‘The Katie Button Project’ explores food and how it gets to market

Following the path of ingredients on 'The Katie Button Project'

Katie Button

Katie Button has a deep and abiding appreciation for where food comes from and how it is produced, which is what drove her to make a food/adventure series upcoming on discovery+.

In the currently streaming “The Katie Button Project,” the award-winning chef and restaurateur traces how popular ingredients such as fish, beef, cheese and apples make it to market, from the moment they’re harvested through the production process. She also shares her knowledge of cooking techniques like searing or seasoning in the hopes of inspiring others to be more adventurous, curious and creative in the kitchen.

“My favorite thing about cooking,” the Asheville, N.C.-based Button explains, “is cooking something that I don’t usually cook, cooking something new because it’s an experience. … You know, if it’s cooking rice a different way or trying a different variety or cooking with apples instead of just thinking of them for dessert or as a snack, or playing around with honey and different varieties, I just want to inspire people not only to learn about the passion behind the people producing food in this country — because that is an extremely interesting and important part — but the takeaway is jump in your kitchen and try it out.”

And try it out she does. In the show’s trailer, she’s seen on a commercial fishing vessel off the coast of South Carolina fishing for snowy grouper and golden tilefish. This was no charter boat with many of the comforts of home but a trip in Spartan conditions to the continental shelf 10 hours out in the Atlantic.

After hauling in her catch by rod and reel – “they do a catch-and-reel system because it’s super sustainable,” Button notes – she then prepared a traditional Spanish fisherman’s stew on board.

“My husband’s from Spain and I lived and worked in restaurants in Spain and also worked for (chef) José Andrés here in the U.S. — that’s where I met my husband,” she says. “And so I made this … stew made with fresh fish that you catch and some fish stock. And then I added to it – like traditionally you add to it fish liver, which is not something which you can usually get your hands on but since we were on this boat gutting the fish … I was actually able to do that. It was so neat. (It was) something I never had the opportunity to do to make it in that authentic method using those ingredients. It only happens on a fishing boat.”

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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