contestants on the third season of the great american recipe on pbs photo courtesy of pbs

Adjo Honsou of Fufu n' Sauce to compete in season three of PBS' 'The Great American Recipe'

Adjo Honsou of West African food truck Fufu n’ Sauce will compete on the new season of PBS cooking show The Great American Recipe. Honsou is one of eight cooks who will feature on the show’s third season, which premieres on June 17 at 9 p.m. on Nine PBS.

Running across eight episodes, The Great American Recipe sees host Alejandra Ramos set cooking challenges that give the show’s contestants the opportunity to show off their skills and bring diverse cultural backgrounds and cooking styles to the fore. “The challenges definitely give you room for interpretation so you can bring in your cultural diversity, because that's the whole premise of the show – how one thing can be very different from home to home,” Honsou said. Judges Tiffany Derry, Tim Hollingsworth and Francis Lam are on hand to offer advice and encouragement to the contestants, as well as delivering their own verdicts on the results.

Honsou admitted to some apprehension when a casting director for the show contacted her to gauge her interest in appearing on The Great American Recipe. “I thought it was a scam,” she laughed. “I was like, ‘There is no way PBS is reaching out to little old me from the middle of nowhere to come be on national TV.’” However, once she confirmed the offer was indeed sincere and she learned more about the show, Honsou was all-in.

The Great American Recipe for me is a show that tries to show how much food and culture differs all across America, yet we're all one unit, right?” said Honsou, who was born in Togo, West Africa. She added that the show affirms the diversity of modern American cuisine. “It sounds cliched, but it truly is a melting pot,” she said. “I've been in the Midwest ever since I can remember, from the age of 14. I'm very Midwestern, but at the end of the day, I was born and raised somewhere else, and that culture, that's also infused into my Midwestern culture.”

In addition to Honsou’s Midwest-meets-West-Africa perspective, the other cooks featured on the show bring insights from their own diverse cultural backgrounds, from Cantonese cuisine to the cooking traditions of Alaska, the American South and Italy, to name a few. “You will see all these home cooks from different places in America, but their cooking and their lineage and their heritage is from all over the world, and that really shines through,” Honsou said. “It's a very beautiful show. I know I'm biased [but] I really, really can't wait for people to see it.”

Starting June 17, a new episode of The Great American Recipe airs every Monday at 9 p.m. on Nine PBS. The show is also available online to PBS subscribers. Honsou will celebrate the premiere by hosting a public viewing party from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on June 17 outside the Stupp Center in Tower Grove Park. Guests are invited to bring blankets, chairs and other equipment for a picnic-style event. A large screen will be set up so attendees can watch the premiere, and Honsou will be there with the Fufu n’ Sauce truck, cooking dishes featured on the premiere so that guests can “judge along with the judges.” Tickets are free and available at Eventbrite

Honsou has been operating Fufu n’ Sauce for the past two years. Her menus naturally include fufu prominently, but aside from the starchy West African staple, Honsou serves dishes like egusi (a tomato-based West African stew made with pumpkin seeds), oxtail stew, jollof rice and fried plantains, as well as drinks like hibiscus tea. Fufu n’ Sauce will also be appearing at Sauce Food Truck Friday on June 14.

Fufu n’ Sauce is also currently running a GoFundMe fundraiser to support the growth of the business. Honsou has found a commercial kitchen space that she wants to use to expand her operations, and the GoFundMe cash will help her to make that a reality. If you’d like to support the campaign, donate here

Editor's Note: This story was updated on Jun. 6, 2024 to include the broadcast time for The Great American Recipe.

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