Ever since Julia Child and Jacques Pepin entered our kitchens through PBS to demystified french cuisine, audiences have been intrigued with elegant entertaining at home. Today Chef Bob Waggoner graciously invites us into HIS kitchen, in charming Charleston South Carolina, where each day he guides one lucky guest from the live studio audience through the joys of gourmet cooking and wine selection. So when somebody asks ‘What’s for dinner?’ Ucook! with Chef Bob lets you be the star!
Bob Waggoner grew up in Southern California and received his first culinary training through a home economics course he took in high school. This quickly blossomed into a lifelong career. He began in the kitchen of Michael Roberts at Trumps in West Hollywood, then went to work for a succession of great chefs in the Burgundy region of France. His first position as Chef was at Members, a private club in Caracas, Venezuela at age 23. He returned to France where he met his wife and became the first American to own his own restaurant in France, the much acclaimed Monte Cristo. He was 26.
A Southern boy at heart, Bob returned to the States with his wife and young daughter after 11 years abroad. He landed on Turnberry Isle in Florida, then joined The Wild Boar in Nashville, earning the restaurant the coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award as well as the Grand Award from Wine Spectator. The rich, multi-cultural cuisine of the Lowcountry drew him to South Carolina, where he was at the helm of the elegant Charleston Grill at Charleston Place for 12 years. This earned him a nomination from the Beard Foundation for Best Chef in the Southeast as well as a slew of other awards and recognitions.
Thanks to his rigorous culinary training in France, he is one of the few Americans to be knighted as a Chevalier with the Ordre du Merite Agricole. He is the only American to have worked with Gerard Boyer, Pierre Gagnaire and Marc Meneau, three of the french honorees with whom he was acknowledged at Gourmet Magazine’s event, France’s 10 Greatest Chefs. He has made television appearances on CNN, The Travel Channel, The CBS Morning Show and earned an Emmy for his television show “Off the Menu” with Turner South. He now happily shares his deep knowledge of essential technique, respect for the finest ingredients and his playful sense of invention and fun with us through his public television program Ucook! with Chef Bob.
Kirk is an award-winning television and film producer. He has worked in broadcast development, film production and direction in addition to overall management. He is currently producing feature film “Crescendo: Jazz the voice of America” the story of Jazz Great Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. During the past decade, Mike has had the opportunity to meet and to work with many industry leaders. He has established a strong reputation for delivering on-budget, high-quality and entertaining documentary film projects including “A Trumpet at the Walls of Jericho” narrated by Ossie Davis, Mario Van Peebles and Keith David and “America’s Iliad: The Siege of Charleston” narrated by actor Tom Berenger. Both feature films aired nationally on PBS affiliates in 2005 and 2011.
In addition to documentary films, Mike has written, produced and directed over 30 television projects that have aired on public and commercial television networks. These include A&E’s Biography and American Justice, The History Channel’s History’s Mysteries and The Wrath of God, The Weather Channel’s Storm Stories, PBS’ About Your House with Bob Yapp, Great Finds and The Procrastinators Guide. Mike also was the co-creator, producer and director of Odysseys and Ovations: Travel and the Arts, a 28-episode series that has aired on Public Television stations and worldwide. He is currently producing Utravel! with Chef Bob to air in 2012.