Hannah Hart Jumps from YouTube to TV with I Hart Food
The star of My Drunk Kitchen heads out on the open road to taste everything from Maine lobster to New Mexico chiles.
Back in 2011, YouTube-first content still had an overabundance of lo-fi vlogs and cats playing the piano. And it was during that year that Hannah Hart, creator of the uber-popular MyHarto YouTube channel, filmed a video to cheer up a friend. It was entitled “Butter Yo Sh*t” and it featured a post-college Hart drunkenly making a grilled cheese sandwich. After she uploaded it to YouTube, though, the strangest thing happened, people really liked it.
Six years, two books, three feature films and hundreds of videos, including almost 200 My Drunk Kitchen episodes, later, Hart now has her own TV show on The Food Network, aptly titled I Hart Food. The six-episode series, which premiers August 14th at 10/9c, takes Hart on a trip across the U.S. to explore local specialties and what makes each of them unique.
Along with wanting to learn more about regional dishes though, I Hart Food was inspired by Hart’s love of food and travel. “For me, when I explore a city, I dictate the trip by the meals,” she says. “I like to see a place by literally looking up where we should eat and then after finishing that meal, thinking about the time we’ll spend between now and the next meal. The goal is always the next meal.”
Dishes and destinations for the first six episodes include lobster in Portland, ME, barbecue in Asheville, NC, and green and red chiles in Santa Fe, NM. As Hart puts it, she chose cities that were obviously delicious, but maybe not quite as popular amongst eating enthusiasts. “I wanted to highlight food cities that are well known, but I also wanted to visit places that were slightly more off the beaten path,” Hart explains. “One of the best examples I think is Eugene, OR, which many people might know as a major food destination.”
While Hart knows hers won't be the first food-meets-travel show on TV, her hope is that her enthusiasm and genuine interest in regional specialties shines through to separate I Hart Food from the pack. “My favorite type of programming is what I like to call “infotainment,” which happens when you’re being super entertained, but also happened to be learning something,” she says. “That’s what I really want to do with I Hart Food: I consider myself a food enthusiast rather than a food expert and I really hope to bring that desire to learn to the show,” she says.