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Sundial to host cookbook release, reality update at Nov. 7 event

By Staff | Jun 17, 2015


Things continue to heat up for the creator of a popular television show.

Craig Chapman returns to Sanibel on Nov. 7 for the release of a new cookbook, a peek at the second season of his popular reality series, a magazine under a new publisher. The event is at the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa. Chapman hosted a sold-out food tasting event at Sundial last July.

Chapman is the creator of Real Food Real Kitchens, a reality TV series, a magazine, and website about family, food, culture and history, found on HULU. A Florida native, Chapman has long vacationed in Sanibel. He spent a week in town in early June, unwinding after a year of producing television pilots and screening a mountain of film and television story ideas, he said. He travels extensively between his home in Melbourne, Florida, New York City and Sanibel, he said.

“The whole week in Sanibel,” Chapman said, “has been awesome. Long bike rides, kind of hanging out with my family. I love it.”

A producer by trade, Chapman last summer hosted a food tasting at Sundial to help promote the rollout of his reality series. Proceeds went to FISH of Sanibel-Captiva. The visitor list initially went from a few dozen to standing room. Visibly nervous, Chapman warmed to an eager crowd as the evening unfolded.

“I had a few hard years to get to this point,” he said. “It is very exciting.”

Real Food Real Kitchens features a different person each episode preparing a traditional family dish that is close to the cook’s heart, while telling its story and background. One man shared his family’s recipe for shrimp and grits, while another worked on a fried chicken banquet. Homespun humor only in reality television is part of the show’s charm. A second season of Real Food Real Kitchens will featured on the Create network this fall. It is part of the public broadcasting network. Chapman said recipes in the second season will be more southern fare, apple-cherry pork chops and seafood chowders, for instance. He’s also working on a television show about an east Florida family that repurposes castoffs, a piano cover converted to shelving, for instance.

Chapman has a deep love for southwest Florida and Sanibel, where his parents honeymooned in 1964.

“My family has been coming to Sanibel for over 30 years,” he said, “so being able to host an event like this for Real Food Real Kitchens is very special.”