"The reason I pushed so hard to get on the show is I've been pigeonholed as a barbecue pitmaster," says Waiboer, owner of the Carolina Pit Masters Barbecue Cooking School. "I have a lot more talent than that. I consider myself a live fire guy."
American Grilled, which premiered earlier this month, is a regional outdoor cooking challenge hosted by chef David Guas. According to a press release, the cooks "must use locally sourced ingredients to create delicious and original plates that test their epic backyard skills." At the conclusion of each stand-alone episode, filmed in locales including Asheville, Chicago, Memphis and Latrobe, Pa., one of the four featured competitors receives $10,000.
Waiboer is barred from revealing who wins, but odds are good that a South Carolinian will emerge triumphant in the July 30 show. In addition to Waiboer, the contestant group included Charleston's Cheyenne Ledyard - who on July Fourth claimed his first sanctioned competition victory at Mullins' Rib Throwdown - and a barbecue rub producer from Aiken. A woman from Peachtree City, Ga. rounds out the contestant roster.
According to Waiboer, the show shot in Savannah was originally scheduled to film in Charleston, but production dates conflicted with the Bridge Run. Quail was the starring ingredient in the relocated episode, which is structured as a series of elimination rounds.
"We were charged with cooking Lowcountry fare," Waiboer says. "And being a grilling show, it was all hot and fast."
The cooking proceeded so quickly that Waiboer predicts viewers will be able to see the contestants prepare dishes in real time, which he suspects will inspire home cooks to up their grill games.
"To be able to come home and produce a meal in 40 minutes, I think that's cool," he says.
The Savannah episode will air in American Grilled's usual Wednesday 9 p.m. time slot. Comcast subscribers in Charleston receive the Travel Channel on channels 52 and 458.