Joey Fatone hits the AC Boardwalk

Posted: October 08, 2013

FORMER 'NSYNC-ER Joey Fatone hit Atlantic City this weekend to check out the Boardwalk Rodeo for his show "My Family Recipe Rocks," on the Live Well Network.

Thankfully, bucking broncos aren't on the menu.

Instead, Fatone wanted to highlight Jersey in ways that it isn't known for, like judging the DO AC Smokin' Hot Atlantic City BBQ Championship.

"There are other things besides boardwalks and casinos," Fatone said. The crazy part of his off-the-boardwalk-path exploration of N.J.? He had to take a three-hour-long class just to get a spot on the judges panel (if only "American Idol" had such restrictions). So how'd he do? "I passed with flying colors, of course!" Fatone told me.

While he was in town, Fatone hit up some boardwalk icons as well, dining on saltwater taffy from James' (1519 Boardwalk, among other locations), crab fries at Chickie's and Pete's (Tropicana, 2831 Boardwalk) and sandwiches at Tony Boloney's (300 Oriental Ave.).

The purpose of "My Family Recipe Rocks," though, is to highlight the homegrown cooks. That's got to make Fatone quite the whiz in the kitchen.

His go-to? Sauce.

"Tomatoes, sausage, meats," Fatone said, almost wistfully, adding that he learned his sauce from his dad.

I told him if he ever did an episode in Philly, he'd have to call it gravy.

"I know! That's crazy," Fatone said. "When I think gravy, I think turkey."

The Atlantic City-themed episode will air in early November.

Love on 'Top'

I attended a hard-hat party for "Top Chef" champion Kevin Sbraga's new eatery Fat Ham, his still-in-the-works spot at 3131 Walnut St. In between bites of the succulent suckling pig, I asked Sbraga if he had given advice to current Philly-reppin' "Top Chef" contestants Jason Cichonski and Nicholas Elmi. "I gave them both advice," Sbraga said. "They just have to cook from the heart."

Looks like it's worked so far: Both Cichonski and Elmi made it through the first episode. Catch the cheftestants every Wednesday at 10 p.m. on Bravo.

* In other locals-on-TV news, the Esquire Network's "Brew Dogs," a reality show about the love of craft beer, focuses its episode tomorrow on Downingtown's own Victory Brewing Co. The craft-brew-focused "Brew Dogs" airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

Pearl Jam, Apatow conquer World

Look out, Pearl Jam fans and aficionados of comedies involving lovable man-children bristling against their own maturity. The WXPN-produced World Cafe has landed the exclusive broadcast rights to an epically long interview between the band and director Judd Apatow. The 70-minute interview will be split up and broadcast in two parts: Hear the first part tomorrow and the second on Wednesday, both at 2 and 8 p.m.

Pearl Jam is playing the Wells Fargo Center on Oct. 21 and 22, in support of their new record, "Lightning Bolt." Tickets are still available for both shows at comcasttix.com. "Lightning Bolt" comes out Oct. 15.

Pregnant in heels

6ABC's Alicia Vitarelli may be quite pregnant, but lady looked fantastic wearing a deep-blue bandage dress and rocking (very) high-heeled pumps while she hosted the second annual Garces Family Foundation Gala on Thursday night at the Kimmel Center.

OUT AND ABOUT

* Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz attended the Flyers home opener Wednesday, donning a Flyers cap to support the Orange and Black, who fell, 3-1, to the Maple Leafs. Fox 29's Kacie McDonnell also caught the game, sporting a super-cute combo of casual Flyers T and blazer. Both sporty and chic!

* Restaurant bossman Stephen Starr stopped by his Fishtown BBQ spot, Fette Sau (1208 Frankford Ave.), on Saturday night, but didn't stay long, carrying out a doggy bag of post-visit snacks.

Matthew Quick, author of Silver Linings Playbook, gave the keynote address at Friends Hospital and the Thomas Scattergood Foundation for Behavioral Health's 200th anniversary gala Saturday. Quick's novels are characterized by their starkly accurate and refreshingly honest view of mental health.

* Philly's psyched-out folkster Kurt Vile caught the Flaming Lips/ Tame Impala show at the Festival Pier at Penn's Landing on Thursday.


Email: eichelm@phillynews.com

On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN

Online: ph.ly/DNGossip

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