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Hundreds of contestants from across the U.S. participated
BOSTON, May 22, 2017—American Public Television (APT), the original home to public television’s culinary experts and sponsor of the Create Cooking Challenge 2017, announced today that two new stars have joined its ranks. Selected from hundreds of entries by judges who are some of public television’s best-known chefs, Buki Elegbede from Greater New York, claims the Grand Prize, receiving $4,000 and production equipment valued at approximately $1,000 to finance and produce a web series of 10 or more two-minute videos to appear on CreateTV.com. Second-Prize Winner, Chris Nance of Santa Clarita, CA, was awarded $1,000 and production equipment valued at approximately $1,000 to finance and produce a web series of three, two-minute videos for CreateTV.com. Distributed and produced by APT, WNET New York and WGBH Boston, Create® is a national channel carried by 235 local public television stations and features lifestyle content: cooking, travel, home improvement, gardening and arts & crafts.
Judging the Create Cooking Challenge, which ran February 6-28, 2017, were star chefs Lidia Bastianich (Lidia’s Kitchen), Sara Moulton (Sara’s Weeknight Meals), Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster (co-hosts of America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country), Kevin Belton (New Orleans Cooking With Kevin Belton), and Steven Raichlen (Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke); and APT president and CEO, Cynthia Fenneman. Entrants submitted an original video of two minutes or less featuring their best culinary project, recipe or tip. Judging criteria included culinary knowledge, presentation skills, telegenic appeal, and unique ideas.
Grand-Prize Winner Buki Elegbede started cooking by helping his mother in the kitchen at the age of 10. When a medical condition left him in the hospital for an extended stay in his teens, Buki spent his time devouring television cooking shows and learning from America’s most iconic chefs, many of whom are stars on Create TV. His cooking reflects a wide-range of flavor combinations, from spice-infused, native Nigerian recipes to traditional American favorites like his winning entry, Chocolate Whoopie Pies.
To Buki, who works in commercial television production in Manhattan, and, in his spare time, runs a small, referral-only catering business, Baked by Buki, cooking is about building community and learning new cultures. “You can invite your worst enemy to dinner, but if the food is good, everything will be a success,” he stated. “I like to take chances and explore new cuisines. I entered the Create Cooking Challenge to live out my dream and to inspire young people to take culinary chances, as so many shows did for me, while growing up.”
Judge Sara Moulton praised Buki’s talents: “What a terrific teacher! Very confident, good with the camera, great recipe and wonderful tips.” Lidia Bastianich added: “I love Buki’s energy, smile and, of course, the final taste! He cooks with confidence and passion. That’s what it’s all about!”
Chris Nance, a postal worker residing outside of Los Angeles, was inspired by his grandmother, “Momma Rosie,” who saw food as a way to bring people together and establish family and friendships. Now a chef, he and his brother (also a chef) soon began sharing their love of cooking through their website MeLuvFood.com. “I entered the Challenge because I love teaching and I love cooking. I truly believe that food is a conduit that can unite the world.“
Chris’s winning technique of how to build a professional-looking Graham Cracker Crust impressed the judges. Moulton said she was delighted to learn something new and Kevin Belton said: “Sharing this tip with people is fantastic. It’s the little details that make the dishes so important.”
Now in its second year, the Create Cooking Challenge enjoyed hundreds of video submissions from across the country, with viewers participating from more than 80 local public television stations. In addition to the two top prizes, 16 Honorable Mentions were awarded to entrants from local Create stations and public television markets in New York, California, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington. Full information and links to entrants’ videos are found at bit.ly/2rAhy8S.
Photos and bios of the two top winners, plus judges’ comments, can be found at bit.ly/2qGi6Kl
About Create: Create is the premier lifestyle channel featuring public television’s most popular how-to series: cooking, travel, home improvement, gardening, and arts and crafts. Create is produced and distributed by American Public Television (APT), WNET New York, and WGBH Boston, in association with National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) and PBS. Create TV is carried by 235 local public television stations nationwide, reaching 85% of USTVHH and is seen in 21 of the top 25 U.S. television markets. Create’s companion website CreateTV.com features extensive video, projects, tips, recipes, the Create TV schedule, featured program titles, and hosts.