Florida cooking show debuts Jan. 4 on WUFT-TV, will include UF/IFAS food topics
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A new television show that starts Jan. 4 on WUFT Channel 5 will give viewers tasty tidbits about Florida food along with a focus on fresh, sustainable food and native Florida cooking.
Independent videographer Jeff Goertz produces and directs the program, “The Chef’s Table with Randal White,” from his home studio in Ocala, said Sue Wagner, WUFT’s community relations director. Studios for public television station Five WUFT are located on the University of Florida campus. WUFT (digital channel 5.1) can be located on Cox Cable Channel 3 in Gainesville and Channel 5 in Ocala.
The 30-minute program has been in production since October and will premiere at noon Jan. 4, she said. Additional episodes will continue to air at noon Saturdays, she said.
Al Williamson, video coordinator for UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, said his staff is producing two one-minute segments that will be sprinkled throughout each episode. The IFAS segments will zero in on a variety of topics, including tomato and strawberry research, honey, food safety, nutrition and more, he said.
The show’s mission, Goertz said, is to develop and produce Florida’s premier chef show, one that gives the public a sense of Southern styles and traditions, with the help of UF/IFAS, local farmers, gardeners, restaurateurs, contributors, sponsors and viewers.
Goertz said he shoots the program in high definition, using four cameras with a small crew, in a home studio built from scratch.
Goertz comes to the show with extensive video production experience, having begun his career in 1988 at Channel 51 in Ocala, which later became Fox 51. He said he has produced more than 1,500 commercials, produced and edited numerous television shows.
He started his own production company 10 years ago.
Goertz’s association with White began when the chef participated in an Iron Chef-type contest in Ocala and Goertz edited the show.
“I saw right away Randal was a natural for TV, and he was an awesome chef, a truly great combination,” Goertz said. He said he worked with White on another cooking show, “Dishin’ it Out,” which ran for six years in Ocala.
Goertz said he hopes eventually to get “The Chef’s Table” distributed to other PBS stations around the country.