Chef Frankie Celenza says Worth the Hype Season 2 tells a bigger story, interview

Chef Frankie Celenza, Worth the Hype Season 2
Chef Frankie Celenza, Worth the Hype Season 2 / Tastemade

Over the years, Chef Frankie Celenza has grown in his profession and his audience has grown with him. The struggle meals feel less cumbersome after learning all those tried and true techniques and he has replaced food fads with solid cooking techniques. On Tastemade's Worth the Hype Season 2, Frankie opens the door to a bigger conversation. Luckily, people and their restaurants serve stories that satisfy the audience’s craving for food culture.

Tastemade takes a different approach to food television. Instead of gamifying the experience, the platform looks at the people who flavor the world. It might not be the most recognizable name or the most popular locale. Instead, each program goes a little deeper to engage the viewer.

On Worth the Hype Season 2, Chef Frankie Celenza curates experiences in several cities across the country. While the wanderlust travel aspect can inspire many people to plan that next itinerary, it is more than just checking off another item on the list. When viewers take a moment to hear the words and appreciate the meaning, the “hype” is not hyperbole.

Recently, Frankie and I spoke about the new season. The always busy chef is rarely at a loss for words. While our conversations can sometimes go on tangents, the back and forth is far from superfluous words bantered between two people passionate about food. It shows Frankie’s commitment to making quality food programming that stands out in a sea of sameness.

When asked how Season 2 evolved from the previous episodes, Frankie mentioned that the goal is to focus on the “long-term hype.” Even if that seems counter-intuitive; the idea is about “taking the real conversation wherever it goes.” Those deeper stories give the show vitality unlike other storytelling.

As Frankie revealed, the idea is for the cameras to “melt away” in the background and just let the conversation flow. Whether it is around the dinner table or in the kitchen, when people can share their story, the authenticity will show in ever word.

The planning, research, and care leveraged in choosing locations and restaurants are vital to this show. As Frankie mentioned, his primary goal with this show is “to make the viewer start salivating.” It is not about camera trickery or production value. It is the combination of food, storytelling, and the people who bring those items together.

For example, Frankie explained the Sean Brock episode where they made a hamburger. It was not just meat between two buns. “He was telling me about the breed of pig that was brought to the Carolinas and raised on a specific island with a particular diet. Blended with three types of beef, it made for the perfect, melty, unctuous patty.” Better understanding the hows and whys makes the first till last bite even more satisfying.

Worth the Hype allows Frankie to have those longer conversations with his guests. The juxtaposition of a James Beard recognized restaurant in Hawaii versus a side of the road establishment is just as vital as the intricate explanation from an award-winning chef.

Although viewers might be taking notes to perfect that dinner like on Struggle Meals, Frankie hopes that Worth the Hype impacts the viewers in other ways. He mentioned that many people have purposely sought out the restaurants featured on the show.

When asked about dining trends, Frankie believes that “American cuisine is very diverse. It has become a reflection of the American demographic in general. It melds history and traditions with the local culture.”

Whether that restaurant is a family owned establishment or the Voltaggio Brother’s restaurant in the heart of the Las Vegas, the reality is that people can find something to relate to in every dish. It is not hype, hyperbole, or media spin. It is a way that these hard working individuals are willing to put their passion into everything that they do, and it comes across in the storytelling.

Speaking about his show, Frankie said, “I want to celebrate people who are hustling to make great food. People that work in food, work extremely hard, care about what they do and create an amazing experience. We hope that this program encourages people to give them a change. That concept is definitely worth the hype."

Worth the Hype Season 2 can be streamed on Tastemade now, and Frankie Celenza is not slowing down anytime soon. He has a myriad of projects on the horizon. From teaching people to become more proficient cooks to inspiring diners to explore local foods and flavors, he continues to use his voice to inform and entertain people who are willing to listen. Frankie’s approach might not be flashy or extravagant, but he proves that hype can reveal a satisfying food story worthy of that build up.

Worth the Hype Season 2 can be streamed on Tastemade. Additional programs, featuring Frankie Celenza, can be found on the platform as well.