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Bronx Flavor contends for New York Emmy

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A local show that explores hole-in-the-wall Bronx eateries with a flamboyant, rambunctious host is up for a New York-area Emmy Award for cinematography.

Bronx Flavor, which appears on Bronxnet public access television is a show that combines sketch comedy with restaurant reviewing in the vein of journalism. Cinematographers for the show are Joe Bly and Raymond Pageucco.

The show, hosted by the flamboyant Baron Ambrosia – whose real name is Justin Fornal – takes viewers on a raucous tour of some of the Bronx’s well-known and lesser-known eateries, engulfing the restaurant owners and patrons into the Baron’s world. Fornal created the splashy, colorful show for Bronxnet, whose executive director Michael Max Knobbe ran with the idea.

“Bronx Flavor is an incredibly rewarding to experience,” Max Knobbe said. “There is a giveback from watching it. You learn about a place to go for a dinning experience that is not on your radar but should be. It is presented as an adventure where you can taste new things. It has an inspiring narrative and Baron Ambrosia is a brilliant storyteller. We commend all of the talented creative people contributing to the open work that is Bronxnet.”

The character Baron Ambrosia is a culinary warrior who is the master of tea making and other culinary arts. He has been called a terrific storyteller, who brings the everyday, mostly ethnic restaurants into the limelight. He does this by engulfing the eateries in a fantasy world that follows the theme of wine, women, and song.

“We are the only culinary adventure series that combines journalism and sketch comedy,” Fornal said. “As far as I know it has never been done before. Most the people in the comedy sketches are not actors. You are seeing neighborhood people shanghaied into the Baron’s world and playing themselves.”

Fornal said that he hopes the show will break down barriers and get people to try out foods from different cultures. And thanks to help from word-of-mouth and the Internet, the show is becoming more well known – even in other countries.

“I get e-mails from Japan and Germany saying we saw the show online, and are coming to the Bronx on vacation,” Fornal said.

Also nominated a New York Emmy Award is Bronxnet’s Migration: The Puerto Rican Experience – produced Max Knobbe and Walter Garaicoa.

Bronx Flavor can be seen on Cablevision channel 67 and Verizon FIOS channel 33 at Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. and Thursday at 11:00 p.m.

The award ceremony is on Sunday, March 29. For more information about the show, please visit www.bronxflavor.com.

Updated 5:24 pm, October 21, 2011
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