Congratulations America, your bold, deep-fried television future has arrived: Deep Fried Masters, a deep-fried version of BBQ Pitmasters, will premiere on Destination America on August 5th at 10PM ET. The competition is judged by Jim Stacy (who owns a corn dog truck in Atlanta), Abel "King of the Deep Fryer" Gonzales (reigning champ of the Big Tex competition at the State Fair of Texas), and Butch Benavides (also of the Big Tex competition). The contest pits "golden fry prodigies" against each other to see if their fried concoctions are inventive, a good value, and can "be enjoyed on a stick while walking the fair." The winner gets the honor of winning and also something called the "Golden Corndog," so not much, really.
Below, a preview featuring shiny, glistening, deep-fried closeups of a Deep Fried Elvis (peanut butter and banana battered, fried and topped with chopped bacon), Deep Fried Cheeseburgers, and a Deep Fried Buffalo Chicken Egg Roll. Is this the nadir of food television? Only time will tell. Watch:
Video: Preview Deep Fried Masters
WHO'S YOUR FRY DADDY?!
DESTINATION AMERICA ADDS SIZZLE TO THE LINE UP WITH NEW SERIES
"DEEP FRIED MASTERS" PREMIERING MONDAY, AUGUST 5 AT 10PM E/P
(Silver Spring, Md.) – After deep-fried Oreos, Twinkies and the latest craze, Cronuts -- what could possibly be next? Destination America is transporting viewers to a classic American tradition – the state fair – with DEEP FRIED MASTERS, premiering Monday, August 5 at 10pm E/P. These days, the inventiveness of deep frying has skyrocketed to another level with fried goods ranging from butter to cola, and even beer! This new series features frying competitions at local state fairs -- including the Georgia State Fair, the Got to Be NC Festival and the Fiesta San Antonio – and spotlights a revolving cast of talented fry cooks, each on a mission to prove, once and for all, that everything tastes better battered.
"We all have fond memories of the state fair -- from staring at creative concoctions with awe, to walking through the midway, corndog in hand," said Marc Etkind, general manager of Destination America. "Now you can watch the geniuses who brought you deep-fried goodness, from beloved candies to classic beverages, all from the comfort of your living room?and the bonus: no calories!"
DEEP FRIED MASTERS enlists three state fair legends to serve as judges overseeing several challenges including "Signature Dish," "Fried Food on a Stick" and "Judges' Choice," as the competitors turn up the heat on fellow fryers. Over the course of three rounds, we get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to survive the deep fry circuit as these golden fry prodigies are graded on their expertise in creativity, marketability, and skill level. Is the dish inventive while staying within a certain price point? Can it be enjoyed on a stick while walking the fair? Will it have quick turnaround and still be served fresh? All of these questions must be answered to eventually be crowned the winner of the Golden Corndog and earn bragging rights as supreme deep-fried master.
Meet the Judges:
Jim Stacy – This Atlanta foodie claims past careers as a tattoo artist and even a clown, but Stacy finally found his niche in deep frying and is now known for his world-famous corndogs. Well known among connoisseurs of fine street food, Stacy owns and operates Palookaville, a gourmet corndog and tamale wagon. He's perfected the Bananas Foster Corndog and invented the Fryinstein Monster – an unholy union of beef frank, spicy Italian sausage, and juicy Polish kielbasa, all skewered on the same stick and wrapped in a super-secret golden cornbread.
Abel Gonzalez – Gonzalez is the reigning champion of the Big Tex Competition at the Texas State Fair, earning him the reputation of "King of the Deep Fryer." A native of Dallas, he is known for creations like infamous deep-fried butter, deep-fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwiches, and most recently, deep-fried jambalaya. Gonzalez is so successful in the fair circuit, he only works three weeks out of the year.
Butch Benavides – Chef and restaurant owner, Benavides has also won the Big Tex Competition at the largest state fair in the country, and was the first to bring fried candy bars to the scene. His specialties include crazy concoctions like chicken-fried cactus bites and deep-fried bacon cinnamon rolls. Every July, he makes a family affair of gathering with his wife, kids, and in-laws to cook-off and create that year's contest entries.
The line-up of premieres for DEEP FRIED MASTERS is as follows:
North CAROLINA Premieres Monday, August 5 at 10 PM E/P
In this episode, viewers will see classic American fair–from mac and cheese to mashed potatoes -get the deep-fried treatment, along with new takes on crab, pizza, candy and pie – all browned to a golden crisp. The judges will determine which dishes could be hits on the state fair circuit, ultimately crowning the best of the best and maybe even learning a new trick or two.
TEXAS Premieres Monday, August 12 at 10 PM E/P
Everything is bigger in the lone star state, and its fried food competitions are no exception. The latest round of the country's best fair-minded deep fryers gather in San Antonio, TX to create crispy cuisine including deep-fried ribs, deep fried cheeseburgers and deep fried lemonade.
GEORGIA Premieres Monday, August 19 at 10 PM E/P
Known for its peaches, peanuts, and plentiful fried delicacies, the Georgia State Fair, held in Macon, is one of the oldest fairs in the U.S. In this battle royal the contestants are faced with an outside the box hotdog challenge that yields a fried pork chop and cheese hotdog and fried bacon jam hotdog.
DEEP FRIED MASTERS is produced by Jane Street Entertainment with Donna MacLetchie and Linda Lee serving as executive producer. For Destination America, Sara Helman is executive producer, Sara Kozak is SVP of production, Marc Etkind is general manager, and Henry Schleiff is president.