What is American Food Quest?

Chef Robert Lewis is on a quest for food and fun and wants to discover the most interesting people and great places to eat along the way. Just another cooking or travel show? I don’t think so. After all, not just any show will take you on a Booze Quest to the banks of the Mississippi where Chef Robert will teach you how to creatively use gin and vodka in recipes shared by a small family-owned distillery.

What’s that? Spirited recipes not your style? Then tag along on a SPAM Quest. That’s SPAM as in pork shoulder and ham (not those nasty emails nobody wants). We find out what’s cooking in Hormel SPAM Town USA in Austin, MN.

Chef Robert and his camera crew (you’ll meet his cameraman, Paul, on many of the quests) are in for endless cooking and travel adventures as they embark on food quests that bring you the most interesting people, places and food across America.

With the Midwest as a launching point, the show takes advantage of unique opportunities to view both the origin and the end result of delicious foods as we visit farms and local home-grown markets, as well as restaurants and home kitchens where food is artfully prepared and lovingly enjoyed.

Audience Interaction With ‘Request A Quest’

AFQ is a web-based show, so our audience (that’s you) will interact with us through comments, ratings, and the most important interaction of all, the ‘Request A Quest’ where you tell us exactly what you want to see. Do you want to see Chef and Paul go on a quest for the smelliest cheese? No problem. Cooking with the Amish? Hmmm, we’ll look into it. Does your grandma have the best-kept secret family recipe for apple pie (and can you expose her secret on the Internet)? We’re on it. We want to hear it all. We will even let our website audience vote on some of the top suggestions we receive.

Fresh Content With ‘Quick Quests’

Our quests take some time to complete, so while we’re busy producing the full episodes we’ll also be releasing regular mini-episodes we call ‘Quick Quests’. Because we are committed to providing our audience with fresh content, we’ll make these 2 to 3 minute quests available on a regular basis so everyone keeps coming back for more. A Quick Quest might be a preview of a full episode, a teaser of things to come, or even a quick cooking session with Chef Robert about how to make a sweet but healthy after school snack, like Smacos. What? Never heard of Smacos. Stay tuned for a Quick Quest that reveals this tasty treat.

What’s The Show Really About?

We are tracking down hometown culinary America. We are searching for America’s best kept cooking secrets, from grandma’s famous apple pie that has been handed down for generations, to that middle-of-nowhere restaurant that people drive hours to get to just for their one specialty.

We’re also after that special ingredient or homegrown produce or livestock that beats the mass-produced grocers hands down. From characters to creations we want to find the unique, the tastiest, the healthiest and the just plain fun foods, places and people across the country.

As we travel along on our quests, we’ll no doubt stumble upon other venues along the way, including farmer’s markets, cafes and coffee shops, and just about anything that catches the interest of Chef Robert and Paul.

Who are the Questants?

chef_robert_lewisChef Robert Lewis, The Happy Diabetic, is a frequent guest on Quad City TV’s top rated show Paula Sands Live (NBC). He is the featured chef each fall on WGN Chicago’s call-in radio show, “Turkey Talk” and he has appeared on ESPN’s Cold Pizza. Robert is the author of 2 best selling cookbooks.

Robert is one of the most “asked back” speakers in the healthy cooking industry. His good humor and his timely and relevant message have given him the opportunity to successfully collaborate with Lee Iacocca, Dr. Denise Faustman of Harvard Medical School, Al Roker, Richard Simmons, Ann Curry… and many others! Chef Robert has spoken in hospitals and health fairs in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and California. He has worked with the American Diabetes Association, Lyons Club International, Rotary Clubs, University of Wisconsin, Genesis Hospitals, Hill and Valley Food’s, Hy-Vee Grocery Stores, Kroger Foods, Lilly, Roche and Abbot Laboratories….to name just a few! Diabetics, health care professionals, and people who want to learn how to execute a healthy lifestyle enthusiastically receive Robert’s presentations.

Robert continues to make contributions in the academic arena. He currently teaches in the Eastern Iowa Community College Culinary Arts Program and has been a guest instructor at the prestigious Kendal Culinary Collage in Chicago, IL.

Paul KakertPaul Kakert is a national award-winning director, editor, and producer specializing in the conception, development, production, marketing, and distribution of independent productions, including reality programming and documentaries. Owner and operator of Effective Digital Presentations, a video and multimedia production company in Iowa, since 1991, Paul has produced videos and 3D animations for broadcast, federal government, non-profit organizations, higher education, and corporate businesses throughout the United States. Recent clients include NASA, US Army and Coast Guard, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Paul has filmed in 8 different countries including India, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Japan and nearly every US state including Alaska. He is also an internationally published author on the topic of 3D animation techniques. In 2009 Paul founded Storytellers International, a non-profit organization that produces feature length documentary films on subjects from around the world. His 2010 release, Train to Nowhere: Inside an Immigrant Death Investigation, is currently available on NetFlix.

Jennifer PattersonJenn Patterson is a lifelong food, wine, and travel enthusiast with a passion for seeking out all things fun, quirky, and weird. A writer and editor for the University of Iowa, Jenn spends her “free” time hanging out with her family, attending Dr. Who conventions, and playing endless hours of boardgames with her husband and geeky pals. Jenn’s excited about honing her Questant skills while lending her research and writing skills to the AFQ team.