Fresno chef makes Food Network debut – in the parking lot

The Food Network’s “Stakeout Supermarket” has chefs buying ingredients from unsuspecting shoppers in the grocery parking lot. Photo by Garielle Ribeiro at unplash.com

Posted on Jul 15, 2022 – 12:01 PM
Written by Ben Hensley

Fresno can catch one of her Food Network specials this Tuesday where Chef de Cuisine Matt Moore from The Painted Table appears in the “Supermarket Stakeout.”

The episode, titled “Chili ‘Con Carte,” has chefs preparing full bowls of chili before moving on to breakfast for dinner.

Moore first received an unsolicited email from Food Network in August 2021 asking him to appear on the show.

Matt Mor
Chef Matt Moore, via painttablecatering.com

“I finished my job around August 25th,” Moore said. “After my booking was confirmed, I flew to Arizona and started filming on October 11th.”

The “Supermarket Stakeout” is a contest hosted in a pop-up kitchen in a grocery store parking lot, where competitors are tasked with buying their ingredients from unsuspecting customers’ shopping carts — and preparing a dish following the directions given to them by the judges.

“Supermarket Stakeout” hosted by Food Network’s Alex Guarnaschelli.

“It was nerve-racking. I was very nervous the night before and the day before,” Moore said. “The way the shooting works, it’s a one-day process where they drive you to an undisclosed supermarket in Arizona. When you get there, the kitchen is completely set up in a parking lot.”

The Painted Table is hosting an episode premiere viewing party on Tuesdays from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at their event center at 5080 N. Blackstone Ave. in Fresno. An RSVP is required for the event and can be completed online at Painted Table website.

Moore hopes the episode will help highlight the culinary capabilities of catering professionals — and the Fresno region in general.

“When you’re a caterer, you’re used to cooking in any environment—garage, backyard, rooftop—so, I guess, help me,” Moore said. “Keeping it simple would be my best process to get the best possible result from the show.”

Moore grew up in Fresno, where he attended culinary school at Clovis Institute of Technology and graduated at the top of his class in 2013. He went to work in Napa at the prestigious Bottega restaurant before returning to Fresno, where he worked at Benaddiction while serving food on the side. After two years at Benaddiction, Moore was hired by The Painted Table and cooked for parties of up to 2,000 people.

“What I was hoping for was that we show Fresno,” he said. “Obviously I want people to know that catering chefs, especially catering chefs at The Painted Table, are out there with some of the best chefs; you don’t have to work in a fancy restaurant to produce great food, and we do it at scale.”

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