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PBS North Carolina Premieres New Cooking Series This September



Author and Cook Sheri Castle Will Host ‘The Key Ingredient’ Premiering September 23

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, 8/24/2021 — PBS North Carolina announces a brand-new cooking series, The Key Ingredient with Sheri Castle, premiering Thursday, September 23, at 7:30 PM, on PBS NC.  

In each half-hour episode, host and award-winning food writer and cook, Sheri Castle, features one local ingredient, tracing its journey from source to kitchen to table. Throughout the series, Castle introduces viewers to North Carolina farmers, fishermen and chefs and shares approachable home cooking recipes and tips.  

“Great stories have always fascinated me, both listening to them and telling a few of my own,” says host Sheri Castle. “It’s the same with creating great recipes and gathering top-notch ingredients that convey a sense of place. It’s been an honor to team up with PBS North Carolina, fellow cooks, farmers and artisan producers to trace local ingredients we love from the ground up, all the way to our home kitchens.” 

A modern take on the familiar ‘stand-and-stir' format from Executive Producer and Director Heather Burgiss, The Key Ingredient with Sheri Castle celebrates North Carolina’s culinary diversity alongside notable local chefs and home cooks. Together, Castle and her guests explore their connections to local ingredients and share recipes that marry Southern traditions like skillet cornbread and buttermilk biscuits with unique chef creations such as Chef Cheetie Kumar’s Indian-inspired coconut cornmeal upma and muscadine pie from Milk Glass Pie owner Keia Mastrianni. 

“Sheri may rub elbows with the best chefs in the South, but she’s a homegrown North Carolina cook who always keeps it real in the kitchen,” says PBS North Carolina CEO Lindsay Bierman. “Her doable recipes feed our souls and connect us more deeply to our Southern roots.”  

The series of eight episodes features four recipes per show, all available online, with additional cooking tips from Sheri released in weekly ‘Sheri Says’ videos. Viewers can join the conversation by posting their own recipes and photos to Facebook and Instagram using hashtag #TheKeyIngredient.   

Ahead of the season premiere on September 23, PBS North Carolina will host a virtual sneak peek event with host Sheri Castle on Monday, September 20, at 7:30 PM. The event will include a preview screening of the first episode, followed by a Q&A led by Executive Producer and Director Heather Burgiss. To learn more and register, see the event listing on Eventbrite

New episodes of The Key Ingredient with Sheri Castle will air Thursday nights at 7:30, on PBS NC and YouTube. Full episodes will be available on demand at and via the PBS Video App across iOS and Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and Samsung Smart TVs. For more information about The Key Ingredient with Sheri Castle, the host, guest chefs and recipes from the episodes, visit

About Sheri Castle 

Award-winning food writer and cooking teacher, Sheri Castle is known for melding culinary expertise, storytelling, and humor, so she can tell a tale while making a memorable meal. Her creative, well-crafted recipes and practical advice inspire people to cook with confidence and enthusiasm. She's written a tall stack of cookbooks and her work appears in dozens of magazines. In 2019, the Southern Foodways Alliance named Sheri among Twenty Living Legends of Southern Food, calling her The Storyteller. 

Sheri says that she's fueled by great ingredients and the endless pursuit of intriguing stories, usually about the role that food plays in our lives, families, communities and culture. 

When she steps away from the kitchen or a local farm, Sheri enjoys spending quiet time at her home near Chapel Hill. She hails from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. 

About Heather Burgiss 

Emmy® award-winning Executive Producer and Director Heather Burgiss has been telling the stories of her beloved adopted home state and developing new series and shows for both digital and broadcast at PBS North Carolina since 2000. 

In The Key Ingredient with Sheri Castle, Heather leads the development, writing and direction of this modern ‘stand-and-stir' with Sheri Castle, exploring ingredients from the ground up with farmers, producers and recipes in the kitchen. In casting and storylines, Heather seeks out unique, diverse voices to give the audience a deeper glimpse and connection into the subject at hand. 

When she's not storytelling, Heather enjoys the outdoors with her husband, three sons and good dogs, Ruby and Beau.

About PBS North Carolina  

As North Carolina’s statewide PBS network serving the country’s third-largest public media market, PBS NC educates, informs, entertains and inspires its statewide audience on-air, online and in-person. Through its unique partnership of public investment and private support, the statewide network includes in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery, and four over-the-air channels—PBS NC, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS Kids and the Explorer Channel. Its transformational events and content spark curiosity and wonder for all North Carolinians. Additionally, PBS NC serves as the backbone for North Carolina’s state’s emergency services. Visit and join the conversation at and @MyPBSNC on Instagram and Twitter.  


Media Contacts: 
Kathleen Kramer, PBS North Carolina Marketing & Communications