knew Taylor Hicks from TV.

“I can remember watching him when he was doing his audition,” he said. “Simon Cowell said, ‘you’re never going to win,” the other two voted for him and he won.”

Tommy couldn’t come up with the name of a Taylor Hicks song but did say he sang country music. “He is a good looking guy – he’s got grey hair like me,” he said tipping his hat.

Kathy Schwai bustled about the shop, cleaning. “She’s doing a lot of cleaning but when you get a special guy in here like Taylor Hicks you have to clean up just a little more,” said Tommy.

Kathy stopped for a minute to talk. “How’d you find out about this,” she asked directly. “You always get the dirt.”
Kathy wound through the story of how Hollywood found them…. And it went a little something like this.

“The producer contacted me and her mother’s best friend recommended they come and talk to us because in her mind we had the best brats and we thank her for that recommendation,” she said.

“I have to show him how to do everything,” said Tommy. “We’re going to do brats – he’s gonna get what he gets and that’s what he wants.

“We’re going to make brats and he’s going to eat brats here.”

The Schwai’s said they weren’t nervous – they had served famous people before like former Brewers managers Buck Rodgers and George Bamburger, Green Bay Packers Lionel Aldridge, and Doug Gonring from West Bend Elevator. “Once you try a Schwai’s brat you’re going to come back,” said Tommy.

After making the brats the Schwai’s will be cooking out so Hicks can sample some of what he created. “We’re going to have special Taylor Hicks brat package and people can buy the brats he helped make,” he said.


Filming of the show gets underway Thursday morning. Watch for exclusive updates at

4.  Tommy and Taylor Hicks credit to : Judy Steffes ... n_US&rel=0


6.   St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter & The Micah Center A food stand to help the needy Taylor exams the food , helps to prepare it and goes out onto the street to "hawk" his wares.......NOW THAT'S AN AMERICAN IDOL





1.   TURNIPS 2 TANGERINES ... hicks.html
October 19, 2016
State Plate with Host Taylor Hicks

On the Menu Today~
Looking for something to do Friday Nights?
Look no further....
State Plate with Taylor Hicks,
airs on Friday Nights at 9 pm ET.

State Plate is a heaping helping of Americas'
most beloved cuisine, rich in history, folklore and flavor.
Each state has it's favorite foods.
Foods that are synonymous with that state.

State Plate creates mini biographies, or "foodographies" on each state food.
I have always been a huge fan of Food/Travel shows,
finding them fun, interesting and informative.
Some of my favorite shows are been Food/Travel shows.
State Plate will definitely be added to that list and
Taylor Hicks is a natural!
I think he has found a "new" calling in life.
Taylor is everything you'd want in a host...
Charming, adventurous, fun and humorous,
along with an obvious love of food.

Taylor visits farms, ranches, markets and festivals.
He is uncovering the stories and legends behind each
state's unique food traditions.
The people he meets take pride in their states' food.

Taylor Hicks piles his plate high with delicious delights,
tasting some of the states' most symbolic and popular foods.

The first state Taylor will be visiting and tasting his way through
is my home state of Wisconsin.
Taylor will be tasting:

Squeaky Cheese Curds from: Saxon Creamery
Delicious and intensely flavorful cheese~

1/3 pound Bratwurst from Schwai's Meat and Sausage
Wonderful authentic hickory and hardwood natural flavor~

The Worlds Largest Producer of Sauerkraut from: GLK Foods
A Family-Owed Company with a 100 Year Tradition~

A Bowl of Chicken Booyah from: Hannon's Booyah
Learn How Wisconsin's Chicken Booyah Was Born~
Booyah is the Belgium pronunciation for soup.

An Award Winning Danish Kringle from: O & H Danish Bakery
We love a flaky kringle, here at Turnips 2 Tangerines.

Next Week: Illinois

2.  YBBG Style ... s.html?m=1

Sunday, October 23, 2016
State Plate with Taylor Hicks

On October 21, 2016, INSP TV introduced a new food show hosted by none other than Taylor Hicks. Hicks is the winner of Season 5 of American Idol. You may remember his soulful singing coming with a southern gentile drawl and shock of gray hair.

Now you can see Hicks prepping and testing out home grown dishes all across the US on INSP (Find INSP in your area here). I had an exclusive preview of the first episode that debuted this past Friday October 21, 2016, and it was all about the best dishes Wisconsin has to offer.

When I think of Wisconsin, I think of CHEESE!! I love cheese! Hicks was in cheese heaven on this episode. He also learned of Wisconsin's Danish lineage as he tasted pastries and other dishes.

So the premise of the show is that Hicks travels around to different food producers to find the foods that best represent the state. He piles them on the plate at the end of the show. Some dishes will make it, others will not. From INSP:

Each of our nation’s 50 states is identified with specific foods: crab cakes in Maryland, potatoes in Idaho, chili in Texas, lobster in Maine.  We all know Georgia is known for peaches, peanuts, and Vidalia onions, but why? How did these foods become associated with this state more than any other? As food and culture are inextricably bound together, the story of a state’s cuisine is also the story of its culture.
In each episode of the INSP original series State Plate(which will premiere on the family-entertainment network on Friday, October 21st at 9:00P ET), platinum selling artist and popular American Idol® winner, Taylor Hicks takes viewers on an unforgettable culinary tour of a particular state, on a quest to assemble a plate of the state’s most emblematic foods. Along the way, he visits farms, ranches, markets, festivals, and other exciting locales in order to uncover the stories and legends behind the state’s unique food traditions. It’s a heaping helping of America’s most intriguing cuisine.

I am a foodie in a sense, and I love the stories behind food. In my family, cooking in my granny, grandma and mama's kitchens were a rite of passage that I am grateful for, now and forever. I learned a lot of family history through making different dishes. One story I never learned was how my grandma started making goulash.

Goulash is an Hungarian dish...and we are not Hungarian. In Wisconsin, they are trying to make a dish called Booyah their state soup. Hicks talked to a couple of residents and lawmakers about the push to make this chicken stew a recognized state soup on the show. I honestly didn't think Hicks liked the soup as much as he liked the other dishes.

Overall, I enjoyed the show. But then again, I like most shows about cooking and eating. There are a couple of things I hope will change as the show goes forward. 1. I hope all the dishes don't end up on the plate. 2. I need Hicks to learn about food safety and proper practices in a kitchen. I understand the desire to nibble...but there's a way to nibble properly in the kitchen, especially commercial kitchens. Hicks's way on this first show was not the proper way!

Take a look at some examples of the foods Hicks tried out in Wisconsin: go to link !!!

Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

10:36 PM - Nov 12, 2016 #5



Friday, October 28th at 9p ET

Did you know ice cream sundae was given its name in Evanston, Illinois? Well, this week, singer and entertainer Taylor Hicks enjoys a few scoops of the creamy confection as he tastes his way across Illinois looking to discover the state’s most emblematic foods.

