Chef and restaurateur Frank Bonanno's Colorado-centric food show, Chef Driven, is entering its second season, with six new episodes ready to air beginning Saturday, February 7, a 1:30 p.m. on Rocky Mountain PBS. Last season followed Bonanno, owner of Mizuna, Bones, Osteria Marco and several other Denver eateries, around Colorado in search of great products made or grown in the Centennial State. This season focuses primarily on Denver and the food, beverages and people who make the city one of the hottest culinary destinations in the U.S.
The premiere episode, titled "Colorado: The Napa Valley of Beer," showcases several local breweries, with visits to Great Divide Brewing Co., Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project and Dry Dock Brewing Co. as well as Boulder's Wild Goose Canning. Back at his restaurant Bones, Bonanno whips up some beer-friendly dishes with P17 and Olive & Finch chef and owner Mary Nguyen. "I just love her to death and really wanted to work with her," says Bonanno.
Other episodes include a guided tour of Denver's soul food scene -- and a visit to CoraFaye's Cafe -- with author and Southern food expert, Adrian Miller; a look at two top pizza joints, Marco's Coal-Fired Pizza and Cart-Driver; and a drive down to Canyon City, where prison inmates farm water buffalo, goats and fish.
Filming took place over one 16-day period last summer and Bonanno says he was glad most of the filming took place in or near Denver so he could return home at the end of each day, as opposed to the first season, which took the chef around the entire state in the same amount of time. This season's episodes will also feature narration from Bonanno, who has been recording voiceover for 3 to 5 hours a week all winter for his editor in New York City.
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He'd like to see the show get picked up in other markets, with Wyoming and Kansas as possibilities, but even as far away as New York and New Jersey. "We're one of the best food cities in the country and we don't get credit for it," he explains.
Follo w @CafeWestword