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7:43 PM - Jan 26, 2017 #1 ... t-20170126


1.  Family Entertainment Network INSP Announces Season 2 of STATE PLATE; Taylor Hicks to Host

TV News Desk Jan. 26, 2017  

Family Entertainment Network INSP Announces Season 2 of STATE PLATE; Taylor Hicks to Host
INSP, the recognized leader in family entertainment, has announced an order for a 2nd season of its original series, STATE PLATE. Production will begin this spring with a premiere of the new episodes scheduled for late summer. The announcement was made by Doug Butts, SVP of Programming for INSP. "In 2016, State Plate celebrated the unique food traditions of 13 different states," said Butts. "We have been extremely pleased with the way our audience has responded. Ratings continue to exceed our expectations, and viewer engagement has been strong. Now that a second season has been greenlit, we will add programs featuring additional states to the series library. Our goal, eventually, is to feature every state in the U.S.!"

Taylor Hicks returns as host. "Taylor's wide popularity, experience as a restaurateur and down-home charm made him an ideal host for this series," said Butts. "Building on the rapport he developed with audiences in season one, Taylor once again will take viewers on a culinary tour of each state featured and 'assemble' a plate filled with the food most associated with each state. In the process, he uncovers the customs and cultural insights behind each state's unique food traditions. It's a heaping helping of America's most beloved cuisine, rich in history, folklore, and flavor."

State Plate is produced by RIVR Media. The series originally premiered on insp in October 2016.

About insp INSP is available nationwide to more than 83M households via Dish Network (channel 259), DIRECTV (channel 364), Verizon FiOS (channel 286), AT&T U-verse (channel 564) and more than 2,800 cable systems. Click here to find insp in your area. For quality dramas, positive entertainment and inspiring stories, celebrating the American spirit and honoring timeless traditional values, it's INSP.

2.  Rapid TV News: ... z4XFLCMdRW


4.   Learning to Drive a Tractor  


5.  Hold Your Horses ...Season 2 is right around the corner


6.  INSP Announces Destinations for Season 2 of State Plate
New Episodes of the Award-Winning Culinary Travel Series, Hosted by Entertainer Taylor Hicks, to Premiere This Summer
Family-entertainment network INSP has released its destinations for season 2 of State Plate, its award-winning culinary travel series hosted by platinum-selling entertainer and former American Idol™ winner Taylor Hicks.
“After much contemplation and deliberation, which included looking at viewer emails, calls and countless social media posts, we have determined we will feature the below states in this next season,” said Doug Butts, Senior Vice President of Programming at INSP:
New York
South Dakota
In the new season, Taylor Hicks will once again embark upon a captivating tour to assemble a plate of that state’s most emblematic foods. Along the way, he will visit farms, ranches, markets, festivals and other diverse locales in order to uncover the stories and legends behind their unique food traditions.
“It’s been very exciting to see and hear comments from our viewers, especially from those who have lobbied hard to have their own state’s culinary heritage featured,” continued Butts. "With so much great food and history to explore, narrowing the list down to 12 was difficult, but we are confident that what we have selected will offer up a heaping helping of unique cuisine that is both rich in history and flavor.”
RIVR Media continues as producer of State Plate and they plan to begin shooting new episodes this spring. The series is scheduled to premiere on INSP in late summer 2017. ... 106921.htm

7.  Smashing Interviews Magazine ... ialnetwork

Taylor Hicks Interview: "American Idol" Winner Talks "State Plate" and New Music
Written by Melissa Parker, Posted in Actors

Birmingham, Alabama, native Taylor Hicks is one of the most beloved and popular American Idol winners of all time. From the start, his material on the mega-hit show set him apart, with his unique take on Country, Southern Soul, R&B and Blues. Less than three weeks after his Idol victory, his debut single, “Do I Make You Proud,” entered at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, Pop 100, and Single Sales Charts. His self-titled debut album came out in 2006, the next in 2008 was called Early Works, and in 2009, Hicks released The Distance.

In 2017, in addition to releasing a new album, his upcoming tour includes performances in Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Hawaii, Illinois and Minnesota. He currently stars as the host of State Plate, a new food and travel series, on the Inspiration Network (INSP), which originally premiered in October 2016 and has been renewed for a second season.

“I had put my name in the hosting hat for a while. It just took the right concept and the right network. This was kind of the perfect storm of circumstances. Obviously, they had heard about the restaurant , and they knew I wanted to do some hosting. So, the concept came up. It’s not like any other food and travel concept on television.”

On State Plate, Hicks takes viewers on a culinary tour of each state featured, assembling a plate filled with the food most associated with each state. In the process, he uncovers the customs and cultural insights behind each state’s unique food traditions. The destinations for season two will be Mississippi, Alabama, Vermont, New York, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Oregon and Washington.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Taylor, congratulations on the renewal of State Plate for a second season. Has the premiere date been set?

Taylor Hicks: We’ll start filming in spring and summer. That all takes time to edit. So, we will be able to hopefully announce the premiere date pretty soon.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): How did you become involved in the show?

Taylor Hicks: I had put my name in the hosting hat for a while. It just took the right concept and the right network. This was kind of the perfect storm of circumstances. Obviously, they had heard about the restaurant , and they knew I wanted to do some hosting. So, the concept came up. It’s not like any other food and travel concept on television.

It sort of combines a lot of the best shows in this arena and discusses food from an educational standpoint, so the concept was perfect. It was a brand new show. I think learning how to be a host, getting my feet wet in the hosting world is something that had to happen. But, it’s a brand new show and a brand new concept. It’s a great concept and it’s educational. It’s the perfect storm, so to speak.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Other than being educational, how is it different from other food TV shows?

Taylor Hicks: Well, for example, a barbecue angle is real regional specific. This show is not regional specific at all. If anything, it’s completely the opposite. We go to every state and talk about iconic foods. This hits everybody, and that’s something you have to consider when you’re talking about network television.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Guy Fieri drives all around the country on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. That sort of has a “road trip” concept. Is Slate Plate similar to that show?

Taylor Hicks: It’s got that idea, but it also goes to the origin of where the food comes from. It’s a cross between Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. We go to the farm and to the establishment, too.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you speak to the people living in those areas?

Taylor Hicks: We do a lot of discussing and talking to all kinds of different folks from each state whether it’s the farmer, someone on the street or someone that lives in the town. When we go into a particular state, we try and pull out as much knowledge as we can about these iconic foods.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Any singing on the show?

Taylor Hicks: There’s always a harmonica around. There is a musical component to the show, not necessarily always, but when the mood strikes.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What’s your favorite location and food so far?

Taylor Hicks: I enjoyed Maine. I guess we visited Maine at the right time between the weather and the time of year because we were able to go lobstering and talk about lobster boats. I played in Portland, Maine, a few times, but that was actually a one night and done type of thing. We actually got to visit the state for a while for the show. That was one of my favorites. And, you can’t beat blueberries and lobster.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you cook?

Taylor Hicks: When I can. I’m on the road a good bit. But, I do when I have a big kitchen to cook in. Cooking is more of an all-day event for me as opposed to something quick and easy because I’m always on the road. If I’m in a big house and we don’t have anything to do, I’ll get the big idea and cook for everybody. So, yeah. It just depends on where I am and what I’m doing.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): When you have the time, what’s your go-to dish?

Taylor Hicks: It just depends. I can cook anything from fried chicken to fish. You don’t have to be a good cook. You just have to be patient. There’s definitely artistic and creative thought that goes into it. But, I think a lot of it is love and patience.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Is there a release date yet for the new album, Taylor?

Taylor Hicks: The single is coming, and the album will follow. There hasn’t been a release date yet, but I have delivered songs. A quarter of the record has been delivered. Over half of the record has been recorded, so it’s well on its way.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): This is your first album in about eight years. What’s the reason for the wait?

Taylor Hicks: I think it’s a combination of projects and gathering music. I’m not the kind of artist that’s going to put out a bad single every two weeks. I’m going to put out a good one and make sure it’s good. So, there were a couple of different factors coming in.

Obviously, there’s the money you need. Recording in this day and age, to do it right, still costs money. It just does. You have to find the right mix of great songs, and you have to have funding and time.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Are you writing all of the songs?

Taylor Hicks: These are songs I’ve written and songs I’ve collected.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Musically, how is this record different from The Distance in 2009?

Taylor Hicks: It’s got a little bit more of a roots component to it. They’re still great songs. If Zac Brown and Jackson Browne had a kid, it would be me as far as the sound goes on this record. I’m really excited about the way that it sounds because it’s all me.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Are you singing some of the new songs now on tour?

Taylor Hicks: I’m playing around with a couple of songs live. That’s the reason I kind of like doing the acoustic thing. I get to work those into the set. So, yeah. There are a couple of songs I’m playing live right now.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you enjoy recording as much as performing live?

Taylor Hicks: They’re both one and the same. Each head space is the same for me. I love performing, and I also like getting into the production and the writing process. It’s a culmination of both. They’re both the same kind of head space, and I love them just the same. It’s not a chore or job for me. It’s a passion and love for both studio work and performing.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You were crowned the American Idol winner in 2006. Does it bother you that you’re still associated with that show over 10 years later?

Taylor Hicks: You know, I don’t mind it at all. It’s where I came from. I’ll always be indebted to that for the big break and that was that. So, no, I don’t have a problem with it at all. I’m very happy and proud to say that I won American Idol when it was the hottest and that it was the blessing that allowed me to be in 11 years of show business since that time.


by: Mary Colurso  

Taylor Hicks gets a taste of home as 'State Plate' films its Alabama episode at Saw's Juke Joint

Real men wear hairnets.

At least, they do if they're TV hosts, visiting places that are strict about food safety.

Birmingham's Taylor Hicks, who hosts the "State Plate" series on INSP, boldly traveled the country in 2016, expanding his culinary horizons and learning about iconic American foods.

Hicks, a former "American Idol" winner, shucked clams in Massachusetts, herded sheep in Arizona, tossed pizza dough in Illinois and went on a cattle drive in Texas. And yes, the singer wore a hairnet when it was required -- at a sauerkraut factory in Wisconsin, for example -- as he researched scrumptious foods during a 12-state trek.

"There's some mixed reviews on what I look like in a hairnet," Hicks said this week, during a visit to Birmingham. "And I think there would be mixed reviews for anybody wearing a hairnet. As the host of a food and travel show, you've got to throw caution to the wind, and do some things that might be out of your comfort zone. When you're going into some of these factories, you have to take care of the food and make sure it's not contaminated. Sometimes a hairnet is necessary, and I feel like I'm the lunch lady."

Hicks, now immersed in filming episodes for Season Two of "State Plate," said he'll do whatever it takes to produce compelling television, tossing his ego aside as he travels to 12 more states in 2017. The singer made a promise, though, to fans who might not enjoy seeing his famous gray locks under wraps.

"We're going to use the hairnet very sparingly, hopefully," Hicks said, with a hint of a smile. "Less is more, in that regard." ... alaba.html

10.  Penny Saver magazine April 5, 2017 issue

11.  INSP Announces Premiere Date for 2nd Season of State Plate

The Award-Winning Original Series, Hosted by Taylor Hicks,
Will Premiere on Friday, August 11th at 7:00PM ET

(Indian Land, SC – May 23, 2017) – Family-entertainment network INSP today announced that the 2nd season of their popular and critically-acclaimed original series, State Plate will premiere on Friday, August 11th at 7:00PM ET, as part of the “Destination Fridays” programming block.  The announcement was made by Doug Butts, SVP of Programming at INSP.

“Our goal is to cover ALL fifty states,” said Butts.  “And we are well on our way.  Season two of State Plate will feature even more of the foods we’ve come to know and love as part of America’s cultural history.  Thankfully, there is no shortage of stories to tell.”

By the end of the second season of State Plate, the show will have featured more than 180 iconic foods; 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 visits 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.

