Nick and Taylor explore KW’s food scene

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If you were to ask someone what the Kitchener-Waterloo region is known for, what would you say? 

Some of the most popular answers would be Google or the tech industry; many others might struggle to think of an answer at all, but what about food? 

A duo of local individuals are attempting to bring awareness to the great food culture that this region has to offer.

Nick and Taylor make a food show is a new series available online that follows Taylor Jackson — who according to the show “doesn’t cook” — and Nick Benninger — who is the chef and owner of four restaurants in KW, including Marbles, Taco Farm, Uptown 21 and Harmony Lunch — as they go on many different food related adventures. 

If you are a foodie like me, this show is worth watching. It is endlessly entertaining, and perhaps more importantly, it brings coverage and attention to local eateries that might be your favourite or a new spot that you’ve never tried before.

The show itself came from the development of a one-off episode one and had a positive reception.

“The response was just really strong and people seemed to really dig it so we thought that there was a need for such a thing; a locally made food show. So we decided to give it a try and we started recording,” Benninger said.

The motivation for continuing in the development of the show extends into the realm of developing KW pride.

“We kind of wanted to just buff their own tires a little bit and give folks locally a better reason to go out and eat and you know just supporting independent restaurants,” Benninger said.

“To say that the food scene in KW is ‘finally’ growing or anything like that, that’ll offend me and it’ll offend people that have been here for a long time.”

“I think any help we can give small businesses like my own is just good work.”

This regional and local focus is part of what makes Nick and Taylor make a food show so great to watch. Not just the desire to bring attention to independent places, but that these places are so close to us. 

Often food shows can bring the viewer all over the country and these places are often not places we always go to; but here, these are places we may see on our way to work that we are curious about.

The show has gone to and has seen many of the best food places that our region has to offer, it would seem that the region’s food scene has grown greatly.

“I think it’s a double edged sword … yes the food scene has grown a lot and it’s kind of grown into more of what a big city might want in a food scene … but I think it’s important that we don’t forget about the places that sort of built the foundations and they’re what is going to make our food scenes sustainable,” Benninger said.

It’s easy to see the development in KW’s food scene as something only started recently but that wouldn’t be an entirely correct view. 

“To say that the food scene in KW is ‘finally’ growing or anything like that, that’ll offend me and it’ll offend people that have been here for a long time,” Benninger said.

What’s great about a show like Nick and Taylor make a food show is that it functions as entertainment while also bringing attention to questions surrounding the local food scene.

And don’t worry they’re already working on a season two and have no plans for stopping.

“We could theoretically go on forever and really never run out of great spots in KW to visit, or great events or great things,” Benninger said.

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