Pandemic isolation has tested many over the last several months, and Tony Trimm, a Chicago-area native and DJ who tours with comedian Hannibal Buress, needed an outlet to release what was developing inside of him.
“A lot of people were stuck and were getting fucked up,” says Trimm.
Trimm started to watch cooking shows, but was unsatisfied with the offerings out there. He decided to build one himself, and then “it just got out of control.”
The result is Home Feed, a hilariously bizarre video series in the same vein as Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim shows like Tim and Eric, and the infamous “Too Many Cooks” short. The first episode dropped earlier this month via YouTube, and the second, which guest stars chefs Won Kim (Kimski, the Korean-Polish restaurant in Bridgeport) and Maragaret Pak (Thattu, an acclaimed South Indian pop-up), will be released Sunday. Trimm says he has enough material for a 10-episode first season, and he plans to release a show a week, take a break, and release them all by January. Other Chicago chefs could appear down the line, but for now, Trimm was happy his friends took the time to support his project.
Home Feed is a cooking show disguised by elements of sci-fi, horror, and psychedelic media, says Trimm. Each episode is six to 20 minutes and centers on Trimm’s character — stranded in a post-apocalyptic apartment, needing to make a dish with limited ingredients. The recipes from the show will be posted on the Home Feed website. The show, like a lot of Adult Swim content, isn’t for everybody. But it could find a niche with its medley of strange recipes, offbeat humor — and some random appearances by B-movie monsters. Trimm’s two chihuahuas, Chicharron and Nacho, also play roles. The show is recorded in two locales in Logan Square: a shuttered tattoo parlor and Trimm’s home across the street.
“No other cooking show is like this,” says Kim. “It’s actually educational.”
Kim recruited his friend, the more mild-mannered Pak, to appear on this “very manic and strange cooking show” with him.” Though he doesn’t work in the industry, Trimm knows chefs like Brian Fisher of Michelin-starred Entente from various events.
“All I knew was it would be fun, lax, and I would be making something easy with instant ramen,” Pak says.
The second episode features Kim and Pak playing alternative versions of Trimm’s character, preparing a dish that’s slightly different. Trimm sources these ingredients from his freezer, reminding viewers of when COVID-19 restrictions were tight, and folks were limiting their visits to the grocery store. The show also aims to push boundaries, such as when Trimm decides to prepare what he calls “Oriental Ramen” in the second episode. Kim, as one of Trimm’s doppelgangers, appears in the kitchen and starts cooking what he calls an “Oriental Omelette.” Pak follows up with her own dish, called an “Oriental Frittata.”
Still with us? Trimm, who (like Kim and Pak), is Korean American. He says he’s poking fun at the word “oriental” which has been called out as racist when improperly used to describe people. It’s a play on how stupid the term is, he says. For Trimm, he feels folks are sometimes too sensitive.
“What gets me more than anything is people who are not Asian,” Trimm says, as a preemptive strike to potential criticism. “Are you going to tell me what’s racist or what’s offensive and what’s not?”
Those who make it to the end credits will see a familiar chef’s name. James Beard Award winner Abe Conlon of Fat Rice is credited as a “creative consultant.” Trimm says Conlon, who’s friends with Kim, developed the recipes for the show (a spokesperson confirms his involvement). Conlon also voices a character uncredited. Apparently the chef had some time to take on new projects after Fat Rice closed over the summer of 2020. Several former restaurant workers went public about the restaurant’s alleged toxic workplace. Fat Rice has since reopened as Noodlebird in the same location.
The show also features music from Pelican, a popular Chicago metal band. Their wrenching guitar sounds suit the show, Trimm says. Hip-hop also plays a major role in the show, with Trimm rapping in some places. He’s also brainstorming a way to get his buddy Serengeti involved. Trimm met the Dennehy rapper in college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
While Kim and Pak were fun additions to the cast, Trimm is targeting one chef for an eventual appearance: Grant Achatz, the chef at molecular gastronomy pioneer Alinea, the city’s only three-Michelin-starred restaurant.
He also wouldn’t mind TV personality Steve Dolinsky, the former Hungry Hound: “To me, it’s about personality, not accolades.”
They’ll host a watch part starting at 8 p.m. at North Bar, 1637 W. North Avenue.