Two Albany chefs featured on new Food Network show – Times Union


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Shahila Abbasi, executive chef of McGeary’s Pub in Albany, will be on the new Food Network show “Chef Boot Camp” in April 2021. (Steve Barnes/Times Union)

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ALBANY — The head chef of McGeary’s Pub and the chef-owner of Allie B’s Cozy Kitchen, both in Albany, will be featured on separate episodes of “Chef Boot Camp,” a new six-part series debuting April 8 on Food Network.

Shahila Abbasi, who has run the kitchen at McGeary’s for more than a decade, and Kizzy Williams, founder of the 7-year-old Allie B’s, were selected to be on the show, according to a publicist for Left/Right, the production company that is making the series for Food Network. Abbasi and Williams confirmed their participation to the Times Union. Left/Right has produced shows for many cable channels and networks, including AMC, Animal Planet, CNN, Comedy Central and PBS.

According to the Food Network description:

“Chef Boot Camp” takes a deep dive into one of the most critical and essential elements of restaurants everywhere — the chefs running the kitchen. … (E)ach episode … will put a trio of underperforming chefs through a grueling series of challenges to test their real-world culinary skills and fitness for the role.

The series is hosted by Cliff Crooks, culinary director of Manhattan-based ESquared Hospitality, which owns multiple dining spots under its BLT Restaurant Group brand.

“Chef Boot Camp” will premiere at 10 p.m. Thursday, April 8. Abbasi is scheduled to be on the second episode, Williams on the fourth, according to the production company publicist.

The Times Union will feature interviews with the chefs as the show approaches.