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Meet Two Chefs from “The Great American Recipe”

Irma Cádiz specializes in Latin-inspired cocktails; Bambi Daniels makes Southern “Heart & Soul” food

  • Christina Zeiders

The Great American Recipe is coming to WITF TV Friday, June 24 at 9pm, and will be available to stream that same night through the PBS Video app and online. This new, eight-part uplifting competition series celebrates the multiculturalism that makes American food so vibrant and unique.

Watch the premiere of The Great American Recipe on WITF TV Friday, June 24 at 9pm, or stream it through the PBS Video app and online.

With a range of culinary styles infused by their backgrounds – from Syrian to Hungarian, Vietnamese to Mexican, Italian to Puerto Rican, and Southern soul food to Filipino – our ten contestants represent the delicious diversity of American home cooking.

Each episode gives the cooks the opportunity to showcase two of their beloved signature dishes as they compete to win the national search for “The Great American Recipe.”

Hosted by Alejandra Ramos and judged by Leah Cohen, Tiffany Derry, and Graham Elliot, each brings their professional insight and deep culinary knowledge to encourage and support our contestants along the way.

Meet our first two contestants:

Irma Cádiz, a contestant on "The Great American Recipe"

Irma Cádiz

Irma Cádiz grew up eating Dominican and Puerto Rican food and loves to prepare her mother’s recipes as a tribute to her family’s Caribbean heritage. Raised in a multicultural environment in Rochester, New York, she experienced a wide range of cuisines but wasn’t always a fan of cooking. Her mother encouraged her to join her in the kitchen, but it wasn’t until Irma had her own children that she learned to love it.

For the past decade, she has lived in New York City’s Harlem with its diverse culinary scene. Irma recently completed her college degree and has started her own business, where she specializes in Latin-inspired cocktails. Irma is an actor and current member of the Chelsea Repertoire Theatre, where she continues to hone her craft. Her signature dish is mofongo con camarones, a popular Caribbean comfort food made from mashed plantains and shrimp.

Bambi Daniels, a chef on "The Great American Recipe"

Bambi Daniels

Bambi Daniels describes her cooking as Southern “Heart & Soul” food — everything has a hint of her South Carolina roots and lots of love. She grew up on her family’s farms in South Carolina — her maternal grandparents’ in Chester and her homestead, Davis Farm, in Blair, where meals were prepared using what they grew and raised. She still incorporates fresh ingredients in her recipes, and when she visits her Blair homestead, family and neighbors drop by to share fruits and vegetables from their gardens.

Bambi loves cooking for her family, children and their friends and believes authentic connections are made and walls broken down when people sit down together at the dinner table. Her mother, Mary Emma, is her inspiration, but recent health issues have kept the matriarch from cooking. Bambi’s goal is to keep the family recipes — which carry the voices of her ancestors — alive. Her signature dish has been passed down from generation to generation: smoked mac and cheese with bacon.

Watch The Great American Recipe on WITF TV Fridays at 9pm, starting June 24 through August 12 at 9pm, or stream it on-demand from the PBS Video app and at video.witf.org. Episodes will be free to stream through December 31, 2022.

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