A 'Conversations' Starter

A 'Conversations' Starter

Sunday, December 21, 2014

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COUNT Charles Mattocks as one happy camper. The celebrity chef, who has made appearances on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Talk and Dr Oz, is booking his own date on the small screen as a producer and host of his self-titled culinary lifestyle show, Conversations In The Kitchen With Charles Mattocks, that is tentatively slated to debut in January on local television.

Last Thursday evening, Mattocks teased a select audience of corporate executives and members of the media to a screening of an episode of his show that features Island Grill CEO Thalia Lyn, appropriately hosted upstairs at the Twin Gates Plaza location of Lyn's fast-food restaurant.

The episode was well received, revealing colourful insight into Lyn's life as a grandmother, philanthropist, and how Island Grill evolved from its original incarnation with a predominant North American-skewed menu to the present Jamaican-centric offerings.

Mattocks told the Observer that he has already wrapped the pilot season of the show, with the standard 13 episodes in the can. The diverse cast of guests include his cousin, entrepreneur Rohan Marley; caterer Lorraine Fung; Jo Jo's restaurateur Anna Chin; former Third World percussionist and vocalist Carrot Jarrett; Miss Universe 2014 Kaci Fennell; and dancehall star Konshens.

"The best conversations happen in the kitchen," he explained of the conceptual genesis of the show. "We wanted to recreate the atmosphere of that, and through this show, which is kind of Oprah-meets-food, we want Jamaica to sit and watch the stories of interesting personalities and, hopefully, cultivate mentally, spiritually and emotionally richer lifestyles."

Mattocks, a nephew of late reggae icon Bob Marley, who experienced degrees of success for his exploits in music and acting (scoring an Emmy nomination for his role in The Summer of Ben Tyler) before finding fulfilment in the culinary field after being diagnosed with type two diabetes, revealed he has syndication plans for his upcoming TV show. There are globe-trotting options on the table from Spain, France, Canada, St Kitts and Trinidad to air the show in those territories.

Unsurprising, then, that a second season is in an advanced planning phase.

— Omar Tomlinson



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