Staff Photo by Tim Barber Greg Filter, and his wife, Charla, owners of Connoisseurs Catering in Dunlap, talk about his recipe for catfish tacos making the grilling competition on ABC's "Live! with Regis and Kelly." The segment is called, "Live's Ultimate Hometown Grill Off."
DUNLAP, Tenn. -- When Greg Filter sent in his recipe entry to ABC's "Live! with Regis and Kelly," he thought he was putting his name in the hat to win a barbecue grill.
A couple of weeks later, Mr. Filter learned a recipe for catfish tacos from his Dunlap business, Connoisseurs Catering, was vying for the mantle of top grilling recipe on the morning television show.
"I'm not very computer-savvy, so I got very frustrated ,and (the computerized entry form) said 'send it' and it said 'invalid password,' and I quit," he laughed. He didn't know if his entry even made it in.
His wife, Charla, said she got the phone call from New York.
"I answered it and she said, 'This is Lauren from ABC studio's "Live! with Regis and Kelly,'" and I was like, 'Ooookaaay,'" Mrs. Filter said.
She told the caller she thought her husband entered by mistake but asked if the entry was still valid. It was, so the contest was on, she said.
Mr. and Mrs. Filter hope to drum up local support to push the catfish taco recipe past four other nominees in the "Ultimate Hometown Grill Off" on the show's "Grill Fridays" summer segments.
He might call getting into the contest a "fluke," but Mr. Filter said he still wants to win.
"What it's down to is I'm one of 55 people in the United States for the overall competition and one of five for the fish competition," said Mr. Filter, who is a corporate caterer in Chattanooga and has worked at restaurants all over the area.
With enough votes, Mr. Filter could be demonstrating his grilling skills on national television next Friday, he said.
Each week, online voters pick the week's category finalist, who will be flown to New York to prepare the dish on the air, spokeswoman Barbara Warren said.
The winner for Mr. Filters' category will be announced Tuesday, Ms. Warren said. More categories will be introduced in coming weeks.
At the end of summer, one dish will get the nod for the "Ultimate Hometown Grill Recipe" title, and that chef will be featured in Better Homes and Gardens, she said.
Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...