Tag Archives: Fish the Dish

High Voltage: Energetic Spencer Watts stars in Gusto’s Watts on the Grill

Gusto has got their hands full with Spencer Watts, and that’s a good thing. The wildly energetic chef, who already hosts fellow Gusto series in Fish the Dish and Spencer’s Big 30, returns with a brand-new program that shows off not only his cooking skills on the grill but his larger-than-life personality.

Debuting on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on Gusto, Watts on the Grill isn’t your typical barbecue program. Yes, there is a shiny gas grill, plenty of ingredients and a stunning backdrop—the Ottawa skyline—but something is missing, at least in the episode I watched: meat. Instead of ribs, steaks and burgers as the order of the day, that half-hour instalment was all about sides and desserts prepared on the barbecue. What did Watts make? Scalloped potatoes, a rocket and halloumi salad, stuffed pears and dessert kabobs.

“I want people to use their barbecues for more than steak,” Watts says on the phone prior to a media day to promote the 13-episode first season. “Especially when the weather is nice, you can go out to the barbecue and time it all out and make a rotisserie of grilled vegetables, meat and fish.”

If the screener episode I watched was any indication, not only will viewers—Gusto is in a free preview by the way—be inspired to recreate Watts’ dishes in their own homes, but they’ll be entertained by the man himself. The classically-trained chef is high energy, enthusiastic and full of good humour. His jokes, facial expressions and charm are as refreshing as the recipes—look for smoked chicken, steak, and tips and tricks in the coming weeks—he whips up. I’ve watched a lot of cooking shows, and Watts is a unique talent.

“Everybody needs to eat and I can understand that for a lot of people cooking can be terrifying,” Watts says. “I’m having fun. When I get really excited about things, I want that to come through the camera. I want people to finish watching Watts on the Grill and say, ‘You know what? I’m doin’ it.'”

Watts on the Grill airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Gusto.

Image courtesy of Bell Media.

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Bell Media acquires Gusto Brand to launch its first food and lifestyle channel

From a media release:

Bell Media announced today that it is acquiring the Gusto brand to launch a new food-centric cooking and lifestyle network later this year, its first-ever foray into this genre. Bolstering the company’s already successful suite of English and French-language specialty channels, the new network’s slate of exclusive programming will feature a delicious mix of creative cooking and food programming paired with exciting home design, fashion, travel, and lifestyle shows.

Gusto will also feature appetizing homegrown hit programming, all in 4K, as well as some of the highest-rated, first-run food and lifestyle series from around the globe.

The new Gusto network will join Bell Media’s leading specialty channel portfolio, which delivers more weekly reach, both full-day and primetime, than any other broadcaster for total viewers and all key demos. The lifestyle brand is the perfect complementary ingredient to Bell Media’s vibrant slate of specialty networks catering to women, including Bravo, E!, Animal Planet, and Investigation Discovery.

In addition to launching the new channel, Bell Media has also secured a production arrangement with industry veteran Chris Knight to supply exclusive programming for the network through Gusto Worldwide Media. This includes ONE WORLD KITCHEN currently airing in more than 30 countries. ONE WORLD KITCHEN shines a spotlight on five global cuisines that are arguably just as “Canadian” as tourtière and poutine. The production commitment will allow Bell Media to grow Gusto’s roster of hit series with new original Canadian programming, all in 4K.

Bell Media will license Gusto Worldwide Media’s existing creative cooking and food series, including marquee original Canadian series:

  • ONE WORLD KITCHEN: This series shines a spotlight on five global cuisines (Indian, Thai, Italian, South American, and Japanese) and features five passionate and Canadian cooks, each with a unique background and culinary expertise to share.
  • A IS FOR APPLE: This series explores the world of food and ingredients by challenging chefs to create recipes based on letters of the alphabet
  • CRATE TO PLATE: This creative and entertaining series meets the people whose lives are shaped by the food that others grow, sell, and eat
  • FISH THE DISH: A playful and delicious 30-minute series following Chef Spencer Watts as he cooks up some of his favourite seafood dishes

There will be no changes to the current Gusto TV channel until the transition is complete. Additional announcements about Gusto will be made in the coming weeks.

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