Come along as he visits the cornfields that produce the official state snack: popcorn. He also learns how to bake the perfect bread for the famous Italian beef sandwich, and he heads to the windy city to get the low down on deep-dish pizza and the Chicago-style hot dog.

To top it all off, Taylor visits the birthplace of the ice cream sundae. It’s a plateful of Illinois cuisine filled with the stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Popcorn
Von Bergen’s Country Market | Mike Von Bergen

Take a trip to Von Bergen’s Country Market, and you’ll feel right at home because this farm and market is a family affair with Mike Von Bergen at the helm. The market offers the freshest local and regional fruits and veggies with much of the produce grown right on the Von Bergen’s farm—including their popular homegrown popcorn kernels, which can be popped in oil or in an air popper with equally tasty results. This family farm is also family-friendly, hosting seasonal events, for kids and adults who want to feel like kids again.

Pop(corn) Quiz: Are the ears of corn grown for popcorn different from the corn on your dinner plate?
Answer: Yes! Corn grown for popping have smaller kernels with lower moisture than other corn. That’s what makes them “pop.”

Entrée: Italian Beef Sandwich
D’Amato’s Bakery | Rosanna & Nick D’Amato

Rosanna and Nick D’Amato’s Italian bakery is truly a hidden gem. Established in 1970, the long-standing bakery is famous for its coal-burning brick oven—one of only two remaining in Chicago. Customer favorites include their savory tomato bread, Italian and French breads, focaccia, meatball and beef sandwiches, subs, panini, pizza and sesame bread sticks. This popular, traditional Italian restaurant also creates scratch-made pastries and cookies, including what one Facebook reviewer called “The best cannoli anywhere.”

Dip or Not to Dip? Two popular ways to eat the Italian Beef Sandwich are “Hot Dipped” with bread dipped in gravy before piling on the beef and giardiniera (sautéed Italian sweet green peppers).

“Sweet Dry,” beef placed between slices of plain, dry bread, topped with giardiniera.

Side 1: Deep Dish Pizza
Gulliver’s Pizza & Pub | Dino Karageorgis

credit to Dino Karageorgis

Gulliver’s opened in 1965 in a relatively small 100-seat restaurant featuring the North Side’s original pan pizza. They proved so popular that over the years, they expanded that location to seat 350 pizza lovers! But that still wasn’t big enough. Today, they also serve diners at two additional locations bringing their world-famous pizza to thousands more.

The one thing that hasn’t changed over time is the winning recipe—pizzas baked in a brick oven to produce the perfect crust, using only fresh, high quality ingredients.

As we learned, the good folks of Chicago love their toppings, and Dino Karageorgis goes all out – from pepperoni to pineapple, anchovy to Alfredo sauce!

The Dish on Deep Dish: In 1943, entrepreneurs, Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo wanted to put their own spin on the traditional, thin crust pizza and took the beloved food in a completely different direction. Deep Dish Pizza, now a Chicago icon, was introduced to the public when Sewell and Riccardo opened the original Pizzeria Uno in Chicago’s Near North Side almost three-quarters of a century ago.

Side 2: Hot Dog
Kim & Carlo’s Chicago Style Hot Dogs | Kim Basile

Kim Basile is from Royal Arkansas, a very small town just outside of Hot Springs. She started working in the food business at the age of 13, and continued to work in restaurants all through junior high and high school.

Kim moved to Chicago shortly after graduating from high school with the intention of studying art. Throughout college, she continued to wait tables. Eventually, she changed her major, and completed a degree in Social Work at the University of Illinois. She was a social worker for a little over a year, but continued to waitress. The food industry stuck with her and she realized the restaurant business was her true calling.

In the early nineties Kim opened her first hot dog stand and she loved it! She hasn’t looked back. She had a small walk up window on Ontario Street for several years and eventually was awarded a contract with the Chicago Park District.

Kim now has three locations in Chicago; two hot dog stands on the Museum Campus and one hot dog stand in Eckhart Park, which is located in West Town.

“I have been in the hot dog business for twenty five years, but have worked in the restaurant industry for thirty eight. I love what I do and feel very fortunate to have such great locations in the city and wonderful employees to help me. I couldn’t do any of it without my fantastic staff,” Kim says.

Kim and husband Carlo, a classical and Flamenco guitarist, have a five year old daughter, Isabella. When not serving hot dogs to hungry customers, the family loves to travel.

“We have visited over forty countries. Most recently we took our daughter to China, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam.”

Kim plans to keep selling hot dogs for at least a few more years, but she still has her eye on that long-ago dream. “…my goal is to eventually go back to school and finally finish my art degree.”

Hot Dog Bites Back! When you bite into your Chicago-style hot dog it should have a “snap” to it, a little resistance from the casing. Use that comment around the hot dog cart, and you’ll sound like a real connoisseur

Dessert: Ice Cream Sundae
Hartigan’s Ice Cream Shoppe | Marcia Hartigan

Marcia (Savely) Hartigan met her future husband, Terry, when they were in their teens, while working at a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store in the late 70s. By 1980, Marcia now a sophomore, the couple negotiated to buy the store with Terry managing the business rather than pursuing college. After the duo married they settled into life serving ice cream, but in 1996, they decided to go out on their own, taking down the Baskin-Robbins sign and replacing it with Hartigan’s Ice Cream Shoppe. Now the hunt was on to find the creamiest, sweetest, most delicious ice cream to serve their customers. They found it, thanks to Marcia’s girlhood memory, at a family-run dairy in Wisconsin.

In 2004, after 20 years of marriage, Terry sadly, passed away. Marcia continues the Hartigan’s tradition, running the shop with the help of a group of young, enthusiastic employees.

They offer more than 50 flavors, including soft-serve yogurt and sherbets, not to mention the delightfully decadent sundae bar with 17 tempting dishes, including Marcias Matterhorn Sundae and the Krazy Kookie Sundae!

Fun Fact: The Ice Cream Sundae got its name in Evanston, Illinois. When the town fathers deemed the selling of ice cream sodas on Sundays as sinful, they passed an ordinance prohibiting the practice. So resourceful confectioners, decided to sell the “soda” without the actual soda, resulting in a dish of ice cream topped with syrup, and to quell the objections of naming it after the Sabbath, store owners altered the spelling of “Sunday” to “Sundae.”

Dessert: Ice Cream Sundae
Kris Hartzell | Kris Hartzell
Website coming soon

Taylor Hicks : I may or may not be in the "Windy City" shooting an episode for my new TV show ‪#‎StatePlate‬ that premiers this fall.

Chicago: While in Chicago, Taylor took in the sites of the city !!!!

