Is this the start of Demon Deacon foodie nation? WFU students await a visit by “Ace of Cakes” co-star Geof Manthorne at 7 p.m. Wednesday night at Brendle Recital Hall and occasionally they line up for sushi-making lessons. Off-campus a couple of Wake Forest alums have a decidedly different notion of sushi capped by a sweet concoction.
‘Iron Chef’ meets ‘Survivor!’ ‘The Crocodile Hunter’ meets ‘Hell’s Kitchen.’ That’s how Dr. Terry Cronin Jr. (’86, MD ’92) touts his latest creation on iTunes. The dermatologist in Melbourne, Fla., (whose medical degree is also from Wake Forest), is the producer and host of a competitive cooking video blog called “Adventure Chefs,” in which two contestants “hunt, forage, cook, compete, survive.” They have 24 hours to collect enough wild food ingredients to prepare a three-course meal for three judges. The bass entrée sounds pretty good, but cattail roots, anyone?
“Live off the land in style!” Cronin told me.
He teamed up with Poteat Dorm roommate Frank Scibelli (’86, MBA ’88), who knows a thing or two about food, having established the highly regarded Mama Ricotta’s in 1992 as the first restaurant in his empire. Charlotte Magazine awarded him the 2008 title of Restaurateur of the Year. He has six restaurants and reportedly another on the way. Cronin said Scibelli is an executive producer of “Adventure Chefs.” He agreed to be a competitor in the first episode and a judge in the second. (“Be passionate about what you do, or do something else,” Scibelli told a “Restaurant Hospitality” reporter in the fall.)
Cronin calls himself a “student of the unusual (with) a keen appetite for delicious food and great fun.” His children love “Survivor,” and “I was taken by shows like ‘Hell’s Kitchen’” on the Food Network, he said. “We’re chasing down every lead we can” to market the concept, possibly abroad.
Cronin helped found the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival; wrote a crime novel “The Skinvestigator: Tramp Stamp,” whose hero is conveniently a sleuthing dermatologist; and published a horror adventure comic series. You can check out the recipe for Coconut Panna Catta and more here.