Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day two in the FN kitchens!

Heyyyy!!! Day two in the kitchens working out menus and stuff ... what a day! I met Chef Jeff!!

uhh, sorry about the blur ... his friend took one really blurry one, so this one looked golden lol!

I first heard of him a few years back on the Oprah show and thought, he needs a show or something, some way to reach people because he has such a compelling story that can inspire people to want to cook as a career ... anyway, he has a new cookbook on the way and a show at Food Network! It's called the Chef Jeff Project and I look forward to watching it! Looks like there may be some real cool stories to watch with the kids involved in the project. He was really nice, he was I think just walking through having meetings and stuff, so when he walked into the kitchen I was like JEFFFFFF! Really nice dude and I hope the show does gangbusters.

Then I got back to cookin'. Today we tackled 3 more shows, some dishes inspired from my recent trip to Hawaii and some favorites I've cooked for years, teamed up with some great stuff I cooked when I was catering. Here's a top secret flick teeheehee ...

Uhhh anyone that loves pork knows what's in the cast iron ... :-), then a lil chutney-like dish reducing that I make with yummified ingredients and a container of whole red peppercorns, yum. When you cook 'em in liquid and they pop in your mouth???? Heaven.

When I finished up for the day I put my take-home food in the fridge and slinked into the background of the taping for the new Ultimate Recipe Showdown. Now alllll day, contestants were in the kitchen cooking and super nervous. It was great to see people working at their best to win and I told each of them good luck, I'm from a background of broadcasting and I still get nervous, imagine coming in from a non-broadcast career, a non-cooking career even - and cooking at Food Network? Nerves don't explain it, but they had beautiful dishes, the ones I saw at least and I can't wait to see the shows.

Guy Fieri saw me in the shadows and brought me out to meet the audience, he is a true class act. Not for that, just in general, he has been nothing but open, candid and helpful to me before I even taped my first Cooking for Real. Sometimes all you want is to know things from someone that has been through it. Like, how do I survive 6 episodes in 4 days and do well enough to get another chance? What are the days like? I searched the internet forever looking for some kind of journal, something, maybe an in-depth news article with a TV cook/chef, anything, I just searched for as much information as possible. What I really wanted was to talk to someone. A week after I said out loud that all I wanted was to talk to someone, I got the offer to visit his set while he taped Guy's Big Bite. Yesssss! So, I went, sat, watched and took it all in. Then he said if I ever needed anything -- to ask. I immediately said I'd like some advice on how to get through it. I'm never shy to ask questions. We exchanged info, and shortly after I got some very valuable advice. Words of wisdom and how to make sure to work hard and enjoy it at the same time. Mountains and mountains of advice I still think about as I work on my new 26. Thanks isn't the word. I gotta tell you, if you watch him and wonder if he's a good guy in person, he is. Like I said, a total class act.

Alright, I'm about to go reheat some of what I made today, some ground protein wrapped in beta carotene teeheehee ... I don't think I can give up recipe titles yet. Have a good one and TGIF! The weather is just great in NYC this time of year, I think it is finally cooling off. If it's doing the same where you are get out and enjoy the last bits of heat! If you are in the gulf region in Texas, please be safe, I know I've rcv'd a comment here from Galveston, so take care and remember your pets' stuff too when you evacuate :-)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Greetings Sunny:
Congrats on the renewal of your show- I am sooooo excited for you! Girl, you are really doing the darn thing! I am waiting for Chef Jeff's show to begin. As a Clinical Social Worker, I love folks who find a way to use their passion to help others- especially da kids! Just curious, when you make stewed chicken, do you stew it in brown sugar? (Trini style I learned from my in-laws :)Looking forward to those holiday recipes :)
Blessings.
Roslyne

Darius T. Williams said...

LOL @ protein wrapped in beta carotene. You're a class act these days Sunny.

Um, cast iron - YES! How about this - I JUST made those same thingies you made in the cast iron skillet. Only mine were the thin cut boneless ones. I did a cajun seasoning and a quick pan sauce with the drippings. A bit of risotto flavored with parm & peas and yup - that was dinner. It came out so well that I'm going to post it over at inchicity. I actually like Guy - he's one of my faves...the man doesn't know good BBQ - but other than that - he's real cool!

Cate said...

I love Guy Fieri, and it's great to know that he's as real in person as he is on screen. Thanks for the behind the screens peak.