Outside the Shedd Aquarium

credit to : Rita Scott Mallernee'

credit to Lindsey McKay

credit to Bobette Bergen

Screen cap


1. ‎Joni Higginbotham‎

It goes without saying that I absolutely love Taylor Hicks, but I have to comment on tonight's State Plate that showcased Illinois. There are more cities in Illinois than Chicago and us downstate residents (close to Springfield- capital of Illinois) it would have been nice if they would have featured the Springfield "horseshoe" plate special which originated in Springfield, IL and maybe not have 3 things on that plate coming from Chicago alone. Needless to say, I was disappointed with tonight's show as they should have called in not visiting Illinois but visiting Chicago!

2. Danny Latham

State Plate was gooooood!!!! Sampling my birth state of Illinois tonight. Pizza, Italian Beef, and hot dogs!!! All Chicago style!!! Our Soul Man is on it!!!!


3. Taylor Hicks on Chicago Faves, His New Music & Why He Thinks Illinois' Food is Among the Best in the Nation
By Emma Sarran Webster | May 12, 2017

We checked in with singer Taylor Hicks to talk Chicago, American Idol, his upcoming City Winery show, and why Illinois is one of his top states for food.

It’s been more than 10 years since Taylor Hicks won season five of American Idol, and he hasn’t slowed down since. The Alabama native has continued to hone his performance craft—and not just in the way of singing. Since his big win, Hicks has indeed had major success with his music (his self-titled album, Arista, debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and was certified RIAA platinum), but he’s also penned a best-selling autobiography, Heart Full of Soul; was featured on Jimmy Fallon’s Grammy Award-winning album, Blow Your Pants Off; starred as Teen Angel in Broadway’s musical Grease; opened a popular barbecue joint in Alabama; and is the current host of INSP’s State Plate.

He certainly hasn’t abandoned his roots as a musician though. Hicks is currently on tour and will be coming to Chicago for a performance at City Winery on May 18. We caught up with him on the phone to chat about American Idol, his new music, and why Illinois’ “State Plate” was one of the best.

What can fans expect from your upcoming performance in Chicago?
TAYLOR HICKS: I’ve had an amazing run of City Wineries this year. It’s a really cool food and music concept. And what I’ve done is I’ve created a really intimate, acoustic show where it’s just a couple of guitars and me. As many bigger venues as I’ve played, this particular tour has been mostly small, intimate venues to try out new music and to give my fans a different look. It has been so band-oriented and big production; this is just the opposite of that and I’ve really enjoyed doing it. It's a very up-close-and-personal show.

How has your music evolved over the years?
TH: Well, I think my songwriting has gotten better, and the musicianship. Since we’re speaking about City Winery, I guess I feel like my artistry is kind of like the wine they sell there: It’s getting better over time.

American Idol ended its run on FOX last year. What was it like seeing that come to a close?
TH: It was pretty amazing the way that everyone celebrated the show. It was a pretty awesome experience to be on that show at the time, when it was America’s pastime. For me, that's allowed me to be able to say that I’ve worked over a decade in show business.

You’re currently recording your next album. How’s that going?
TH: I’m really, really enjoying it. I’m currently in Zac Brown’s studio in Nashville, Southern Ground, recording the album. The music that’s coming out of the studio is very rootsy—it’s kind of a rootsy, country, soul sound. And that’s pretty much who I am in a nutshell, so it’s going really, really great. I like to say if Zac Brown and Jackson Browne had a baby, it would probably be me on this record.

You’re also the host of State Plate on the INSP network. Tell us about that.
TH: I’ve been in television off and on for 10 years, but I also started a barbecue restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama [with] my partners called Saw’s BBQ. [And] the INSP network folks and I got together to discuss a concept where we go around to each state and fill up a plate of food that is iconic to just that state. I have learned more about food and all of these iconic foods than I ever have before, and I think what’s great about it is the show actually takes a lot of concepts from all the great shows around. It’s a little bit of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, it's a little bit of Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs, and it has a touch of Bourdain.

What has been your favorite plate so far?
TH: Illinois is definitely up there. From Chicago dogs, to the Italian meat sandwiches, and obviously deep dish pizza. Illinois has got a great array of different kinds of foods and I had a really great time traveling through the state of Illinois and learning about all of these iconic foods.

What are you looking forward to doing or seeing while you’re here?
TH: Whenever I travel through the city you can catch me sitting there at Buddy Guy’s Legends a good bit. Chicago has so much to do you obviously can’t cover it in one day, but I definitely like [it]. I carry my harmonica and play a lot of Chicago blues when I come into town. And eat. ... inois-food


1. Corn is the premier crop of Illinois ;;; 25 million acres of corn occupying 75% of the State farmland . 2.3 Billion bushels of corn produced each year.
2. There are 333 popcorn farmers in Illinois
3. Pop corm Kernals are smaller and lower in moisture than regular corn
4. Pre-Columbian Tribes invented popcorn in 5000BC. It was invented in Illinois and in 2003 was named the official snack of the state.
5. The Italian Bread is the key to the beef sandwiches so adored . It is hand made and cooked in a coal burning oven.
6. The ice cream sundae was invented in northern Illinois when there was a ban on soda..........

Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

10:46 PM - Nov 12, 2016 #6



Friday, November 4th at 9p ET

Go west, young man! Maybe not so much to settle the frontier, but to eat! This week singer and entertainer Taylor Hicks tastes his way across Arizona on a quest to discover the state’s most symbolic foods.

Join him as he herds Churro sheep, plants tepary beans, discovers the surprising birthplace of the chimichanga, and more! Then sit down to Arizona’s finest, a meal of tender lamb stew, versatile Navajo fry bread, crispy chimichanga, tasty tepary beans and sweet prickly pear cactus candy. Hungry? Get ready for a plateful of Arizona cuisine filled with a heaping side of stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Churro Sheep Stew
47 Ranch | Deb & Dennis Moroney | Learn More

Entrée: Chimichanga
El Charro Café | Carlotta Flores | Learn More

Side 1: Tepary Beans
Tohono O’Odham Community Action | Samantha Felix | Learn More

Side 2: Navajo Fry Bread
Emerson Fry Bread | Roxanne Wilson | Learn More

Dessert: Prickly Pear Cactus Candy
Cheri’s Desert Harvest | Cheri Romanoski | Learn More

1. Charlotta Flores
April 11 ·

Did you know the chimichanga is Arizona's iconic state plate? Here I am with Taylor Hicks, the host of a new food and travel series, "State Plate." I am sharing with Taylor the history of the chimi and how to create one. Arizona's Chimi will be featured in the first segment this fall. Stay tuned for details!

2 credit to: Roxanne Wilson

Loren showing Taylor Hicks how to make Frybread inside?
Co-Owner/CEO at Big Muzzy Food Truck and CEO/Co-Owner at Emerson Fry Bread
Studies Basics at Arizona Culinary Institute
Lives in Phoenix, Arizona

3. TUCSON El Charro Café is going to be featured on a new TV show called "State Plate" hosted by "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks. The show, which will premiere on this fall on INSP, is about the iconic foods of each state. Stay tuned for more info about when this episode will air.

