Husk Favorites Brock and Donovan Kick Off Season 2 of The Mind of a Chef on PBS


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One of my favorite shows of last season was the PBS series The Mind of a Chef. Apparently I wasn't the only one who liked it, since it won a James Beard Award for best television series. I still have all the episodes taking up room on my DVR, but you can stream entire episodes online at the PBS website. And really, you should. Go ahead and do it right now. I'll wait. At least watch one so you get hooked like I did.

Season 1 concentrated on mad scientist/chef David Chang as he traveled around the world sharing the kitchen with some of his favorite chefs and taught viewers about his favorite foods. In addition to narration and occasional appearances by Anthony Bourdain, perhaps the most entertaining segments featured chef Sean Brock of Husk and his playfully curious approach to food and drink. I think the five minutes Chang and Brock spent tasting whiskey with Julian Van Winkle might have been some of the funniest television of the year. Spoiler alert: Chang gets drunk and falls off his stool in the tasting room.

For the second season, producers have switched the focus to two chefs who are both known for their love of the pig, Sean Brock and April Bloomfield. (If you click through that not safe for vegans link, that's Sean on the right and April on the left.)

Bloomfield runs three successful restaurants in New York City and is the star of the second half of the season. Much of the early part of the season was shot right here in the kitchen of Husk in Nashville as Brock welcomed many of his chef friends to come cook with him. To add to the intrigue, most of the shooting took place at the same time that Husk was just opening here, so it's amazing that they had the time and space to deal with a film crew.

Chefs who came to town or were already here who are scheduled to make appearances include John Currence, Ed Lee, The Lee Brothers (no relation), Joseph Lenn, Donald Link and Tyler Brown of Nashville's Capitol Grille. Brock also found time to make his second trip to Senegal to explore the amazing food culture there and its connections with traditional Southern cuisine.

Perhaps most exciting for us locals is that Brock's pastry chef at Husk Nashville, Lisa Donovan, will also be featured in the premiere episode, where she'll be making one of her amazing buttermilk pies.

According to Joe Pagetta of Nashville PBS station WNPT, the new season of The Mind of a Chef premieres Thursday, Oct. 10, at 8:30 p.m., and will continue in that slot for the rest of season. Here's a summary of the first episode:

The Mind of a Chef 201: "Southerners"

It is Sean's mission in life to expose the world the regional varieties of Southern cuisine and to erase the misconception that southern cuisine is all the same.

In this episode, Sean explores a few of the unique regional cuisines in the South. Sean explores the ever so painful ways of Prince's Hot Chicken. Chef John Currence makes tamales — you read it right ... tamales.

Tennessee pastry chef Lisa Donovan makes a buttermilk pie. Sean and fellow South Carolinians, the Lee Brothers, make deviled crab, before visiting Fishnet's Seafood outside of Charleston to enjoy their more wholesome version "Jesus crabs."


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