‘Questionable Taste’ cooking show filmed in Peterborough highlights local foods from the Kawarthas region

‘Questionable Taste’ host Ray Galletti with Lakefield native musician Royal Wood during the fourth episode of the cooking show filmed in Peterborough and airing on Bell Fibe TV. The six-episode series, which will premiere on YouTube in 2022, features celebrity guests trying to recreate a favorite recipe with at least one locally sourced ingredient. (Photo courtesy of Chad Maker)

A new cooking show filmed in Peterborough shines a spotlight on local Kawarthas-area cuisine with the help of celebrities.

Doubtful taste sees actor Ray Galletti (Pretty tough cases, Ransom, iZombie, my ex ex, The core) welcoming celebrity guests into the kitchen where they attempt to recreate a favorite recipe using local ingredients.

Co-directed by Peterborough natives Chad Maker and Kirk Comrie and filmed by Peterborough-based Michael Hurcomb, the six-episode series was crafted by Galletti manager Ryan Goldhar, who is also the show’s executive producer.

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Galletti isn’t a chef but loves to cook and Goldhar suggested he do a cooking show, Maker tells kawarthaNOW.

“Ray, Kirk and I have been good friends ever since we worked on the movie My Ex-Ex together,” says Maker. “When Ray pitched the idea to us, we thought about it for a bit and came up with the idea of ​​inviting celebrities to cook with him.”

Celebrity guests featured in the first season of Doubtful taste include Toronto comedian Salma Hindy, actress Katherine Barrell (better known as Sheriff Nicole Haught in Wynonna Earp, and also married to Galletti — the couple celebrated the birth of their son in September), and Toronto singer-songwriter Martina Ortiz-Luis, as well as three local celebrities: musician Royal Wood, a native of Lakefield, and writer Shantelle Bisson and Murdoch Mysteries Yannick Bisson, owner of Shantilly’s Place on Chandos Lake in North Kawartha.

VIDEO: Yannick and Shantelle Bisson on “A Doubtful Taste” with Ray Galletti

“The charm would be that maybe the dishes work and maybe they don’t,” Maker says of the concept behind the show. “But the conversation would be great and the journey through the recipe would be fun regardless. And I believe it was Kirk who named the show after we came up with some ideas.

Maker and Comrie attended Thomas A. Stewart High School together in Peterborough and later founded Toronto-based film marketing and distribution company A71 Entertainment, which has brought several independent films to Peterborough over the past decade. In 2019, the couple sold the film distribution part of the business to Vortex Media and renamed the marketing part to Key Art + Design.

“Key Art primarily does movie poster art and film and TV trailers, but it also gives us the opportunity to continue our creative production projects like Questionable Taste,” says Maker.

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While Maker says they plan to make the episodes available on YouTube in the spring of 2022, Doubtful taste is currently available on Bell Fibe TV1 and the Bell Fibe TV app.

“Kirk and I had gotten to know Paul Gardner of Fibe TV, who told us that Fibe TV had just added Peterborough to their regional production funding,” Maker recalls. “So Ray, Kirk and I pitched the show to Paul and John Buffone on Fibe TV, adding the angle we would use and featuring a local ingredient or two in each episode.”

With an emphasis on local ingredients, Doubtful taste also features some local food producers and suppliers in the Kawarthas, including Daemin Whetung of Black Duck Wild Rice in Curve Lake First Nation, Greg Elmhirst of Elmhirst’s Resort in Keene (who hosted team and guests during the COVID-safe production), Grant Slavin of Sweet Beast Butcher Shop in Peterborough, Anthony Lennon of The Food Shop in Peterborough and Keri Gray of Indigenous Treats in Alderville First Nation.

"Doubtful taste" co-director Kirk Comrie (left) and cinematographer Michael Hurcomb (right) with Grant Slavin of Sweet Beast Butcher Shop in Peterborough and host Ray Galletti in a segment from episode five.  The cooking show also highlights some local Kawarthas food producers and suppliers.  (Photo courtesy of Chad Maker)
‘Questionable Taste’ co-director Kirk Comrie (left) and cinematographer Michael Hurcomb (right) with Grant Slavin of Sweet Beast Butcher Shop in Peterborough and host Ray Galletti in a segment of the episode five. The cooking show also highlights some local Kawarthas food producers and suppliers. (Photo courtesy of Chad Maker)

The show was supported by Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED), through Economic Development Officer Joe Rees and Director of Marketing and Communications Kelly Jessup.

“Joe Rees and I met when Kirk and I were hosting the Canadian Independent Film Series at Market Hall, and we kept in touch about various ideas for increasing television and film production in the region,” says Maker. “It was a natural fit when we introduced him and Kelly to PKED and they’ve been incredibly supportive and fantastic in connecting us with local vendors. PKED will be showcasing additional QT content we’ve produced for them in the new year.”

Maker, who returned from Toronto to Peterborough in 2016, lives in East City and in the kitchen part of Doubtful taste was filmed at his home.

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“The food culture here is fantastic, the local farms and stores are vibrant, and every vendor we dealt with was willing to help,” says Maker. “I’m proud to be from Peterborough, so highlighting how great the area is and helping to bring attention to local suppliers is a pleasure. »

As for another season of Doubtful taste, Maker is optimistic.

“We would like to do more episodes,” he says. “The more views we get on Bell Fibe TV, the more social traction will hopefully lead to season two – and we already have a few guests lined up. In the meantime, we are also introducing sales agents to see if we can sell the show worldwide. »

Peterborough natives behind the camera
Peterborough natives behind the camera of ‘Questionable Taste’ with Shantelle Bisson of Shantilly’s Place on Chandos Lake: cinematographer Michael Hurcomb (left) with co-directors Chad Maker and Kirk Comrie of Key Art + Design. (Photo courtesy of Chad Maker)

In addition to releasing the first season on YouTube in 2022, Maker plans to release more additional content through the show’s social media channels on Facebook and Instagram.

Maker adds that Key Art + Design is also working on another project already filming in Peterborough: a musical show called Cover 2 Cover, developed by Michael Hurcomb, which is expected to be completed in early 2022.

“We also have film projects in development and are associated with a virtual reality project for science centers and museums called Spacewalk: The Virtual Experience, which is in the final stages of production and aims to debut later. late in 2022,” Maker said. said.

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“Questionable Taste” hosts Ray Galletti with Greg Elmhirst in Elmhirst’s Resort winery during a segment in episode four. Elmhirst’s Resort also hosted the cast and guests while filming the series in COVID safety. (Photo courtesy of Chad Maker)

In addition to helping bring productions to Peterborough and the Kawarthas, Maker is part of a working committee lobbying the Ontario government to create a film and television production fund for southeastern Ontario.

Similar to the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, which promotes and stimulates economic development initiatives in Northern Ontario, the Southeastern Ontario Production Accelerator Fund (FEOPAF) would even for national film and television production in southeastern Ontario.

“If successful, SEOPAF would stretch from the Kawarthas to the edges of Ottawa along the Trans-Canada Corridor and the 401, and could provide millions of dollars of productive and economic development activities to the region, as well as job creation,” says Maker.

For more information, visit www.seopaf.ca.