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Boiled peanuts and beef ribs at a South Carolina tailgate; an early morning shrimping trip on the Florida Gulf.

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- Hey, I'm Jax, and welcome to the Grill Iron. We draft the best culinary trailblazers to step into our Tastemade kitchen at the Hyundai Field House and redefine the art of tailgating. While the teams fight it out on the gridiron, our chefs turn up the heat on The Grill Iron. Columbia is a town that lives and breathes garnet and black. You can actually feel the hope in the air. Now Williams-Brice Stadium, it ignites at kickoff, but we're actually gonna keep the heat on the plate until then, so let's hit some tailgates fork first. Tailgate time is a fan and food frenzy. And in Columbia that means fish balls, chicken wings doused in barbecue sauce, and all sorts of homemade goodness that gets cooked up week after week, almost as if they're culinary superstitions. And our path was blessed with a veritable food angel and his billowing smoker. - This is what I love doing. No matter what I'ma do this. Anybody come through they want anything to eat I'll give it to 'em. - [Jax] When someone opens up their heart and their grill to you like this, you say yes, thank you, and more please. - [Tony] We're gonna start with the tenderloins. - How long has this been smoking? - [Tony] About ten hours. They're a little bit smaller so, yes. - That is so juicy. - You haven't tailgated with me unless you have tried everything. - [Jax] And you better believe I tried everything. Chicken. - If the bone don't come out of it it's not right. - [Jax] Ribs. That is -- - [Tony] The ribs is really good. - Perfectly cooked. - [Tony] Till the day that I can't afford to do it I will always do it. And anybody come through, I'm gonna show 'em love. And you know what, that's what life is about, sharing. And this is what I love doing, sharing with people. - This tastes like love. - Cool. - Thank you so much. - You're so welcome. - [Jax] There's great eats everywhere you look, and Southern cooking it's really, it's food for the soul. And we found one local chef who has a whole lot of it. - What's up guys my name's Howard Stephens I'm executive chef at The Oak Table in Columbia, South Carolina and I'm thrilled to join you on The Grill Iron. - [Howard] When you're in the South, it's all about hospitality, and it's no different when you're here at The Oak Table. We love to take care of our guests from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave. We want to make 'em feel welcome, while giving them great food to enjoy. I like to say that you're only as good as your ingredients, whether it's the best produce, the best meat, the best poultry. We try to go seasonal, we try to use local purveyors, and we just try to let the ingredients speak for themselves. People in the South live and breathe football. The energy is incredible. It's a beautiful thing to see. You can hear the band, you can hear music. It's a nonstop party. The food is surprisingly elaborate. People bringing out massive smokers, massive grills. Grilling up barbecue, people bring the family recipes. When I step into The Grill Iron, I want to transplant The Oak Table to the tailgate. I want it to be something different, something delicious, and something with a little twist on it. - We're going to go meet Chef at The Oak Table for some of that warm your belly South Carolina cooking. Oh hello! - Hey what's up Jax. How you doing? - I'm great! - Welcome to the South, welcome to Columbia. - Thank you. - I've got something great in store for you today. - I can't wait. - So let's hit the road. - Let's get to it. - [Jax] This is quite the view for chefing. - It's right outside the restaurant, you have the state capitol right here. On the other side of that, you have the university's iconic campus. - Game day's got to be fun. - It's gonna be awesome. - [Jax] Chef Howard is taking us on a food adventure, to create his very own version of a delectable kimchi. The key ingredient, a Southern staple, the boiled peanut. I love everything that's happening right now. - Hi. - Hi. - Hi what's up buddy, good to see you again. - [Jax] I've never had a boiled peanut before, but clearly they're popular in the South. You guys are making a whole living with this. - No one really knows the origin of the boiled peanut. There's kind of a lot of mystery surrounding it. - I guess it's just an old Southern tradition, and it's a really slow, relaxing, meditative snack. Well, this is the big bag we start with, so that's 50 pounds of dry, raw peanuts. Next, we find the biggest pot you can find. - That is a ginormous pot of peanuts. - [Mike] Next we put some water in. - [Howard] You