Tonight at 7, the third season of Chuck's Eat the Street will debut on the Cooking Channel. If you're not already familiar, the show takes viewers to some of the country's best-known streets including Mission Street in San Francisco, Magazine Street in New Orleans, and, in this season, our own Camelback Road.
We caught up with the show's host, chef Chuck Hughes, to talk about his time in the Valley.
During the "Phoenix Feasting" episode, Hughes visits two of his chef friends, Beau MacMillan and Aaron May. At Elements at the Sanctuary Resort (not quite on Camelback Road) MacMillan prepares his Red Dragon Shrimp, made with sesame rice, avocado, and kimchee mango, while at May's The Lodge (also not on Camelback Road), the chefs tackle the infamous Sasquatch Burger. The behemoth burger features a 10-ounce beef patty between bacon and two grilled cheese sandwiches.
Hughes then heads to Camelback Road to make a new friend, Mark Tarbell, at the chef's namesake Biltmore-area restaurant. Together, Tarbell and Hughes forage for one of our local ingredients, nopales, and prepare vegetarian tacos. Though Hughes says he'd worked with nopales before, he called this a "very special" experience.
"I guess he's an Arizona legend in the food scene," says Hughes of Tarbell. "I was kind of nervous, you know, to meet him."
The final stop on the Camelback Road visit is at a more unexpected spot: FuFu Cuisine, where chef Ester Mbaikambey specializes in comfort food from her native Africa.
"I didn't want to do Mexican food," Hughes says.
In the show, you'll see Mbaikambey prepare goat stew called sombe and a starchy side dish made from yam flour called fufu. Hughes also recommends the chef's Best of Phoenix award-winning doughnuts called pof-pofs.
Hughes, who's visited the Valley before, says some of this other favorite spots didn't make the cut for the show.
"Probably my favorite place of all time is Ranch Market," Hughes says. "You could drop me off at Ranch Market for, like, a week."
You can catch Chuck's Eat the Street Thursdays at 7 p.m. on the Cooking Chanel. The "Phoenix Feasting" episode will premiere on Thursday, July 17.
For more information, check the Cooking Channel website.