State Plate is produced for INSP by RIVR Media

What the critics have said about State Plate

“It’s been 10 years since [Taylor] Hicks took home the microphone trophy, and now he’s using his Southern charm and entertaining know-how to launch a new reality show. Instead of vying for votes he’s filling his plate as host of the new food and travel series State Plate.” –

“State Plate, an INSP original series, takes viewers on a tour of the country with host Taylor Hicks, the “American Idol” winner, platinum selling artist and restaurateur, for a look at the culinary culture of some of America’s “most intriguing cuisine.” –Denver Life Magazine

“State Plate looks at different states’ iconic dishes and the connection between a state’s agriculture and cuisine.” –Columbus Telegram

About INSP

INSP is available nationwide to more than 81M households via Dish Network (channel 259), DirecTV (channel 364), Verizon FiOS (channel 286), AT&T U-verse (channel 564) and more than 2,800 cable systems.  Click here to find INSP in your area. For quality dramas, positive entertainment and inspiring stories, celebrating the American spirit and honoring timeless traditional values, it’s INSP.

About RIVR Media

RIVR Media is an American-based TV production company, specializing in reality, documentary and digital programming. RIVR has produced over 2000 shows for 21 cable networks including such series as Renovation Realities, Escaping Polygamy, Trading Spaces, Whale Wars, and  Fat Guys in the Woods, to name a few.

About Taylor Hicks

Taylor Hicks is one of the most beloved and popular American Idol winners of all time. From the start, Hicks’ material on the mega-hit show set him apart, with a unique take on Country, Southern Soul, R&B and Blues. Sixty-four million votes were cast and nearly 37 million American viewers and more than 200 million viewers worldwide tuned in to crown Hicks the Season 5 winner of American Idol, making it one of the most-watched TV events of the last decade. Hicks’ star continued to rise after he stepped off the Idol stage. Less than three weeks after his Idol victory, his debut single, “Do I Make You Proud,” entered at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, Pop 100, and Single Sales Charts. His self-titled album (Arista), debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and was quickly certified RIAA Platinum. Hicks is the first male Idol winner to be featured on a Grammy Award-winning album, Jimmy Fallon’s “Blow Your Pants Off,” which took home the 2013 Grammy for Best Comedy Album. Hicks’ career has included stints on Broadway, a national tour with a hit musical, as well as headlining Paris, Las Vegas and other Caesars Entertainment properties all over the United States.  Taylor is currently on a nationwide tour, and is also working on a new album. ... ate-plate/

12. State Plate Vote

Entertainer Taylor Hicks is packed and ready to go, but his destination is up to you!

Vote for the Next State Plate State!

We’re gearing up to shoot 12 more all-new episodes of State Plate, and Taylor’s itinerary is almost complete. We need just one more state where he can pile up his plate with tasty regional foods, and meet the people who feed America…And we want you to choose his destination!

Show Your State Pride!

Vote for your home state. Or if we’ve already visited your state, give a shout out to another favorite location—where you went to college, where your in-laws are from, where you might like to live, where you had your most fun vacation.

Bottom line: You have the power to pick a state, so let your voice be heard!  

Click the state that gets your vote!

Roll your cursor over the map to see each state.


Viewers Have Spoken - INSP Announces the Winning State from Online Voting
Taylor Hicks Made the Announcement Live This Afternoon on His Facebook Page

North Carolina!
Taylor Hicks Made the Announcement Live This Afternoon on His Facebook Page
Earlier this year, INSP greenlit a second season of State Plate, the culinary travel series hosted by former American Idol winner and platinum recording artist, Taylor Hicks, who is currently up for Emmy award consideration in the category of "Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality Competition Program.” In June, the network announced a voting competition where viewers would choose one of the states featured in Season 2. In addition, due to positive feedback from viewers, INSP increased the second season order to 24 new episodes. Today, Hicks took to Facebook Live on his Fan Page to reveal the competition’s winning state as selected by fans across the country. The online vote, which ran from June 1st through the 15th, gave viewers the power to pick one of the twelve additional states to see on TV this season. And viewers chose North Carolina!
“I’m so stoked that North Carolina will be featured this season,” announced Hicks. “Being one of the original 13 colonies, North Carolina has some amazing stories to tell about their culinary heritage. With input from viewers, the new states added are going to feature some of the best foods in America.”
After two seasons, State Plate will have documented the most popular foods from 36 states in the U.S.
On INSP’s award-winning original series, State Plate, entertainer and restaurateur Taylor Hicks tastes his way across the United States on a quest to assemble plates that represent each state’s most historic, famous, and tastiest foods. He samples crab cakes in Maryland, chili in Texas, potatoes in Idaho, and all manner of other dishes as he travels from coast to coast visiting farms, ranches, markets, and festivals in order to uncover the stories and legends behind each state’s unique food traditions. It’s a heaping helping of America’s most beloved cuisine, rich in history, folklore, and flavor.
State Plate is produced by RIVR Media. All new episodes premiere August 11th on INSP. To find out how to watch in your area, go to

13.  Ad for new season ... dXr4kvNXV7


14.  Birmingham Parent onLine

Taylor Hicks Hosts Second Season of “State Plate”

A Heaping Helping of America.
Published: 07/30/2017
by Carol Muse Evans ... plate.html

The family entertainment network INSP has renewed Birmingham native Taylor Hicks’ popular TV show, “State Plate,” and released the states to be included in late 2017 shows, according to Doug Butts, senior vice president of programming at INSP.

If you haven’t seen “State Plate,” you are missing a fun and educational treat with the lovable host Taylor Hicks, former “American Idol” winner and platinum-selling entertainer. In each episode, Hicks takes viewers on a culinary tour of a particular state, choosing items that are iconic to the region and the state, explaining how the food is grown or made, often demonstrating and of course, sampling.

He visits farms, ranches, markets, festivals and other locales to uncover stories and legends behind unique food traditions to that particular state. Why is Georgia known for peaches? Wisconsin for cheese? Alabama for peanuts? You’ll find some expected items, and some unexpected ones, and Hicks shows you and tastes every item for you.

“This is my first true hosting job,” Hicks says. “I’ve been in and out of TV, but this is a regular gig, and it’s educational for me and the viewer.” Each episode is a half-hour long and includes an appetizer, entrée, two sides and a dessert.

“While it is a TV show,” Hicks adds, “it is also being packaged as an educational liberal arts program. I’ve really learned to respect the small amount of farmers who hold up the food supply in our country. They truly do put a lot of this food on the tables across the county, and we have to take care of the farmers who give us the foods we love.”

Currently, you can view “State Plate” in Alabama Fridays at 6 p.m. On Spectrum, it is channel 252 or 74; on Dish Network, 259; on Direct TV 364 and AT&T 564, but this is subject to change. Check out the website to be certain of the time and channel in your area, and even view past episodes online at or visit

The show was a Cynopsis TV Awards winner for 2017 Best Reality Series (Travel). The show is Parents Television Council approved.

Coming in the 2017 season of the show is Alabama, Mississippi, New York, South Dakota, and eight more states. And for Hicks fans, he has a new album coming out soon and will be touring again.  Learn more about it at He also is slated to perform August 26 at the Oxford Performing Arts Center in Oxford, Alabama.

Carol Muse Evans is publisher of Birmingham Parent and loves “State Plate.”

15.  Extreme Luxury Getaways

Taylor Hicks: Cooking it up in New York

8/30/2017 ... n-new-york

"You can’t come from Alabama and not be a foodie."

 On Election Day in 2004, George W. Bush received 62 million votes to win presidential re-election. On May 24th, 2006, Taylor Hicks received 63.4 million votes to be crowned Season 5 American Idol champion.  To this day, the accomplishment of the latter is the one I recall more fondly.
    Taylor Hicks, then only 29 years old, had already been performing music for over a decade, releasing two independent albums, and performing at musical venues mostly in the Southern US. He shared the stage with the likes of James Brown, Tom Petty and Jackson Brown.  Mainly self-taught, Taylor plays harmonica and guitar, and of course uses his vocal gifts to create a tone as deep and rich as the earthy sheen on a well-worn saddle.
    Then came American Idol. Despite the strong competition of finalist Kathrine McPhee, (not to mention some other highly talented contestants that year) Taylor managed to attract a strong cohort of the public who enjoyed a mix of country, blues, rock, and soul. His renditions of Take Me Home, Country Roads, Trouble, and You are So Beautiful impressed the judges and the voters alike.
    After several guest appearances on TV, headlining at Caesars, and gracing the Broadway stage in Grease, Taylor has a new venture that combines culture, travel, personal connections, and something we all love – FOOD.  A restauranteur himself, Taylor is hosting a culinary travel series called State Plate, broadcast on INSP, in which he samples signature cuisine from each of these Unites States (spoken in Taylor’s Alabama accent).  His journey to Maryland featured their famous crab cakes, and in Texas he sampled a bowl of chili (with cornbread, I’m sure).  By the end of the second season, the goal is to check off 36 states from the bucket list of deliciousness.
    But just as we at believe in storytelling over standard content, so Taylor dives headfirst into each of his state plates (not literally) as much a historian as a chef, pairing the cuisine to the culture and to that state’s natural resources.  
    State Plate has come to NY; the episode airs on Friday, September 1 at 8:00PM ET.  We had the opportunity to interview Taylor concerning his motivation for the show, his love of food, and, of course, his take on luxury.
                                                                                * * * * * * * * *
ExtremeLuxuryGetaways: How did you first get interested in the culinary arts and the food culture?
Taylor Hicks: Well, I think everybody who is born in Alabama is part of a culinary culture. You can’t come from Alabama and not be a foodie. It’s built around family and friends, but also being a restauranteur and with the travel I have done through my music career, which I have been doing since I was 17, [food] has been part of my lifestyle…it’s been a labor of love to a certain degree, and it’s been a blessing as well.

ELG: What do you see as the relationship between your music background and your culinary background? What is your conduit from one to the other?
TH: I think art is art. It’s in the eye of the beholder, or rather in the eye of the taste buds, so to speak. It’s across the board…a great meal is like a hit song – there’s a lot of moving parts, and you have to put a lot of love and time into it, there’s sweat equity and emotional connection in both…and that’s why I love both of them.

ELG: By the end of the second season of State Plate, you will have covered about thirty six states. How many have you done up to now?
TH: I think we’re up to 26, and we’re moving through them pretty quickly. I’m just blessed to get to travel still as much as I do, and with this show, getting to see the culture of American, and not just the culture in general, but the food culture of each particular state. You know, there are different regions of food for us here in America. We try to expose what each state loves, and what iconic food comes from each state. This is the reason why I think State Plate is such a great show…because I think it clearly defines the food that comes from each state.

ELG: Do you have a favorite state so far that you have featured on the show?
TH: Maine has been one of my favorites, and being from Alabama we just hadn’t gotten up to Maine all that much. I loved it because we went during lobster season when we could get out on the boat..and then obviously just the blueberries…I guess just the state in general is really earthy and really all about its arts whether it be music or food…it was one of those states that we hit right at the right time with the perfect combination of food and music.

ELG: On a slightly different note, when you first auditioned for American Idol, Simon Cowell doubted you. Have you found with this venture (State Plate) that you’ve undertaken that there were any similarly doubters, and how do you address that?
TH: Yeah…I think it just comes with the business. You know, you’re always going to have people doubt what you do, whether you’re in show business or in culinary arts, you always going have some speculation whether it’s going to be a hit. Being the host of a food and travel show, it’s the culmination of a lot of hard work, and you know, opportunity creates luck, and it’s something you have to be aware of. I have been in show business now upwards of over a decade, believe it or not, and every time you just hope things work out, and for this particular venture, State Plate, it hit.

ELG: How do you define luxury?
TH: I think another word for happiness is luxury. Wherever your “happy place” is, that defines your own luxury.  

Video credit: Today In Nashville Published on Nov 17, 2016




18. Taylor wins BEST HOST at the CFX Awards :  

Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

6:11 PM - Feb 28, 2017 #2

WEEK ONE   AUGUST 11, 2017   8:00PM EST


Taylor at the Flora Bama Bar filming for State Plate : credit to Robert Driver

thecakeriebham  @lexicakesbham using @RepostRegramApp - We had a fun day of baking at The Cakerie today with our special guest!!

