Where’s the beef? Courtney Rada knows on Food Network’s ‘Carnivorous’
Courtney Rada is a meat lover of the first order.
Growing up in Southern New Jersey, she made mental notes as her professionally trained father prepared sumptuous beef dishes for his family. Decades later, the actress, comedian and presenter puts that knowledge and passion to use in the new Food Network series “Carnivorous.”
Premiering Sunday, July 14, the afternoon series finds Rada traveling the country to places such as New York, San Francisco, Nashville and Birmingham, Ala., to find the most delicious and surprising meat dishes, along the way meeting the ranchers, farmers, butchers and chefs behind them.
Some viewers may recognize the half-hour foodie series from its online version of the same title, which currently runs on Food Network’s online platform Genius Kitchen, albeit in a shorter form.
“The cool thing about doing the segments for Food Network,” she explains, “is that we’re able to get a lot of heavy hitter chefs on who have been willing to kind of throw down and teach me about some of their favorite dishes. So I really enjoyed San Francisco. I worked with Tyler Florence and he showed me his famous fried chicken, which is another thing that I continually think about. Some New York chefs, Josh Capon, Angie Mar. Maneet Chauhan in Nashville, which was kind of dope because we got to see a different side of Nashville and the Indian cuisine element that was completely unexpected.”
In Nashville, Rada helped as Chauhan prepared his lamb chops, which left her impressed.
“When I was younger, lamb used to not be my go-to choice because of the gaminess,” she says. “But man, I wish that I had Maneet’s lamb chops when I first was introduced to lamb because it would be my favorite dish.”
Another city that surprised Rada was Birmingham.
“I think what impressed me was their creativity,” she says, “and their willingness to sort of make a statement and push boundaries with their super-fresh ingredients. They’re just kind of pushing boundaries in a way that I haven’t seen in any other food city. And I think they don’t really have a singular cuisine that they’re kind of known for so everyone has their own staple and their own way of throwing down and bringing it to the table. So I think I just enjoyed that one little city can have so many different varieties of cuisine, just like anywhere really but you really saw them pushing the envelope there.”
One example of that, says Rada, would be the chorizo meatloaf.
“Yeah, the chorizo meatloaf. I think about that regularly, honestly ...,” Rada says with a laugh. “It was like a meatloaf that studied abroad. It was very good.”