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Chef Mon Jun 14 2010

Sunda Chef Is TLC's "Food Buddha"

Tonight was the premiere of "Food Buddha," a new TLC show featuring Chicago's own Rodelio Aglibot, head chef at Sunda. The premise of the show seems way over-the-top, but Aglibot's easy-going nature makes it work: In each episode, he visits a different city and hits up three different restaurants. At each restaurant, he orders one of everything.

Yes, you read that correctly: "OOE," as Aglibot says. One. Of. Everything.

By ordering OOE, Aglibot says he gets the restaurant's whole story. (It also prompts some very funny reactions from the chefs in the restaurants he visits, including eye-rolling, swearing and momentary panic.) At the end of the show, he selects the dish that most inspires him and brings the recipe home to Chicago, where he puts a twist on it to serve as a special at Sunda.

I watched the first episode of the show tonight, in which Chef visits New Orleans. One of the restaurant's he dines at is Squeal, a pig-focused joint that serves pork cakes -- kind of like crab cakes, but way worse for you because, uh, they're made out of pork. And filled with cream cheese. Oh, yeah, and they're also deep-fried. The Sunda version was still pork-a-licious, but it was considerably lighter, with braised pork belly, no cream cheese filling, and a pan fried, not deep fried crust.

Food TV addict that I am, I'll definitely tune into "Food Buddha" again. Aglibot is so good-natured, he actually makes it fun to watch a person eat his way through an entire menu. No small feat indeed.

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Corinne Peterson / June 14, 2010 10:22 PM

Awesome premiere! Very entertaining and made you hungry for each of the dishes. Been to Sunda and yum!

Chef Down Under / June 14, 2010 10:38 PM

Chef Rod, rocks! This is a great show. I can’t wait for more!!

TresC / June 14, 2010 10:53 PM

This show was over the top! I want to hang out with this chef. Def going to watch this show..what a refreshing change from the boring Food Network shows.

AL B Shure / June 15, 2010 12:37 AM

This show is outrageous made me want to OOE the next time I go out to eat!!!

patrick / June 15, 2010 7:25 AM

Anyone have that recipe for pork cakes ??

TSTIEG / June 15, 2010 7:50 AM

MY 11 year old daughter and I watched the premiere last night, and loved it. She can't wait to go to Sunda to meet the food buddha.

MTYG / June 15, 2010 7:55 AM

I think it is time to coin the phrase, "We're going to need a bigger table!"

Margie Tosch / June 15, 2010 10:15 AM

Rodelio and I each won a trip from Firestone Vineyards and just a couple of weeks ago got back from Italy where we (along with 8 others) hiked - and ate - our way through Tuscany. He is just as good natured in person. And he is a fabulous chef. He cooked for the group 2 nights in Tuscany, including my wedding night. It was astonishing what he could put out in a short amount of time. They were actually the best meals we had there - and we had some good ones! I loved last night's show! He got word that TLC had picked it up while we were on the trip.

Mandy / June 15, 2010 11:27 AM

Man, we've got some fans of Chef Rod and Sunda here! I'll confess I haven't made it to Sunda yet, but it's on my list -- and it definitely got bumped up to "priority" after last night's show.

james clark / June 15, 2010 1:34 PM

I am a devoted Buddhist and member of a very large community, This disrespect for the name of our great teacher brings a new hight to insult and blaspheme. I understand some may not know of our religion, but have an ounce of respect for others and their beliefs, not to mention this man has confused the Lord Buddha who was if you know his teachings was a very fit and trim man, with the chinese Buddhist monk Ho Tai, a saint a protector of children seen in many Asian restaurants, i can only hope the name of this show is changed for the respect of the Buddhist people,

seamus goggin / June 15, 2010 3:00 PM

i thought i had seen it all until this bloated glutton of a man takes the name of the great Buddha,and claims to be one,what an insult to the worlds 4th largest religion and millions of people,he is the complete opposite of the Buddha,in physical looks and thought and pratice,the Buddha in great health and physical form,and this bloated,obese glutton of a man,and far from any enlighten person

mike davis / June 15, 2010 3:50 PM

Oh yes! Let me start a new cooking show!The food Jesus Christ! Cooking with the son of God!What a mess you are dude!

