Create TV Announces Create Cooking Challenge: “Easy Peasy” Grand Prize and Second Prize Winners

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Celebrity judging panel including Bridget Lancaster, Buki Elegbede and Sara Moulton participated to select public TV’s next culinary how-to star

(May 30, 2024) – Create® TV today announces the Grand Prize and Second Prize winners of the 2024 Create Cooking Challenge: Scott Meeks of Alexandria, VA; Iris Fairfax of Philadelphia, PA; and Tristan Heath of Mechanicsville, VA. Seeking new talent for an exclusive Create digital video series, this year’s theme, “Easy Peasy,” focused on cooking demonstrations of recipes featuring six ingredients or less. Selected from 100 entries submitted from across the country, Meeks, Fairfax and Heath have successfully embraced the goal to contribute and demonstrate new ideas for recipes that require minimal ingredients and deliver delicious results. Distributed and produced by American Public Television (APT), The WNET Group and GBH Boston, Create TV is a national channel showcasing the best of public television lifestyle and how-to programming.

“This year’s challenge entries highlight what we’ve always known about Create viewers: they are inventive, skilled and passionate creators, with kitchen skills to match,” notes APT president and CEO Jim Dunford. “We’re pleased that the Create Cooking Challenge once again allows us to identify fresh new voices and unique perspectives to showcase through the power of public television.”

Culinary experts and Create hosts Sara Moulton (chef and host of Sara’s Weeknight Meals), Buki Elegbede (2017 Create Cooking Challenge winner and host of Table for All with Buki Elegbede) and Bridget Lancaster (executive editor and co-host, America’s Test Kitchen) also served as final round judges for the Challenge. These hosts enjoy popular success on Create TV, one of public television’s leading multi-cast channels, with more than 30 million adult viewers annually. The Create Cooking Challenge: “Easy Peasy” winners were judged based on criteria that included the entrant’s demonstrated knowledge, ability to present ideas succinctly, and production values.

Grand Prize Winner — Scott Meeks of Alexandria, VA (MPT Create viewer)

Selected as the Grand Prize winner for demonstrating his recipe for Sweet Tea Barbecue, Meeks will receive a prize of $4,000 and production equipment to finance and produce a ten-part web series of two-minute videos to premiere on

Buki Elegbede remarked in his judging notes for the winning entry that “Scott is ready for primetime! Personality shines through the camera! Great presentation and a unique dish I can’t wait to try.”

Growing up in the 1980s, Meeks says his Saturdays were all about cartoons and PBS cooking shows. He credits chefs like Julia Child, Martin Yan, and Justin Wilson for inspiring his lifelong love of all things food. These days, Scott lives in the Washington, D.C. area, where he enjoys producing foodie content for his YouTube channel, collecting vintage cookbooks, and testing vegan recipes on his non-vegan family.

Co-Second Prize Winner — Iris Fairfax of Philadelphia, PA (PBS39 Create viewer)

Selected as the co-Second Prize winner for demonstrating her recipe for Sausage and Peppers Over Mascarpone Polenta, Fairfax will receive $1,000 and production equipment to finance and produce a three-part web series of two-minute videos to premiere on

Bridget Lancaster noted in her review that “Iris is a joy to watch! Her delivery and presentation reveal that she not only has a passion for this recipe in particular but also that she knows a lot about cooking in general.”

A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Fairfax is a professional opera singer and lifelong food enthusiast. A self-taught, avid home cook (with the help of public television shows and a vast cookbook collection!), she is the host of #BuddhaBites, a YouTube series she created to inspire regular folks to build their own skills in the kitchen.

Co-Second Prize Winner — Tristan Heath of Mechanicsville, VA (VPM Create viewer)

Selected as the co-Second Prize winner for demonstrating his recipe for Simplified Mexican Chicken Adobo, Heath will receive $1,000 and production equipment to finance and produce a three-part web series of two-minute videos to premiere on

Sara Moulton’s comments for Tristan included that “He is clearly very knowledgeable and has a good presence on camera. I am going to make that recipe (although a whole can of chipotles makes me a little nervous).”

Heath loved cooking for many years, but it wasn’t until the end of his college studies that he realized that he wanted to pursue the craft professionally. After attending culinary school in the Hudson Valley, he moved to New York City, where he cut his teeth working in several celebrated restaurants. Now out of the fine dining world of New York, he likes to share his knowledge and passion for good food through video on his YouTube channel, Cooking with Tristan.

Meeks, Fairfax and Heath were chosen from a field of ten finalists, hailing from public television markets across the country. The entrant and recipes rounding out the top ten are:


  • Anita Bruenjes of Waldwick, NJ (WLIW Create viewer) Juicy Meatballs in Lemon Sauce
  • Jackie Carioscia of Olathe, KS (Kansas City PBS Create viewer) Furikake Mahi Mahi with Roasted Kabocha Squash
  • Kim Reynolds of Brooklyn, NY (WLIW Create viewer) Mirlitons New Orleans Style
  • Venessa Taylor-Mishra of Hopewell Junction, NY (WLIW Create viewer) Indo-Jamaican Curry Tofu
  • Claudia Veysel of Charlottesville, VA (VPM Create viewer) Manzanilla and Gorgonzola Tapas
  • Vincent Williams of Lithonia, GA (GPB Create viewer) Quick and Easy Whipped Cream
  • Clara Young of Los Angeles, CA (PBS SoCal Create viewer) Avocado Chocolate Mousse

The video entries and recipes for all ten finalists are available at

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About Create:

Create® is the premier lifestyle channel featuring public television’s most popular how-to series, focused on food, travel, home & garden, arts & crafts, fitness, and lifestyle. Create is produced and distributed by American Public Television (APT); The WNET Group (New York); and GBH Boston in association with National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) and PBS. Create TV is carried by 240 local public television stations nationwide, reaching more than 83% of USTVHH, and is seen in 26 of the top 30 U.S. television markets. Create’s companion website features extensive video, the Create TV schedule, program and host information.


Information provided to TVL by:
Tracey Werner
Director, Marketing Communications
Lehigh Valley Public Media
PBS39/WLVR 91.3 FM/