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Search for 'The Great American Recipe' Features Providence Firefighter

UPDATE: Stream the series here. The series airs on Rhode Island PBS Thursdays at 9 p.m. beginning July 7. 

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Celebrate the multiculturalism that makes American food unique and iconic with The Great American Recipe. This new uplifting cooking competition gives 10 talented home cooks from different regions of the country the opportunity to showcase their beloved signature dishes while competing to win the national search for “The Great American Recipe.”   

Hosted by food writer and TV personality Alejandra Ramos, The Great American Recipe blends food, family, and fun – highlighting the variety of tastes and traditions found across the country. From family favorites passed down through generations, to internationally influenced recipes, the cooking series reveals rich personal stories and the inspiration behind the contestant’s favorite recipes. Here's a video preview.

Among the show’s contestants is Rhode Island's own Dan Rinaldi. Raised in a multi-generational Italian family, Dan takes pride in sharing his family recipes. Learning to cook in his grandmother’s kitchen, where Sunday dinners were a childhood staple, he developed a love for making homemade pasta. Today, he carries on the tradition with his wife, daughter, and grandchildren. A firefighter for 34 years, Dan enjoys preparing hearty meals for his colleagues at the firehouse, including making his grandmother’s meat sauce recipe – Sunday gravy with meatballs – his signature dish and a firehouse favorite.  

Also competing is Irma Cádiz (New York, NY), Bambi Daniels (Winston-Salem, NC), Robin Daumit (Annapolis, MD), Brian Leigh (Bowling Green, KY), Christina McAlvey (Portland, OR), Silvia Martinez (San Luis Obispo, CA), Foo Nguyen (Orange County, CA), Tony Scherber (Minneapolis, MN), and Nikki Tomaino-Allemand (Boise, ID). Watch this video to meet the contestants. Together the contestants represent the delicious diversity of American home cooking, from Syrian to Hungarian, to Vietnamese to Mexican, Italian to Puerto Rican, and Southern soul food to Filipino.   

To encourage and support the cooks, the series features three judges: Leah Cohen, chef and owner of New York’s Pig & Khao Restaurant; Tiffany Derry, TV personality and chef and owner of Texas restaurant Roots Southern Table; and Johnson & Wales University graduate Graham Elliot, award-winning chef, restaurateur, TV personality, and author.   

In the eighth and final episode, the judges will make the ultimate decision after the finalists prepare an entire meal. The winning dish will then be featured on the cover of The Great American Recipe Cookbook, which will include recipes from the contestants, host, and judges.  

Whose dish will be chosen as “The Great American Recipe”? We all find out together! Follow along each week on Thursdays at 9 p.m., starting July 7 on WSBE Rhode Island PBS, or stream at For more information about The Great American Recipe, visit the PBS Food website.

WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits high-definition (HD) programming over the air on digital 36.1; Cox 08 / 1008HD, Verizon FiOS 08 / 508HD, and Full Channel 08; Comcast 819HD and Verizon FiOS 18 / 518HD; DirecTV 36, Dish Network 36. Rhode Island PBS is now available to subscribers of YouTubeTV. The full schedule is available to live stream for free within the broadcast viewing area at An expansive catalog of PBS series, documentaries, and specials is available to Rhode Island PBS members through Rhode Island PBS Passport

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