Most people would not think to turn on the radio to experience their favorite cooking show but that is the aim of chef Uriah Hefter, host of The Hotdish Imperative on Two Harbors Community Radio.
“I wanted to create a show for those interested in cooking that I, myself, would actually listen to whenever it aired,” he said.
The weekly program is a blend of music, humor and food preparation instruction. The music for each show is selected to loosely complement the main dish through a shared commonality. If the focus of the program is about baking bread there is a better than average chance that the 1960’s and 70’s rock band Bread will see some air-play that day.
It would be easy for the average person to think to themselves, “A show about cooking? On the radio? He doesn’t do magic tricks, as well, does he?” To overcome for the lack of visuals that cooking shows on TV have traditionally relied on, during the broadcast Hefter closes his eyes and attempts to describe, in detail, each step of the preparation process.
“I would imagine that if you walked past the studio while I was in ‘explanation mode,’ you would most likely assume that I’d lost all mental capacity, or was experiencing a stroke at minimum,” he said.
Hefter, originally from Kansas City, Mo., met his wife, a Sauk Centre native, while in the City of Fountains. From there they moved to Iowa for a few years, but both had a yearning to make Northern Minnesota their permanent home. They are now going on their fifth year in the area.
A graduate of the culinary arts school at Indian Hills College in Ottumwa, Iowa, Hefter has honed his skills at small mom and pop owned kitchens, catering companies and large corporate operations. His preference is for smaller restaurants whereby he has oversight of aspects of the operation or as he puts it, “I like to have my fingers in lots of pies.”
The Hotdish Imperative airs Thursday at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast at 11 a.m. on Saturdays. KTWH-LP, 99.5 FM, is a volunteer run non-profit serving the town of Two Harbors and surrounding area with a broadcast range of 10 miles. It streams online at ktwh.org.