March 11 at 11:54am ·
Taylor Hicks Capt Ringo's Inshore Fishing Ringo Nelson Alabama Seafood Flora-Bama Yacht Club RIVR Media State Plate Chef Chris Sherrill

Taylor Hicks is live NOW! Join the State Plate host for an #Alabama food tasting. Enter to win an autographed Saw's Juke Joint t-shirt and hat by sharing your location and favorite BBQ style. #StatePlateTV



Instagram :  @stateplatetv

Facebook :  facebook /TaylorRHicks
Instagram :  @taylorhicksofficial
Twitter:    @taylorhicks

Filming at Saw's


Alabama's on the menu when Taylor Hicks' 'State Plate' makes its Season 2 debut
July 14, 2017 ... _tayl.html

By Mary Colurso
Taylor Hicks will showcase food from Alabama when his INSP series, "State Plate," makes it Season Two debut on Aug. 11. And that's really no surprise, considering that Hicks, a Hoover native, is a staunch advocate for the cuisine of his home state.

The country-soul singer and former "American Idol" winner, 40, vowed to bring the series to Alabama from the get-go, and Hicks will make good on that promise with an episode that airs at 7 p.m. CT.

"This particular episode of 'State Plate' is going to be really special to me," Hicks told in March, during a filming session at Saw's Juke Joint in Crestline. "I hope it's special for the people of Alabama who love the show and watch it."

Four Alabama locations will be featured on the episode, including Birmingham and Gulf Shores, and each will contribute items to the plate. Although details on the specific foods remain under wraps, Hicks revealed that Gulf Coast seafood will be showcased, plus two popular side dishes and a classic dessert. At Saw's, where Hicks is one of the restaurant's owners, it's likely to be something essential to Alabama barbecue.

"(Alabama) is a place where I grew up. It is a place where I grew up playing," Hicks said. "It's obviously a place where I grew up eating. I could really tell my own story about the state from a culinary perspective. It's just really nostalgic for me."

As the host of "State Plate," Hicks travels the country with a production crew, expanding his culinary horizons and learning about iconic American foods. Each episode focuses on foods from a single state, filling a plate with an appetizer, entree (with side dishes) and dessert.

Under the show's formula, Hicks is hands-on, going from farm to table, boat to table, ranch to table and other spots where foods originate. In Season One, which initially aired in 2016, he shucked clams in Massachusetts, herded sheep in Arizona, tossed pizza dough in Illinois, went on a cattle drive in Texas, visited a sauerkraut factory in Wisconsin and more.


The Yellowhammer State is serving up some good eats!

Entertainer Taylor Hicks visits his home state of Alabama to uncover the state’s most iconic foods. While in the Heart of Dixie, Taylor catches a Sheepshead fish to make a southern seafood dip and takes us to his own BBQ restaurant where he introduces us to a white sauce that goes on just about anything. He also visits the cafe that put Fried Green Tomatoes on the map and learns how to make a dessert with a kick—the sweet home Alabama Lane cake. It’s a whirlwind visit home for Taylor, complete with his favorite foods, music and friends.

Appetizer: Red Fish Dip
Get the Flor-Bama Vibe |  

1.  Can be made from any fish.  Fried fish, mashed; cream cheese; crab boil; green pepper ; hot sauce ; can add shrimp if you like.  

Entrée: Chicken with White BBQ Sauce
Saws BBQ

Grandpa Eddie's Alabama Ribs & BBQLike Page
A little selfie with the one and only Taylor Hicks at his BBQ spot Saw's Juke Joint in Mountain Brook! Great stuff. If you get down here, try the Pork & Greens.

1.  Recipe for White Bar-b-que Sauce:   Mayo, vinegar, hot sauce, s/p, secret spices

Side 1: Fried Okra

1.  Burks Farms is visited by Taylor . He is shown how to plant okra.  Take a flat bed with little planting pots . Add soil to the little pots.  Push your finger in the soil.  Plant the okra seed into the hole.  . In 9 or 10 weeks replant the okra into the ground.  
2.  Use corn meal on okra slices and deep fry.

Side 2: Fried Green Tomatoes

1.  Made famous by Fannie Flagg in her book "Fried Green Tomatoes", this delicious dish is made from tomatoes picked before they are ripe, sliced ( 1/4 ) and coated and deep fried.  

3.  The Whistle Stop Cafe from the book is really the Irondale Cafe outside of Birmingham, AL.  

Dessert: Lane Cake
The Cakerie

1. A Lane Cake is a three layer white cake with crunchy filling between each layer and topped with buttercream around the edges.
2.  The crunchy filling is made from :  raisins soaked in bourbon, butter, sugar, 2 egg yolks with a little extra bourbon added to the filling.  

credit to Vicky Jordon

Media Wrap-Up by

Taylor Hicks dishes about the food on his Alabama episode of 'State Plate'
Posted August 12, 2017 ... aba_1.html

He crunched and munched. He spooned, stirred, ladled and dipped. He fished, farmed, cooked and chowed down. He exuded state pride and seemed to have a great time.
Taylor Hicks showcased food from Alabama on the Aug. 11 episode of INSP's "State Plate."  It was the opening program of the series' second season, and Hicks began his sophomore year as host of the show.
During the 7 p.m. broadcast, Hicks, a Hoover native, offered viewers a mini-education on seafood dip, white barbecue sauce (on a fried chicken sandwich), fried okra, fried green tomatoes and Lane cake. Why did he choose these specific foods for the episode? Hicks was happy to offer some illumination during a recent interview with Mary Colurso |
SP Gulf Coast EMBARGO.jpg

On the Gulf Coast
"I wanted to do a seafood segment that showcased just how beautiful our beaches and our waters are, and how beautiful the bounty is that we get from those waters," Hicks said. "We woke up early in the morning and we went out to the jetties at the pass in Orange Beach in Gulf Shores, and we fished for sheepshead, caught some sheepshead, and then we cleaned the fish and we used it as a hot seafood dip."

Seafood dip
"What was in season (when we were filming) was sheepshead. Sheepshead is obviously a fish that’s indigenous to the coastal waters of Alabama," Hicks said. "We cooked right there at the Flora-Bama. I felt the Flora-Bama was kind of an iconic Alabama establishment that could offer up a lot of different things. And that’s somewhere that I grew up playing and performing and cutting my teeth."

In Cullman
"I don’t think you could go to Alabama and not have okra," Hicks said. "What’s amazing about some of the farms in Cullman is that they start the okra early in the process. They plant ‘em in crates, in greenhouses, and then they travel those plants, after a 9-10 week period, to the ground. So they’re almost nurtured — incubated, so to speak — where their stalks are strong, and they yield more okra."

Fried okra
"It’s just a staple in Alabama; fried okra is something that a lot of people love," Hicks said. "But people from the North and outside of Alabama might not necessarily know about it. I’ve been around folks from outside the South that look at you and say, 'What in the heck is okra?' To be able to fry that vegetable, and show people that particular food, made it a great segment."

Lane cake in Birmingham
"Recently, Lane cake was put in the Alabama books as the Alabama state food, the state dessert," Hicks said. "So we were at The Cakerie and it was kind of a cool lab. We really studied the process of Lane cake, and the history. Obviously, one of our most famous novelists, Harper Lee, talked about it in 'To Kill a Mockingbird.' That cake has been around for a long time. Lane cake is about as Alabama as you can get: bourbon, pecans, coconut. We could have done so many different things, but I went with the state dessert because I wanted to talk about the novel that put Alabama on the map."

Fried green tomatoes in Irondale
"Another thing I wanted to do was fried green tomatoes," Hicks said. "Again, we have another novelist, Fannie Flagg, putting an iconic Alabama state food on the map with 'Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe'." There’s really not much more we can say than it's a fried green tomato from the Irondale Cafe. That’s an iconic state food."

White barbecue sauce in Birmingham
"What we wanted to do for the entree is highlight white barbecue sauce," Hicks said. "I think white barbecue sauce originated here in Alabama. It is a truly Alabama sauce. I wanted to go to to Saw’s Juke Joint and showcase Saw’s because I believe in the Alabama white sauce we have here." (Note: Hicks is one of the owners of Saw's Juke Joint.)

Sweet tea fried chicken sandwich
"We’ve got an item called the sweet tea fried chicken sandwich, and what better meat to put white barbecue sauce on than sweet tea fried chicken?" Hicks said. "The white barbecue sauce started in North Alabama, but we’ve perfected it here at the restaurant. The sweet tea fried chicken sandwich is a delectable item that I love when I come here. It’s that good. And it’s a perfect complement to the white barbecue sauce."

On filming in Alabama
"I would be happy to discuss or argue any of those iconic state foods," Hicks said. "I’m encapsulating the state with these dishes. It’s good to bring that from the top to the bottom, so to speak. In three days, we’ve really tried to cover the state, and I’ve felt like we hit a home run with it. It’s a great state plate."

Foodie and cook
"I'm getting there, as a cook," Hicks said. "You know, I need a kitchen first. I will be able to perfect my craft at some point in time — being in hotel rooms shooting the TV show is not necessarily ideal. But I definitely am learning so much. What I really have learned is how important our farmers are in this country, and how much we have to respect them. They go above and beyond. They work from sunup to sundown and the agriculture that these farmers and these families produce — and some of the iconic food that they produce for us, not only in the state, but also in the country — is instrumental in us being fed. We have to nurture that and take care of it."

With all that great food around ...
Is it possible to film a food and travel series without gaining weight? We asked; Hicks answered.
"I’ve told people that, since I’ve been hosting a food and travel show, the one spinoff concept from hosting a food and travel show is just that: How does a host on a food and travel show not gain weight on a food and travel show?" Hicks said. "That’s a TV show concept in itself. It would be different if my home state was California, or some really health-conscious state, but as we all know from the state of Alabama, we side more on the idea of comfort than actual healthy choices. It’s not easy."


1.  There are 60 miles of beach front along the Florabama line.  This is where Taylor spend so much of his younger years playing in the "dives".
2.  A sheepshead fish has the head of a sheep and has human like teeth.
3.  The Irondale Cafe ( of Fanny Flagg fame ) was started in 1928 as a hamburger stand . It was rebuilt in the 1970's .
4. Okra came to the States via the Slave Trade .  Alabama climate is perfect for growing it.
5. White Sauce was created in 1925 in Decatur, Al.  
6.  The Lane Cake was mentioned in "To Kill A Mockingbird" , by Harper Lee .
7.   Alcohol ( bourbon) used in cooking is called SHINNY in Alabama  

Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

9:34 PM - Feb 28, 2017 #3



1.  Delta Democrat Times

Idol winner films food show in Queen City
Swiftwater B-Quick to be featured on State Plate with host Taylor Hicks

Friday, March 10, 2017 10:27 am
Catherine Kirk
Eleven years after his American Idol win, platinum-selling artist and entertainer Taylor Hicks, on his journey to sample some of the country’s most unique and iconic eats, stopped this week in the Queen City to get a taste of the Magnolia State.
On Wednesday morning, a day after a rainfall that left the grounds at Swiftwater B-Quick saturated and muddy, Hicks said he “doesn’t mind a little Mississippi mud every now and then. ... 639c6.html



When the producer of the show calls you and gives you a 45 minute leadtime before their camera crew shows up… SO EXCITING!
Taylor Hicks will be visiting our Picayune location at noon today! Swing by if you're around! #AmericanIdol #TaylorHicks

2.  Vicksburg Post

Rowdy’s Mississippi Mud Pie part of show featuring a meal in Mississippi

By John Surratt
Email the author
Published 7:28 pm Saturday, August 12, 2017

For almost 30 years, many Vicksburg residents have gotten their chocolate fix with a slice of Mississippi mud pie at Rowdy’s Family Restaurant.

The sweet treat has been one of the city’s many unique dining experiences that has flown under radar since Rowdy Nosser opened his restaurant in 1988.

That is about to change.

Aug. 18, Rowdy’s Mississippi mud pie, which is made from a secret family recipe handed down through generations, will be one of the featured attractions on the Inspiration Channel’s “State Plate” food show hosted by recording artist Taylor Hicks. Oct. 24, it will be featured on the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods, Delicious Destinations,” hosted by Andrew Zimmern. Solly’s Hot Tamales will also be featured on the Travel Channel broadcast.

