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Al Roker is airing a new cooking series on Meerkat

The latest venture from an unappreciated modern polymath

Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images

If you're like me, you're probably familiar with Al Roker because of his work on TV. He's gregarious and capable as the weather anchor on NBC's Today, and he hosts his own daily show on The Weather Channel, Wake Up with Al. Here's something you might not know about Roker: he's a contemporary Renaissance man, a media personality who also happens to be an author, a cooking enthusiast, and the head of a TV production company. And through Roker Labs, the new innovation-centric arm of Al Roker Entertainment, he's trying to add a new title to his crowded résumé: live streaming pioneer. Roker's company is bringing three new pieces of original content to live streaming app Meerkat this week, all of which are about food. The first episode, which ran this afternoon at 1:00PM ET, featured Roker interviewing executives from food delivery startup Plated in the company's New York test kitchen. Future episodes are scheduled to air tomorrow afternoon at 4:00PM ET and Wednesday afternoon at 1:00PM ET.

Roker was an early Meerkat adopter, broadcasting live from New York as the app gained steam in Austin during this year's SXSW festivities. He's also a published cookbook author, with his byline on collections like Al Roker's Hassle-Free Holiday Cookbook. That's all fine, but this still makes for a strange pairing: a television mainstay, partnering with an app that exploded into the public consciousness only to crater a few weeks later. To Roker's credit, he seems to be approaching this with the right level of enthusiasm. "You don’t know where it’s going to go, but I think it’s going to be fun to be the first out there. It’s not like anybody’s going to get hurt," he said to Variety.