Art Smith Shines in Time Machine Chefs

By ABC Aug 15, 2012

Art Smith does it all.  He’s an acclaimed chef whose patrons include President Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Florida Governor Jeb Bush. He owns two successful restaurants in Washington D.C. and Chicago, and now he’s staring in a new ABC special, Time Machine Chefs.  After whipping up a southern version of one of his favorite Julia Child recipes on The Chew, he took a minute to discuss this upcoming special, which he said might have been his greatest undertaking so far. 

Time Machine Chefs is a fun, challenge-based show where four chefs go back in time and attempt to create dishes in the style of different historic eras with only the tools available at that time.  They present their creations to a panel of judges who will then decide if they are worthy of moving forward in history.  While it might seem easy enough to start a fire or work without an oven, even accomplished chefs like Art, who admittedly “flunked out of Boy Scouts,” had a hard time working with the tools provided.

“It sounds fun but boy is it challenging.  No electricity, no gas and no running water … even celebrity chefs find themselves in a bind,” Art said.  This was the case in both the Ming and Tutor eras. And after finally getting the fire started, he had to actually start cooking.

Still, Smith says that this TV experience was his favorite.  He’s “competed in every competition on American TV [including Top Chef Masters] and this was the most fun.”

Since shooting the special, he’s returned to the comforts of modern day food and contemporary kitchen gear. 

After losing over a hundred pounds, he focuses on eating fresh unprocessed foods and running marathons.

“I look at life now, whole body, whole food, and whole living.”  Of course there are the occasional slip ups, “my fridge is full of condiments, maybe some leftover fried chicken from President Obama's Birthday Party [and] I had a piece of cake left but it’s gone!”

Check out Time Machine Chefs on ABC August 16th at 9pm.