The Travel Channel filmed its segment Jan. 15; Inspiration Channel filming was done March 8.

“Both of them reached out to a family restaurant about a dessert,” said Angela Abraham Ladner, Nosser’s marketing and public relations consultant.

The interest in the pie was the result of an inquiry by a Travel Channel representative through Rowdy’s “flock site,” an internet platform developed by Ladner to reward customers for their business to the restaurant.

The official put Ladner in contact with a producer to talk about filming at the restaurant. At first, she said, they thought the producer wanted to talk about the restaurant’s specialties, catfish and Johnny sauce.

“I started talking about the products, and he said, ‘That’s not what I’m interested in. I want to talk about the Mississippi Mud pie.’”

The program, Ladner said, looks at the history behind the origin of mud pie. She said her research indicated Mississippi mud pie came to Vicksburg through Jenny Meyer, a woman from Greenville, where the pie was served in a restaurant.

Meyer, who was misplaced by the 1927 flood, came to Vicksburg, where she went to work as a server and began making the pie.

“They thought Vicksburg was the original location where mud pie was made,” she said. “That was when Rowdy sat with his relatives. We’re not so sure that lady wasn’t connected to Rowdy’s family, because this recipe has been passed down for so long.

“I know there are all different versions of mud pies out there, but we’re just talking about this mud pie that we’re serving at this restaurant.”

What got Nosser interested was the information he received from his 85-year-old aunt, Sybil Warner, who believes the family recipe was developed after the Civil War.

“It actually came to me from my grandmother. My grandmother was born in 1907, and Sybil said her grandmother had it when she was a little girl,” he said.

“We ate it growing up every year. When I began business, mama started helping me by making that pie and bringing it to the restaurant and it’s been served there ever since, business started in 1988.

“Everything in it is real ingredients. The recipe has not been altered to my knowledge; never been changed, It’s not been compromised,” Nosser said.

“And it’s held very close to the vest; a handful of people know the recipe. It’s never been published. It’s been a family secret,” Ladner said. “The ingredients are not complex”

Nosser credits Ladner for creating the interest in his restaurant and the mud pie.

“Angela gave me the platform where you wanted to be in your life,” he said. “Until then I had no plan where to be in my life. She is my lifelong friend; literally everything we’ve touched has turned to gold.”

“We refocused to take it to the next level,” Ladner said.

“She gave me the platform of where we wanted to be,” he said. “She came and developed a flock platform that provides rewards for customers. The Travel channel inquiry came through the flock site.

“That’s not the way we quite expected it. They put us in contact with a producer and wanted the pie.”

The television segments are not the only exposure for Nosser’s Mississippi mud pie.

Nosser has been asked to represent the state of Mississippi at the LargeFood festival in St. Louis at the end of October, where the mud pie will be the featured food from the state.

He has started a new business, Rowdy’s Mississippi Mud Pies, offering the online sale of mud pies for at-home delivery.

“We know the Travel Channel has such a far reach that once this is played and replayed, that will stimulate a lot of attention to not only the mud pie, but to the city of Vicksburg and to the state as a whole,” Nosser said, and promoting the city is the main goal of the TV appearances.

“The fun about this is the focus is going to be on Vicksburg again for the local restaurants that we have, and the unique restaurants that are offered here,” Ladner said.

“That’s where I was headed when I had this opportunity, to take the focus off me and to give something back to my hometown,” Nosser said.

“Life right now doesn’t get better; it’s about the dream, but also about Vicksburg. How often do you get to put your whole town on the map?”

Mississippi mud pie, he said, is an example of what makes Vicksburg special.

“It’s the unique restaurants — the local restaurants are really what makes this town special when people come into Vicksburg. Not just Rowdy’s.

“And when I get to St. Louis, I’ll promote Vicksburg and the opportunity to have a unique dining experience. There is a lot going on in this town. It’s amazing it’s all coming together at the same time,” he said.

“ I’m the luckiest guy in the world. It’s a miracle, what’s happened to me. This has been a game changer Not only for me, but for my hometown, and I can’t believe how great it is and everything looks fantastic.

“I look back and see this thing evolve, and I can see mama walking through the door right now with 50 or 60 pies right now. She never showed me that recipe until a couple of years before she died.

“When I started there were 36 restaurants in Vicksburg. Now there are 107, and I think in the shuffle of that we didn’t have platform.”

That platform, he said, is to focus on Vicksburg and the state and the iconic foods and experience visitors experience.

“I don’t think Rowdy’s would be where it is today without my mother, without Angela without Linda Banchetti.

“I’m planning to stay a little longer in the restaurant business and I mean just a little bit longer, because the world needs more good people than it needs good restaurant owners. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said adding he would like to see his son, Regan eventually take over the restaurant.

He recalled something his aunt Lila Lee Nosser McRight told him: “A good name is rather to be had than gold, and love and favor than silver.”

“I think my mother would be gleaming right now.” ... ssissippi/

Entertainer Taylor Hicks tastes his way across Mississippi on a quest to discover the state’s most emblematic foods. Along the way, he visits the home of the blues to make the coolest food in the Delta: the “koolickle.” Taylor fishes the Mississippi River for fresh catfish without using a pole and grinds corn for homemade hushpuppies fried to golden perfection. He plants the delicious staple known as black-eyed peas and discovers how the decadent chocolate mud pie got its name. It’s an abundant plateful of Mississippi cuisine filled with the stories and legends behind the state’s tastiest foods.

Appetizer: Koolicles

A koolickle is a fruit flavored dill pickle that is sweet and sour  The first bite is really tart, then it gets sweeter. Taylor takes that first bite of a Koolickle
1.  Slice a dill pickle in half
2. Add KoolAid to the pickle brine with sugar......mix well.
3. Ad the pickles to the jar with the cut sides towards the glass.
4. Add the KoolAid mixture .

Entrée: Catfish
Tara Wildlife

1. Many Misssissippi fishermen go lazy man fishing or jug fishing.   Bait and weights are put onto a stick or onto a jug and put into the water .  The catfish come up from the bottom and jump onto the bait , pulling it down and get caught on the hook.

Side 1: Hushpuppies
Tara Wildlife

1. Corn meal, milk to make a batter and add jalapeno and onion.  Make into a ball and deep fry .

Side 2: Black Eyed Peas

Soak the dry bean in water overnight.  Boil with bacon and salt and pepper until soft and sort of mushy

Dessert: Mud Pie
Mud Pie is a silkyu chocolate with the texture between a brtownie and pudding.  The crust is flour , butter,,and nuts pressed into a pie pan and baked .
On top of the pudding you add melted marshmallow and top that with cocoa flavored whipped cream . Add regular whipped cream to the top..............YUM  

Main Dish with Sides


1. Other great Mississippi appetizers are shrimp and tamales
2.  You can purchase Koolickes at any store or gas station in Mississippi.........a staple
3. 320 Lbs. of catfish are caught a year ..  200 lbs from Mississippi  
4. River fish ( wild ) are more flavorful then farm raised .
5. Man has been grinding corn to make corn meal for 5000 years.
6.  There is legend that says that when the dogs barked , people would give them hush puppies and when they were eating they HUSHED UP ; ergo:  the name hush puppy.
7. The black eyed pea is actually a bean and that bean is the seed as well as what you eat. Planting the peas .
8. The black eyed pea originated in Africa

*  Rowdy Nosser: Mississippi Mud Pies, had a stroke the night of the airing for this State Plate Episode.  He has passed away. ... r-55-dies/

Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

9:35 PM - Feb 28, 2017 #4



credit to laurisc

Maple Farms

1. Ann Warrell
March 28 ·

The Vermont Country Store is a great place to make new friends! Today I had the pleasure of spending the day with Taylor Hicks (yes, THAT Taylor Hicks) and the crew from his show, State Plate! They're a great bunch to hang with on a rainy day! Can you tell Taylor is a pro at selfies? Hope we all meet again--next time in your hometown! #StatePlateTV

Drilling the hole for the tap :  

The trees are tapped and reading to produce sap for maple syrup

2.  American Idol winner gets a taste of Bondville
Cindy and Tom Logan of The Red Fox Inn recently played host to "State Plate" host and "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks. ... lle,503538

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 11:00 pm
By Greg Sukiennik,
BONDVILLE — An "American Idol" winner recently visited The Red Fox Inn for a taste of what makes Vermont special.

Taylor Hicks, the gray-haired soul singer who won the fifth season of the music reality show, is in his second season of hosting "State Plate" on the INSP cable network. He recently visited The Red Fox Inn for a taste of Vermont cuisine.

"What a really neat place that is," he said of the Red Fox in a phone interview. "It's a beautifully run place All the gang there were really nice and accommodating."

What food did Hicks enjoy on his visit? He's keeping that under his hat until the program airs.

But the show's concept should be familiar to anyone who's watched much cable food programming. On "State Plate," Hicks features a different state of the union each week, filling up a plate with that state's iconic foods -- an entree, two sides and dessert.

"The show is such a great concept," Hicks said. "We go to the origin of where these iconic state foods are made, be it an establishment or a farm, and we educate viewers on these state foods. Not everybody gets to travel and experience all these iconic foods that come from these states, and Vermont has been a wonderful addition to Season 2."

Hicks qualifies for the role of traveling food show host on two fronts.

He's comfortable in front of a TV camera and interacting with people, and he's a restaurant owner in his home town of Birmingham, Alabama.

"I've been a restaurant owner for about 7 years now," he said. "I have a take home barbecue that's gained some really great notoriety."

Back home in Alabama, he explained, there are three essential skills a man can have: "Cook, throw a football and sing. I fell into the singing bracket."

Hicks was reminded of Alabama in his travels through the Green Mountain State, and says he plans to return on his next music tour.

"What I found about the people of Vermont is they care about their food," he said."It's comfort food. What we've touched on has been comfort food, feel-good food, and I'm familiar with that being from the South. That was the pleasant surprise of creating a plate of iconic food from state of Vermont."


4.  The Citizen ... esemaking/

“State Plate” TV show looks at Shelburne Farms cheesemaking
By Phyl Newbeck on August 24, 2017

For the second year, pop musician Hicks has traveled the country for “State Plate” in search of the most symbolic and popular foods in each state.

This Friday the series showcases Vermont with several segments, including one devoted to cheesemaking at Shelburne Farms.

Hicks, the 2006 American Idol winner, has shared the stage with artists as diverse as Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Gladys Knight, Earth Wind and Fire, and the Allman Brothers. He has a foodie side, too, and is co-owner of Saw’s Juke Joint Restaurant in his hometown of Birmingham, Ala.

At Shelburne Farms, Hicks visited with cheese operations manager Kate Turcotte, who holds a degree from the University of Vermont in ecological agriculture.

Turcotte started as a cheesemaker at Shelburne Farms in June 2007. She moved to Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlet for two years before returning to Shelburne Farms as the head cheesemaker in December 2013. Two years later, she was promoted to cheese operations manager.

The Vermont Cheese Council steered “State Plate” to Shelburne Farms. The crew arrived in March and filmed for roughly three hours.

Turcotte is accustomed to having an audience while she works, including TV cameras. The cheese operation has been featured on the PBS “Weekends with Yankee” show and even an Australian food show. In addition, up to 100 visitors a day watch cheesemaking operations through viewing windows.

“Showing the process is an important part of what we do,” Turcotte said. “It provides added value and helps support a working dairy in Chittenden County.”

The segment of “State Plate” filmed at Shelburne Farms shows Hicks trying to help with the “hooping” process — filling metal buckets with cheese curds before they cool off. The pieces are called “cheddar fingers” and are designed to be salted evenly. The fingers are put into a mold, pressed overnight, and turned into 40-pound blocks. The blocks are later cut, waxed and shipped or sold on-site.

“Visually, hooping is something where you can see the cheese,” Turcotte said. “A lot of our day is milk churning in the vat, but this is something tangible that people can watch.”

Turcotte’s job involves managing the operations from milking to shipping. All the milk comes from 120 Brown Swiss cows on the farm that are milked twice a day. Turcotte has a crew of four women.