"One of America's 21 Most Legendary Restaurants"
- Gourmet Magazine, October, 2008

Established in 1922, El Charro Café of Tucson, Arizona is The Nation's Oldest Mexican Restaurant in continuous operation by the same family. Featuring traditional Northern Mexico-Sonoran style and innovative Tucson-style Mexican Food, El Charro Café is truly as Gourmet Magazine wrote: "A Taste Explosion".

With a large array of award winning hand-crafted recipes based on Sonoran and Local ingredients, El Charro Café is a passage to Tucson's Culinary History that has been won the dining icon acclaim from all over the world. People come from all corners of the globe to experience El Charro Café and we invite you to do the same.

The El Charro Café family is proud to be considered one of America's dining icons, but we will never rest on our laurels and will continue to develop delicious hand-crafted food and beverage recipes sure to please most any palate or dietary requirement. We are innovators and originators and have proven this with our efforts in maintaining old world quality with new found concepts such as recipes lower in trans fat or designing dishes for those who need to dine gluten free!

Whatever your needs, El Charro Café and family are prepared to show you that; "We are not the best because we are the oldest, We are the oldest because WE ARE THE BEST!" ... _rs4XJI3H1 ARIZONA SHOW PREVIEW

Drinking Cactus

Sheep Stew Fry Breadtapary beans cactus candy


1. Sheep are raised for wool and meat . They eat desert plants that give their meat an amazing flavor. The sheep graze for 12 hrs each day.
2. Cattle are another agricultural commodity. The 5 C's for Arizona are Cattle, Cotton, Citrus, Climate and Copper
3, Navajo Ingenuity has given us Fry Bread. Flour, sugar, salt and lard are mixed and deep fried. They are served with sweet and savory toppings.
4. The chimichanga are "burritos" that are put into the deep fryer for 4 minutes. Charro's is the birth place of the chimichanga; it's name comes from a cuss word .
5. The southern part of the State likes corn tortillas and the northern part floured ones.
6. Tepary Beans ( white and brown) are served boiled . The bean can withstand the most severe droughts.
7. Squash, corn and beans grown together are called The Three Sisters .
8. There are 90 different species of cacti. Prickly pear cactus juice was first used to treat burns and diabetes. Now the juice is solidified and covered with sugar to make an outstanding candy.

Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

10:48 PM - Nov 12, 2016 #7



Friday, November 11th at 9p ET

This singer hits the high seas! Will entertainer and host Taylor Hicks haul in a big lobster catch? Maybe if he sings sweetly to the crafty crustaceans—or he just may try it the way the locals do it, with grit and skill! Yes, Taylor travels to Maine to seek out the state’s tastiest foods in this episode of State Plate.

Join him as he heads to the mudflats to go digging for soft-shell clam “steamers,” works with a horse to hill potatoes in the field, and learns how to cook authentic bean-hole beans over hot coals.

Then it’s out to sea, as he also goes lobster fishing to get to the main ingredient of Maine’s famous lobster roll.

Fried Potatoes in Lard

The Maine menu wouldn’t be complete without dessert! Taylor finishes it off with a slice of fresh blueberry pie.

Now that’s a mouthwatering plateful of Maine cuisine filled with the stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Steamers
Omm Outfitters | Nathaniel Theriault

Nathaniel Theriault owns Omm Outfitters – World Class Adventures. He’s loved being out in nature, the woods and the wild his entire life. He has been a registered Maine Guide since he was 18 years old. He now is a pilot and part of Mossy Oaks Prostaff team. While continuing his career as a guide, he attained a degree in business from the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

Digging Clams: Soft shell clams live in Maine’s mud, sand and gravel intertidal areas.

Entrée: Lobster Roll
Guy Randlett | Guy Randlett

Guy Randlette is a professional lobster fisherman, registered Maine Guide, outdoorsman and hunter.

Shell Game: Did you know lobsters shed their shells? Adult male lobsters shed twice a year, females once a year. The new shell is soft for months as it hardens. The meat of soft-shell lobsters is sweeter and more tender.

Side 1: Bean Hole Beans
Elliot Scott | Elliot Scott

Side 2: Maine Potato
Norlands Living History | Nicol Miller

Nicol Miller is the Program Coordinator at the Washburn-Norlands Living History Center, Maine’s oldest living history museum, where visitors journey into the past and experience life on a farm in the 1800s. At Norlands, all the staff portray real people who lived in the neighborhood in the 19th-century. Nicol portrays “Edward Pratt” (b.1837 d.1913), who owned a farm three miles from the Norlands. As Farmer Pratt, Nicol leads educational programs for schoolchildren, teaching them how to care for livestock, to farm using traditional methods, and to develop a personal connection to the past. With Norlands since 2014, Nicol has a background in art, archaeology and anthropology.

The Norlands preserves the heritage and traditions of 19th-century rural life in Maine, celebrates the achievements of Livermore’s Washburn family, and uses living history methods to make the values and activities of the past relevant to present and future generations.

One Potato, Two Potato…What happens to potatoes that don’t make the grade? Many companies in Maine are conducting research to see if waste potatoes can be used to make plastic products and biodegradable packaging. So someday, you might carry your potatoes in a bag made from potatoes!

Dessert: Wild Blueberry Pie
Winslow Farms | Sarah Boudreau

Dessert: Blueberries
Libby & Sons | Aaron Libby

Cozy Harbor , Maine


1. Q1065 ... aine-food/

New National TV Show ‘State Plate’ Will Feature Maine Food
By DJ Fred October 5, 2016

Just like folks in other states in the country, here in Maine we are what we eat!
A new show called State Plate will debut on INSP TV on Friday, Oct. 21 at 9 p.m., and each episode will feature a different state and what foods are associated with that particular area.
There’s crab cakes in Maryland, chili in Texas, peaches in Georgia, and of course lobster in Maine. A press release from the network says, “As food and culture are bound together, the story of a state’s cuisine is also the story of its culture.”
State Plate is hosted by American Idol season 5 winner Taylor Hicks, and the Maine version will air on Friday, Nov.11, at 9 p.m. Taylor has a deep passion for food and is the co-owner of Saw’s Juke Joint, a barbeque and blues bar in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Along the way, he visits farms, ranches, markets, festivals, and other exciting locales in order to uncover the stories and legends behind the state’s unique food traditions.

Will Taylor Hicks haul in a big lobster catch? Maybe if he sings sweetly to the crafty crustaceans—or he just may try it the way the locals do it, with grit and skill!
Join him as he heads to the mudflats to go digging for clams, works with a horse to hill potatoes in the field, and learns how to cook authentic bean-hole beans over hot coals.

