TV show hopes to give nation a "Taste of RVA" restaurants

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Hot Richmond restaurants could soon be featured on television nationwide. The Greater Richmond Chamber and the Community Idea Station are producing a new show to highlight Richmond's exploding food scene.

Some local chefs have already made it big on national television. Clemenza Caserta from Stuzzi's Pizza competed on the Fox show "Hell's Kitchen." Malcolm Mitchell was a finalist on the Food Network competition, "Food Network Star."

Now the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce and the local Public Broadcasting station WCVE want to make stars of many more Richmond chefs and restaurants.

"We're featuring everything that's cool and groovy about the food scene in Richmond," said Chrystal Neal with the Greater Richmond Chamber.

They're producing a new show called "Taste of RVA," featuring the food, flavor, and flare of Richmond's best eateries.

"We're looking for two co-hosts and the idea is that they will go out to dinner in each episode with several of their friends," said Neal.

The focus of the show will not only be the cuisine, but the architecture of the restaurants and their neighborhoods, and chefs with personality.

Neal explained, "If a chef at one particular restaurant has a cool story or is vivacious and wants to welcome us into his or her kitchen," that will play a role in which restaurants are selected for the show.

They hope the show will air in Richmond and markets across the country, to both increase restaurant tourism and lure young professionals to move here.

"There's a direct correlation with tourism and hopefully with the attraction of talent," said Neal. "Big companies will see that the people they're trying to recruit have already heard of RVA and are dying to come work here."

Auditions for the host positions are Monday, April 28 at 5:00 p.m. at the Community Idea Station, 23 Sesame Street in Richmond.

Neal says they're looking for candidates with cultural diversity, are ages 24 to 35, and have some knowledge of local cuisine.

The pilot episode will be taped in May. If PBS picks it up, "Taste of RVA" will air this fall.

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