Show-Me Chefs

Students at Missouri State University created Show-Me Chefs, a cooking show that highlights local chefs and local food producers, and you can watch it on TV starting September 26.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

Most of us with any interest in cooking have found ourselves lost in cook-off style TV shows. You know the spiel—contestants get baskets of ingredients, then they cook several courses. Winners move on, and those not so fortunate are Chopped!, or voted off the island, or whatever the case might be. 

Thanks to the Media, Journalism and Film Department at Missouri State University, Springfield has its very own cooking show with a similar format. It’s called Show-Me Chefs. The idea came from Sean Gott, owner of 319 Event Center, and Deborah Larson, associate professor in the department and the show’s executive producer. “It gives students a more real-life experience on how TV and film work,” Larson says.

The show features eight local chefs, including John Allen of Aviary, Aaron Gregory of Fire and Ice, Chuy Garcia (who entered independently), Tony Garcia of Avanzare Italian Dining, Wing Leong of Leong’s Asian Diner, Wes Johnson of Metropolitan Farmer, Nick Metz of Victory Trade School and Grant Smith of University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center.

Episodes were filmed last spring at 319 DownTown Event Center, where the chefs faced off with mystery boxes to prepare an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. Chefs used ingredients revealed in baskets, which included highlighted local products, and one winner took home a $3,000 prize. “Part of the goal was to let people know what local food producers we have, as well as what great chefs and restaurants we have,” Larson says. 

The show airs each Saturday at 1 p.m. on KOZL from September 26 through November 7, and a kick-off party to raise funds for the local Care to Learn charity and next season is on September 25. Guests will enjoy a multi-course meal prepared by the first season’s chefs, as well as live entertainment, silent auctions and a chef-showdown competition. 


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