Then it’s out to sea, as he also goes lobster fishing to get to the main ingredient of our famous lobster rolls. Then, it’s time for desert as Taylor finishes it off with a slice of fresh blueberry pie.
The episode promises to be filled with the stories and legends behind the Maine’s tastiest foods!

Read More: New National TV Show 'State Plate' Will Feature Maine Food | ... ck=tsmclip

Appetizer: Entree: Dessert:


1. Digging for soft shell clams in the mud flats of Maine requires stamina and a clamming permit.
2. At low tide, look for holes in the mud beds , get your rake behind and under the holes and pull up on the rake. Harvest the clams
3. The squirt of the clam is its defense mechanism.
4. There are 68,000 acres of fertile mud flats in Maine. ...June - Sept is harvest time.
5. The butter used to season the clam after it is steams is called wax.

6. Lobsters traps are dropped at night and buoys are used to mark where the trap is ..... different buoys for different lobstermen.
7. 3 1/4 inches is the legal limit for keeping a lobster .

8. Bean hole beans are cooked buried in a pit 2 to 3 ft. deep. You put a trash can in the hole and fill around it with dirt. Pack it and then remove the trash can and a deep round hole exists. Put your beans in a covered pot in the hole and set it on fire. Cover the hole and let the beans cook.
9. Molassas , mustard and pepper are added to the beans before cooking.

10. There are 60,000 acres of potato fields in Maine making it the biggest crop.
11. Hilling - the process of turning the soil around the potatoes to ensure that they stay buried as they grow.
12. Fry the sliced potato in a skillet with lard until crisp.

13. Wild blueberries are called low bush and cultivated berries are called high bush.
14. It takes 8 cups of blueberries to make one blueberry pie.

Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

6:29 PM - Nov 18, 2016 #8



Friday, November 18th at 9p ET

From the sandy beaches to the…well, swampy swamps, host Taylor Hicks hits the road to The Sunshine State seeking out Florida’s most popular and emblematic foods!

With the help of iconic actress Maureen McCormick, Taylor uncovers the stories and legends behind the Sunshine State’s traditional cuisine. Not only do they enjoy some tasty tidbits, but they also dive into some unique Florida experiences.

Join Taylor as he learns how to harvest a local favorite called swamp cabbage, and Maureen heads out to sea to fish for stone crab.

They also sample alligator bites and a Florida fruit that is almost as popular as the orange: the Kumquat. And, of course, they can’t leave the great state of without indulging in Florida’s a savory slice of key lime pie.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Gator Bites
Wild Bill’s Airboat Tours | Aaron Bengwerff

Wild Bill’s Airboat Tours is the first airboat tour in Florida approved by The U.S. Coast Guard. The company takes tourists, thrill seekers, wildlife enthusiasts and others up for an adventure on an exciting (often soaking!) ride down the Withlacoochee River into unspoiled wilderness, through wetlands and swamps searching for Florida alligators.

They accommodate large or small groups, those who want to mosey down the river and those who want to cut through the water at speed.

How well did Taylor Hicks survive his tour with Captain Aaron at the helm? Did he have an alligator sighting? You’ll have to watch to find out.

See ya later, Alligator! And you’d be running fast if you saw this guy hanging around! The Florida State record for the longest male alligator is 14 foot 3-1/2 inches, a gator from Lake Washington in Brevard County.

Appetizer: Gator Bites
Bret Johnson | Bret Johnson More Info coming

Entrée: Stone Crab Claws
Fresh off the Boat Seafood | Dylan McClain

Family owned and operated for 25 years, Fresh Off The Boat Seafood provides premium seafood, specializing in Florida stone crab from the Gulf of Mexico. They offer premium quality, fresh stone crabs taken directly from their own boats, processed, cooked, shipped and delivered to customers’ doors the very next day.

How to Crack the Claw: Stone Crab claws are hard and sharp. The temptation is to take a mallet and whack it! Stop! Step away from the hammer! You’ll only end up with tiny shards of claw embedded in the meat. Use a butter knife, instead. You read that right. A butter knife. Place the claw in the palm of your hand and using the handle of the knife, strike the claw to simply fracture the shell on both sides. Now, just pull from the tips of the pinchers to remove the meat. Still difficult? Continue to fracture until the meat comes out easily.

Side 1: Swamp Cabbage
Summer Corbitt | Summer Corbitt

For Summer Corbitt, cutting down a cabbage palm tree, paring it down to the heart and cooking it up with salt pork or a ham hock is a matter of pride that goes beyond winning prizes at fairs. It’s family. It’s a typical, regional side dish she can share at a potluck or serve at holidays, special occasions or to friends who’ve never tasted the rich, soft stew. It’s about tradition. It’s about her earliest memories of being on her dad’s farm.

Summer admits there’s one reason some people might not experience the savory taste of this special side dish.

“Most people are nervous to try something called Swamp Cabbage, and it does look a little “swampy,” but nine-out-of-ten people who try it really love it,” she says, “For me, I love the rich pork flavor and the slightly creamy taste the swamp cabbage produces. Swamp Cabbage just tastes like home to me because it is so unique to our area and because we’ve been making it as a family for as long as I can remember.”

The palm heart is naturally fibrous and takes a few hours to boil down. One has to be careful to cook it just to the point of being tender. If it’s overcooked, it becomes too mushy, and not recognizable as swamp cabbage.
Pick Your Palm:
For the sweetest swamp cabbage, cut down an average-size tree. Trees that are extra-large or that grow close to the water tend to have hearts that taste bitter.

Media: Caloosa Belle

Cooking Swamp Cabbage with Summer Corbitt
Dec 3rd, 2016 · by Val White · ... r-corbitt/

Summer Corbitt and her brother Field Corbitt, both LaBelle natives, helped put LaBelle on the map this past week and they did it through their love of Swamp Cabbage. Summer, has always been a lover of the local delicacy; growing up as a fifth generation LaBellian she developed a love for Swamp Cabbage at an early age and she’s been touting its praises everywhere she goes ever since.

It was during her time working in entertainment marketing for CNN Atlanta when she first caught the attention of her friend, and freelance producer Laurel Ripley, when Summer made the dish for her colleagues at their company pot lucks. When a cooking segment on a television show featuring iconic state foods presented itself, Summer was an obvious choice for the spot.

It was on a new traveling food series, State Plate, airing on the INSP (formerly Inspiration Network) channel that Summer had the chance to bring our much loved local cuisine to the masses! State Plate, hosted by Alabama native and American Idol Taylor Hicks will cross the country creating iconic dishes most loved by the locals in the prospective areas.

Summer was thrilled to accompany Taylor and a film crew down to LaBelle to introduce the tradition of cutting down the Cabbage Palm, paring it down to the heart of the Palm, and stewing it in the time honored way her family has been doing for years.

