Bakersfield’s Gregory Porter cooks up new TV program

Rick's Reviews

(KGET) — Local two-time Grammy-winning musician Gregory Porter is combining two things he loves – music and food – into the weekly cooking show “The Porter House with Gregory Porter, Presented by Citi.” The first of the initial six episodes in the series will be available through the streaming services of The Infatuation and Zagat’s YouTube channels starting at 9 a.m. May 12.

In promotional material for the new offering, Porter explains how he has always felt there was a connection between music and food. Before the award-winning singer, songwriter and Blue Note recording artist stepped on a stage in Brooklyn, he was a chef at Bread-Stuy, his brother’s cafe in Brooklyn.

“Writing songs and creating dishes have always inspired me. I like to make authentic food for authentic people,” Porter says. He goes on to say that through the course of the series, he will be sharing his favorite recipes and telling stories behind the culinary creations.

Porter kicks off the series with a recipe for beef borscht from his wife, Victoria. The dish became one of Porter’s favorites during a tour in Russia.

Porter calls Bakersfield home but he was born in Sacramento. After graduating from Highland High School he received a full scholarship to play football at San Diego State University. An injury ended his gridiron days.

His switch to music came when he moved to Brooklyn in 2004. That’s where he split his time between working as a chef and performing. Eventually, his musical life took over as Porter began touring and recording albums. His latest album, “All Rise,” is available now.

The fact his program is sponsored by Citi will lead to a special event for the June 17 finale. Citi card members will have the chance to attend an exclusive Citi Finale Event that will include a special performance with Porter and his full band, a moderated conversation with Gregory and additional guest appearances. Those looking to participate will need a special passcode to unlock the show.

The finale will feature a food donation at House of Ruth, a ministry and soup kitchen. Citi has pledged an additional donation to No Kid Hungry to provide up to 100,000 meals for U.S. families. 

“We are always looking for exciting ways to give Citi clients access to exclusive talent and experiences,” Carla Hassan, Citi’s chief marketing officer, says in a press release. “ ‘The PorterHouse with Gregory Porter’ allows us to do that while also supporting No Kid Hungry in their fight against childhood hunger, an area Citi is committed to driving progress in.”

For more information on the hour-long special event plus recipes and cooking instructions, visit here

For more on Porter, visit his website.

More from Rick Bentley

New bosses named at Valley PBS

Jeff Aiello has been named the Interim Chief Executive Officer and Nancy Borjas as Chief Operating Officer of Valley PBS, the Fresno-based public television station that also serves Bakersfield. The announcement was made by the Board of Directors of Valley PBS.

The changes were necessary following the April resignation of Lorenzo Rios as Chief Executive Officer. Rios took on the position of interim CEO during this time of transition while the station faced dealing with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic while searching for a new CEO.

“Donors, members and sponsors can be assured that Valley PBS is well positioned to deliver our mission and do even greater work in the days and months ahead,” says Karen Musson, Board President in a statement announcing the moves.

Aiello brings more than 30 years of broadcast, production and management experience to the job. His past work has included being the writer/director of the Emmy Award winning documentary “Silent Sacrifice” for ValleyPBS and executive producer of “Outside Beyond the Lens” on PBS. He was also the creator and executive producer of “American Grown: My Job Depends On Ag” for ValleyPBS.

He worked for the Walt Disney Company/ABC for 15 years that included two programs for the Live Well Network.  The adventure/travel show “Motion” was on the air for five years and his food show “My Family Recipe Rocks” – hosted by former NSYNC member Joey Fatone – ran for three years.

Borjas has more than 12 years of experience with Valley PBS working in accounting, marketing, operations and programming. 

Valley PBS has been providing educational and entertaining programs to residents in the Central Valley since 1977. The lineup for the station includes both productions provided through the affiliation with Public Television and locally produced programs.

The main PBS schedule can be seen through KVPT-HD on channel 18.1. Valley PBS also offers 24-hour children’s programming on channel 18.2, the channel Create on channel 18.3 and World on channel 18.4.

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