Sheri Castle

“Because I’m a cooking teacher, this is a show for home cooks,” Sheri Castle said of the new show “The Key Ingredient,” premiering Sept. 23 on PBS North Carolina.




Sheri Castle of Pittsboro has done a lot of different jobs in her long career in the food business, including food writer, cookbook author, cooking teacher, recipe developer, company spokesperson and speaker.

Now, she can add a new job to that list: TV series host.

Castle is the host of “The Key Ingredient,” which will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23 on PBS North Carolina.

“This was totally unexpected,” Castle said during a recent telephone interview. “PBS North Carolina called me out of the blue.”

The offer came at a good time last year. “A year ago March as the world shut down, so did almost everything I did — cooking classes, speaking engagements. My phone was ringing off the hook in March with people canceling everything. For the first few months (of the pandemic) I did nothing — probably for the first time since I was a teenager.”

Castle said that she and Heather Burgiss, a producer at PBS North Carolina, worked together to develop the show’s concept. The idea, she said, came together quickly. All eight half-hour episodes were shot last year, working around challenges posed by the pandemic.

“Because I’m a cooking teacher, this is a show for home cooks,” Castle said. “I wanted to do something that’s me talking to viewers as if we bumped into each other at the farmers market or a potluck.”