got your peanuts, you got the water, and you got your salt. What we have here, is these red, Korean chili flakes, gochugaru. And they're a little bit smoky, a little bit sweet, and they're quite spicy. - Ooh, that's good. It really sneaks up on you. Definitely, that's - It's not in the front, the kimchi flavors. - Yeah, it's in the back. - Yeah. - I think that's going to go really well with the peanuts. - [Mike] Next we fire up the burner. - Everything in the South has to be done slowly. - That's what makes them the best. - [Mike] You guys ready to try some? - Look how beautiful that is. - That is gorgeous. - [Howard] A lot of times you open other boiled peanuts up, they'll crumble up a lot, and these are staying intact. - That's my first boiled peanut. There's the kick. - Yeah, you feel it, you do taste it, you taste it then. - There's the kimchi. That's really nice. - [Howard] Guys, this is exactly what I was looking for. It's going to set this dish apart. - [Jax] The best of South Carolina in a shell. - Thank you guys so much. - You're quite welcome. - This was fun. - [Mike] We appreciate it. - Here you go. Y'all come back now, ya hear? - [Jax] Coming up, we take our spoils to the tailgate. Where we're cooking up a game day worthy spread. - [Jax] Oh man. - [Howard] I hope you're not a vegetarian. - Absolutely not. - Check this out. - I would never do such a thing. - This could make people convert. - Yeah, to the church of beef. Oh man, so you've already smoked these. - These smoked all day yesterday. These ribs are already glistening, they're smelling great. But we're going to take it up a notch a little bit. Since the Gamecocks are playing Georgia today, we're going to give a little nod to Georgia. We took some of their beautiful peaches. - Uh-huh. - And made this delicious barbecue sauce. And then we pulverized those peaches, though. We pureed 'em. It's got bacon, it's got peaches simmering, it's got onion, it's got garlic, it's got Dijon mustard. - Yeah. - It should have a nice sweetness, a little tangy. - Every single ingredient was hitting my palate as you were mentioning it. - So we're going to glaze 'em up. - Glaze 'em on up. - [Howard] These peaches are so sweet, the natural sugars in 'em are gonna caramelize when it hits the heat. They add more color, and add more texture to it. - [Jax] Nice and gooey. - [Howard] There's no wrong way to do it. - You can already smell the grill changing flavor. - [Howard] Don't neglect the back side. - So, what's our next layer, Chef? - We've got hominy. - [Jax] Oh. - [Howard] We have some green chilies in here, we also have some green onion. - Mmm. This is why I love the South, cause they fear no butter, they fear no cream. - We're gonna make it a little bit better. Also known as face bacon. Also known as super bacon. Pork jowls. All this is fat, but all this is deliciousness. - Yes. - [Howard] We're gonna fry it, nice and crispy. - [Jax] Yes. - [Howard] And then we're gonna crumble it, and fold it into that hominy. GBD. - GBD? - Golden brown and delicious. - Look at that. That is nice and crispy and flaky and GBD. - [Howard] Do you think it's going to be even better now, with the pork jowl? - There is no way this is not gonna be fantastical. Now, when they told me I'd be coming to South Carolina and cooking with a good old Southern chef I did not expect kimchi to be on the menu, so bravo and thank you. - [Howard] This is one of my favorite ingredients. You've got the cabbage, you have fish sauce, Korean red chili flake, gochugaru. - [Jax] Uh-huh, I recognize that. - [Howard] Yeah. - [Jax] Oh, but the kimchi is not done yet. - It's not done. We're gonna add another little element to it. We've got our delicious Happiness Bomb boiled peanuts. So, this is your boiled peanut kimchi. - Mmm, this is really gonna lighten up and bring the freshness to heaviness of the beef, and the hominy. - Even though it's spicy, it's got a little bit of a cool crunch to it. - [Jax] Mm-hm. - [Howard] Yeah, we'll just call it our slaw. - Our local slaw. I feel like the more I eat your food, the more Southern my accent's gonna get. Dinosaur's done. Mmm, those are some beautiful ribs. That is a perfectly cooked rib. - That look good? - Look at all the fat in there, uh. Before I make a mess of myself. - You want to plate it up? We'll cut another one off. You have fun with that one. You got your hominy right here. We're gonna lay this bad boy across here. We're gonna hit it with a little more sauce. Now we've got our slaw, or kimchi. Finish it off with a little more of the boiled peanuts across. A little bit more guanciale scattered around. Alright, so check this out. Now, tell me you wouldn't want to get one of these. - Well, let's get some Gamecocks in here. They look