Bringing a television crew to a local orange grove, owned by Bryan Beer Jr., the process began by Field Corbitt demonstrating how to properly cut down the Cabbage Palm Tree with a chain saw. After procuring the heart of the tree Summer was joined by Hicks in her actual home kitchen to cook up the beloved stew.

When all was said and done Summer and her brother Field were thrilled to have been a part of the production and even more so by spreading their love of our regional iconic cuisine.

At the request of the production team we were unable to share the information on the show before it’s airing but you can now find information and see clips of the episode of State Plate: Florida on and

Side 2: Kumquat Marmalade
Kumquat Growers | Greg Gude

The Gude family has been in the kumquat growing business since 1971. For almost 27 years, Greg Gude, General Manager of Kumquat Growers, has overseen the harvesting, packing, processing and shipping of Fresh Florida Kumquats. In addition to shipping fresh kumquats to restaurants and individual customers, the company also sells a variety of jams, jellies, sauces and pie.

Known as “the little gold gems of the citrus family,” kumquats are believed to be native of China. They come in four varieties, but the ones that grow best in Florida are the sweet, round-shaped Meiwa, and the tart, oval-shaped Nagami. The taste is distinctive, a sweet and sour sensation.

Kumquat season runs from November through about April. That’s when the Gudes and their employees, many of whom have been with the company for over 30 years, kick into high gear.

Kumquat Fact: Kumquats are the only citrus fruit you can eat “skin and all.” In fact, the peel is the sweetest part and can be eaten separately.

Dessert: Key Lime Pie
Mike’s Pies | Michael Martin

In the mid-70s, native Floridian Mike Martin, then a linebacker at the University of Kentucky simply couldn’t wait for the holidays to enjoy his mother’s sweet pies. So he asked her to give him a crash course in pie making, especially cherry pie, his favorite at the time. And that started a lifelong love of baking.

In 1992, he finally gave in to friends and family who’d urged him to start selling his pies and he opened a small retail store in Tampa, and business took off, selling to loyal local customers and restaurants.

Today, his award-winning company has grown, to national proportions with distribution in 38 states, and is housed in a 30,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility. But still Mike holds true to his mission: to provide consistent, high-quality desserts, made without adding fillers, preservatives or other artificial ingredients. And how could he not stick to his values! His mom’s recipes continue to be the backbone of his success.

As for that young linebacker with a sweet tooth? He’s older now, but the sweet tooth is still there! His website states, “…Mike still engages in ‘quality control’ every chance he gets.”

Mike’s Pies has won 13 National Championships at the annual Great American Pie Festival.

And his authentic Key Lime Pie is one of them as a four time national champion! The pie filling is made with egg yolks, condensed milk and Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Juice®. Nothing else. It’s poured into a scratch-made graham cracker crust and baked to perfection—cutting no corners, because as Mike says, “There are no corners on pies!”

Pie Chart:
113 million — the number of Americans who have eaten pie for breakfast
9% — the number of Americans who prefer to eat their pie crust before the filling
6 million — the number of American men between the ages of 35 and 54 who have eaten the last slice of pie—and denied it!
47% — the number of Americans who associate the word “comforting” with pie

Entree :


1. Ellen Schned

Hanging with Taylor Hicks at Independent Show in Orlando, former American Idol, now star of INSP's State Plate...and handsome devil!!

2. Melissa Krupin

3. David Starrett

4. original_kindleWalt Disney World Sw

5. Denise Wiseman Maynard


1. The alligator is a descendant of a prehistoric bird
2. You can't make a living hunting for wild gator, most are farm raised for selling .
3. Gator bits are breaded with egg/breadcrumbs and deep fried in oil for about 5 to 6 minutes.

4. Stone Crab season is from October through May
5. Since the early 1900's stone crabs have been harvested for their claws. When caught the claw is torn off the crab and the crab is thrown back into the water to rejuvenate their claws.
6. Stone Crabs molt every year and they also lose claws in fights.
7. 2 to 3 million stone crab claws are caught each year and eaten pretty much in Florida.

8. There are 25 different varieties of palm trees in Florida
9. The sable palm is the one used for harvesting the heart of palm used in swamp cabbage.
10. Years ago , the Seminole Indians saw bears eating the palm fronds and realized there was something in there to eat.

11. The kumquat is called the sweet tart of Florida ; while the orange is called the sweet heart.
12. 1 acre of kumquats yields 8000 lbs of fruit , all picked by hand
13. To make marmalade: equal parts sugar, kumquat sliced thin and a dash of lemon juice; cook in a micro wave for a few minutes

14. There are NO KEY LIMES in Florida or elsewhere in the U.S. The key lime trees were destroyed in Hurricane Andrew ( 1992) , so all key limes come from Mexico.
15. It is essential to have egg yolks, condensed milk and key lime juice to make a key lime pie. It is baked in the oven .

Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

12:09 PM - Nov 26, 2016 #9



Friday, November 25th at 9p ET

The man who has his own barbecue joint is in for some BBQ—Texas style! Taylor Hicks is not only in show biz, but he’s in the restaurant business, as well, and he knows his barbecue!

In the Lone Star State he saddles up, lopes off on a cattle drive and chows down on some tender, spicy barbecue brisket, and makes cowboy-style pan de campo over a campfire. The Texas state food is chili, so the pressure is on when Taylor judges a chili cook-off between two legends of the chili world. Then he makes a sweet onion casserole at the largest onion farm in America. Can’t go without dessert! Taylor learns a family’s cherished recipe as he helps bake a big ole Texas sheet cake.

Taylor , home on the range

It’s a heaping plateful of savory cuisine, as big as Texas itself, filled with the stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: BBQ Brisket
Beaumont Ranch | Traci Garrison

Beaumont Ranch opened its doors in 1997. From a few guest cabins the ranch grew into the luxurious vacation destination and event venue it is today. The atmosphere may feel spa-like, but they still hold true to their roots and remain dedicated to putting family first. Beaumont is not only a resort and guest ranch; it’s a real, working cattle ranch housing herds of Longhorn Cattle, llamas, horses and other wildlife.

Entrée: Pan De Campo
Beaumont Ranch | Traci Garrison

Cowboy Trick: The traditional way to make Pan de Campo is in a Dutch oven, but if you’re riding the lonesome trail and camping out overnight, it’s not likely you’ll find appliances around. So, simply wrap the dough around a stick and cook your bread over coals.

Side 1: Chili
Suzanne Sweet | Suzanne Sweet

Suzanne Sweet was born November 16, 1964 in Ruston Louisiana. She moved with her parents to Dallas, Texas in 1968. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 1990 with a BS in Education. Having been diagnosed with Type I Diabetes in 1969, Ms. Sweet began to suffer the effects of her disease, including vision loss. Due to her health issues, she postponed her wedding to Earl David Sweet, but later married on May 23, 1991. A son, Hudson Bradford Sweet was born in April 1994.

