Chuck Huges is a cute, tattooed Canadian chef who is discovering America the gastronomical way: he's eating his way across the states, one famous street at a time. He's eaten on Magazine Street in San Fransisco, Magazine Street in New Orleans, and tonight, he's eating his way down Main Street in Memphis.
Why not Beale Street? "People mostly know about Beale, so I wanted to concentrate on a street that was less well known," Chuck told me last week.
During the show, which airs tonight at 7:30 p.m., Chuck makes his way down Main St., stopping at the Peanut Shoppe, Felicia Suzanne's, Rock'n'Dough Pizza truck, Grawemeyer's and the Rendezvous (a stop that must employ a little theatre of the mind since it's not actually on Main).
Chuck demurred when I asked him to pick a favorite dish, but he wasn't shy about talking about meeting the chefs. "Meeting Felicia (Willett of Felicia Suzanne's) was cool. Everyone I met had either worked for her, knew her, or had been in some way inspired by her," he said. He was also, as so many of us are, quite taken with Riddah from the Peanut Shoppe, noting how passionate he is about peanuts and the history of the 63 year-old shop.
"It's hard not to get wrapped up," he told me. "I was expecting a lot more barbecue, but instead, I got an honest, authentic and real food scene."
Check out the Memphis episode of "Chuck's Eat the Street" on the Cooking Channel tonight at 7:30 p.m. (Central), on October 28th at 4 p.m. on or Nov. 10th at 9 p.m.