We’re always hearing about how part of the appeal of posting on sites like Chowhound is that it provides a little Internet fame. For one Chowhound, however, a post on the site actually led to a real-life television gig.
Bobby Bognar was cruising Chowhound one day when he saw a post saying that the History Channel was seeking a host for a new cooking show. Bognar—who is the director of operations at the restaurant at the Getty Center in LA, is married to a chef, and sings in a rock band called the Piper Downs—filled out the application questionnaire, never expecting to hear anything.
But! Bognar was contacted by the casting director, who asked him to create a 15-minute monologue on any food item (he chose peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, thinking anybody could relate). A few weeks later, the production company shot some test footage of Bognar at a dairy farm. A month after that, the History Channel had him film a “screen test,” a mock-up episode, at a vegan food processing plant along with six other potential hosts. “Included in the 6 was a famous ‘celebrity’ chef and two guys who had hosted tv shows in the past,” Bognar wrote in an email to CHOW. “I thought I was done for.”
More than two months later, Bognar got the call offering him the job. Since then, the History Channel has named the show Made to Eat with Bobby Bognar, and it’s set to air in October. Bognar says he “traveled to North Carolina, Wisconsin, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Illinois, just for the pilot.”
According to the Tri-City Herald, the pilot will deconstruct “one of America’s culinary mainstays—a cheeseburger with a side of fries.”
Bognar, who, judging purely by his band photos, blends the joie de vivre of a Mario Batali with the rock persona of an Anthony Bourdain, thanks Chowhound for the hook-up. “I’m a lifetime food professional who is now a tv show host, and I owe it all to Chowhound!” he writes.
OK, so we’re all getting autographed headshots, right?