It is no secret that Kern County is the world’s food basket. The second-largest agriculture-producing county in the nation, with a crop value of just under $7.47 billion, is a veritable cornucopia of produce. And now its diversity is finally the source of a local weekly television cooking segment highlighting seasonal crops and the farmers and ranchers behind them.
Former KBAK news anchor Ally Triolo, now a county employee with the Department of Human Services, guest hosts “Farm to Fork with Ally Triolo” on KGET-TV’s Lifestyle show “Studio 17 Live,” a weekday half-hour program hosted by Vanessa Dillon.
The Friday segments are an extension of 25-year-old Triolo’s passion project blog, Happy, Healthy, Wholesome. When the station invited her onto the show, she said it felt like a natural fit.
“My dad is a farmer and I am marrying into a farming family,” Triolo said. “Knowing a commodity crop from seed to plate is a beautiful, full-circle success. I appreciate the foods harvested in our backyard.”
The segment would not have been possible without KGET’s newly-unveiled, sleek state-of-the-art kitchen studio. It’s not the first in the market. Thirty-five years ago, KERO-TV23 shared recipes with its noon show viewers from a small, moveable kitchen set. But KGET’s complements the station’s recent modern overhaul of its other sets.
“The studio kitchen is an idea I had in the works for years to serve our ‘Sunrise News’ audience,” said station Vice President and General Manager Derek Jeffery. “The majority of our morning news viewership is female, mothers, and with the explosion of television cooking content, it was a perfect match.”
Set sponsor Adventist Health constructed the kitchen. “The content of the ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Studio 17 Live’ match perfectly with our advocacy for healthy eating and falls in line with our mission to be a healthier community,” Jefferey added. Every Friday, Triolo shares healthy, delicious and easy recipes made with locally-grown, seasonal produce while giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at what is harvested here.
Triolo has partnered with the Kern County Farm Bureau which connects her with growers.
“I am so appreciative that the Farm Bureau has created a spreadsheet and schedule through November of what is in harvest,” said Triolo, who writes, edits and recipe-tests from home. The weekly segment content is shared on her website as well. “I am happy my episodes can help showcase all that our growers and ranchers do and shed a positive light on the local Ag industry,” she added.
A recent segment featured specialty grapes from world-renowned The Grapery.
“Ally balanced the production process with the uniqueness of Grapery,” said Jack Pandol, Grapery founder and third generation California grape grower. “We are all about flavor which she presented in a light and fun way. Ally’s segment is a great way to connect with our local fans by bringing them into the field to understand the Grapery ALL NATURAL WOW!”
“Farm to Fork” segments air every Friday during KGET’s weekday “Studio 17 Live” at 12:30 p.m. You can also catch up on previous episodes at kget.com and on Triolo’s website www.farmtoforkbyallytriolo.com.
Opinions expressed in this column are those of Lisa Kimble.