'You're the Chef' Nominated for Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award

Published 08.20.2002


From its humble beginnings on cable access to its status as a public television favorite airing in 40 percent of the nation, Pennsylvania College of Technology's "You're the Chef," has always generated accolades from viewers. Now, the show has earned the ultimate compliment from its peers in the TV industry: an Emmy nomination.

"You're the Chef'" was nominated for a Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award in the "Outstanding Entertainment Broadcast" category for its "Grub on the Grill" episode, which was first broadcast Feb. 16 on WVIA-TV, northeast Pennsylvania's PBS affiliate in Wilkes-Barre. WVIA co-produces the series with Penn College.

The Mid-Atlantic Emmys cover the Philadelphia Regional Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The region includes the markets for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton; Allentown/Bethlehem; Harrisburg/Lancaster/Lebanon/York; Johnstown/Altoona; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Atlantic City/Wildwood, N.J.; Trenton, N.J., and South Jersey; Wilmington/Newark, Del.; Newcastle, Del.; Steubenville, Ohio; and Wheeling, W.Va.

Nominated for the award are co-hosts/co-producers Chef Paul Mach and Tom Speicher of Penn College and director/editor Kris Hendrickson of WVIA. Mach is an assistant professor in the School of Hospitality at Penn College; Speicher is the College's broadcast media specialist.

"We've won prestigious awards in the past for 'You're the Chef' two Telly Awards and Gold and Silver Paragon Awards but in the television industry, the Emmy Awards are the ultimate," Speicher said. "It's a cliche to say that it's an honor to be nominated, but in this case, it truly is."

Speicher said the nomination reflects ongoing efforts to improve the show, which began in 1996.

"It's hard to believe we began as a cable-access series many years ago," Speicher said. "It's a tribute to the College's commitment, Chef Paul's expertise and the vital contributions made by WVIA, especially director/editor Kris Hendrickson."

"This is fantastic news - a remarkable achievement and honor," added Penn College President Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour. "We are very proud of the series and what it represents for the College. It's great to be able to share our expertise in such fun and entertaining fashion."

Mark Thomas, vice president of television at WVIA, said the nomination serves as a validation of the efforts put forth by everyone involved with the show, particularly Mach, Speicher and the WVIA production crew led by Hendrickson.

"It's always gratifying when your work is recognized by your peers," Thomas said.

The nomination may help the show expand to even more markets as it launches its fifth season on public television in October, Thomas added, since it now has the distinction of being judged "to be of outstanding quality" by other television broadcasters.

The episode for which the series is nominated No. 413 "Grub on the Grill" features Mach and Speicher preparing Grilled Swordfish, Thai Pork Loin and Mediterranean Bread Salad.

"You're the Chef" will be vying for the Mid-Atlantic Emmy award with five other nominees in the "Outstanding Entertainment Broadcast" category. They are: "Comcast Studio C: Five for Fighting" CN8, The Comcast Network; "Comcast Comedy Spotlight: The Stand Up" CN8, The Comcast Network; "Philadelphia Magazine's Best of Philly 2001" KYW-TV3; "Comcast Behind the Scenes: Pantene Pro-Voice" - CN8, The Comcast Network; and "Touring New Jersey: A Pleasant Land to See" - New Jersey Network.

The winners will be announced Saturday, Sept. 14, in gala ceremonies at the Crystal Tea Room atop the John Wanamaker Building in Philadelphia.

"You're the Chef" premiered on public television in 1998. In 2001, the National Educational Telecommunications Association, a main distributor of how-to programs, began distributing "You're the Chef" nationwide. Major markets include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Today, the show airs in more than 40 percent of the nation's households.

The show features the culinary expertise of Mach, who is the recipient of Penn College's Master Teacher Award, and the cooking-neophyte inquisitiveness of Speicher, who represents the average viewer by asking Mach questions about the dish of the day. The hosts dispense practical cooking advice, and the recipes feature readily available ingredients.

To find out more about "You're the Chef," visit on the Web. To find out more about Penn College, visit online.

The entire list of nominees for the Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards is available on the Web.