Grill Dads talk favorite comfort foods ahead of Comfort Food Tour premiere


Grill Dads, Mark and Fey know about comfort foods. As Comfort Food Tour premieres on Food Network, the two chefs and friends share some thoughts on food everyone craves.

Comfort foods hold a special plate in people’s food memories. The Grill Dads, Mark and Fey embrace on a delicious culinary journey in their new Food Network Show, Comfort Food Tour. From perfectly melted cheese to bold Tex-Mex flavors, a comfort food at this heart is ultimately satisfying. In this six episode season, Mark and Fey showcase some of the best comfort food across the nation.

Food Network fans might remember Mark and Fey from the Guy Fieri competition show, Food Network’s Guys Big Project. The duo were one of two winners and were able to have their own Food Network series. As fathers and chefs, these friends know what foods satisfy those crave-worthy indulgences.

With Comfort World Tour premiering on July 21 at 8 P.M. on Food Network, Mark and Fey talked with me about some of their favorite comfort foods and why these type of foods are so craveable.

Grill Dads talk favorite comfort foods ahead of Comfort Food Tour premiere, photo provided by Grill Dads

Cristine Struble (CS): How are comfort foods changing?

Ryan Fey (RF) The idea of comfort food means something different to everyone and every culture. But as cuisines continue to combine in new and interesting ways – the definition of comfort food will also evolve. However – one of the core ideas behind comfort food is the nostalgic aspect of the dishes. It’s about community and great memories growing up and sometimes the simplest dishes remain some of the most comfortable. In other words – don’t change a thing.

Mark Anderson (MA): I think it is the definition of comfort food that is changing. When people try to define comfort food they often do so by listing dishes you would eat on a cold rainy day. Mac and cheese, casserole, soup, etc. But it is way more than that. It is food you have an emotional connection to. Something you want to eat to celebrate a big day or something you want to eat to take the edge of a bad day. For some people comfort food is shawarma, tacos, burgers or even French toast.

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  • CS: Are people moving away from comfort foods because they want healthier alternatives or are comfort foods adapting?

    RF. I don’t think people are moving away from comfort foods, I think they are merely innovating recipes with alternatives that are considered healthier. Finding healthy substitutions for some of the ingredients of our favorite comfort foods is definitely a trend and something that I also enjoy experimenting with. And comfort foods aren’t just about the food actually – (they are) about the people, the love and the community behind them.

    MA: People are getting better at understanding moderation. Comfort food is for the big days. Just fill in the gaps with kale and low fat protein and you shouldn’t have to break up with comfort food.

    CS: What’s the craziest comfort food that you crave?

    RF: I am a sucker for the humble potato. And I HAVE to eat a plain old baked Idaho potato with cheddar, scallions, butter and sour cream (oh and topped with bacon) on the regular. I just can’t get enough of those spuds.

    MA: My comfort food is far from crazy. It all has some form tomatoes and cheese. In the winter it could be veal parmigiana and killer burrata caprese salad in the summer.

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    If you are craving some comfort foods, don’t forget to tune into the Grill Dads and the premiere episode of Comfort Food Tour on Food Network, July 21 at 8 p.m. ET.