The Great American Recipe introduces a new group of cooks in Season 2 premiere

The Great American Recipe. Image courtesy PBS
The Great American Recipe. Image courtesy PBS /

The Great American Recipe is back for an all new season of comfort cooking. And with a new group of cooks in the kitchen, we are meeting new friends with a story to tell through their recipes.

Right away, our cooks are introduced to the judges and are told exactly what to expect every week. Just like the first season, there are two rounds of cooking in each episode and one cook will have what they call the standout dish. Plus, once again, the winner will have their recipe on the cover of the new Great American Recipe cookbook.

For the first round, our cooks must make a dish that represents them on a plate. They have just 60 minutes to cook their dishes and the judges want them to really showcase who they are and what inspires them in the kitchen.

Great American Recipe kicks off season 2 with a new batch of cooks sharing their food stories

So what did the new cooks of The Great American Recipe make as their first introduction to the judges and the viewers?

  • Leanna – Curried shrimp with white rice
  • Relle – Liliko’i Bars
  • Salmah – Geera Lamb and Hummus
  • Mike – Shrimp and Grits
  • Brad – Chraime with couscous
  • Abbe – Matzo Ball Soup
  • Khela – Glazed chicken thighs and cucumber snap pea salad
  • Maria – Salish salmon with huckleberry sauce and wild rice
  • Ted – Pork souvlaki with Yiayia’s tzatiki

With all of these dishes, we really get a feel for who these cooks are. Each of these cooks is using their culture as inspiration for these dishes and it is a beautiful way to start the new season of The Great American Recipe. And in this first round, the judges picked both Brad and Mike for best dishes.

For the second round, our cooks had to create a dish to represent where they are from. They have 90 minutes to make a dish that tells a story of their region.

So what dishes did the cooks decide to make in this round?

  • Brad (Northeast Region) – Cod cake with amba sauce and Israeli salad
  • Relle (Pacific Islands) – Hawaiian plate lunch
  • Ted (Midwest) – Steak sandwich with cheese sauce and fries
  • Leanna (Southeast) – Chicken and red velvet waffles
  • Mike (Midwest) – Polish boy and pierogies
  • Maria (Pacific Northwest) – Bison short ribs with mashed potatoes and huckleberry wojapi
  • Khela (Great Plains) – Baby back ribs, cheesy corn and slaw
  • Salmah (Southeast) – Cassava egg balls with mango sour
  • Abbe (Rockies)- Rocky Mountain trout with stuffed poblano pepper

Much like in the first round, these cooks are not only showcasing where they are from, but they are also staying true to themselves and their cooking styles. From keeping kosher to using ingredients from their own cultures, each of these cooks is going all out with these dishes highlighting their regions of the country.

And while it is clear that all of these cooks are talented and know what they are doing in the kitchen, this is a competition and someone has to go home. After a judging that saw a few cooks not quite deliver perfect dishes, we learned that the best dishes were made by Brad and Khela. And the standout dish came from Brad.

By the end of the episode, we were given a very special surprise. All of the cooks get to stay! This season, no one is going home. The judges want to try all of the dishes these cooks have to offer and we love that so much!

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