On the brink of closure by the health department for serious health violations, the owners at Big Momma’s Chicken & Waffles in New Orleans are left with few options. With little time before a health inspection, Big Momma’s days of serving up down-home Southern cookin’ are numbered. Enter, Ben Vaughn, hosting Food Network’s newest special, “Health Inspector.” Vaughn, a restaurant consultant and food health and safety expert travels the country, working with food establishments to

Big Momma's Chicken & Waffles, New Orleans

clean up their acts. The little-publicized, “Health Inspector” premiers tomorrow (check local listings), scrubbing the filth at Big Momma’s Chicken & Waffles, but will they clean up their act in time for the real health inspectors?

TV Guide reports that Food Network quietly scheduled the new special as a test. Traditionally, Food Network’s shows glorify food and the industry, but this show will focus on the not-so-glamorous underbelly of the restaurant industry. Shows like Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares” currently feature cleanliness, food handling and health and safety violations, but Food Network will focus an entire show on the subject to highlight the importance of proper food handling.

According to TV Guide, Food Network is tight-lipped, but indicated that the special is being considered for a regular series, depending on the ratings for the premier special. “Health Inspector” will air on the Food Network on Wednesday, June 20 at 10pm/9 central with several encore presentations over the days that follow. Check local listings for show times.

Read the story in TV Guide

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About the Author

Chris Ford is the founder of Stitches 'n Dishes and editor in chief with a passion for food, photography and travel. Chris is a Media Correspondent for the Food Network TV show, Eat St, a syndicated blogger, seasoned event organizer and promoter, a food critic, a marketing consultant and Social Media Marketing expert. Chris is also a fashion and entertainment photographer. When he's not dining on the sidewalk, he's snapping photos on the catwalk.

  • ANGRY!

    i dont even know where to start. the fact that food network is now involved with ben vaughn makes me want to boycot food network. ben vaughn is NOT a great chef. he is a con artist (look up ben vaughn doro motors) and a sexual predator. this is a man who drank his business under the table while lying to employees. he owes thousands of dollars to former employees. he owes one purveyor so much money the guy called the cops. ben vaughn left us to run his “4 star” restaurant blind for a week saying he was in rehab. he was hiding from the cops. this man is NOTHING respectable. does food network really want to employ someone who got drunk at work and tried to get inappropriate with [me and other] employees? the only reason why he was not immediately sued for sexual harassment was because he had NOTHING. the government was/is still repo-ing his possessions to pay back for the doro motors scam. i would hope that food network does more thorough screenings of people they get involved with but they obviously dont seeing as this pervert is now on it.

    • chris

      Thanks for your comment – you’ve certainly made it clear that you don’t agree with Food Network’s choice in host for this show! The article doesn’t claim that Vaughn is a great chef at all. It states that he’s a restaurant consultant and health and safety expert. I did confirm that he has previously held the position of chef / owner at several restaurants and bistros. Whether he’s a great chef or not is probably more a matter of personal opinion or a general consensus, but I didn’t bother to research previous reviews of his work. I can’t say I’m even vaguely familiar with Ben Vaughn, personally, but I did look up “Ben Vaughn Doro Motors,” as you suggested. I found no news coverage of any stories related to Doro Motors or Ben Vaughn. I did however read several interesting complaint reports on a rip-off website that allege that Ben Vaughn extorted money from customers of his business, then filed for bankruptcy to avoid repaying them (about 8 years ago). I must reiterate that the accuracy of these reports is not verified, so I wouldn’t personally have an opinion about the legal situation or any of the complaint reports (I believe there were 3-5 reports). I read his rebuttal (2005), stating that he was making efforts to refund money to customers, though.

      The government doesn’t repossess belongings, but the IRS or other agencies in the Justice Department can and will seize personal properties to pay tax debts or seize property acquired with stolen or “crime-related” money. I couldn’t find any news stories related to government seizures of Ben Vaughn’s property, though so I’m left empty-handed. Some of the complaints mentioned that the FBI was involved, another stated that Vaughn was arrested, but then not charged with anything, while another claimed he filed for bankruptcy, and still another said that he hadn’t filed for bankruptcy. So, if he was arrested, then walked free, and the FBI can’t pin him down, and nobody’s got a case that sticks, including any sexual harassment claims, why is the government seizing personal property? The seizure couldn’t possibly be related to any of these allegations.

      If he filed for bankruptcy, there would be no seizure.
      If he didn’t file for bankruptcy, but was found guilty of extortion, they could / would seize his property, but he wasn’t found guilty of anything (or even charged)

      It all makes my head spin! We’ve got drama, intrigue, scandal, infidelity, extortion, fraud, some form of alcohol or drug abuse, rehab, abandonment, sexual harassment, and the involvement of local police, the FBI and other criminal investigation agencies… and now we’ve got a really dirty, smelly, salmonella-ridden waffle house and Vaughn in the spotlight. Is that karma placing Vaughn in unsanitary, dirty, vomit-inducing situations, forcing him to face the ugliness within himself? Or is it just a great opportunity for yet another food reality TV show to compete with Fox and Bravo? It’s not even a real TV show, for that matter. It was a one night special – a “test” that may be considered a pilot someday, if the public smiles and nods. For now, it looks like the jury in Ben Vaughn’s case, on many fronts, is still out, and it may be some time before Food Network makes a public statement about the show’s future. Ultimately, that means the good news for you is you probably won’t hear much about him in the news for a while, unless there happens to be a big break in any one of the many allegations reported.

  • StitchesnDishes

    Holy moly – That’s a rap sheet! Maybe, if Food Network picks up the show, they’ll use someone else. Hmmm.

  • Stillwaitingforallmymoney

    The U.S. District Court in Tennesee could verify that the People of the United States did win a decision against Benjamin Vaughn for ripping off customers in 19 different states. He caused a lot of pain, suffering, and financial loss!! He still hasn’t paid full restitution yet. In the past, he ran a place called Grace in Memphis among others. I still haven’t received all the money he owes me!