University of Central Missouri: Ten Home Cooks Put Their Culinary Skills to the Test in ‘The Great American Recipe’

“The Great American Recipe” is a competition that welcomes home chefs from across the nation as they showcase America’s diversity through regional cuisines. The program airs 8-9 p.m. (CST) Fridays, beginning July 24 on KMOS PBS, the University of Central Missouri’s public television station, and is hosted by Alejandra Ramos.

Each episode of the series gives the cooks the opportunity to showcase two of their beloved signature dishes as they compete to win this national search best recipe in America. Judges Leah Cohen, Tiffany Derry and Graham Elliot bring their professional insights and deep culinary knowledge to encourage and support the contestants along the way.

Regardless of their region, each contestant brings their family traditions, inspirations and passions to the competition. Imra Cadiz, New York, grew up eating Dominican and Puerto Rican food and loves to prepare her mother’s recipes as a tribute to her family’s Caribbean heritage. Bambi Daniels, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, describes her cooking as Southern “Heart & Soul” food — everything has a hint of her South Carolina roots and lots of love. Robin Daumit, Annapolis, Maryland, developed a cooking style that combines Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences from her mother’s Syrian heritage and the regional cuisine of her home state of Maryland.

Brian Leigh, Bowling Green, Kentucky prides himself on his rustic home cooking infused with his Hungarian and German heritage. Christina McAlvey, Portland, Oregon, calls her food “Fili-fusion,” a mash-up of Filipino flavors blended with her favorite cuisines. Silvia Martinez, San Luis Obispo, California, grew up in Guanajuato in central Mexico, cooking authentic dishes she learned from her grandmother, aunts and mother.

Foo Nguyen, Orange County, California, would combine Asian flavors with Midwestern comfort food classics when he began to cook. Dan Rinaldi, Providence, Rhode Island, was raised in a multi-generational Italian family and takes pride in sharing his family recipes. Minneapolis, Minnesota native Tony Scherber’s adoptive mother cooked dishes from an old Korean cookbook to help him stay connected to his birth culture. Boise, Idaho resident Nikki Tomaino Allemand’s cooking combines her family’s Italian roots with her Pacific Northwest upbringing.