MSNBC programming has long feasted on political news, but soon its anchors will chew on segments related to food.
After tackling such issues as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s “Bridge-gate” scandal and the Charlie Hebdo murders in France, MSNBC is likely to turn its attention to food labeling and the effects of pollution on food and hunger, said Tom Colicchio, the celebrity chef who has joined the network as its first food correspondent.
“There are so many issues that sound like news stories but turn out to be food stories,” the culinary maven, who may be best known for his turn on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” said in an interview Wednesday.
Colicchio takes on the new role as Anthony Bourdain has gained renown for his turn as a host on CNN’s travelogue series “Parts Unknown.” Viewers should not expect MSNBC’s chef to wax poetic over a rare dish he finds during a trip to Tanzania or Iran.
“This is a very different show,” said Colicchio. “This is a more in-depth discussion about food and food policy, the effect food has on the environment, the effects of hunger in the U.S. This is a lot more serious than a travel show about food.”
As part of his MSNBC duties, Colicchio is expected to file regular reports for “Morning Joe” and “The Rachel Maddow Show”; host “Stirring the Pot,” a new show on MSNBC’s digital-video hub, Shift; and host a series of exclusive lunch interviews with newsmakers and celebrities.
Issues regarding food “are kitchen-table issues that a lot of people want to know more about,” Colicchio said. “There is an ever-growing fascination with how food is made, how it is produced, understanding there are complex issues with regard to food safety and food labeling.”
Among the topics Colicchio is likely to tackle early in his tenure are the ramifications of antibiotics in the food system; how more transparency in food labeling might be useful; and crafting government policy that can help put an end to hunger.