hungry. Hey everybody! You guy want to eat this? - [Crowd] Yeah! - This line is like 30 people deep and we've just started. - Oh my god, this is so good. - This is gonna be an incredible experience out here today. This food, this background, this game. - I feel like these tailgaters have no idea what's gonna hit 'em. - There's a lot of great food out here, but we give 'em something a little bit different. This is what they call a Gamecock portion. - Yeah. - [Howard] That's nice and hefty. - [Jax] Up next, I'm heading to Gainesville, home of the Florida Gators, where skateboarding chef Joshua Smith is taking me on a once in a lifetime fishing trip. Nestled in the magnificent expanse of Spanish colonial era architecture is the very first city in America. Defended by centuries old forts, its connection with the sea is strong. In the fisherman paradise of St. Augustine, Florida, life happens in the water. And in neighboring Gainesville, water turns to swamp, and a different kind of beast rules. The Florida Gators are a source of national pride. From Heisman winning heroes, to future Hall of Famers, the collective growl screams we love our team, and our food is ferocious. In the kitchen this week is a virtuoso chef who takes Northern Florida's Southern spirit, and infuses it into every dish. - Hi, my name is Joshua Smith. I'm the executive chef at the Ice Plant restaurant in St. Augustine, Florida. The original Ice Plant factory supplied ice to the shrimp boats in St. Augustine, helping move shrimp up and down the East coast, and even as far as New York. The Ice Plant restaurant is the first eclectic gastro bar in St. Augustine. We wanted to keep the feel of the original building, leaving exposed metal, steel, reclaimed lumber. We try to source local ingredients to come up with craft cocktails, made from scratch sodas, bitters, syrups, vodkas, and gins. There's not a lot of people doing farm to table in St. Augustine or North Florida. The farmers put a lot of hard work into the product they deliver, so we want to showcase their products in the best way possible. The seafood is brought in fresh daily by the shrimp and fisherman. You call in the morning to see what they have available. It's delivered a few hours later, and is on the menu that night. We wanted everything to be fresh daily, and we wanted our menu to change seasonally. I want people to realize this is a food destination as well, not only one of the best bars in North Florida. Skateboarding originally took me to California. About a year later I started cooking, and realized I wanted to travel more, and I got a chance to fly to New York last year with my brother on a little skateboarding food adventure. We skateboarded all over the city, hit good restaurants. The chefs were all super cool, and it was one of the best trips I've ever been on. On game day, we're making a surf and turf dish. We're cooking apple cider and garlic fried chicken with local collard greens and local grits, and we have a grilled Florida shrimp succotash. - [Jax] There are some cherished moments that very few people ever get to experience. Today, we are guests of a magnificent St. Augustine sunrise, and the perfect calm of its infinite sea. I knew this gonna be cool, but I never could have imagined this. This is the American birthplace of shrimping. Oh my god, that sun. Hello! This is where the boats were built, and where fathers hand the helms to their sons. So, everyday you're out here gettin' fresh shrimp. - Oh, we bring fresh shrimp in everyday to the dock. - Family biz. - Yeah. - In your blood. - Been doing it for a long time. - Your whole life. - [Chad] Yeah, since I was 15, and I'm 33 now. - [Jax] St. Augustine has a lot of history when it comes to this trade. - Sure does. In fact, the boat was built in St. Augustine 40 years ago. - [Joshua] I appreciate the hard work Chad and the shrimpers put into it. It makes for a great product on our plate, and we really appreciate it at the restaurant. - [Jax] And hard work it is. Days at sea, the relentless Florida sun. Work done by hand, and no guarantee of a feast. This is the moment of truth. We pull up the nets, and we see what the oceans have provided for us. This is incredible. Woo-hoo! - [Joshua] Yes! - [Jax] Oh my god! That is incredible. This is crazy. This is what we came for. It is big, it's fresh, it's perfect. I've never seen 'em like this, just fresh out of the ocean. - Minutes ago these were in the water, and we'll have a chance to cook with these today, and it couldn't get any fresher. This is amazing. - Yeah. - [Jax] When you're looking at them with the shrimp in your hands, like, is inspiring you? All new thoughts come into your head? - The shrimp, the fish that he's catching, everything's looking