Sunny Anderson said...

roslyne, thanks! on the stewed chicken, didn't do brown sugar, for sweetness i added a granny smith and cut it up for maximum surface area. hope you give the recipe a try when the show airs!

dtdub, your dinner sounds yummy, i actually wanted to do a pan gravy for the show as well, but we decided to go with something different, but you know, when at home and frying those up, if you neglect the drippings and the flavor and skip the pan gravy ... u r crazy. cuz a lil flour and stock or water, salt n pepp and you are in heaven!!!

cate, yeah, he really is great. just very welcoming and inclusive. good guy, (pun-tastic) ....

Lys said...

I'm excited to see Chef Jeff's show. I think what he's doing is just amazing.

As for Guy, I have to be honest, I wasn't a fan but I did watch DDD and BigBite and was going to post something on his new show but I will table that post and give him another shot.

Thanks for the behind the scenes view, Sunny!

Sunny Anderson said...

lys, yeah i think the cj project will be good! on the other, i do want to say ... i think people have no idea how much work goes into television and how much stress there is. not everyone appeals to everyone, but the cool thing about tv and radio and even papers is that there are varieties of people in journalism and broadcasting, so someone hopefully relates to you within the media you consume. opinions are cool, but judgement is tough because i gotta tell ya, these are long hours and i've worked more 7 day weeks and 15 hour days than i did in radio or the air force, not a boo-hoo, it's just after years in the biz, i know people think this is a fluff job, and when they do ... that means we are doing our job, we don't want you to think about all the work, the takes and retakes, the meetings about wardrobe and hair, locations, themes and junk lol, we want ya to enjoy the show, if you don't there's always another one on next :-). thing is, if it's on ... someone's watching and enough for it to stay cuz you know they don't play with this amount of money. i used to say that when people stopped me on the street to tell me which jock they liked or didn't like at a radio station. I'd say well, we gotcha covered ... there's plenty of us to choose from, but the underlying thing is music and our love of it. now it's food. thing is, i hope people watch and they are, but i also know that i may not be "it" for some and that's totally cool with me because there are so many other great options. thing is, if it's on ... someone's watching and enough for it to stay cuz you know they don't play with this amount of money. i know lys, you are in the biz a bit and you know how hard this is on so many different levels and many times, control is not that of the person being judged. kinda like when a team loses only the coach gets the blame, but there are so many working parts. crazy, ok ... so that's my soliloquy :-)

Complaint Department Manager said...

Needs more pork...more pork than you can shake a congressman at. My cholesterol is somewhere around 295, I'm a quart low.

Sunny Anderson said...

complaint dept. mgr, funny. i'm right witcha ...

Da_Kween said...

This is Kali, some call me Kiwi or "Keys", I love your show. I just began seeing the commercials for Jeff's show...so I'll be watching that as well. I love the new line up of shows...you, the Neely's and Big Daddy's House are my new faves (still love my Paula, Giada, Bobby and Rachael) I wanted to try your apple cider brine for the chicken, but the apple cider was too expensive. I substituted it with 2 small bottles of Martin's Sparkling Apple Cider! YUM! It made the meat sweet. THANKS! Oh, I live in Peekskill, NY (cant remember if it shows up when I comment) LOL Continued success, Sunny!)

Sunny Anderson said...

kali, thanks for watching! glad you are enjoying some of the new shows added this year. yeah, juice is an ok substitue, just usually has less apple and more sugar than anything, so it may go too sweet and an artificial sweet, but if it turned out ok for ya ... perfect! i do my best to keep costs down on the menus , save for maybe one splurge. thanks again for watching and welcome to the blog!

Nik Snacks said...

I'm not even on TV and I have a busy lifestyle doing food and all. Some weeks are chill and others make me want to lie down and take a nap. Who knows? Maybe I'll find out some day how it really is.

I'm looking forward to checking out chef Jeff.

Passionate Eater said...

You know, Guy is a class act, but so are you! I watched you on Wendy Williams, and an excerpt of your Cooking for Real show on N'awlins French toast, and just want to say that I am now a Sunny fan! Good luck Sunny, and I will keep watching (and tell others to do so) and visiting your blog!

Sunny Anderson said...

nik snack, i know the feeling of work overload! be careful what ya ask for! :-)

passionate eater, yeah, guy is a happy dude. thanks so much for the kind words and welcome to the blog! hope you enjoy the new shows i'm working on right now.