Friday, August 05, 2005

Food, folk and television stars



Saying the Edmonton Folk Fest is ideal for star spotting is pretty much stating the obvious. After all, you kinda expect to see Steve Earle, Ryan Adams or Alison Krauss hanging out on the site – they are playing there.

But the celebrity who had me starstruck wasn’t one you’d expect. Towering over his camera crew last night was Michael Smith, host of the Food Network Canada’s Chef at Large and Chef at Home.

My fiancée and I are fans of both shows and I was excited by the opportunity to meet him in person. Chef at Home provides me with inspiration to whip up new dishes from ingredients in our tiny apartment kitchen, while Chef at Large is just, well, cool. Episodes from Chef at Large have seen Michael Smith preparing cedar-baked salmon in the House of Commons cafeteria and assisting with a curry for 600 at a traditional Indian wedding.

He’s even taller in person – I’m 6’1” and he cast a shadow over me – and, I’m pleased to say, just as personable as he seems on his show. Smith took his time for fans wanting to chat about their favourite recipes and take pictures with him.

Smith is in Edmonton for the weekend, cooking up food in the Festival kitchen for volunteers. The episode will likely air in February to mid-March next year.

Man, I just wish I were one of those volunteers.

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