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Reality food show filmed in Hagerstown, Md.

By The Martinsburg Journal -- journal-news.net

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - "Chef Race: UK vs. U.S.," a reality show set to premiere on the BBC this fall, was filmed in Hagerstown earlier this month.

The U.S. chefs stayed in Hagerstown, and Nick's Airport Inn's Paul Giannaris hosted their portion of the competition at his restaurant.

In the TV show, the chefs start with ingredients, and they have to "trade up" locally, and then prepare a dish for celebrity judges.
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CVB's Betsy De Vore, third from left, CVB's Jolene Thomas, third...

The show started in Los Angeles, and follows a U.S. team and a UK team (each with eight chefs) as they travel cross-country competing in culinary challenges in an attempt to win $100,000, eventually ending up in New York City.

Internationally famous London Chef Richard Corrigan serves as the chef's mentor and judge. Claire Robinson, from 5 Ingredient Fix and Food Network Challenge, is the show's host. "Chef Race: UK vs. U.S." is produced by Fresh One Productions, owned by Jamie Oliver. The show is an original unscripted series, to consist of 10, 60-minute episodes. 'Chef Race' differs from other cooking competition programs with the contestants having no budget and minimal resources. The BBC reports that the chefs must rely on more than their cooking skills utilizing resourcefulness, ingenuity, leadership and finesse.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau assisted the United States team and its crew with hotel rooms and local support. The staff from the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce interacted with and assisted the team from the United Kingdom.

The CVB's Tom Riford said, "The production company knew Hagerstown to be friendly to film and television productions, and sought out the CVB. We assisted with hotel rooms, and lined up Paul Giannaris at Nick's Airport Inn."

Giannaris said he was thrilled to be involved. "I can't wait to see Hagerstown on the BBC America television network. It was exciting to be involved in this project, and I want to thank the CVB for lining up our restaurant!"

The CVB's Betsy De Vore said, "This project has been very 'hush-hush' while it was filming." De Vore said she looks forward to seeing the final product on BBC America television. "They filmed across the U.S., including stopping in St. Louis and Memphis. Cody Utzman has four restaurants in New York City, and Chef Stan runs a restaurant in L.A." Utzman is well known for his two-time champion status on Food Network's "Chopped."

The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau works with television and film production companies, serving as the local film office. The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization whose mission is to help attract visitors to Hagerstown and Washington County. The CVB helps to create growth for the local economy by promoting, developing and expanding the local visitor industry. For more information about Hagerstown and Washington County, visit www.marylandmemories.com.

Washington County is part of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, www.heartofthecivilwar.org, and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, hallowedground.org.

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