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Belton is a gumbo of English, French, Native American and African ancestry. His mother’s family has roots in the French-Caribbean island of Martinique and his French-speaking father’s family came from the Bayou Lafourche area of South Louisiana, near Thibodaux.
The self-trained chef began cooking under the watchful eye of his mother and grandmother in the uptown New Orleans home where he grew up. From these talented home cooks Belton learned to prepare the venerable dishes of the city and in his new series he’ll share family recipes and personal tips for making seafood gumbo, pralines, shrimp remoulade, chicken Clemenceau and many other New Orleans specialties.
Cooking instruction is second nature for Belton, who has spent the last 26 years teaching the foundation of Louisiana cooking to appreciative audiences. As an instructor this homegrown chef has introduced visitors from around the world to the food and rich traditions of the region.
In addition to the almost 7,000 lessons he has led at the cooking school, Belton has also offered classes and cooking demonstrations throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has been a featured chef and guest on numerous food programs including Emeril Live; Ready Set Cook; Life, Love, and Lunch; Food Fighters; Taste of America. In 1999 he was co-host and chef on the BBC series Big Kevin, Little Kevin, which also featured British celebrity chef Kevin Woodford. The series, taped in the United Kingdom and the U.S., aired in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. A companion cookbook co-authored by Belton, “Big Kevin, Little Kevin-Over 120 Recipes from around Britain and America by TV’s Odd Couple,” was published by Ebury Press.
Belton has long been associated with WYES-TV as the host of several popular cooking marathons. He is also a past recipient of the WYES President’s Award, which is given annually to individuals, organizations or businesses that have demonstrated exemplary support of public television in the metropolitan area.
In 2014 he was recognized as one of the top twenty Louisiana chefs by the American Culinary Federation.
In his public television debut Belton wants to pull back the curtain and show viewers what really makes the legendary cuisine of New Orleans so delicious. “Everybody says you make it look so easy,” he says. “I tell them, no, it is easy.” Taped in the studios of WYES-TV, NEW ORLEANS COOKING WITH KEVIN BELTON is a chance for viewers to meet a new APT host whose big personality is a perfect match for his 6’ 9” frame. When recently asked to name his five most important ingredients, the gregarious chef responded in classic Belton fashion, “salt, sugar, fresh herbs, a good pan and a phone to make a reservation!”
Belton is also starting production of a second series titled, KEVIN BELTON’S NEW ORLEANS KITCHEN with WYES-TV/PBS. The second series will be airing nationwide in April of 2018.