Promoting the heart and soul of local food, TV show Flavor, NC is on a mission: to give its audience a taste of North Carolina.
First premiering in 2011, Flavor, NC helps preserve and celebrate the state’s agriculture and food. Lively host Lisa Prince visits a variety of locations in the state to meet with farmers and chefs, all in the name of telling the stories of local producers and cooking with their ingredients.
“So many people stop me to say, ‘I didn’t know we grew that here,’ or ‘I can’t wait to try that recipe,’ ” Prince says. “We’re basically putting a face to the hands that grow our food.”
The show, which airs on UNC-TV and UNC-Explorer, has gained a loyal audience and continues to be a hit. David Dalton of BlueWater Media – the company that produces Flavor, NC – says the show’s appeal lends itself to the trent consumers wanting to know where their food comes from, the environmental impact local agriculture has, and accessing food produced by area farmers. Dalton co-founded BlueWater Media with his late sister-in-law, Theresa Dalton.
“I am amazed by the interesting people and the niches producers are finding to earn a living in agriculture,” Dalton says.
From Mountains to Coast
For Prince, one of the most fascinating episodes for her to host was shot for the third season. It spotlighted soft shell crabs and featured Currituck Sound fisherman Danny Newbern and Steamers restaurant. Episode recipes included baked soft shell crab and fried soft shell crab sandwiches.
“I had no idea about the crab molting process,” Prince says. “That amazed me, that the crab backs out of its entire shell. Also, the fact that the fishermen have to be awake almost around the clock because they have to catch them at just the right time.”
Dalton notes a Hillsborough operation called Coon Rock Farms, whose owner left a successful software career to start a sustainable family farm, which provides garden crops and pasture- raised chickens, eggs, pigs, lambs and goats.
“It was just fascinating,” Dalton says. “Meeting all of these interesting people, and their diversity and motivations, is fascinating.
“I think that’s a big part of the program’s success. It’s all about the people.”
Another appeal: helping viewers discover the agricultural diversity North Carolina can lay claim to.
“I’m proud that Flavor, NC has introduced our viewers to about 60 North Carolina farms or fishermen, as well as that many chefs who are working the stores’ locally grown food, and that we get to educate the viewers about so many commodities that we are growing, catching and raising in our state,” Prince says.
She adds, “I’m so appreciative they’re willing to spend the day with us filming, sharing the history of their farm and teaching us how important agriculture is to North Carolina, so that we in turn can share that with all the viewers.”
As the show’s motto says, there’s always something good down in Flavor, NC.
View local show listings at schedule.unctv.org.