Ralph Pagano's perpetual road trip is now going to reach a national audience with the Travel Channel's recent acquisition of Pressure Cook for syndication. It's been a big year for him; since leaving STK behind, he has taken over as the executive chef and EVP of hospitality for Gulfstream Park, which he will tell you is truly a dream considering his love of the racetrack. His other love? Parlaying his celebu-chef worthy personality into radio (The Ralph Pagano Happy Hour) and television gigs, like Pressure Cook, which is "part-cooking show and part-travelogue."
In case you are unfamiliar with the program, in each episode Pagano gets a one-way ticket to an undisclosed international location, and must immediately immerse himself in the culture of his surroundings. Sometimes that means cooking up a kangaroo (poor marsupials, bet that pocket tastes like chicken) but whatever the challenge, he has 3 days to make kitchen magic happen and earn his fare for a ride home to the states. Oh, did we mention he has no money and no resources? He's sort of the Bear Grylls of the cooking world.
The opportunity came as a complete surprise to Pagano. "I got a call from a producer from On Base Productions that said 'Pressure Cook' will be airing on the Travel Channel, and that they needed me to come and do some voice overs for the shows." Although the show has aired previously on National Geographic and the SKY Network, this obviously brings a whole new level of exposure. "It's kinda cool thing for me as the show has aired worldwide, but domestically, it never got the audience as it was broadcast on a small boutique network...so it's a kind of rebirth. Pressure Cook just wont go away quietly!"
The first episode is set to premiere in late March or early April. And
although Chef Pagano is thrilled, we wondered if the
future desire to pursue a career as a television celebrity would be more important, even if meant spending less time overseeing his kitchen domain at Gulfstream.
happy at Gulfstream Park, I am not thinking of shrinking my time
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here. I wear two hats, so I am busy all day, everyday...but I think a trip to
India would convince me to take a week off! Stay tuned, I'll let
you know if I get my Bombay on!" We are officially tuned in, baby!