Marnie / June 15, 2010 4:26 PM

You 2 above need to lighten up. If you respect the Buddhist beliefs this much you would not be bashing this chef or the show. Shame on you both.

Rhino / June 15, 2010 5:51 PM

He is not practicing what Buddhists believe. The name needs to change or the show does. Being an affable Asian fellow does not make you like Buddha, in fact being a glutton makes you the opposite.

sundevilpeg / June 15, 2010 6:07 PM

"We reserve the right to delete any comments borne out of douchebaggery or that deal in asshattery."

*pssst* got a couple of prime candidates here. . .

Tina / June 15, 2010 6:30 PM

I am a Buddhist too, & y'all need to lighten up. Practice joy and loving kindness!

Chris / June 15, 2010 6:35 PM

I enjoyed the show, however, living in New Orleans, I won't soon be able to visit Sundra. I missed the names of a few of the restaurants in NOLA, could anyone help?

jen / June 15, 2010 6:37 PM

i think copying (stealing)other chef's recipes and then having the NERVE to bring them to his restaurant is really rude and lame. I will not be watching this again

A.D. Torres / June 15, 2010 6:39 PM

I am not a fan of this show. The whole order the entire menu to get a "feel" for the chef is ridiculous. The other patrons in the restaurant look at the host in disbelief when his order comes out of the kitchen. He bares a striking resemblance to Jabba the Hun from Star Wars when he is devouring entree upon entree in the New Orleans show. If I wanna see some porky eating himself to death I'll watch Andrew Zimmern.

Bobby / June 15, 2010 7:39 PM

In New Orleans he went to K-Joe's and Squeal. I forgot the name of the Latin-influenced restaurant he went to.

Mandy / June 15, 2010 10:18 PM

I'm going to practice detachment and not even go there on the Buddhist comments. To each his own opinion.

I do think lots of chefs borrow ideas from other chefs, whether they admit it or not. Aglibot significantly changes the recipes to fit in with Sunda's style, so I don't think it's fair to characterize it as a straight rip-off. I'm not a chef, but I would think the chefs whose recipes he picks would be flattered -- and appreciate the good press the show brings them.

Mandy / June 15, 2010 10:20 PM

Oh, and Chris from New Orleans -- click on the Food Buddha link in my post to see videos of the New Orleans episode, which should give you the name of the restaurants he visited in your lovely city.

Tara / June 16, 2010 12:26 PM

I absolutely LOVED the show. I live in New Orleans and haven't visited these restaurants. I sure will now. I think he is flattering the other chefs by being inspired to put his own twist on it. I will faithfully watch the Food Buddha. I'm of Asian decent and find no malicious intent! Lighten up people life is too short to be petty!

Tim B. / June 16, 2010 2:31 PM

I can not belive there are positive comments for this man and his show. He is a glutton who uses a spiritual nam the Buddha, to describe himself,what a blasphemer! his gross way of ordering the entire menu is shameful in it self, but to compare himself to the Buddha for shame!Who would speak positive of this fraud?According to some people, we should just throw our ethics out, and just accept this insult! Shame on you if you do not speak out against this kind of insult and disrespect!

corey Feldman / June 16, 2010 2:41 PM

Wow! there are really people who defend this guy and his disrespectful show,this obease cook and his show has insulted so maney people, and not to mention the Boobs on the TLC who allowed this kind of show to air!I mean really! THE LEARNING CH, what a blunder all around!

Nancy, TLC / June 17, 2010 7:12 PM

This show:The food Buddha: Has been pulled off air/Cancled

Mandy / June 23, 2010 9:25 AM

So the final word from Chef Rodelio is that his show is being promoted by TLC as a special but "Food Buddha" hasn't officially been picked up -- thus, it has not been canceled, if you get my drift.

Maria / June 24, 2010 1:11 PM

I am looking forward to catching the reruns as I didn't see it the first time around. Though I love his innovation and tireless quest to bring the flavors of different regions together.
Regarding the deroggatory comments here by purported Buddhists, have you never seen the laughing Buddha? In fact, size is one of the most shallow things to attack a person for. Rod is a better Buddhist than you will ever be.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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