Schenectady’s Ambition owner makes an appearance on new CBS cooking show ‘The Good Dish’

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SCHENECTADY — Among the first guests on a new nationally televised cooking show is a longtime Schenectady restaurateur.

Ambition Coffee and Eatery owner Marc Renson recently appeared on CBS’ “The Good Dish,” a spinoff of the “Dr. Oz” show.

The hour-long program picked up “Dr. Oz” on January 17 after Dr. Mehmet Oz declared his candidacy for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania.

Renson was one of three contestants trying to wow hosts with their best fried chicken sandwich recipes, making his Land Shark beer sandwich with lime mayonnaise.

It’s a design inspired by the Florida Keys, Renson’s favorite getaway.

He competed for top honors against another professional chef and a 15-year-old girl with a huge following on social media, he said.

The sandwich isn’t a regular menu item at its Jay Street location, but Renson said, “It makes a popular appearance at least three times a month.”

The episode aired Wednesday morning.


“The Good Dish” is hosted by Dr. Oz’s daughter, Daphne Oz, as well as Gail Simmons and Jamika Pessoa, who each introduce themselves as food experts.

“This is a show hosted by three women who intimately understand the drama of what’s for dinner tonight,” Daphne Oz told TV Insider. “We all have young children, are experts in our field, and come into the world of food as eaters by choice, by phone, and for fun.

The description continues: “This show is supposed to be about your girlfriends in the kitchen. It’s supposed to feel like a wonderful place where you come to learn something, but also laugh and feel uplifted in the process.

Renson said he doesn’t usually compete in televised cooking contests, but made an exception after previously appearing on the Dr. Oz show in a fictional role as a waiter.

“I don’t usually do them, but I thought it was a good opportunity,” said Renson, who eventually lost to the 15-year-old.

“No prizes, no goodie bags – just bragging rights,” he said.

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