American Public Television (APT), sponsor of the Create Cooking Challenge 2017, announced two new stars have joined its ranks. Selected from hundreds of entries by public television’s best-known chefs, Buki Elegbede from Greater New York, claims the Grand Prize. Buki received cash and production equipment to produce a web series of 10+ two-minute videos to appear on CreateTV.com.
Runner-up Chris Nance, of Santa Clarita, CA, was awarded prizes to produce 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.
Judges & Criteria
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
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!”
Runner-Up Chris Nance
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.
Chris’s passion was evident in his reason for joining the competition, “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.”
His winning technique demonstrating 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.