“The work is incredibly physically demanding,” she said. “It’s a nine-hour day from start to finish with a lot of dishwashing, lifting, and moving the 40-pound blocks. I’ve never had to purchase a gym membership since I became a cheesemaker.”

Cheese-making is an exercise in delayed gratification, with some cheese aging for six months and others as long as four years. “That’s one reason it’s good to be here for a while,” Turcotte said. “When I left for two years and came back, I could taste the cheese I’d made before I left.”

Shelburne Farms has a grading program to check on cheese quality during the aging process. “If you wait two years, it’s too late,” Turcotte said. “We taste really young cheese and look for defects.”

The work is hard, but Turcotte has no complaints. “I really love making cheddar and love how it’s a handmade product,” she said. “I really believe in the quality and like that it has a good price point and can be used for a lot of purposes.”


Entertainer Taylor Hicks tastes his way across Vermont in pursuit of the state’s most noteworthy foods. First, Taylor explores the cheese trail, where he learns to “hoop” the curds, preparing world-class cheddar cheese. Next, he learns how to tap a maple tree and gets his hands dirty folding dough to make time-honored common crackers. Then, he is introduced to a fiddlehead that’s meant for eating, and he sinks his teeth into an apple pie fit for a president. It’s a beautiful ride through the mountains of Vermont, where Taylor learns firsthand that everything does taste better with cheddar.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Cheese
Vermont Cheddar Cheese

Entrée: Maple-Glazed Ham
Maple-Glazed Ham with Vermont Maple Syrup

Tony Gadhue of Solar Sweet Maple Farms in Lincoln

Side 1: Fiddleheads  

Cooking fiddleheads credit to Taylor's photos

Side 2: Vermont Crackers
Vermont Country Store
Kneading the Dough:  

Baking the Vermont Crackers :

Dessert: Apple Pie

Peeling the apples for the pie


Entree and Sides :



1.  Vermont is known as the Green Mountain State and the trees are used to resource sap for syrup (State flavor is Maple ) and the land is used to grow the State fruit ( Apple ) and wild vegetables .
2.  Vermont has the highest # of cheese makers in the U.S.
3. Cheese must be HOOPED  , by putting cheese curds into metal buckets and filled before they cool.  The buckets are then pressed  as the wrey comes out and the remaining product is blocked.   This blocked cheese ( in the metal bucket ) is aged for months or years .   The longer it is aged the more pungent and sharp it becomes. Hooping the curds:
4. The spring thaw is the perfect time to tap a maple tree.  You go through the bark to the sapwood layer of the tree .
5.  Tree sap looks like water as it is 98% water and 2% sugar.   The sap is heated in huge tanks where the water evaporates and the sugar syrup remains.  
6. Kneading the dough for the Vermont common cracker is called wrangling.  A laminator spits out the dough to thin it ( like a pasta machine )  A 188 year old machine process really thins and cuts the dough into circles.  This is then baked for a short time.  The cracker is rather bland , but is a great vessel for stews , soups. jams or cheese.
7. Fiddleheads are really the frond off of a wild fern.  
8. Fiddlehead ferns only grow for a few weeks a year so are very expensive .  $18 to #30.00 a lb. Because of their cost, the fiddlehead is only used as a garnish for vegetables or potato dishes.   It is called a fiddlehead because the shape is like the head of a violin.  
9.  A Vermont apple is flavorful enough to use in pies without adding much.   Cut those apples very, very, very thin and stuff them into a crust.  Bake.  Top with a slice of Vermont Cheddar Cheese.

Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

9:35 PM - Feb 28, 2017 #5


NEW YORK New York , New York a bustling town !!!!
The market place
In the City

1.   Delmonico's Steak House

With Chef Billy Oliva

2.  Syracuse .com  

'American Idol' star Taylor Hicks at Liverpool's Salt City Grille for food TV show

Taylor Hicks is in the Syracuse and Utica areas this week to film a New York episode of "State Plate." (INSP Network )
Teri Weaver
March 24, 2017
LIVERPOOL, N.Y. - Taylor Hicks won't say exactly what food he's come to Syracuse to learn about for his television show, "State Plate."

But he did say he's learning about the history of salt in the region, among other things.

"It's a large part of Upstate New York," he said.

Likewise, he wouldn't say what's he's sampling when he heads to Utica's Chesterfield Restaurant (known for Utica Greens and chicken riggies) for the same episode.

Hicks did say, however, that he's learning that New York -- and its food history -- stretches far beyond the five boroughs.

"New York is a vast landscape," he said. "It's not all about the city. There are some really iconic foods that are outside of the city."

Hick said that's the point of his show -- to highlight the farming, the preparation and the traditions that have turned certain foods into identity in regions throughout the country.

"I want the viewers to understand that the agriculture in this country and the families that uphold the agriculture -- we really need to take care of and respect," he said. "It's a very minute proportion of folks and families and farms that really put that kind of food on our table that we love to eat."

This is an ambitiously broad menu that demands a great deal of Chef Alicia Donato.

Hicks is in the middle of filming his second season of "State Plate," a road-trip series that explores iconic foods across America. In season one, he learned about pizza and popcorn in Illinois, chimichangas in Arizona and swamp cabbage in Florida.

While in Central New York, Hicks plans to visit the Salt Museum in Liverpool, Candella's Farm and Greenhouse in Marcy and Williams Farm in Marion. He's also venturing to a cheesecake place (Eileen's) in New York City.

What is State Plate with Taylor Hicks?

The filming for the second season started earlier this month in Mississippi before a stop at Saw's Juke Joint -- which Hicks partly owns - in Birmingham, Ala. Other states covered in season two include Vermont, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Oregon and Washington.

Hicks, who won season five of "American Idol," said he's been to Syracuse before for musical performances.

"I've got some friends that went to Syracuse," he said. "I've been known to be a closet Syracuse basketball fan."

"State Plate," debuted last fall on the INSP Network. That channel is available in the Syracuse area on Dish Network, DirecTV, FiOS, AT&T U-verse and Spectrum. No information was available today on when the New York episode would air. ... _show.html

3.  Observer Dispatch - Utica , NY

‘American Idol’ winner comes to Utica for food show ... -food-show

By Carolyn Bostick

People might remember him for his "American Idol" win in 2006, but Taylor Hicks is coming to Utica today as a part of his food show, "State Plate."

The local attraction? Utica greens.

The show, which airs on INSP (formerly The Inspiration Network) is right up Hicks' line since he is a restaurateur in his native Birmingham, Alabama.

What can folks expect from your show?

It's a food and travel show that encompasses the best food and travel shows that are on right now. We go to different states and look at iconic dishes for each state. It borrows from "Dirty Jobs" and "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives."

What brings you to Utica?

We are on our third state now (for season 2), which is New York. We're doing greens, Utica, greens. Utica is very famous for food and I can't wait to show you on the show.

How does music tie in with food?

It's art. Culinary ability and musical ability are not far from each other. I find there's some similarity. My goal as a band was at the time to try as many foods as I can.

What made you want to make it travel and food-based?

I love traveling and being a foodie back in Alabama and I own my own restaurant.

How is the show different from other food shows?

We milk the cows and that's what I love, getting educated back in the restaurant and with the farmers. We're going outside of these big cities to places like Utica to represent the state. Those city slickers should be blown away.

So far, how has "State Plate" been received?

A lot of people come up to me and say, "I never knew that." That's our goal to cover a lot of these bigger states. It's a large state (New ork) and there's a lot of foods to represent. It's just really great for me because I'm almost a viewer.

4.  Eileen's Cheesecake , Utica NY

5.  State Plate in New York


Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Waldorf Salad :  Cut romaine lettuce , add the apples, grapes and celery that have been coated with mayo , then top with walnuts and mix.   If you want a more tart apples use, Granny Smiths; for a sweeter apple use golden delicious ; but if in doubt use Honey Crisp.  

Entrée: Delmonico Steak:  The 6th thru 12 ribs on the cow are the rib eyes.
The meat is wet aged ( Wet-aging is a relatively recent technique that developed along with advances in plastics and refrigeration. In this process, cuts of beef are vacuum-sealed in plastic and shipped to the market. The aging takes place in the 4-10 days between slaughter and sale while the meat is in transit. ) The steak is aged for 30 days .  

When cutting a rib , make it 2 fingers thick.   Add salt and pepper and a peppercorn/spice mix. ( secret )

Delmonico Steak

Side 1: Utica Greens : In Utica NY, there are abundance of escarole and endive lettuce farms  .  
The lettuce is blanched , then garlic, prosciutto, peppers, mozzarella cheese are added and sauted slightly.  You can add bread crumbs and bacon if you choose. This makes a great vegetable side dish unique to New York State.  

Side 2: Salt Potatoes:  The potatoes as well as the salt are both harvested in New York State.   These potatoes are packaged with bags of salt and shipped . The potato is boiled with the salt .  These potatoes are grown in mucky, mineral rich soil that is desireable for the salt potato.

Men in the salt mines of New York :  

Vermont Country Store

Dessert: Cheesecake: Use Graham Crackers , crushed with butter to form the crust.  
Mix cream cheese, sour cream and sugar together .  Add vanilla extract , lemon juice and 5 egg yolks .The Ingredients
Place mixture into crust and bake for 45 minutes .  Let cool and eat.

Eileen’s Cheesecake


1.  Many of America's favorite foods originated from New York , including pizza, hamburgers, bagels
2. In 1893, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel ( recently closed ) developed the Waldorf Salad.  This consisted of just, mayo, celery, apples and romaine lettuce.  Today grapes ( or raisins) and walnuts are added .  
3.  There are several desserts that are indigenous to NY:  Baked Alaska, Black and White Cookies , red velvet cake , and cannolis
4. The Cheesecake originated in Ancient Greece and they were taken to weddings .  
5.  Once Pasteurization became known, in the 1900's , NY cheesecake became the most popular cheese cake in the country.
6.  Eileen's Cheesecake uses a twisted fork to form the crust.
7.  Delmonico means "the best".  In the early 1800's , dining out meant eating whatever was being served.   Delmonico's Restaurant was the first  place to serve "a la carte " menus.   Whatever was the best cut of meat at the time was called Delmonico.  Now it is a ribeye without the bone.
8.  A tomahawk steak :  

The Meal:  

Appetizer :

Entree and Sides :


Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

9:36 PM - Feb 28, 2017 #6



1.  Shatto Milk Company

2.  West News Magazine

Wildwood barbecue event to be featured on ‘State Plate’
By: Jessica Meszaros

April 25, 2017 ... tate-plate

It was a barbecue lover’s paradise on April 24 at the Wildwood Community Park as local experts fired up their grills to cook up St. Louis favorites for Taylor Hicks’ “State Plate” television show.
Hicks, who is a platinum-selling musician and winner of American Idol’s fifth season [2006], paid the city of Wildwood a visit to taste local barbecue as part of his travel show “State Plate.” The show is an original series on the INSP Television Network and features Hicks’ and his team traveling to different states to taste iconic cuisine.
Hicks has been involved in the restaurant industry for years and co-owns Saw’s Barbecue in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.
“Obviously, being from Alabama, you can’t not be a foodie,” Hicks said. “This show is my first true hosting job, and it’s such a great food and travel concept because it takes a lot of concepts from the shows that are on TV now and kind of combines them into one.”

Frank Schmer
and Taylor Hicks
pose for a photo before filming.

In Wildwood, Hicks tasted barbecue prepared by Keith and Terri Emms of Bald BQ, Rob Honke and Bill “Mudd” Ebling of St. Louis Black Iron BBQ, Pat Nichols of Bluegrass BBQ, and Tyler and Lindsey Davis of Team Meat Candy. Laughing Coyote BBQ also teamed up with Holy Smokers to create a team consisting of Paul Costello, Brent Phelps and Jake Vandevoorde.
“We all put our input in when we’re cooking, but we all also have our different strengths,” Costello said.
During filming, Hicks went from table to table, accompanied by Frank Schmer, organizer and founder of the Wildwood BBQ Bash and owner of St. Louis Home Fires. At each stop, the chefs gave a brief tutorial on their techniques. Although they were preparing food in front of cameras, the chefs didn’t appear nervous.
“I’m just doing what I love and talking about it,” Honke said.
In the end, it came down to one final taste for three local judges from the St. Louis BBQ Society – Joe Nolfo, Mark Temmer and Diana Surkamp – and Hicks.
“We’re expecting a tender piece of meat that isn’t over-sauced,” Surkamp said. “Maybe something that looks a little different from your typical, backyard [barbecue].”

