Chef Lasse making salad nicoise

Danish American Master Chef, Lasse Sorensen is the host of a new series, airing on The 9 Network PBS St. Louis, that takes a unique approach to exploring the diversity of the St. Louis food scene by following the roots of its cultural influences. In each new episode, Sorensen (an immigrant to the the U.S. himself), spends time in the kitchens of some of the city’s most celebrated restaurants, learning more about the people behind the food. “Food is love,… it’s what connects us all together, no matter where we come from,” says Sorensen. In the series opener, Lasse meets Munsok So, restauranteur and owner of the popular sushi spot “The Drunken Fish.” So, who recently opened the Korean fried chicken venture “Kimchi Guys”, talks about the changes in public perception of foods like kimchi and his own experiences growing up in St Louis as immigrant from Korea.

On the surface “Food Is Love” is a guide to some of St Louis most popular food spots but as the viewer is pulled into the storyline, it quickly becomes clear that the series offers up more that just recipes. “There is a lot of heart that goes into the food at these places. I am very curious by nature, so finding out what influences the menu is always interesting to me,” says Sorensen, “I’ve come to find that most of the time there is a good story behind it all.” By the end of episode one, Sorensens’ curiosity about kimchi ultimately finds him sharing a family dinner in the home of Mr So’s Korean parents.

While Food Is Love gives the viewer an intimate look into the cultures that influence a vibrant St Louis food scene, it also serves as an impromptu platform for giving the backstory on the neighborhoods that support them. Lasse takes the viewer around places like Lecledes Landing and Bevo to better understand how these neighborhoods are shaped by the cultures that settle there. The series weaves many elements into a clear positive message that will tempt the viewers with deliciously crafted dishes while appealing to the heart with stories that everyone can relate to. “We can all relate to good food and good stories even despite our differences” says Lasse. The 13 episode series is written and produced by filmmaker Jason Pinkston along with support from Executive Producer Julie Chen Moonves, longstanding host of the popular reality show ‘Big Brother’.

“Lasse is a true creative talent in the kitchen. He can take a few random strange things you might find in a non chefs kitchen and make a masterpiece. I’ve seen it first hand…Not only are his creations delicious, they are aesthetically beautiful without being intimidating. He is the Leonardo DaVinci of cooking!” said Moonves.

“Lasse has an approachable way about him that makes others comfortable opening up to him, especially chefs, but also people who have had the same struggles he had when he first came to America,” says Pinkston. “When we started looking at the best way to tell these stories it was clear that a docu-style approach would work well because there is already a natural connection with Lasse… we just had to capture it.”