A United Kingdom-based cooking show got a taste of York County this weekend as part of its upcoming season.
“Paul and Nick’s Big American Food Trip” follows top U.K. celebrity chefs Paul Rankin and Nick Nairn on their culinary road trip through the United States. The two retrace the history of Scots-Irish Americans and Scottish immigrants who helped define modern America, and they cook a meal for some of the descendants.
“To cook for them, they take inspiration from the local food in each area and from the farmers and food producers they meet along the way,” said Maura Martin, a producer with Waddell Media. “We know that barbecue is something that’s quite supreme in South Carolina.”
First on their agenda Saturday was a segment on barbecue with Dan Huntley, aka Dan the Pig Man, followed by a stop at Bush-N-Vine Farm in York, where the topic of discussion was peaches. Co-owner Samuel Hall said he found out about a month ago the business would be featured on the show.
“They were mostly highlighting peaches and the fact that peaches were such a staple crop in South Carolina,” he said, adding that the chefs bought some peaches to take with them. “They’re going to use them. They weren’t sure what they were going to make, but they maybe were going to grill them or make peach cobbler.”
The crew turned up the heat with a visit to PuckerButt Pepper Company in Fort Mill and one of the fields where owner Ed Currie grows his world-famous Carolina Reaper peppers.
“We went out to the field, we ate hot sauce together, we talked about different culinary and medicinal aspects,” Currie said. “We talked about some different dishes they could cook up with them.”
When it came time to eat the peppers, Currie said, “they were nibbling, I was eating whole ones.”
“We’ve had a lot of fun,” he said. “This was more about having fun and the culinary aspect of it. Most people want to talk about the medicinal aspects. These guys are chefs. They said we make a premium product.”
Currie said the chefs also were interested to hear about his work with the chemistry department at Winthrop University. As they did with the Bush-N-Vine peaches, the chefs took some products with them from PuckerButt to do their cooking later.
Currie said visits from TV shows are good exposure for small businesses around York County and beyond.
“At least one or two times a month, some show is out here. It’s a chance to put Fort Mill and Rock Hill out on display,” Currie said. “I show them the farms and I take them down to Winthrop. I’m able to show off everything we have going on.”
For Hall, it’s a chance to show off the state’s farming industry.
“You not only do it for your benefit but for the benefit of all the farmers in the area and the state of South Carolina,” he said. “We’re all in the same boat, so we try to help each other out when we can.”
The show on Sunday made a stop at Historic Brattonsville to learn about the Bratton family and was expected to head to Columbia for another history interview.
York County’s segment will be one episode of the eight-part cookery series, which Martin said will air sometime in 2016.