Son of area woman appears on Food Network show this week

Sunday, January 27, 2008
Fred Nelson, back, played King Henry VIII to Steven Kirkpatrick's Master Secretary Thomas Cromwell at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Nelson will appear on the Food Network's "Dinner: Impossible" this week. (Amy Chase ~ Submitted photo)

Robert Irvine's latest cooking feat on the Food's Network's "Dinner: Impossible" will feature the son of an Oran, Mo., woman.

Pat Nelson's 44-year-old son, Fred, will appear on the show, which airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

The show requires Irvine to prepare meals in difficult circumstances and with time constraints. In this week's show, Irvine attends the Maryland Renaissance Festival, where Fred Nelson plays King Henry VIII.

"I ride up on horseback to tell Robert the mission of the day: Later on, I would be getting married to the queen and he had seven hours to create a royal feast for 30," Fred Nelson said.

The director liked Nelson so much he asked him to make another appearance, pressuring the chef throughout the day.

When the meal was complete, Nelson and other festival cast members partook of the feast of venison and rabbit.

"It made what is always an unusual day for me even that more unusual. It was a very surreal experience," he said.

Pat Nelson said she doesn't have a watch party scheduled in Oran, but on the East Coast, Fred Nelson said the actress who plays the queen rented out a restaurant to watch the show.

With a parent in the military, Fred Nelson grew up in Spain, Korea, Cuba and Guam, but said he visited Oran frequently as a child to visit him mother and grandparents. He was most recently back in town earlier this month.

When he's not performing in the Renaissance Festival, Nelson works in Washington, D.C. as a television editor. His documentary "9 to 5 No Longer" aired nationwide on PBS a few months ago. He's rehearsing for a show that will hit Baltimore theaters in May called "Polish Joke."

The Maryland Renaissance Festival runs from August to October, and is the second-largest renaissance festival in the country, drawing crowds of 20,000 each day, Nelson said.

lbavolek@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 123

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