Last month, Boisean Mark Anderson was part of one of eight teams selected to compete in a new Food Network series as chef and personality Guy Fieri searched for the station’s next host. On Sunday, Anderson and his business partner, Ryan Fey, were crowned the winners of “Guy’s Big Project” — sort of.
Anderson and Fey ended up signing a deal with Food Network for “The Grill Dads,” a series in which they’ll travel the country to crack a few dad jokes and sample the best in grilled, fried and flavorful foods. Floridian and fellow “Guy’s Big Project” finalist Rashad Jones also signed a series deal with the network for his own show, “Eat, Sleep, BBQ.”
In November, Anderson, 41, told the Statesman that he already has a list of Boise eateries that he’d love to feature on a show, and several will appear in the first season alone. The first episode of the show, airing Dec. 15, will include a stop at Boise Fry Company.
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The pair also tried dishes at Saint Lawrence Gridiron and the Basque Market, Anderson said.
Anderson said he’s been a Food Network mega-fan for years, but other than some time spent as a prep cook in his teens, he doesn’t have much formal culinary experience. Neither does Fey. Instead, the pair, who worked together in advertising, honed their love of cooking through Thanksgiving gatherings, guest takeovers at restaurants and, of course, just preparing meals for their families.
Their lack of industry experience earned some criticism from the judges on the show. Still, Anderson said early in the competition, he thinks there’s some appeal in their amateur approach.
Watch the Idahoan on Food Network on Friday evenings at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.