In the fall of 2013 when Hudson left for college Suzanne began spending more time in Terlingua, Texas where she had started judging chili contests several years earlier. It was then she decided to try her hand at cooking chili.

She won her first cook off in August of 2014. In 2015 she won The State Fair of Texas Chili cook off in two categories. She also joined the High Sierra Cooking Team. In 2016 she won the Texas Open, which is the Texas State CASI Championship and then the ICS Arkansas Championship. These events qualify her to cook in the ICS World Championship and the Terlingua International Chili Championship the fall, 2016.

Chili to Die For! Legend has it that famed frontiersman Kit Carson’s dying words were “Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili.”

Side 2: Sweet Onion Casserole
Dixondale Farms | Emily Lord

Dixondale Farms has been providing a wide variety of family-grown onion plants since 1913. It wasn’t until 1990, when UPS began delivering to their area in Carrizo Springs, did they start selling their onion plants on a small scale. Today, the farm ships over 800 million onion plants to farmers, home gardeners and garden centers across the nation.

Cry-Free Chopping! No need to start making dinner by sobbing at the cutting board. Before you cut into your onion, place it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Supposedly, freezing the onion slightly prevents the release of the tear-inducing chemicals.

Dessert: Texas Sheet Cake
That’s the Cake Bakery | Monte & Grandma Nancy

That’s the Cake is a family-owned bakery specializing in cakes that truly reflect the events for which they were made. From simple, sweet sheet cakes to elaborate 3D sculpted masterpieces, each cake is made by hand with the finest ingredients after consulting with the customer to ensure their needs are met.

Owner and Master Decorator, “Grandma” Nancy has over 25 years of experience as a baker. She discovered her talent as she created sweet goodies for her six children. Baking allows her to express her creativity, unleashing her artistic side as a cake decorator.

General Manager and Head Baker, Monte is also the bakery’s tech guy, social media guru and transmitter of all the latest company news. He’s also the one to handle specific questions about customers’ orders.

How to Move a Cake: If your cake is just one tier, it can be placed on an adult’s lap in your car. For cakes 2 tiers or more, make sure it’s on a level surface, and an SUV is best. In all cases, crank up the AC, pick up your cake at the last stop before its destination and don’t channel your inner race car driver.

1. Suzanne Pratt Sweet

Filmed an episode of "State Plate" with American Idol Star Taylor Hicks today. With Jim Ezell — with Jim Ezell and Taylor Hicks in Dallas, Texas.

2. The Cake Bakery

Friends, fam! We'll be on TV this fall! @taylorhicksofficial is hosting #stateplatetv on the #insp network! We couldn't be more excited to share the legendary Texas Sheet Cake and some history about it and the ways of #TTCBakery
Thank you, Taylor for stopping by and come back anytime! #sweets #tv #taylorhicks #texassheetcake #americanidol #television #cakes #dallas #fortwprth #dfwcakes #dallasbakery #arlingtonbakery #love

Taylor sneaking in the back of the kitchen to find the cake's secret recipe.....Sneaky , sneaky

The Main Courses:

The Dessert:


1. There are 11.8 million head of cattle in Texas
2. Cattle drives move cattle from one field to another so as to keep the grazing pastures even and the cattle full
3. Spanish settlers brought cattle to Texas.
4. During the Civil War, only Texas had beef
5. Each year Texas makes 10.5 billion dollars off cattle
6. Brisket is cut from the breast/pectoral muscles of the cow and slow cooked for 12 hrs.

7. Texas is the # 1 producer of cattle AND lamb

8. Camp Bread is made from flour, salt, baking soda, lard and water .......all mixed together and pan fried in a cast iron skillet over coals .
9. All of the ingredients could be carried in a saddlebag and as such, made it easy for cowboys to have a hardy food while on the trail .
10. The official Texas cooking vessel is the cast iron skillet.

11. Chili is the official dish of Texas
12. There are NO beans in Texas chili, but you can add what you want to the meat and gravy . ( onions, peppers, tomatoes , beans )

13. The biggest crop in Texas is the onion. Texas makes about $350 million a year.
14. There are short day onions, intermediate day onions and long day onions ( in different parts of the state ) , but the Southern part of Texas can grow all three.
15. For Onion casserole , saute onions in butter/ crackers/ Parmesan cheese and put into a casserole . Bake in oven.

16. The Texas flat cake is just a chocolate cake , 1 inch thick, topped with icing made of butter, chocolate, confection sugar . Pecans are added to the top of the icing. As the cake sets, it becomes more solid and the texture is like a cross between a cake and fudge.

Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

11:44 PM - Jan 05, 2017 #10

WEEK SEVEN ( Jan. 6, 2017 )


Host Taylor Hicks is getting ready to laissez les bon temps rouler! That’s right! In this episode, he heads to Louisiana where the jazz is cool and the food is spicy hot!

Join him as he hunts for crawfish deep in the swamps, harvests rice on a giant combine, learns how to make the perfect Po’ boy sandwich!

And if you think the food is hot, wait till you hear this heated debate! According to one source the state cuisine of Louisiana is gumbo. But some may beg to differ! So which one food best represents the Pelican State? Is it gumbo, jambalaya, or étouffée? You’ll have to watch to see who wins this one!

Louisiana being a state known for its lighthearted, joie de vivre, we end on a sweet note when Taylor tries his hand at making beignets in the kitchen of Café du Monde.

It’s a zesty plateful of Louisiana cuisine filled with the stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Crawdads
Personal farm | Hank Rimmer

Entrée: Po’ Boy
Parkway Bakery & Tavern| Justin Kennedy

Parkway Bakery & Tavern | Justin Kennedy

Po’ Boy Sandwich | Website

With more than a hundred years of memories on the walls, Parkway has become a New Orleans legend. Named “Best Po’boy in Louisiana” in USA TODAY’s “10 Best Readers’ Choice” Contest in 2016, this treasured institution has come to symbolize “the real New Orleans” for locals and visitors from all around the world.

Since 1911, they’ve been a family run business with a reputation for high quality, delicious food and real New Orleans hospitality. General Manager, Justin Kennedy carries on that tradition and work ethic. He makes sure everything is made from scratch and always fresh. You’ll never taste premade roast beef at Parkway. In fact, over 1,000 pounds of beef is slow cooked in Parkway’s kitchen each week, along with over fifty gallons of gravy.

The restaurant features spacious seating and parking, plus a full bar, photo booth, and more—something for everyone at Parkway.

They’re proud to symbolize home for many New Orleanians who’ve had to move away and connect with their city through our food, laughter, and friendship. Whether a local or a visitor, Parkway has a seat waiting for you.

Party with the Poor Boys! When you think New Orleans, you think “party!” Well, the Poor Boy Sandwich has its very own celebration! The Oak Street Po-Boy Festival is a one-day event with live music at the feast and in restaurants, local and regional breweries, arts and crafts, a 3K race, and every type of mouthwatering Poor Boy sandwich imaginable!

