State Plate with Taylor Hicks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take a look at some examples of the foods Hicks tried out in Wisconsin:

Image from Wisconsin Cheese


Read: "10 Things You Didn't Know About Cheese Curds"

Image from O&H Danish Bakery

Wisconsin Kringle

You can order this Danish Kringle straight from Wisconsin here.

Image from Pixabay

Wisconsin Bratwurst

Image from Wikipedia

Wisconsin Booyah

In North Carolina we are known for barbecue, so I'm sure that will end up on Hick's plate when/if he comes here. What are some of the dishes your state is known for? 

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