Arizona PBS serves up new digital series to support local restaurants

By Mario Baralta

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world’s restaurant industry, but chefs and restaurateurs throughout Arizona have pivoted to offer innovative takeout menus. Arizona PBS is highlighting those menus through a new digital-first mini-series starting Dec. 10.

The series, “Plate & Pour: Takeout,” is an extension of the organization’s Emmy Award-winning original series “Plate & Pour.” The show’s host, chef Mark Tarbell, revisits “Plate & Pour” restaurants to discover the artistry behind to-go offerings from some of the most dynamic dining destinations in the Southwest.

“It is important to highlight the restaurant community because it’s struggling right now,” said Margery Punnett, the show’s executive producer. “These short pieces let people know that the restaurants they love are offering alternatives to on-site dining.”

With more people looking for a socially-distanced way to experience new restaurants or enjoy dishes from their favorite spots, Arizona PBS is once again bringing the local restaurant scene to the forefront in this new series.

“What we’re hoping to bring to our Instagram followers is the restaurant experience — getting your food and going through the motions of creating a dine-in experience at your table,” said Arizona PBS Digital Director Ebonye Delaney. “‘Plate & Pour: Takeout’ is lighthearted and shines a new spotlight on some of the best places to eat in the Valley.”

Launching the series on Instagram allows it to be more interactive. The hope, according to Punnett, is that viewers will be inspired to try a new meal and support our local food industry. Plus, viewers have the opportunity to weigh in and suggest their favorite restaurants for Tarbell to explore.

Unlike the main “Plate & Pour” series, these videos are just over a minute long and only feature takeout menus. “They are essentially music videos with no interviews,” Punnett said..

The mini-series is slated to premiere Thursday on Arizona PBS’ Instagram account and will consist of 10 to 20 short videos. Follow Arizona PBS for a new episode every Thursday to explore Arizona’s local food scene and support the businesses that keep our communities flavorful.

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