Side 1: Gumbo
Mother’s Restaurant | Roland Swazy

Roland Swazy has been the head cook at Mother’s Restaurant for the last 15 years. He started working at the restaurant in 1987 as a dishwasher, and worked his way up the ranks from biscuit and pie maker to cook. Chef/Partner Jerry Amato, who sadly passed away, March 12, 2016, mentored Roland and taught him how to cook Mother’s specialties. Indeed Roland is his protégé. In his current role, Roland supervises the production of thousands of meals per week. He is a native of New Orleans and a graduate of Walker L. Cohen High School.

The internationally-known restaurant, famous for its Shrimp Creole, jambalaya and red beans, and other regional specialties, remains a family eatery, now with Denny Amato, Jerry’s nephew taking over the day-to-day business.

Listen to Your Mother! Mother’s Restaurant has its own dictionary and recipes. Study up before you go. Here’s one entry to start you off: “Debris” is the roast beef that falls into the gravy while baking in the oven.

Side 2: Red Beans & Rice
Fruge Aquafarms | Courtney & Mike Fruge harvesting rice

Frugé Aquafarms | Courtney & Mike Frugé

Red Beans & Rice | Website

Rice and crawdads go great together—even off the dinner plate! Frugé Aquafarms harvests two crops of rice every year. Not only is rice a nutritious food, but once the grain is harvested, the crawfish eat the remaining rice stalks.

Mike and brother, Mark Frugé started their company on a 20-acre, Branch, Louisiana crawfish farm as a way to help pay for college. Today, their farm stretches to 3,500 acres, still in the heart of “Cajun Country,” shipping fresh products throughout Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

Mike is a hands-on company owner who revels in analyzing all aspects of the business, even when pursuing his passion as an outdoorsman—whether it’s fishing or serving as a duck- and goose-hunting guide.

Mike’s wife, Courtney serves as the Marketing Director for Frugé Aquafarms, Frugé Seafood Company and, creating and/or overseeing all the advertising and promo materials and coordinating event planning. She is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in graphic design, a talent, which we hear she sometimes uses to prank her colleagues!

In addition to her work at Frugé Seafood, she owns Frugé & Frugé Graphic Design, a full-service design company, located in Crowley, LA.

It’s All in the Timing!

Rice: According to the LSU Ag Center, rice planted in southwest Louisiana by April 15 has the best chance of producing a good second crop, but the first crop should be harvested by mid-August.

Crawdads: Everything depends on water temperature and weather! But a very general timetable has the harvest from December, to a peak period around mid-March with continued harvest into July.

Dessert: Beignet
Cafe Du Monde | Burt Benrud

Café Du Monde | Burt Benrud

Beignet | Website

The Café Du Monde opened in the French Market section of New Orleans in 1862. In 1942, Hubert Fernandez bought the coffee shop, and now, three generations later, the iconic, open-air café is still a family-run business, known for their chicory-flavored coffee and their mouthwatering, world-renowned beignets.

In a video featured on their website, Café Du Monde Vice President, Burt Benrud says, “Every culture has a fried dough, and our culture here, our fried dough is the beignet. People in New Orleans grow up eating beignets.”

When you visit Café Du Monde, you can watch the pastry chef at work, creating the sweet delights. The beignets are rolled out and cut into squares, fried in cottonseed oil, and topped with a generous amount of powdered sugar.

“It’s truly amazing how people identify with that taste, the beignets,” Burt says, “How they expect what those beignets are going to taste like.”

A beacon of hope in the devastated city after Hurricane Katrina hit was the day Café Du Monde re-opened its doors for business.

“When we re-opened after the storm, moms brought their school kids on their way to school to come celebrate the re-opening of the Café Du Monde,” Burt says in the video, “I got really choked up that morning watching how happy everybody really was that we had finally done so.”

The Café Du Monde opening, once again, after the storm was such a symbol of the city’s strength and resilience that the event gained national media attention.

Café Du Monde is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, except Christmas.

Beignet the Café Du Monde Way…

A few tips from the chef:

Don’t overmix your dough, or your beignets will be tough
Ideal temp for cooking oil should be 370 degrees F
You want your beignets to puff up and be light. So don’t add too many to the oil at one time or they’ll come out flat.

1. David Segrave Jr.
near New Orleans, LA ·
Eating at mothers and in walks the silver fox Taylor Hicks from american idol interveiwing people.

2. porchswingpictures Hanks Seafood Market

3. theshelleykay #cafedumonde. He's filming his new show #stateplate for the #insp network.

4. Cali Lynn Martinez

Taylor Hicks at Cafe Du Monde!! Chatted with him for a bit about American Idol and he offered to take our selfie. Down-to-earth dude.

credit to andrea harv



THE ENTREE: Redbeans and Rice; Po'boy; Gumbo



1. Cajun Cooking is a mixture of French and Creole

2. Crawdads are called Mudbugs because they live in the mud and the traps are stuck in the mud for harvesting. The mudbug circles to cage trap and climbs into the hole .............It can't get out. Traps are placed about 10 feet apart in the bayou.
a. 100 million lbs of crawfish are reaped each year in LA.
b. 90% of all crawfish come from LA.
c. The harvest season is from April thru August
d. Just tear off the heads and a few legs and such out the meat for a delicious treat that is a combination of lobster/crab/shrimp taste.

3. The Rice harvester separates the chafe from the grain . Rice began in LA in the early 1700's .

4. History of the Po'Boy Sandwich : In 1929 during the depression, the street car conductors ( major means of transportation in New Orleans at the time ) were not getting paid, so they went on strike. The Martin's grocery store decided to give free food to the poor boy conductors if they showed their street car passes. Ergo: the name Po'Boy

a. The most important ingredient is the bread. It can only be made in LA as the below sealevel condidtions make for perfectly baked , airy, low density bread. The Parkway Bakery is the oldest Po'Boy bread bakery in the world.
b. The cold lettuce, cold tomatoes, and cold mayo combined with the hot fried shrimp make the perfect sandwich.

5. Etouffee, gumbo and jambalaya are all Cajun Stews. The differences are subtle , but noticeable .

a. Etoufee is a shellfish stew, Cajun in origin dating back to the 1920's with butter and the holy trinity prominently featured; it is the most souplike dish.
b. Gumbo is a stew with chicken and sausage . It is the State food of LA and is derived from French, Spanish, Native American and African influences. It is made with dried file herb. Filé, is a spicy herb made from the dried sassafras
c. Jambalaya is a thick stew made with rice , chicken and sausage . In the 1800's the Spanish and French influenced this preparation.

6. Beignet

a. Dough is prepared and fried in cottonseed oil for about a minute or more and then coated with powered sugar.