In two weeks, Food Network is launching a new show called Crave, hosted by Riviera senior editor and San Diego-based bro Troy Johnson. A former music critic turned novelist and food writer, working for Modern Luxury alongside L.A. critic Brad A. Johnson (no relation), Troy has accrued a long list of local awards in his four years with the publication. Now he’s ready for his close-up, and to think, he didn’t even have to make a single sandwich on a chef game show to get there (eat your heart out, Jeff Mauro). So what’s Crave all about?
The concept sounds fairly straight-forward: Johnson picks a specific food item that he’s jonesing for, then hits the road trying a few of the countries’ most notable, archetypal, or bizarro examples to satisfy that craving. So when it comes time for pizza, he hits a time-worn Brooklyn original, stops off for deep-dish in Chicago, then ends his trip exploring oven options in San Francisco. Come fried chicken time, he’s breaking down the best brines in Memphis and studying frying oils with science geeks at Purdue University.
So, it’s basically another food-obsessed road show, albeit with a high level of charisma and a slightly edgier sense of humor, as in the inevitable bacon episode that gets sub-titled "The Magical Meat Stick" or a barbecue episode cleverly called "Up in Smoke." Crave airs on Monday, August 29, at 8:30 p.m. on Food Network.