Hicks kept it simple, saying that the most important part of sampling and judging regional food is to “trust your taste buds.”
“Everyone seems to have a variation on each of these foods and they’re all really good,” Hicks said of the many indigenous foods he samples on the show.
Schmer said the show’s producers contacted him regarding filming in Wildwood about a month ago after hearing about the local barbecue scene from the “Budweiser Big BBQ Show” hosted by Schmer on KTRS each Sunday and because of the St. Louis BBQ Society.
“They contacted us to see if we’d be interested in a little cooking,” Schmer said.
The show, which will reveal the official choices of the judges and Hicks, tentatively is scheduled to air this fall. But despite, the coincidental timing, Schmer said the episode’s airing and annual Wildwood BBQ Bash are not related.
But he added, “When they do broadcast it, we plan on holding a big viewing party somewhere in the city of Wildwood.”

Central Missouri Meat & Sausage

Exciting events happening at Central Missouri Meat & Sausage! The Food Network filmed an Episode of STATE PLATE with Taylor Hicks at both Brinker Farms and Central Missouri Meat & Sausage.

3.  Riverfront Times ... Y.facebook

Monday, July 24, 2017
'Iconic' St. Louis Foods to Star in National TV Show
Elizabeth Semko

St. Louis' signature foods are about to get their moment of fame on a national television show.

On Friday, September 8, cable and satellite channel INSP will air an episode of State Plate highlighting the foods of St. Louis. The show, now in its second season, features host Taylor Hicks as he travels across America uncovering the people and stories behind each state's "iconic" foods.

If Hick's name sounds faintly familiar, it just might be — Hicks won the fifth season of American Idol. According to a press release, the Missouri episode follows the performer as he "tastes his way across Missouri on a quest to assemble a place of the state's most iconic foods." And guys, it sounds pretty darn dramatic.

The episode will start with Hicks venturing to "one of the oldest Italian  neighborhoods in St. Louis, where they prefer their ravioli toasted" (don't they realize that we all prefer our ravioli toasted?). Hicks then "crashes a cook-off" to find the best barbecue pork steak, followed by his learning "the secret" to pork and beans, whatever that means. It's all topped off with Hicks experiencing the glory of gooey butter cake and a waffle cone with ice cream.

"It’s a heaping helping of the Show Me State’s most historic and delicious foods," the release declares.

The summary doesn't outright say if Hicks ever makes it to Kansas City — or any other Missouri city for that matter — so we're not sure how deep into Missouri he truly goes. But hey, with all the iconic food worth trying here, who needs to go any further?

4.  Radio Interview  Overnite America :  7/8/17 ... 4845956814


Entertainer Taylor Hicks tastes his way across Missouri on a quest to assemble a plate of the state’s most iconic foods. First, he visits one of the oldest Italian neighborhoods in St. Louis, where they prefer their ravioli toasted. Next, he crashes a cook-off, in search of the best BBQ pork steak. Then, he learns the secret to a local comfort food, pork and beans. For dessert, it’s a double dose of sweetness with a gooey butter cake and a crispy waffle cone with ice cream. It’s a heaping helping of the Show Me State’s most historic and delicious foods.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

APPETIZER: Toasted Ravioli  
Mama’s on the Hill
Born by mistake  a ravioli was thrown into oil instead of water .....Voila !!!
The ravioli is stuffed with meat, carrots and basil mixture...... put into egg wash and bread crumbs......fry


Entrée: BBQ Pork Steak
St. Louis BBQ Society

A pork butt is cut into steaks and rubbed with sugar, salt and pepper and grilled  
The key to b-b-q is the wood ....hickory or cherry

Side 1: Beans and Ham Hocks
Central Missouri Meat and Sausage
The old fashioned way to cure ham is to season it with salt and spices ; wrap it in paper with a net and let it set for 3 months.
The new way is to inject the ham with a brine solution .
Boil any type of beans with the ham hocks .......Serve

Dessert 1:  Waffle Cone
Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream

Also discovered by accident.  In St. Louis in 1904 at the World's Fair , the ice cream guy ran out of contains for his ice cream service.  He was next to the pastry display and the pastry guy waffled the dough and they rolled it into a cone shape.

Dessert 2: Gooey Butter Cake
Shatt Milk Company

A cake made from one layer of butter ; one layer of cake mix and sprinkled with confectioners sugar.  

It is the fresh cream from Missouri cows that creates the butter for this delicious cake.    

Taylor Milking the Cow
Rich, creamy butter


1.  The Toasted Ravioli is called a T-RAV
2. There are pork steak contests :  judged on appearance, taste and tenderness......  no talking during the judging
3.  If there is a hole in your waffle cone, just put a cherry into it .
4.  To make butter it takes  5 quarts of cream for 5 lbs of butter.
5.  In the depression era a baker added too much butter to her cake mix and the gooey cake was born

Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

9:36 PM - Feb 28, 2017 #7



1.  Entertainer Taylor Hicks tastes his way across Iowa on a quest toassemble a plate of the state’s most iconic foods. First, he learns the art of hog calling from a ten-time champion and mixes up a batch of ham balls. Next, he helps prep award-winning pork tenderloin sandwiches with unique, tiny buns. He uses local corn and soy crops to stir up some succotash. Then, he gets a taste of the sour main ingredient of a classic rhubarb pie. It’s a heaping helping of Iowa cuisine filled with the stories and legends behind the Hawkeye State’s most delicious foods.

2.  Des Moines Register:

'Americal Idol' winner features 5 Iowa foods in upcoming TV show
Brian Taylor Carlson Sept. 8, 2017 ... 618709001/
People come to Iowa for foods that are only found here. And these foods will be showcased by 2006 'American Idol' winner, Taylor Hicks, in an upcoming episode of 'State Plate' on INSP. Five quintessentially Iowan foods will fill up Hick's plate as he travels around the state in search of foods that we do best. The show airs on Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. Brian Taylor Carlson/The Register

Iowa's signature foods are a big part of our state's culture. People come to Iowa for certain items that you can only get here.

Crave-worthy dishes like Steak de Burgo, loose-meat sandwiches and Iowa pork chops are all recognizable to hungry locals. And our local produce is the stuff of legend as evidenced by the staggering number of entries at the Iowa State Fair.

That's why, on Friday, Sept. 15, on INSP at 7 p.m., host Taylor Hicks will feature Iowa foods on his show, "State Plate."

Interested in Iowa food news? Follow @BriinDSM on Twitter and @briindsm on Instagram.

"We go around to each state and fill up our plate with food that is iconic to that state," Hicks said. "It's kind of a cross between 'Dirty Jobs' with Mike Rowe and 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.' It's a farm AND table show."

Another view of the breaded pork tenderloin at Nick's.
And this plate will include five quintessentially Iowan foods — pork tenderloin, ham balls, soybeans, rhubarb and corn.

On "State Plate," Hicks goes to farms, ranches, markets, festivals and restaurants while filling up his plate with that state's most "historic, famous and tastiest foods." And he's also been known to get out his harmonica and break into song.

Among the five Iowa food contributors are Darcy Dougherty Maulsby, author of "A Culinary History of Iowa: Sweet Corn, Pork Tenderloins, Maid-Rites & More," and Cristen Clark, farmer and "Food & Swine" food blogger.

Nick Iaria, whose pork tenderloin was named best in the state in 2016, is opening a second location in the metro.
Des Moines food aficionados will be proud to know that Hicks is featuring Nick's pork tenderloin sandwich on the show with an appearance from the owner, Nick Iaria. The tenderloin from Iaria's restaurant was named Iowa's best in 2016.

This is the second season of "State Plate," and he has only 14 more states to go before he's hit all 50. Hicks has tried crab cakes from Maryland, chili in Texas, and potatoes in Idaho. And he not only gets to try the foods, but he gets to learn how to make them and the history behind them.

Hicks was the winner of the popular hit series, "American Idol" in 2006 and was nicknamed "Soul Patrol" by his devoted fans. He's recorded two studio albums and played in "Grease" on Broadway and on a national tour. He's appeared on television shows like "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" and performed during Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson concerts.

Taylor Hicks

Hicks has been in the restaurant industry on and off for almost 10 years. But he now owns a chain of four barbecue restaurants in his home state of Alabama called Saw's BBQ and Juke Joint. Its most popular dish is the Sweet Tea Fried Chicken Sandwich made with "Alabama-white" sauce — based with mayonnaise and vinegar. "When you're from Alabama, barbecue is an important part of your palate," Hicks said.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Ham Balls
Food & Swine
A hamball is an upscale meatball made with ground ham mixed with egg and crackers .  These are rolled into balls and baked .  Top with ketsup , brown sugar, and seasonings and rebaked.
The ham comes from the rear legs of the pig

Entrée: Breaded Pork Tenderloin

The pork tenderloin is cut into "fillets" and tenderized .  It isbattered,  breaded , fried for 4 minutes  and served in a sandwich bun.

Side 1: Corn

Corn is raised in every part of Iowa.  It is used to make feed for other animals , ethanol and many other products.
Planting season is from April to June .

Side 2: Soybean Succotash:  100% soybean oil in a pan.  Add onion, bell peppers, corn, edename ( young soy beans ) , seasonings and heat............. YUM

Soybeans are planted every other year in a used corn field . It is used to make candle wax, animal feed , mayonnaise, and salad dressing.

Dessert: Rhubarb Pie   [img] ... .......jpg[/img]
Rhubarb needs a winter season to grow .  It was used for medicine in China and in  the early 1800's we began to see its use for food.  
To make a rhubarb pie :  4 cups of cut rhubarb paired with a fruit ( cherries, strawberries, blueberries ) and sugar.  Bake in a crust .


1. Iowa is mostly farm land and 90% of farms are family owned.    
2. 49 million hogs in Iowa
3. Kyle Barton is the State Fair Iowa hog calling champion.
4.  A King size pork tenderloin is 6 oz and a Queen size is 3 oz.
5. 2.5 billion bushels of corn are harvested each year.  This is feed corn:  notice the wrinkles on the kernels. Food corn is smooth and shiny.  
6. 560 million bushels of soybeans are reaped each year. The soybeans are planted on old corn fields
7. Rhubarb is called the Pie Plant
8. Livestock Shows are huge in Iowa. Kids raise and show their animals at the Iowa State Fair.
9. Rhubarb leaves should NEVER be eaten.  The stalk should be cooked as eaten raw it is VERY BITTER.  Taylor tried it and his face shows how much he loved that bitter taste...

Entree and Sides:

Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

9:37 PM - Feb 28, 2017 #8



The Land of 10,000 Lakes ( actually there are 2 million acres of lakes )

This Spring I took American Idol winner Taylor Hicks out hunting for morels, along with Chef Grae Nonas. We had a ton of fun and here is a preview of the upcoming episode   

credit to

Credit to : amyelizabethmakeup

1. Osakis Review

An idol visits Osakis
By Al Edenloff on Jun 6, 2017 ... its-osakis
The winner of the fifth season of American Idol — Taylor Hicks — rolled into Osakis on Sunday, May 28. His destination: Jacob's Lefse Bakeri.

Hicks and a television crew were in town to shoot a segment for his new TV show, "State Plate," that's in its second season on the cable network, INSP.

As part of the show, Hicks is traveling throughout the country, sightseeing and tasting symbolic and popular foods from state to state. So far, he's sampled crab cakes in Maryland, peaches in Georgia, chili in Texas and a variety of other dishes.

In an interview with the Osakis Review, Hicks said he was impressed with Osakis and its beautiful lake.

"You can't land in a bad place in Minnesota," he said while his camera crew was setting up at Jacob's Lefse. "The land, the people, the lakes — it reminds me of my home state of Alabama with the beautiful countryside."

