Move Over, Emeril

Poor Chef

click to enlarge TASTES LIKE MORE: Lisa Vernon preps her low-priced pasta dish for Charles Mattocks, right, and cameraman Stephen McKendree in the first The Poor Chef show. - Alex Pickett
Alex Pickett
TASTES LIKE MORE: Lisa Vernon preps her low-priced pasta dish for Charles Mattocks, right, and cameraman Stephen McKendree in the first The Poor Chef show.

"To me, Tampa is like New York when I first got in the music scene," says actor/ rapper/ entrepreneur Charles Mattocks. "If we bring something new and creative, we can make something happen out here."

Mattocks, owner of the new Tampa production company Red Fish Entertainment, wants to serve Tampa up as a leader in the creative industries. He's starting with The Poor Chef, a cooking show featuring everyday people at their homes making healthy meals. The catch: They must do it for under $7.

"When I watched cooking shows, I didn't see anybody like me," he says. "Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Rachael Ray — I can't relate to these people."

Instead, Mattocks wants his cooks to reflect the country's diversity.

"I want to go from the trailer park in Land O' Lakes to the projects in Brooklyn," he says.

Mattocks is still shopping the show's pilot, shot in Spring Hill, to various television companies. Last week, WFTS/ ABC Action News' morning program broadcast one of his short segments, in which Spring Hill resident Lisa Vernon prepared Portabella Feta Pasta. Recipes are available on actionews.com or at Mattocks' own website, www.thepoorchef.com, where cooks can also find out how to submit their $7 ideas.

But The Poor Chef won't be the only dish Mattocks serves from Tampa.

"We want to be a hub for the creativity out here," he says. "We can shake it up."

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