great. He's catching some good fish today, and I can't wait to taste it. - [Jax] The quarters are tight, but the spirit is big, and Chef's enough to elevate their craft with his. Look at this. This is an onboard feast right here. - Thank you guys for taking us out today. I just wanted to thank you the best way I know how, sauteed shrimp with a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. - I was gonna say, you probably have shrimp, your shrimp, all the time. - Not like that. - [Jax] Not like that. - No, never like that, that's delicious. You overdid yourself. - That's good. - Anyway I can get it. - One hour out of the ocean, from that net to his capable hands, to this delicious bite. Mmm, mmm. Game day is gonna be awesome. - [Jax] Next up, Josh takes tailgate food to the next level with a Florida gulf inspired feast. You are like a fried chicken ninja. The sun is rising. There's a bit of a chill in the air, and everything I'm smelling right now is telling me that this is the best time of the year to be hungry in Florida. - Today we're gonna fry up some chicken from Joyce Farms in Georgia, all natural free range chicken. We're gonna put those in the seasoned flour, egg wash, back into the flour, and we're gonna drop those in the deep fryer. - We're giving these beautiful healthy chickens the royal treatment. - Marinated for two days, it's gonna be perfectly juicy and crispy on the outside. - This is gonna fry up gorgeously. We have a full on fry fest. Can you hear that? That sizzle is like music to a food nerd. - [Joshua] So, the secret with these is you don't want to go too long and get it too dark. This is a perfect medium right here. They're ready. - That looks divine. - This is how you know it's perfectly done. Perfect golden brown. Too light and you get soggy chicken, too dark and you get dry chicken. This is perfect. - Oh man, you are like a fried chicken ninja. Ah, still piping hot. Tailgaters are gonna go nuts for this. They're gonna think oh, fried chicken, I've had that. But they're gonna bite into it and just lose their minds. Mmm, wow. I'm going back for more. Look at that. - How is it? I figure you like it? - What gave it away? The grease all over my face? Look at that. No shame. When it's that good, no shame. - We're using these local shrimp today to make our succotash. Succotash is a dish of corn, bell peppers, Lima beans, and herbs. And we're gonna spice it up today with grilled shrimp. - We're making it classy. Let's get these puppies on the grill. - We're gonna get a light color on these, just so they're not translucent. They'll curl up just a little bit. This is the main ingredient in succotash. This is corn from South Florida. - Oh, the savoriness of the shrimp and the sweetness of the corn make a wonderfully harmonious smell. So, we have a rainbow of beautiful fresh ingredients here. - [Joshua] We have red bell peppers from Central Florida. We have white acorn peas from Melrose, right outside of Gainesville. We have Datil peppers from St. Augustine. - [Jax] These are awesome. You really only buy these in St. Augustine, and they are crazy hot. - [Joshua] And we have parsley from Fresh Star Farms, that's our hydroponic farm in St. Augustine. - [Jax] And to all of those fresh ingredients we're adding our grilled goodness. - [Joshua] We have grilled corn from South Florida. We have St. Augustine shrimp that we caught yesterday. - [Jax] Look at this. Ah! Colorful, fresh. It is all of Florida in a bowl, mmm. Let's build this beautiful dish. - [Joshua] For our base, we have creamy grits, a little bit of Tabasco sauce, gonna put that down. Next, we have our braised collard greens with ham hocks. Next, the chicken. The fried chicken's ready. We're gonna cut this in half, this is two portions. - [Jax] Look at that! Look at that beautiful piece of fried chicken. Oh man. And last but not least. - [Joshua] Is our succotash. - This is the best of the South in a bowl. Shrimp and grits. Oh, and some fried chicken for good measure. Mmm. You continue to amaze me. That is phenomenal. You made Florida proud, and I'm just proud of you. - Let's feed the fans. - Yeah. Hey everybody, I am Jax, and I am the host of a show called The Grill Iron. We're here at the Hyundai Field House. So, let's meet Chef Josh Smith. - Everything's local. Eating healthy today. Tailgating food, Southern style, and I hope you guys love it. - Who wants some beautiful food? We're about to make some people real happy. - Down to the last Gator morsel. - Thank you for coming out. I don't know if I'll ever have an experience like this again. It's amazing. So, thank you guys, thanks Tastemade. - [Jax] Thank you Chef! - Mmm. This is so good. It makes me want to cry.

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