PREMIERING JULY 3, Chef Kevin Belton is eager for New Orleans and beyond to watch his fourth national series, Kevin Belton’s Cookin’ Louisiana. He says, “I feel very, very blessed. I am surrounded with people who are so talented that it’s truly a team effort. I think this is the best looking one yet.” The 26-part cooking series from WYES-TV takes viewers on a fun- filled food odyssey with the 6’9” gregarious chef.
The road trip takes Chef Belton from the River Parishes, where the region’s German heritage influences its food culture, to Acadia Parish where he’ll “have a rice day” in a locale known as the Rice Capital of America. In Sabine Parish the chef will sample tamales in a pocket of Spanish culture dating back to the 18th century. And in Arnaudville, he’ll go in search of the Cajun Kevin Po Boy, an upright seafood and sausage stuffed sandwich inspired by the cypress knees of the bayou.
Other dishes reflect Louisiana’s complex blending of cultures, preparing Filipino-style Beef Tapa with Sinangag (Garlic Fried Rice), Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls and traditional Czech Kolaches. In the studio, he will prepare his take on flavor packed dishes of the state and encourages viewers to put their spin on recipes too! “All of the recipes I try to keep simple and basic that anybody can do and not be intimidated by,” Chef Belton says.
“The other great thing is if you look at a recipe and it calls for one thing, make it with something else. If it calls for shrimp, make it with chicken. If it calls for chicken, try it with shrimp. Change it up and put your signature on it!” The Cookin’ Louisiana crew especially enjoyed Chef Belton’s Louisiana Citrus Cake and Hogs Head Cheese made with pork butt.
Excited to share his recipes, Chef Belton mentioned a couple things that go unseen. “The set is made for my height. Something that folks don’t get to see is that on a couple of the cameras, the guys actually have to raise them up on platforms, the counter is raised and it’s a very deep set to make me look normal size,” he explains.
But more importantly, Chef Belton is grateful for his crew and support team. “The crew is like family. And my wife, Monica, is such a driving force and support for me. You know they say behind every successful man, there’s a wonderful woman. Behind me, I have not only Monica but producer Terri Landry and associate producer Dawn Smith. So, I have three wonderful women behind me making this show look really great.”
He adds, “Everybody gets to see me, but it takes a team. In the book, Monica made sure we got a staff picture. I wanted everyone to see everybody that puts it together. We have such a good time making it and we hope people enjoy it as much as we had fun making it.”
Kevin Belton’s Cookin’ Louisiana will air on WYES-TV, wyes.org/live and on the WYES and PBS apps every Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. For all series information, go to wyes.org. Viewers can purchase an autographed copy of the series’ companion cookbook, of the same name, at wyes.org. A portion of cookbook sales benefits WYES and helps make series like this possible. National funding for Kevin Belton’s Cookin’ Louisiana is made possible by the L.E. Phillips Family Foundation. kevinbelton.wyes.org.