Share This Page

Ready, set, grill: New cooking series set on Latrobe farm

| Friday, June 27, 2014, 8:57 p.m.
Jamison Farms
Judges try out some of the items created by competitors at Jamison Farms in Latrobe for the Travel Channel's 'American Grilled.'
Travel Channel
Restaurant owner and chef David Guas hosts the Travel Channel's new competition show 'American Grilled.'
Travel Channel
The premiere episode of the Travel Channel's 'American Grilled' series takes place in Asheville, N.C.

The four contestants scrambled between the onsite pantry and their grillers, intensely trying to outdo each other by grilling the very best lamb recipe at Jamison Farms in Latrobe.

Meanwhile, farm owner John Jamison and two other judges intently watched the contestants, who cooked as a Travel Channel camera crew rolled nearby, filming an episode of a new series, “American Grilled.”

The show premieres next week; the Jamison Farms episode will air at a later date.

“It was a close contest,” Jamison says after the recent filming at the Westmoreland County farm. “They all really did a great job.

“It was nice that these people were really cognizant of the fact that they were working in front of judges who knew what they were doing, and they didn't want to blow it,” Jamison says. “They were serious contestants. That was the kick. It was fun.”

In “American Grilled,” debuting at 9 p.m. July 2 with a 13-episode season, grillers from many backgrounds compete in an outdoor cooking challenge. In each episode, the four contestants each will come up with his or her own twist on the basic dish — lamb, in this case — and pick seasonings to use. They have 40 minutes to prepare their meals. The first episode takes place in Asheville, N.C.

A panel of judges picks the winning dish. Each episode has four contestants who compete for a $10,000 prize. Contestants do not advance to a new episode; every episode has its own competition and winner. The grillers, who are not culinary pros, use many local ingredients and flavors, such as Amish-raised chicken or lamb from a farm, says David Guas, the show's host.

“This show isn't about professional chefs,” says Guas, a New Orleans native. He now is the owner and chef of Arlington, Va.-based Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery, which serves his hometown food such as gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish and beignets.

“This is about ... the backyard: one of America's greatest pastimes,” says Guas, who is a regular guest on “The Today Show,” and has appeared on the Food Network and Cooking Channel. His cookbook, “DamGoodSweet — Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style,” was a finalist for a James Beard Award and was named one of Food & Wine magazine's best new dessert cookbooks.

Guas hopes “American Grilled” inspires people to get back outside and do some cooking on a hot grill.

“The competition only gets harder and hotter as you get close to the $10,000 prize,” Guas says. “It's intense, but it's fun.”

Jamison says the contestants surprised him with their skill and the range of grilled lamb dishes they invented, despite the pressure and challenge. They each cooked Jamison lamb, but with a self-selected range of seasonings and methods.

“It was interesting; it was difficult,” Jamison says. “I thought this was going to be real easy and fun and just kind of a kick. To do it right — it was very difficult.”

Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at kgormly@tribweb.com or 412-320-7824.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.