The Great American Recipe returns for season 2 with a fresh batch of home cooks

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

The Great American Recipe is back on PBS for its second season. And that means it is time to meet a whole new batch of home cooks.

We fell in love with the series last summer when we were first introduced to the home cooks who would be sharing their stories and family recipes with the world. And of course, we can’t forget the magic of the three judges and our host. All together, we were gifted with a lovely cooking series that perfectly channeled what we all loved about the early seasons of The Great British Baking Show.

Not only is Alejandra Ramos back in action as our host, but our judges Leah Cohen, Tiffany Derry and Graham Elliot are back as well! But of course, with a new season, we also get new cooks hoping to showcase their very best recipes and the ones are associated with special memories.

So as we get ready to meet the newest cooks entering The Great American Recipe competition kitchen, we have to say that we are excited for another season of what was basically comfort cooking. And if you are wondering who the new cooks are, we have you covered with a quick overview below.

Meet the new cooks competing on season 2 of The Great American Recipe

  • Mike Thomas: Mike is a special education teacher from Cleveland, Ohio. His cooking is described as “Southern homestyle cuisine.” And according to his bio from PBS, his signature dish is actually a Shrimp and Grits that includes ham and bacon.
  • Leanna Pierre: Leanna is from Norcross, Georgia and is not only a food blogger, but she is also an attorney, mom, and traveler. Her food is a fusion of “Southern Comfort” and Caribbean cooking. For her signature dish, we get a Caribbean Stewed Chicken.
  • Ted Pappas: Ted hails from Western Springs, Illinois and is an architect (semi-retired). His cooking style is inspired by his Greek heritage, which is why his signature dish of Lamb Chops that have been marinated in lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and rosemary makes perfect sense.
  • Abbe Odenwalder: Abbe is from Denver, Colorado and writes her own cooking blog. She taught herself how to cook and her signature dish is Noodle Kugel, which is inspired by her family and heritage.
  • Brad Mahlof: Brad is a New Yorker (yes, he is from New York City) and his cooking style is all about his heritage and family. He describes himself as a more intuitive cook, as he is not strict about following recipes. His signature dish is T’becha (for anyone unfamiliar with this dish, it is a short rib stew).
  • Relle Lum: Relle is from Maui, Hawaii and it probably comes as no surprise that her cooking is all about traditional Hawaiian cuisine. For her signature dish we have Loco Moco, which is a traditional, yet contemporary dish.
  • Salmah Hack: Salmah is from Orlando, Florida although she was born in Queens, New York. Her specialty is Guyanese cooking and her goal is to shine a spotlight on this food in a way that allows more people to learn about her heritage. For her signature dish, Salmah’s recipe is for a Guyanese Chicken Curry.
  • Maria Givens: Maria is from Seattle, Washington. Much like other cooks in this season of The Great American Recipe, Maria is all about shining a spotlight on her heritage and the cuisines of her people. In this case, that is the Coeur d’Alene tribe from Idaho. For her signature dish, Maria brings us a Wood-Fired Salmon that has a Huckleberry Sauce and has been cooked in the Coeur d’Alene style which is done over an open fire.
  • Khela Brewer: Khela is from Overland Park, Kansas and she enjoys trying new things in the kitchen and competing in cooking competitions. Her style of cooking is all about Midwestern cuisines and her signature dish is a Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with a “drunken mushroom gravy” drizzled risotto.

With nine very different cooking styles entering the kitchen of The Great American Recipe, we can’t wait to learn more about their different dishes and influences. We can’t wait to be inspired with new recipes and of course, we are looking forward to learning more about all nine of these cooks.

All nine of these cooks are a great reminder of just how much of a melting pot the US can be and we can’t wait to see how they take on all of the challenges that come their way in this new season.

Are you excited for a new season of The Great American Recipe? Season 2 premieres on local PBS channels on June 19 at 9 PM ET. 

Next. Crime Scene Kitchen kicks off season 2 by introducing the self-taught bakers. dark