Flavored Nation, a new live experience that highlights the most iconic food from each of all 50 states, will be hosted at St. Louis' Dome at America's Center from Oct. 27-29. GateHouse Media, along with Richard Gore, will work together to produce this event for food-lovers across the nation. After conducting extensive research to identify each state's most iconic food, 12,000 attendees will be able to taste the 50 dishes all at one event.
“America is incredibly passionate about food, which has moved from our plates to our screens and become a core part of today’s pop culture,” says Gore. “For cooks and non-cooks alike, how we speak about food today is not how we talked about it 15 years ago. Food is reviewed, read about and watched on TV; and our social lives often revolve around eating. However, in a nation of documented culinary diversity, most people’s personal food experience is still limited to local geography and some occasional travel. It’s why a Chicagoan can argue extensively about the city’s best deep dish but has never tried chislic or huddish … the iconic foods of South Dakota and Minnesota, respectively. This is the perfect time for Flavored Nation. We want to fuel debate about local favorites and at the same time spur discovery people crave, providing access to 49 other state dishes that, for most, will be brand new.”
At Flavored Nation, there will be iconic restauranteurs and chefs to match the dishes that they will be making. Beginning in the Northeast, where lobster rolls are made both hot and cold, Lobstercraft's Captain Mike Harden will be travelling from Greenwich, Conn., to make hot-with-butter lobster rolls, while McLoons Lobster Shack's Bree Douty from South Thomaston, Maine, will be making a cold-with-mayonnaise lobster roll to counter.
Traveling south, Dickie Brennan Jr. From New Orleans will be making gumbo to represent his four restaurants: Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, Bourbon House, Tableau, and Palace Café. Brennan is famous for being a member of one of the country's most famous restaurant families, because the Brennans now manage the Garden District's Commander's Palace, and helped begin the careers of Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse. Finally, celebrity cowboy chef Grady Spears will travel from Texas's Horseshoe Hill in Ft. Worth to provide chicken fried steak, which is a thin slice of beef that is battered and fried with cream gravy to top it off.
“No one wrote a guidebook on how to authentically identify the United States’ most iconic foods,” says Rosengarten. “It’s been an amazing adventure and challenge. Some states, like Louisiana, California and New York, are well known for multiple dishes. For other states, like South Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska, I personally drew a blank. Through exhaustive research, consumer input via social media and conversations with state tourism boards, we’ve mapped it out. Now, we’re stacking our roster. Restaurants and chefs can’t buy their way in. This is invite only, and we’ll be bringing the best of the best for an unrivaled culinary experience this fall at Flavored Nation.”
GateHouse Media, along with Richard Gore, David Rosengarten, Jared Bobkin and Bobby Parish will work together to put this event together. GateHouse Media is one of the largest publishers for locally-based media in the U.S. Specifically, its division GateHouse Live will provide three stages of entertainment, along with the 50 vendors at the event.
Accompanying GateHouse Media is Richard Gore, who will be the executive producer of Flavored Nation. Gore's qualifications for this event include his past presidency of live events for Food Network beginning in the mid-1990s, and leading the development of "Food Network Live" and "Food University at Caesar's Palace". Also, Gore has helped create "eat-ertainment" for Heinz, Unilever, Ikea, P&G, and Family Circle. Gore's colleagues are David Rosengarten, Jared Bobkin and Bobby Parish. Rosengarten, who is Flavored Nation's head of content and also a two-time James Beard award winning food writer, was one of the first on-air on the Food Network, and has hosted "Food News & Views" and "Taste", which ran for 8 years.
Jared Bobkin, the culinary director of Flavored Nation, helped conduct research to identify each state's iconic foods and restaurants along with Rosengarten. Bobkin has made it to the final rounds of "Hell's Kitchen". Bobby Parish is the face of Flavored Nation's online video series, who has appeared on "Cutthroat Kitchen", who also owns the brand FlavCity which has a following of more than 400,000.
“There’s an incredible group behind this totally unique event,” says Jason Taylor, president of GateHouse Live at GateHouse Media. “We’re pairing our event expertise with decades of culinary knowledge at a time when the public’s passion and interest in food couldn’t be higher. Flavored Nation is bringing together three days of programming, multiple stages of ongoing entertainment and surprise celebrity guests, as well as a meticulously curated tasting extravaganza. Needless to say, we’re eager for year one and have nothing but optimism for the future.”