An exploration of Georgia's hidden gems and local restaurants on 'Foodie Road Trip'
Connecting people through food is a lifelong goal for Atlanta’s Skye Estroff in her new TV show “Foodie Road Trip.” She goes from city to city, sharing the stories of Georgia’s hidden gems and local restaurants. The six-episode series is available to stream now on Redbox, Plex and elsewhere. Estroff joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom to talk about her lifelong obsession with food and her quest to reveal the culinary wisdom of Georgia.
Brewing ideas for a food TV show since childhood:
“This is something that’s been stirring in my brain since elementary school, I would say. I have really been obsessed with all things food and food TV, and I remember when I was in, I believe, fourth grade. We were told to do a DIY project for our class to present something with steps, and most people chopped a woodblock or, you know, did something very simple; built a Lego set. I decided to write a script for my own TV show where I locked Emeril Lagasse in a closet and took over his show for the day.”
“I just always envisioned me being able to connect with a wider audience through food. Maybe I don’t need to lock anybody in a closet anymore,” Estroff laughed. “That day, instead of just going off of my performative script, I did make a French apple torte for my class … so I was just always wanting to make pretty things and make people surprised and delighted through food.”
Appreciating small town food traditions:
“Food [is] something that doesn’t have to have that layer of pretension and snobbery … that’s a huge part of the food culture, probably always, but especially right now,” said Estroff. “I want to see food as something that everybody feels that they can approach, and everybody feels a connection to and doesn’t shy away from.”
“Vidalia, Georgia, you know, the ‘sweet onion city’ — that’s where my grandparents live, and I have spent a lot of time in my life,” Estroff said. “That’s really what inspired this whole concept, too, is that nobody I grew up with, even though I was just three hours away in Alpharetta, Georgia, understood that small-town mentality and understood what a restaurant meant to a town — that this watering hole for people actually made everybody sit down together when they normally wouldn’t cross paths in their day-to-day life.”
Winning over the local restaurateurs:
“We started with Vidalia. That was the first town that we really knew we wanted to highlight. And I had my ‘Nini,’ my grandma, Anita, go door-to-door and ask her restaurant owner friends if they would have us come in,” said Estroff, “And she was hilarious … Rialto, which is a really delicious Italian restaurant in town, was even quoted in a magazine a year ago, saying that they were stalked by this hilarious lady, Anita, my ‘Nini.’ And so I put her personality to work. I knew that she could twist some arms and make some stuff happen there.”
More on “Foodie Road Trip,” including clips, recipes, and streaming links, can be found at www.foodieroadtrip.com.