Houston-based food show aims for the big time

Christine Nguyen
January 12, 2024

Houston-based food show aims for the big time

By Greg Morago Updated June 18, 2018 10:17 a.m.

The Houston food scene is already a media star. Countless magazine and newspaper articles champion the city’s culinary diversity. Television shows — including those fronted by David Chang, Andrew Zimmern and the late Anthony Bourdain — have trumpeted the most delectable aspects of Houston.

And yet there hasn’t emerged a food series born and bred in the Bayou City, much less any local food personalities creating their own show on the region’s edible richness.

A new reality series being shopped to food-television outlets hopes to change that. “Show Us Your Goods” is being produced by videographer and documentarian Anna Boyter of Bear Hands Media, based in Houston.

The series stars Houston chef Richard Knight and his wife, Carrie Knight, as intrepid hosts who dig deep into the working lives of Houston farmers and chefs who use local sustainable foods. The trio already has shot five episodes that run 11 minutes, and two are fully edited and being pitched to food-television programmers and film festivals. One of the completed episodes about goat-cheese making at Blue Heron Farms in Waller has been accepted to the 2018 New York Television Festival and will be screened in competition July 17. Each episode can also stand on its own as a short film, hence the film festival opportunities.

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The project comes at time when there are so many TV shows focusing on America’s obsession with culinary arts. Food Network, Food Channel and PBS have all broadened programming beyond traditional how-to cooking episodes with competition shows, food-travel shows and personality-driven explorations of food culture. David Chang’s “Ugly Delicious” docu-series on Netflix is an example of a chef-led dive into food culture as pop culture. Netflix streams so many different food and cooking shows it covers almost every conceivable niche in the omnivorous world of food TV.

Boyter and the Knights come from diverse backgrounds. Boyter’s passion for film led her and husband Brian Boyter to found the boutique videography company Bear Hands Media in 2014. Richard Knight is the Englishman who ignited Houston’s nose-to-tail food movement with his Feast restaurant and later enjoyed a short but memorable turn as executive chef of Hunky Dory. Carrie Knight is well known in the restaurant industry for her work at Barnaby’s, Brown Bag Deli and Boomtown Coffee as well as her interests in theater and music.


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They share a common bond: They all have a keen interest in storytelling. They met when Boyter was hired to shoot the Knights’ wedding in December 2016. They enjoyed a natural rapport (their children attend the same school) that led to Boyter filming “Breaking Bread,” a 2017 documentary about the Knights’ farm-to-table pop-up dinners. That film won a Gold Remi award at the 2018 WorldFest Houston International Film & Video Festival.

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Together they realized “Breaking Bread” couldn’t be a one-off. “We just had to do a series,” Boyter said. “It was all there — it had heart, it was honest. It bloomed on its own.”

The Knights have proven to be deft, at-ease practitioners of food-film content. They lard the cheekily named “Show Us Your Goods” with their own brand of humor, witty remarks and wry observations about the state of the food industry. And their subjects aren’t the usual familiar faces of the Houston food landscape. The Knights are unapologetic boosters of the little guys who are serious sustainable farmers and food purveyors who often escape notice in the foodie landscape hungry for boldface names.

In addition to Blue Heron Farms, the show has shot with Feliz Florez and his heritage-breed pigs at Black Hill Ranch in Cypress; goat farmer Stacey Roussel of All We Need Farm in Fort Bend County; and Michael and Leslie Marchand, who raise chickens, eggs, turkeys and hogs at Whitehurst Heritage Farms in Brenham. During an episode with tattooed chef Anthony Calleo, formerly of Pi Pizza in Houston, Richard even got inked on camera.

Though the subjects are local, their stories are not, Richard said.

“Their stories translate anywhere,” said Richard, who recently left his post as executive chef at Harold’s Restaurant & Tap Room in the Heights to devote more time to the reality-series project. “It’s good people doing good things.”

Carrie, whose grandparents were Texas cattle ranchers, said she didn’t join the project to become famous or get rich. “We believe these stories need to be told,” she said. “They’re following their hearts and passions. It’s just as meaningful for us to share these stories of finding something authentic.”

Kim Korth, editor of Edible Houston, said Boyter and the Knights are uncovering a side of the Houston food scene that rarely makes light. “Unfortunately, small farmers and food producers are pretty much ignored by mainstream media,” she said. “The videos I usually see are focused on the chef and not the people who provide the ingredients. Without good seasonal ingredients, the chefs simply can’t create their wonderful dishes.”

The fact that Knight has worked for years with the region’s unsung farmers and food purveyors allows “Show Us Your Goods” terrific access and a sympathetic ear.

“We would do almost anything Richard Knight asked us to do. He’s such a good guy with the right ideas about food,” said Lisa Seger, who owns Blue Heron Farms goat farm with her husband, Christian Seger. “It’s always been our idea that the more people can know about the things they consume the better.”

Lisa Seger likens the humorous tone of “Show Us Your Goods” to “Dirty Jobs,” in which host Mike Rowe uncovers the dark side of occupational duties. “I think you don’t necessarily have to be interested in the actual subject matter to look behind what people normally don’t see,” she said. “There’s always something to learn about ourselves and other people. It’s human stories, and there’s always an audience for that.”

Florez, who raises hogs sold to some of the best restaurants in Houston, Austin and New Orleans, said he was happy to share his story with “Show Us Your Goods.”

“What they’re doing is exactly what I want to do — showcasing people and restaurants that are going the extra mile, supporting local and getting rid of products that aren’t riddled with antibiotics and growth hormones,” said Florez, who is opening Cherry Block Craft Butcher & Kitchen restaurant in the upcoming Bravery Chef Hall in downtown Houston. “We should all be thinking of that.”

Florez shares Boyter and the Knights’ passion for reaching a wider audience to tell the stories of local farmers. In fact, he wants to do a similar show.

“It’s amazing how much people don’t know what goes into farming and meat production and what it takes to do farm-to-table,” Florez said. “I think people take it for granted.”

Rick Ferguson, executive director of the Houston Film Commission, indicated Bear Hands Media might be on the right track with “Show Us Your Goods.” Food television is not looking for cooking shows, he said. Road shows, where hosts put themselves in different cities and food environments, are what sells, he added. (Boyter and the Knights said they can tell stories from anywhere.)

Boyter said she is devoting a year to securing funding for the project and to find the right outlet for “Show Us Your Goods.” The Knights said if the programming can’t find national distribution that will protect its authenticity (“authentic” is a word they use often when referring to their project), the partners will release the series independently. Richard said he wants the show to have a wide platform because the subjects are good people and their stories are, well, authentic.

“They gave us their hearts and souls,” he said.

“This is like our little bird, and we want to see it fly,” Carrie said. “And if it doesn’t fly we’ll glue some feathers and set it off and hope it doesn’t fly too close to the sun.”



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Christine Nguyen

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