Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dani Dishes!

Happy first birthday, Dani Dishes.

Cheers to a great year...

Bethany, Amanda, Caroline

...and to all my good friends who've supported me along the way.

me , Cindy, Carlie

Here's to another year of inspiration, creativity, and happiness!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

U Cook with Chef Bob

As soon as I finished my long summer semester in school, I took a week off work to help out with Chef Bob Waggoner's cooking show, U Cook with Chef Bob.  We filmed all 12 episodes of the second season during that week.  The days were really long and tedious, but it was enjoyable work, and I especially enjoyed learning about the filming and media side of the project.

The set.

Each episode is divided into two parts.  First, Chef Bob cooks a first course and serves it to his panel of 3 "foodies", who are sitting to his right in the above photo. The foodies could be anyone from food writers to wine importers to fellow chefs to personal friends. 

 Can I please mention these bad ass, personalized butcherblock cutting boards Chef Bob had made? Eventually, they'll be available for sale through Charleston Chops. I am drooling over the dark cherry octagon one in the top right.

Okay then, for the second part of the show, Chef would invite someone out of the audience to cook a main course (hence the "U Cook").  While Chef was on screen with his guest chef, his former sous chef and good friend, Jason Houser, would be behind the scenes preparing the dish for the audience. The audience was generally around 25 people or so.

The "kitchen".

So keep in mind, we were in a production studio, not a professional kitchen.  This is the set up the cooks worked off of for the week.  Yes, that is a four-burner electric stove Houser is working off of. It was certainly an interesting and challenging feat.

Jason seasoning Waygu ribeyes. Yum.

I feel like now is an appropriate time to share some of the dinners I got to enjoy, with special thanks to Jason for making sure I was properly fed the whole time. :)

 Beef tenderloin with salsify, morels, shallots, white wine reduction, and shaved black truffle.

A freakin' slab of foie gras with blueberry gastrique, hazelnuts, and roasted figs.

So, you wonder, what the hell did you do besides eat, Dani?  I actually did do some work, guys.  I was pretty much in charge of the front-of-house stuff.  Aka setting the tables, taking care of wine and water, etc.  Which was no small feat considering there was only one faucet in the place, halfway across the warehouse, to fill up my only water pitcher.  Also considering that some of these shows took some time, what with technical difficulties and all, so these people were drinking.  

 Tons of wine.

 My little station.

Let's not forget the production crew. Here is Jose, the sound tech, in front, with Tim, the director, behind him, and Chad in the background.

I felt like even though the filming only lasted a week, I really got to know everyone and made a lot of good friends.  It was certainly a great experience.  Seasons 1 and 2 are supposed to be airing on PBS in the late fall, make sure to look out for it!