In Chicago we know Rodelio Aglibot as the executive chef of Sunda, but he’s also known as the “Food Buddha,” a name he’s now popularizing with a new show of the same name which premiers on TLC tonight at 9 p.m. The premise of the show is that Aglibot visits a restaurant and orders “one of everything” on the menu. He picks one dish that really inspires him, and then learns how to make it. It’s a double dose this week, with the first episode taking place in New Orleans, and the second one in San Francisco. Check out some sample videos here. We talked with the chef by phone as he was dealing with very un-Zen like traffic on the Kennedy Expressway (hands free cellphone, of course.)
What’s the deal with this “one of everything” premise?
It’s what chefs really do. To stay inspired we travel and we eat, but we don’t have a lot of time. We order as much as we can. I’ve been doing this for years, and it just made sense to do a show based on the concept.
So it wasn’t much of a stretch to get the show going.
Not at all. I’m so proud of it. I’m a chef first, but it’s such a fun program. It’s unpretentious. I just go to a city, meet up with someone involved with the scene and then eat at three restaurants.
How is this different for other travel food shows?
The difference is that there is no competition. After each adventure I come back to my kitchen to create something that inspired me from the adventure. Along the way I want to examine why we cook for people. It’s very different than a lot of shows that just eat something and then move on. I want there to be a connection. The show will come full circle by the end.
No one gets kicked off or sent home?
For me, I just think it’s fun, but it also really captures why I’m a chef. It’s not about the gluttony. It’s about inspiration.