Local professional chefs Bernard Guillas and Tim Buckingham want to teach Moabites how to find, appreciate, and cook restaurant-worthy food—and they’re doing so over the airwaves during “The Buck & Bernie Show” on KZMU.
Buckingham started the show back in 2019 when it was “Thought for Food.” Guillas first appeared on the show as a guest in February 2021, and the two cooked up the idea for the new show with the two of them.
“I thought that the town would be really happy if we had a very cool, interactive radio show for everybody when it comes to not only food, but also nutrition and travel,” Guillas said. In November 2021, Guillas joined full-time and the show became “The Buck & Bernie Show.”
“We started the show, and guess what?” Guillas said. “It’s awesome.”
Moab’s desert climate seems like it wouldn’t lend itself to local foods, but Guillas and Buckingham disagree: there’s an entire culinary world to be explored here, if only you know where to look.
On a recent show, Guillas and Buckingham discussed how to preserve the region’s bounty: “The bounty here, in this beautiful little town, when it comes to fruits, vegetables, herbs, is just right,” Guillas said in his distinctly French accent, listing off peaches, melons, tomatoes and peppers, all of which make fantastic chutneys and jams.
Buckingham and Guillas spent an hour on the radio dissecting what to do with the Moab bounty, and in addition to posting the show on KZMU’s website, developed and posted recipes for spice pickled crabapples, cardamom rum pear chutney, cinnamon apple butter, rhubarb raspberry jam, and gingered heirloom tomato jam.
Together, they’ve explored local foods from every aspect. They interviewed Rhonda Gotway Clyde, owner of Easy Bee Farm; discussed catching and cooking local fish like trout and catfish; reviewed how to forage local mushrooms with guest chef Chad Scothorn—and figured out which wines to pair with which mushrooms. Every show is aired on the radio, then posted online alongside a slew of recipes.
Buckingham was born in Moab and worked at a local uranium mill until 1984. When the mill shut down, Buckingham changed careers completely: he moved to Santa Barbara to attend culinary school. There, he learned how to cook—and specifically, how local foods can shape and change a dish for the better—and he racked up experience working at restaurants.
When he and his wife wanted to start a family, they moved back to Moab, where Buckingham opened the now-closed Atomic Grill and Lounge. He started “Thought for Food” to expose Moabites to local food education—everything from the history of restaurants in the area to how to prepare a potato.
“I never intended the show to be like a recipe show—I just wanted to talk about different aspects of different foods,” Buckingham said. “There’s a lot you can go into about food.”
Guillas first moved to the United States, from France, to be a private chef for a restaurant just outside the White House. His career took him all over the states, and eventually, he settled into a semi-routine as a private chef, splitting his time between Moab and San Diego. Moab, and his work here, is “simply awesome,” he said, adding that he enjoys the challenge of finding local foods.
Buckingham and Guillas typically do one show per month: in the upcoming months, they plan to do a show with Pure Synergy, a local supplement company; a show about local hunting; a “one-pot” show, featuring only recipes that can be made in one pot; and a camping or on-the-river show.
“Life is delicious,” Guillas said during a Valentines-theme show in February. “And that’s the way we like it.”
Follow along at www.kzmu.org/category/buck-bernie.