Bonnie Jacobs, owner of the bakery, was surprised when the show's producers called and said Hicks would be stopping by to learn about lefse. They told her that Minnesota was known for the soft, potato-based Norwegian flatbread and Jacob's had a reputation for making the best lefse around.

"All of the crew knew who he was and we were very excited to have him come here," she said. "It was great meeting him."

Hicks was in the store for about three hours.

"He spent most of the time trying to roll the lefse and grilling it, and he finally got it," she said.

Hicks liked the lefse so much that he took some with him when he left, Jacobs said.

This was the second splash of positive publicity Jacob's Lefse has earned in recent months. In December, the bakery was the winner of WCCO-TV's Viewer's Choice for Best Lefse in Minnesota.


Appetizer: Morel Mushrooms
Gentleman Forager Looking for Mushrooms

Morel Mushrooms are rich and earthy in flavor and are very rare : ergo their high cost.  
This fungus fruit is harvested ( available ) only 2 1/2 weeks a year .
Take the MOREL and saute it in butter.   The show added pine needles to the butter for flavor, but you can add anything you want.

Entrée: Walleye  
Fishing the Wild Side
Trapper’s Landing
The Walleye fishing is excellent in all of Minnesota.  The Walleye live between 4' and 40' under the water depending on what they are doing.  They spawn at 4' , as they are then tired they dive to 40' to rest, but must return to the surface to eat .  When they are at the 4' level, they are caught. ( never during the spawning season )
Only Walleye under 20" can be kept for food.... anything larger must be thrown back to spawn and preserve the species.
Grill the Walleye in butter , add herbs and spices as desired and eat.

Side 1: Lefse

A traditional soft Norwegian flatbread. It is made with potatoes, flour, butter, and milk or cream. It is cooked on a large, flat griddle.
Jacobs Bakeri & Gifts

Taylor Trying to Make a Lefse 
You can fill a Lefse with anything :  butter, fruit or pudding.  
Making Lefse with a champion Lefse maker of Minnesota

Side 2: Hot Dish

A Hot Dish can be anything as long as tater tots top the casserole.

Add vegetables and saute
Add meat ( hamburger, chicken... )
Add chicken broth and cream
Put tater tots on top , sprinkle with cheese and bake.

A lefse MUST HAVE tater tots :  

Dessert: Bundt Cake Taylor enjoying the fruits of his labor , a delicious slice of chocolate bundt cake

NordicWare – Dana Norsten

A Bundt Cake can be any type of cake, but the authentic Bundt Cake is Chocolate
The Pan creates the density necessary for this cake.

Main Course and Sides

1.  There are 17.4 million acres of woodland in Minnesota
2. In 1970 , the Dutch Elm Disease killed all the elm trees.  It was on these dead trees that the first morels grew in the U.S.
3. A true Morel Mushroom is hollow .......
4. The Walleye gets its name from its exceptional vision.
5.  The Bundt Cake is an original from the Nordic Ware company in Minneapolis . Made from aluminium and patented
6.  The shape of the Bundt Pan  is inspired by a traditional European cake known as Gugelhupf
7.  The word Bundt is a German word meaning a gathering of people.

Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

9:38 PM - Feb 28, 2017 #9



and The Black Hills abound as Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson and T.Roosevelt watch over The Mount Rushmore State

Pietz's Kuchen Kitchen and Specialties L.L.P
We spent this afternoon with Taylor Hicks(American Idol winner) and the production crews from "State Plate". State Plate is a TV series on the INSP channel hosted by Taylor HIcks that celebrates the unique food traditions of all 50 states. Pietz Kuchen will be featured with other great foods from South Dakata this fall. Thank you Taylor and crew for an awesome experience!

Entertainer Taylor Hicks tastes his way across South Dakota on a quest to assemble a plate of the state’s most monumental foods. First, he visits a sheep farm where they produce flavorful meat for chislic, a cubed meat dish. Next, he heads to a bison ranch to learn how to herd bison, and he scouts roadside ditches in search of wild asparagus. Then, he learns how to make two of the state’s popular desserts: a Native American berry dish called “wojapi” and a German inspired pastry called “kuchen.” It’s a heaping helping of the Mount Rushmore State’s most delicious foods. ... 97f72.html

During the filming of the Scotland segment, Hicks joined the Pietzes for a literally hands-on experience creating his own version of the pastry.
“Taylor made kuchen with us right here in our kitchen,” Lori said Monday.
Even Hicks’ Southern charm couldn’t wrangle the secret ingredient from the Pietzes.
“We didn’t tell him,” Roger joked.

The Pietzes said they were shocked at their inclusion on the upcoming show. They didn’t solicit a spot and were told their names kept “popping up” as a possible segment. They admitted they were even skeptical at first but then realized the offer was real.
The Pietzes have gained a national reputation for their kuchen, consisting of crust, filling and custard. They started the business from their basement in 2008. After the kuchen operation outgrew their home, the Pietzes moved the business in 2011 to its current location along S.D. Highway 25 on the southern edge of Scotland.
The Press & Dakotan was provided with a preview of the show. In the introduction, Hicks says he’s constantly asked why a singer is hosting a series about food.
“It’s simple,” he said. “I love food. I’ve even gotten my own barbecue joint.”

every two weeks and eventually once a week.”
No advance team visited the Scotland location, Roger said. The couple admitted they weren’t ready for the entourage that visited.
“We had nine people come into our business May 30, the day after Memorial Day. They came around 3 p.m. and left around 7:30,” he said. “We had Taylor himself, the producer, three camera operators, and people who took different shots of the kuchen. They even had someone flying a drone over Scotland.”
However, Hicks put the couple at ease, Lori said. “Taylor came through the door, introduced himself and asked about us,” Lori said.
Hicks owns a barbecue restaurant, listed as Saw’s Juke Joint in Birmingham, Alabama. His love of food and ease around cooking is evident on the show.
“Taylor knows his way around the kitchen,” Lori said. “He’s also an entertainer. He tried to make up a ‘kuchen’ song to go with the segment.”
When making the kuchen, Hicks couldn’t resist licking the spoon, Lori said. She provided him with a new spoon, only to have the entertainer lick the new one, as well.

You can tell how much I love this custard!” Hicks proclaimed.
The kuchen was treated as the “star” of the show. The dessert was cut into pieces and placed on plates for different camera shots.
The Pietzes didn’t publicize beforehand that Hicks and the crew members were visiting the business, Roger said. “Then we got worried that people would see the vehicles when (the television crew) arrived and would wonder what was going on,” he said.
However, the shoot went off without a hitch.
“Later on, we put up a sign with Taylor’s picture that he autographed for us,” Lori said. “We had customers come in, see the sign, and ask, ‘Was HE here?’ One woman said, if she had known, she would have stopped by the store.”
South Dakotans have embraced kuchen for its flavor and also as part of their heritage, Roger said. The business sells as many as 2,000 kuchen in a month.

2. Rapid City Journal

Randy Janis (left), kitchen manager of Laughing Water Restaurant at Crazy Horse Memorial, served Taylor Hicks the traditional Native American dish wojapi as part of the South Dakota episode of "State Plate."

“This was my first time in South Dakota. I thought it was gorgeous. The people were extremely nice and the food was extremely good, and the iconic food was very American,” Hicks said. “What’s great about South Dakota is it … has some very classic American food with some of the Native American influence.”

Choosing the food to sample is a joint effort between Hicks and the show’s producers, he said. In eastern South Dakota, Hicks visited Sturdy Post Ranch in Ward, where he sampled the chislic, or mutton on a stick — the “appetizer” of his South Dakota meal.

“The chislic was amazing,” Hicks said. “I’m a meat-and-potatoes guy. I love anything on a skewer.”

The “entree” for the plate is bison. Hicks visited 777 Bison Ranch in Hermosa, where owner Mimi Hillenbrand and her staff taught Hicks how to herd buffalo.

“We made sure that bison was an important part of ‘State Plate,’” Hicks said. “Being able to herd bison in that way was something every American should experience.”

Hicks and the “State Plate” crew spent most of a day at 777 Bison Ranch.

“Taylor was one of the most personable gentlemen. We had him chasing buffalo. He helped us move the herd,” Hillenbrand said. “It was something (Hicks and the crew) had never done before. It was a great experience for them as well as us.”

In addition to hosting a visit from the “State Plate” crew, Hillenbrand shared tips about her favorite cuts of bison meat with the show’s staff for the South Dakota episode.

“We’re all very excited to see the finished product. Taylor actually enjoyed spending time with us. He was super real and personable. It was really refreshing,” Hillenbrand said.

Beyond the food, what Hicks appreciates about “State Plate” is a chance to educate his viewers by visiting farms and ranches across the nation.

“What I love is, we try to highlight how important our farmers are to this country,” Hicks said.

Hicks scouted roadside ditches with Russ Olson in eastern South Dakota in search of wild asparagus, one of the “side dishes” on the South Dakota plate, before heading back to the Black Hills to visit Crazy Horse Memorial. There, Hicks visited Laughing Water Restaurant, where he sampled wojapi and filmed a segment with the restaurant’s kitchen manager, Randy Janis. “State Plate” specifically asked to try wojapi, Janis said, as one of the “side dishes” for the South Dakota episode.

Wojapi, a warm berry dipping sauce, is a food Janis recalls from childhood. “Growing up, at powwows they served wojapi with fry bread,” he said.

Originally, Native Americans made wojapi from chokecherries. Janis served Hicks the Laughing Water version, a modern take on the sauce that’s made with mixed berries. “It’s based off of several recipes I’ve looked at through the years,” Janis said. ... 98a2b.html


Appetizer: Chislic
Sturdy Post Ranch

A marinated cubed meat treat on a stick. Marinated in worcestershire sauce and spices and grilled

Lamb is a huge product in S.D. The Russian immigrants brought this form of shish-ka-bob to America

The Ewes ( female sheep ) are tagged and sorted in separate pens.

Entrée: Bison
777 Bison Ranch

Bison are herded by ATV's . Bison's store meat differently than most animals ergo: the lean meat
The Bison are herded using ATV's

Just take a Bison RibEye and season it with salt and pepper and grill to a medium rare...........YUMMY

Side 1: Wild Asparagus
Russ Olson ... ories-2013

About 100 years ago , asparagus was brought to the U.S. from Europe
To harvest an asparagus spear: cut at the base , flush to the ground

Add olive oil, salt/pepper and parmesan cheese an grill or saute them

Side 2: Wojapi
Laughing Water Restaurant ... urant.html

Warm Indian Fry Bread is used as a dipping "tool" for the Wojapi Sauce.

Take ANY fruit or a mixture of fruits ( raspberries, strawberries, blueberries , blackberries, peaches , etc ) , Add sugar and boil for 20 minutes. Pulp the berries in a strainer . Add juice , pulp and cornstarch together : mix .

Dessert: Kuchen
Pietz’s Kuchen Kitchen & Specialities ... 896396335/

Kuchen is a sweet dough with custard and fruit. The recipe is secret for the Pietzs Kitchen, but you can get one on the internet .

Put fruit in a cake pan with dough ......any fruit
Add custard and smooth it over the fruit
Bake for 25 minutes

Entree and Side:


1. Bison are 100% American.............been here for centuries , before colonization
2. There are more bison in South Dakota than any other State
3. Asparagus seeds are strewn by birds ........they fall randomly on the ground and root
4. Taylor's Great Grandmother is a full blooded Cherokee Indian
5. Wojapi is one of America's oldest deserts.
6. Kuchen is of German origin.


Joined: 2:52 AM - Feb 08, 2008

9:38 PM - Feb 28, 2017 #10



The land of the Amish and Mennonites where farmland abounds and the "simple life" remains .

Entertainer Taylor Hicks tastes his way across Pennsylvania on a quest to assemble a plate of its most iconic foods. First stop, the mushroom capital of the world, where Taylor learns how to cultivate edible fungi. Then, it’s off to the City of Brotherly Love to make classic Philly Cheesesteaks. Next, Taylor ventures to Amish country to learn how to prepare chow-chow and twist pretzel dough. Finally, he learns how to make a classic molasses-filled dessert that lives up to its name: shoofly pie. It’s a plateful of Pennsylvania cuisine filled with legends and stories behind the state’s historic foods.

credit to AAABuggyRides


1. Lancaster OnLine : Taylor Hicks digs into Lancaster and Chester County foods for 'State Plate' culinary series
Every region has a distinctive flavor all its own — Lancaster’s traditionally has been that Pennsylvania Dutch influence of dishes such as shoofly pie and chow chow.

