Stephanie Izard reveals flavorful hidden gems on The Curious Chef Season 2, interview

The Curious Chef Season 2 hosted by Stephanie Izard on Tastemade, photo provided by Tastemade
The Curious Chef Season 2 hosted by Stephanie Izard on Tastemade, photo provided by Tastemade /

Tastemade continues to offer unique and innovative food television by blending thoughtful conversation with culinary creativity. On The Curious Chef Season 2, Stephanie Izard steps into a flavorful world that might seemingly be down the street, but this food experience is a journey across the globe.

While many people remember her Top Chef title, battles on Iron Chef, or her other appearances on food television, Chef Stephanie Izard has been captivating food enthusiasts far longer than her time on that screen. From the iconic Girl and The Goat in Chicago to her newer Los Angeles based restaurant Cabra, her vast and varied approach to her offerings cannot be limited to one culinary box. Influences from both near and far appear on the plate.

Although the food television space might have non-stop programming, not all shows are the same. With Tastemade, the programming focuses as much on the story behind the food as much as the technique in presenting the food on the plate. Just like a great recipe is the sum of its parts, a watchable show needs to engage the view from every angle.

With The Curious Chef Season 2, Stephanie Izard heads out to discover some hidden gems in the Los Angeles area food landscape. From the pop-up that has become a successful side hustle to the chef who cooks from behind a liquor store, these locales might not be part of those infamous dining guides. But, the flavors and the stories of these chefs and their dishes are ones that have people running to enjoy another order.

Stephanie Izard on The Curious Chef Season 2 on Tastemade
Stephanie Izard on The Curious Chef Season 2 on Tastemade, photo by Tastemade /

During a recent conversation with Chef Izard, she offered some insight on The Curious Chef Season 2.

As many people have come to appreciate, Chef Izard is warm, welcoming and instantly makes anyone feel at ease. That sentiment is clear from the first episode of the new season. A few laughs along the way while making dumplings or prepping fish for sushi bring the audience into the moment, just like she is experiencing it for herself.

Speaking to The Curious Chef Season 2, she said, “this season has turned into more of a discovery, almost an underground wild in Los Angeles. While I love restaurants and want everyone to eat in restaurants, these unique pop-ups offer something different.”

Whether it is the inhibition that a pop-up offers or the excitement of following a dream, these introductions to culinary innovators add another chapter to the food landscape. For example, one episode highlights a woman chef who blends her Mexican heritage with her husband’s Italian background. Although cuisine crossovers happen, this curious blend takes the conversation in a different direction.

Chef Izard when onto explain that this season, “brings all these fun, little things that I would never expect to find. It was fun to have all these new friends who love to talk about food.” Whether it is the chef who wants to explore their personal creative freedom to a lawyer who makes dumplings after a full day in court, the passion that these individuals have for their craft makes viewers hungry for more.

For Chef Izard, personally, each of the experiences have inspired her to collaborate within her own culinary team. Whether it is appreciating the transformation of a dumpling sauce into a filling or the use of a spicier pepper in a recipe, that time in the kitchen had a lasting impression.

As she explained, “I try to take inspiration from everywhere. Whether it is at the market or speaking with someone else, the opportunities are everywhere. Stepping into these moments was like stepping into someone’s cookbook. Cooking alongside, tasting, and talking about food is fulfilling. It can be easy to find the commonalities but at the same time it is important to learn about those differences.”

While stepping into someone’s cookbook might be a phrase to remember, the concept of introducing a wider audience to varied recipes and ingredients is important. It is more than just stepping out of their comfort zone. That appreciation and trust in the process makes many people hungry to keep exploring.

Although The Curious Chef Season 2 has wrapped, Chef Izard is always embracing her culinary curiosity. From incorporating some Burmese flavors into dinner to finding seasonal ingredients at the local farmer’s markets, there is a bounty of deliciousness to discover. Will there be The Curious Chef Season 3 on the Tastemade streaming channel? With so many more food chapters to open, the possibilities seem likely.

The Curious Chef Season 2 hosted by Chef Stephanie Izard debuts on the Tastemade streaming channel, Tuesday August 29 at 7 p.m. New episodes air weekly. Season 1 can be streamed online as well.

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