The moment local Chef Richard Knight and his front-of-house expert wife, Carrie, arrive on a farm in Field Store, out in Waller County, it becomes apparent that this will not be your average cooking show. They are greeted by herd of 30-plus goats, and Knight attempts to ride a goat before learning about goat cheese. These adventures are par for the course in the couple's new Houston-based reality TV series, Show Us Your Goods.
After departing Hunky Dory, the now-shuttered Heights favorite, in late 2017, Richard embarked on a mission with Carrie to teach Houstonians about their food. After all, Houston is home to more than 10,000 restaurants and its residents eat out 20 percent more often than the average American, but few of us think about how the food gets to our plate.
They first hosted "table to farm" dinners where folks ate their meal at the farm from whence it came. That project got picked up as a mini-doc called Breaking Bread, which led to this current project that will have Houstonians not only consider a visit to some of the city’s top eateries—from Pi Pizza to Ritual—but even take a trip to the local farm.
“It’s about developing relationships with people who love and care for what they do, what they produce, how they do it, and the relationships they have with the people—whether that’s the markets or restaurants or the chefs,” Richard says. “Yes, the show’s a bit of fun, but it’s about people who care about what they do and how they care about the community.”
The first episode features Blue Heron Farms in Field Store best known for its farmstead goat cheeses. Owners Lisa and Christian Seger—who use no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides—introduce their family of goats and demonstrate their organic process of creating goat feta cheese, which Richard uses to cook an appetizing goat feta flatbread.
Another episode follows Heights Boulevard’s Pi Pizza, which was started by Anthony Calleo as a food truck in Montrose and later became the brick-and-mortar operation it is today. He demonstrates how he chooses the best product for specific meals by sourcing from different farms, local markets and shops to provide “quality food over financial gain.” Not only is there a Thanksgiving inspired pizza involved in the episode, but viewers can watch Richard receive one of the legendary “Pizza for life” tattoos (branded Pi Pizza customers are entitled to one free slice per day).
Carrie emphasizes that the show is also about sharing personal stories. Calleo, for example, recounts the hard work and dedication spent to achieve his dream of transitioning Pi Pizza from food truck to restaurant. A later episode shows how Felix Florez, owner of Black Hill Ranch and co-founder of Ritual, copes with losing a group of pigs to Hurricane Harvey, and his strive to provide Texans with healthy meat. Being small food and beverage producers is not always easy, but the show demonstrates that it is certainly worthwhile when it comes to following your passions and serving the community.
“They didn’t grow up going, I’m going to be a farmer when I grow up or I’m going to be a pizza chef or I’m going to be a beer brewer,” Carrie says. “I think all of them had to take this journey in life which all of us take, which is sometimes we don’t always know what we’re going to be when we grow up, and sometimes we must experience unhappiness to find what true happiness is.”
So far, there are two full episodes complete and ready for film festivals, while the rest are still in the production process. Anna Boyter, who directed Show Us Your Goods and is a founder of Bear Hands Media, the show’s Heights-based production company, believes there is much potential in the show and—once the show builds a stronger network—hopes to get the series picked up nationally. For now, the focus is on Houston. Once the episodes are accepted and screened at film festivals, the show will be available to view online. (Follow @SUYG2018 for more updates.)
“We just hope to get people on this bandwagon with us, on this journey and get them to start finding a farmer,” Carrie says. “Everybody needs a farmer, as one of our farmers say.”