Rod the Builder competes against Steve Garagiola in Friday’s challenge

Rod the Builder returns for something a little different this year

Rod the Builder to compete against Steve Garagiola in Friday’s challenge

DETROIT – We hope you’re craving Italian food this Friday -- and you likely will be with this year’s Rod the Builder challenge.

It’s a tradition everyone in the Local 4 newsroom looks forward to on the day after Thanksgiving, as business editor Rod Meloni turns in his reporter notepad for his Rod the Builder apron.

This year, Rod the Builder has his work cut out for him as he heads into the kitchen to compete against Steve Garagiola.

“I’m no chef. I admit that,” Rod said. “I peel, I cut, I clean, I put things in the oven but I do not manage cooking as a regular course of action.”

“I love to cook. I’ve been cooking for years,” Steve said. “I even put some recipes into a cookbook. I don’t know how much Rod cooks but he is Italian. There has to be a cook hiding in there someplace.”

Rod and Steve will meet virtually from their own kitchens to make a traditional Italian dinner with an appetizer, salad and main course.

You can watch the Rod the Builder challenge Friday on Local 4 News at Noon, 4, 5 and 6, and on