Steve Schimoler
  • Steve Schimoler
Cleveland wants to break into the cooking-based reality-show business, and it has extra muscle to help. Crop Bistro owner Steve Schimoler has partnered with some high-powered producers for Feed My Team, a web series that presents professional athletes cooking a meal for a restaurant full of their teammates and friends. The first episode films at Crop (1400 W. 6th St.) at 6 p.m. on Monday, October 26. Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas will cook for 70 fellow Browns, family members and food fans. Gourmands and sports fans can visit for tickets to be in the studio audience. The neighboring Mercury Lounge (1392 W. 6th St.) will broadcast the event live and host an afterparty. Admission is $10.

Joe Thomas
  • Joe Thomas
For each episode, the athlete will choose a favorite dish. Before taping, Schimoler will coach the jock in the hectic kitchen environment, putting him through his paces with stoves, cutlery and cuisine. The Crop chef says cooking is a full-contact job too.

“It’s a monster workout,” says Schimoler. “It’s hot; you’re moving fast. You’ve got this great environment where a pro athlete is throwing down in a kitchen. There’s a lot of teamwork and a great chemistry — you get a lot of high-fiving. I always say cooking is a sport.”

Nehst Studios, which is producing the series in partnership with Schimoler, plans to air the first episode in late November. They’re hoping to do 12 episodes for the show’s first season using Cleveland athletes first and then tapping visiting opponents. — D.X. Ferris

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