Famed former Arizona Republic and Phoenix New Times restaurant critic, Howard Seftel, makes his much-anticipated return to the Arizona culinary scene with a new online video series. “Turning the Tables with Howard Seftel” takes viewers behind the swinging doors and into the kitchen to discover the stories and secrets of innovative local chefs.
For years, Arizonans enjoyed Howard’s witty no-holds-barred columns on dining out. Now he brings that humor, depth of knowledge and keen palate to a new dimension. As an anonymous reviewer, he could never talk face to face with chefs. Now, he meets them and explores the fascinating world beyond the dining room.
In the premier episode, Howard talks brisket and gets the inside story on slow-and-low cooking with Scott Holmes, founder of the award-winning Little Miss BBQ in Phoenix.
Viewers will discover how butcher paper is part of a 16-hour smoking process, why Scott Holmes once gave up on his culinary career before it even began and the reason Howard thinks even vegetarians will love Little Miss BBQ.
Co-created and hosted by Seftel and co-created and produced by MMPR Marketing, the first episode is directed by the 2017 James Beard Award-nominated filmmaker Andrew Gooi. Turning Tables will roll out additional five-minute episodes on its dedicated website (www.turningthetables.tv), and new episodes will be released over the course of the year.
According to Seftel, “After decades of dining anonymously, I’m excited to finally show my face and more important, share my decades of inside knowledge about how restaurants really work, and what goes on behind the scenes. I’ve never been afraid to express my opinions, but now I’m finally able to talk and interact with local chefs, have a back-and-forth conversation, rather than them serving up the food and me reviewing it.”
Most important, Seftel says, in this new era of crowd-sourced food reviews, too often are they agenda-driven, ill-informed opinions; diners are looking for guidance that is credible and knowledge that is authentic. “One of my pet peeves is dishonest food criticism and advertorial, or free meals disguised as independent opinions. People deserve the honest truth and true expert reviews.”