Next month, “State Plate,” a series on INSP network, spotlights Lancaster in its episode on the Keystone State’s culinary charms.

Three Lancaster County favorites, as well as one from Chester County, will be featured in the Oct. 6 episode:

— Pretzels, with Kurt Van Gilden of Julius Sturgis Bakery in Lititz

— Chow chow, with Tim Kauffman of Kauffman’s Fruit Farm, New Holland;

— Shoofly pie, with John Smucker of Bird-in-Hand Bakery and Cafe, Bird-in-Hand;

— and mushrooms, with Kennett Square’s Peter Gray of Phillips Mushroom Farms.

2. Chester County Press

A TV spotlight for local mushroom grower

By John Chambless ... oom-grower

On Oct. 6, Peter Gray of Phillips Mushroom Farms in Kennett Square will be a hometown celebrity. He's featured on an episode of “State Plate,” a show on cable's INSP network with Taylor Hicks. The show is in its second season.

The show follows Hicks, a singer who shot to fame on “American Idol,” as the state-hopping host putting together a plate of each U.S. state's signature foods. The Pennsylvania episode, filmed last year, begins with Gray, a grower manager at Phillips, opening the door to a mushroom growing room and welcoming Hicks.

The five-minute segment manages to cram in a bit of state mushroom history, a discussion of several types of mushrooms, a picking demonstration by Hicks, and a final sample of mushroom soup, which Hicks selects as the appetizer course for his Pennsylvania meal.

The half-hour show then moves on to the Philadelphia cheesesteak, as Hicks learns how to order “wiz wit” and tries to keep up with a barrage of orders at Pat's as the guy who puts on the cheese. After selecting his entree, Hicks moves to Lancaster County, where he learns what goes into chow-chow, and twists his own soft pretzel at the Sturgis Pretzel Bakery in Lititz.

He finishes up at Bird-in-Hand, where he helps make two shoo-fly pies and gets to sample the results.

Hicks is a co-owner of a barbecue and blues bar in Alabama, and the series follows him as he visits farms, ranches, markets, festivals and other locales to uncover the stories behind each state's unique food traditions. Along the way, through his interviews with local business owners, he assembles a plate of appetizers, entrees and desserts from that state.

The show has a brisk pace and genial mood, with drone shots of the facilities and towns Hicks visits, and it puts the region in a very favorable light. Best of all, it will leave you hungry for our region's best-known foods.

Guess who visited our farm this summer. We had a great time showing him a round and are excited about the show that will air Friday October 6th. More details to come.

3. Lancaster OnLine

Host Taylor Hicks features Lancaster County foods on INSP network's 'State Plate' airing Friday
Chowchow at Welsh Mountain
Chowchow is prepared for canning at the Welsh Mountain facility.

Taylor Hicks, an Alabama-born singer who in 2006 won season five of Fox TV’s “American Idol” singing competition, featured three Lancaster County foods in the Pennsylvania episode of his food show, “State Plate.”

The Keystone State episode of the show, in which Hicks builds a meal with dishes representing different U.S. states, airs at 8 p.m. Friday on the INSP network.

The show features chowchow, a soft pretzel and shoofly pie made here in Lancaster County.

Hicks, who co-owns a barbecue restaurant called Saw’s Juke Joint in Birmingham, Alabama, filmed the Lancaster County portions of the show in June and July.

Hicks hits Lancaster County about halfway through the episode, after visiting mushroom capital Kennett Square and Philadelphia — represented, respectively, on his “state plate” by a bowl of cream of mushroom soup and a Philly cheesesteak from Pat’s King of Steaks.

Last week, those who appeared with Hicks in segments filmed at Welsh Mountain Canning Co. in New Holland, Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery in Lititz and Bird-in-Hand Bakery & Cafe in Bird-in-Hand, spoke about the experience of filming with the singer.

Taylor Hicks and Tim Kauffman
"State Plate" host Taylor Hicks and Tim Kauffman of Kauffman's Fruit Farm & Market taste some chowchow canned at the Welsh Mountain Canning Co. in New Holland.

Making chowchow
On “State Plate,” Hicks begins his local culinary journey in farmland surrounding the Welsh Mountain facility in New Holland, where he learns about the canned, pickled-vegetable dish chowchow.

His tour guide is Tim Kauffman, who works in food safety, marketing and advertising for the 102-year-old Kauffman’s Fruit Farm & Market in Bird-in-Hand.

“The heart of Lancaster County is a very lush area for agriculture,” Kauffman tells Hicks on the show, as the two walk through some green farmland.

The show’s staff “had taken note that we sell (Welsh Mountain and other brands of) chowchow online and through our store, and they reached out to us if we could assist them in any way in finding out about products made locally,” Kauffman says.

Because Amish employees of the New Holland cannery did not want to appear on camera, Kauffman says, he did the interview with Hicks instead.

“They asked if I would stand in and speak for them, so I did,” Kauffman says of the Amish business owners. “I appreciated (the show) respecting the Amish faith and culture.”

Kauffman says Hicks “was intrigued by the whole canning process of chowchow. He has a great sense of humor.”

On the show, Hicks dons a hairnet and food-service gloves and helps layer fresh vegetables in a bowl at the canning facility. He weighs and seals a jar destined for the hot-water canner.

As he and Kauffman taste the chowchow out of bowls at the end of the segment, Hicks says the brined veggies have a “really crisp, bright … salty, sweet flavor.”

Twisted snack
Hicks’ next stop on the show is Lititz, where he adds a soft pretzel to his plate at the historic Sturgis Pretzel Bakery.

“I think they were doing some internet searches of historic places, and they found us, because we are the oldest commercial hard-pretzel bakery in the country,” says Kurt Van Gilder, general manager.

On the show, Van Gilder tells Hicks the history of the bakery, including its founding by Julius Sturgis in 1861.

“Really, everything in the bakery is original,” Van Gilder says. “The ovens … the twisting tables are original. The floorboards that are in our waiting area are original to 1861.

“He was delightful,” Van Gilder says of Hicks. “He clearly had experience at being a host, so he was very knowledgeable about making the other people around him — including me — comfortable in doing what we’re doing.

“We gave him ... a mini-tour,” Van Gilder says, “so they could see what our customers see every day when they come and visit.”

Hicks “was rather impressed with the soft pretzels,” Van Gilder says. “He couldn’t get enough of them. Each bite, he thoroughly enjoyed. I think it was a good experience for him.”

On the show, Bruce Sturgis, great-great-grandson of the company’s founder, teaches Hicks to roll dough and twist a soft pretzel — a common activity for visitors to the bakery.

“I love the malty flavor of the pretzel, and the light saltiness,” Hicks tells Van Gilder and Sturgis on the show as they sample the pretzels they’ve baked.

Shoofly Pie at Bird-in-Hand Bakery
Behind Bird-in-Hand Bakery, John Smucker and Taylor Hicks, host of "State Plate" on INSP Network, share shoofly pie.

INSP Network
Pie for dessert
Hicks’ final stop begins with an Amish-style buggy ride through county farmland, accompanied by John Smucker, chief executive officer of Bird-In-Hand Corp.

They wind up at the bakery, where Smucker leads Hicks through making a wet-bottom shoofly pie.

Hicks “was a pretty animated fellow,” Smucker says. “Very cordial. A lot of laughs. He enjoyed digging into the meat of the activity — getting an apron on, mixing up the ingredients in the bowl, dipping it out, going to the ovens. He was quite engaged. … We went through the whole process from A to Z.

“He was amazed by the countryside and the people,” Smucker says. “He was amazed by the quaintness and the beauty of Lancaster County.”

Smucker says Hicks seemed as if he knew his way around a kitchen.

At the end of the episode, Smucker and Hicks taste the pie in the backyard of the bakery complex.

“Our bakery is set up on the edge of our farm,” which has been in his family since 1911, Smucker says. “It’s just a nice setting to sit there at the picnic table and look across the fields and taste the shoofly pie.”

“I love the consistency of this pie,” Hicks tells Smucker on the show. “You have the robust flavor of all of the molasses, but then you have this light, flaky crumb on top.”

Smucker notes the pie recipe, like that of many of the baked goods sold at Bird-in-Hand, comes from his grandmother, Anna Smucker.

Tribute to county
Out of the whole state of Pennsylvania, “State Plate” finds three of its five representative foods in Lancaster County.

Kauffman, Van Gilder and Smucker believe that says a lot about the culture here.

“Lancaster County is all about good food,” Smucker says. “It’s about authenticity, it’s about the culture that produces some very fantastic plates,” Smucker says.

“What that says to us is Lancaster County is considered the bread basket of the East Coast of the United States,” Kauffman says. “It comes from a good, strong work ethic and a lot of people of good integrity, along with good food.”

“It means that we know what we’re doing in Lancaster County,” Van Gilder says. “We are definitely a tourist destination, and it’s fun and informative. It’s the place to be.”

The “State Plate” episode “can do nothing but increase public awareness,” Van Gilder says. “Lititz is a hidden gem. We are a small little town that’s easy to overlook.”

Shows like this “give more notoriety to what it is that Lancaster County is all about, which is food,” Smucker says. “You get a lot of attention and awareness, and it helps bolster the Lancaster community as a good foods place.” ... 78844.html

Appetizer: Cream of Mushroom Soup : Shitake Mushroom
Phillips Mushroom Farms
Who knew there were so many kinds of mushrooms. In Kennett Square ( the mushroom capitol of the world ), Taylor learns about these wild fungus. They grow in the ground and on trees and rocks. Edible mushrooms include many fungal species that are either harvested wild or cultivated.

Saute Mushrooms in butter with spices and add cream to the mixture.

Entrée: Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich
Pat’s King of Steaks

Rib Eye Steak sliced very thin. Serve with provolone cheese and mushrooms and with ( wiz wit ) or without ( wiz out ) onions and green peppers and topped with CHEESE SAUCE

Side 1: Chow Chow
Kauffman’s Fruit Farm & Market

Chow Chow is made from fresh vegetables. It was a way for the people of Lancaster County to stretch the summer harvest through the winter. They take many vegetables ( carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, beans, zucchini , etc ) measuring 1 lb. 17 oz per jar and add enough brine to measure 32 oz. These jars are sealed and boiled for 35 minutes. Can be stored for many many months.

The brine is made of vinegar, sugar and salt...............

Side 2:Pretzel
Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery

In Lititz , Pa Sturgis Pretzels were founded in 1861.

Dough is rolled into 16 inch long strings.......this string is twisted into a pretzel shape
and baked. Add salt to the hot pretzel so the salt sticks. The more you bake it the harder the pretzel.

Dessert: Shoofly Pie
The Shoofly Pie originated in Lancaster Country. The Germans couldn't bring perishables over on the ship they took molasses, brown sugar and lard and made a dessert.

A WET BOTTOM Shoofly pie is the real shoofly pie. Pour liquid made from molasses , brown sugar, eggs into a pie pan lined with thin dough. The crumbs are made from lard and some flour and sugar..........Pour lots of crumbs onto the liquid . Some of these crumbs will sink into the liquid as it bakes and some will remain on top. Don't be afraid to add lots of crumbs... Bake for and hour and a half (1 1/2 ).

Appetizer: Mushroom Soup:
Entree and Sides : Philly Cheese Steak, soft pretzel and Chow Chow
Dessert: Shoo fly Pie ---


1. A true Pennsylvanian will tell you that the secret to a great Philly Cheese Steak is in the Bread . Has to be Philly Bread
2. The name Chow Chow could have come from France or India to the PA. Dutch Country.
3. Hanover, Pa. is the pretzel, chip and snack capitol ........
4. Shoofly Pie got its name because flies were attracted to the sweet , gooey molasses mixture ......they flew into it but couldn't get out.