TLC invites viewers to get their fulfillment with the new special Food Buddha, featuring Chef Rodelio Aglibot. In each of the two half-hour episodes, Rodelio visits three restaurants in a single city and orders “OOE” – one of each – from the menu. Along with a local food guide, he will take a culinary journey through the restaurant’s culinary offerings, sampling everything and learning the chef’s personal story. Finally, full and inspired, the Food Buddha returns to his own restaurant, Chicago’s Sunda, to create a brand-new dish. Food Buddha premieres Monday, June 14 at 10 & 10:30 PM.
In the premiere at 10 PM, Rodelio visits the food-lover’s paradise New Orleans, where he is joined by a local fireman who acts as his food guide to the best of the city’s restaurants. Together, they visit K-Joe’s, serving up authentic creole cuisine, Baru Bistro, with Latin & Caribbean tapas, and “New Orleans” style BBQ from Squeal. At 10:30 PM, the Food Buddha heads to west to eat his way through San Francisco. With the guidance of local chef Ryan Scott, they visit The Tipsy Pig, an American gastro-tavern, Bocadillos, specializing in West Coast Basque cuisine, and seafood restaurant Nettie’s Crab Shack.
Food Buddha on TLC
See more footage here
More about Food Buddha (Chef Rodelio Aglibot)
Everyday of his career and life, Chef Rodelio Aglibot listens to the voices of his parents and mentors. “Follow your heart, cook for the love and you will be loved, a great chef doesn’t create great dishes..a great chef inspires great chefs”, these are the thoughts that echo through his head. Chef Rodelio knows he was blessed with a gift and spends his days honoring his profession and gaining experience and knowledge to enlighten his life and his career as a Chef. As a first generation Filipino American growing up in his native Hawaii, Rodelio Aglibot got his first inkling that his true love in life would be cooking. He credits his parents as his early culinary mentors, his father, Reggie, a retired chef and his mother, Sally, a great cook in her own right. Rodelio says it was his upbringing and family traditions that influence his affinity and creativity in the kitchen.
After attending UCLA, he pursued his culinary aspirations at the City College of San Francisco’s Hotel and Restaurant Program. An instructor encouraged him to apply for the prestigious Chef’s Apprenticeship Program at the Greenbrier Resort, located in West Virginia. Rodelio’s acceptance into the program at Greenbrier was the most important experience of his career and where he was introduced to “real” cooking and classical techniques. He was soon involved in five restaurant openings over a span of three years, most notably the E & O Trading Company, a Pan-Asian restaurant under the direction of chefs Joyce Goldstein and Gary Woo. Rodelio credits Joyce Goldstein and the late Barbara Tropp as influential Chefs that imparted wisdom and confidence. Little did he realize that he would one day own his own restaurant, Yi Cuisine, which opened in Los Angeles in June 2004 to critical acclaim, and was named by Food and Wine as one of the “Best New Asian Restaurants” in the United States and a glowing 2-star review from the LA Times.
His accent into the elite level of Chefs notably started as the Opening Executive Chef of the celebrity studded and juggernaut, Koi Restaurant in Los Angeles, Rodelio earned his stars for creating an innovative menu of Asian dishes; blending bright flavors with an array of textures and temperatures. Garnering the Hollywood spotlight, Rodelio also established him as a respected and personable chef; focusing on traditional Japanese ingredients with an essence of French technique and Californian style. He was also a founder in a specialty seafood company in San Francisco, Ahi Bros; distributing tuna to the finest dining destinations in the world. Rodelio has received numerous accolades and peer recognition for his work; he was invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in October 2004 as Chef/Owner of Yi Cuisine and in July 2003 as the Chef of Koi.