Thursday, October 16, 2008

It Was All Good Just A Week Ago ...

A Jay-Z lyric is the title reference, but it was just a week ago that I got up, runny nose, stuffy head and all just to head into the city to tape another holiday special for Food Network. This was in the middle of my haze, but I was sooooooo excited to be a part of the show! The premise is like many of the holiday specials in the past with various hosts cooking with each other for a holiday dinner to be enjoyed by all. A couple of months ago I got the invitation to be a part of it. That's something I don't think I thought about in the pursuit of a cooking show, the additional shows that come with the territory. I gotta tell you, this is all still pretty neat for me and I think it will be for a long time. I only dreamt of getting to New York and working at a top radio station, so when I made it, the brand-new feeling never left me and was there until the day I left. So, this feels quite similar. like some actors say, I'm just happy to be nominated. What great company to be in. On deck was Alton Brown, The Neelys, Giada De Laurentiis, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay and me. It was my second time meeting Alton, but I'm sure it's one of those I remember, but he didn't things ... So, I treated it like a first meeting. A couple of years ago, Bone Crusher taped a judge run on Iron Chef America and I went to watch the taping and met him then. He was very kind, funny and welcoming then and this time I thought he was cool and quiet. Very like I think you may guess, he's very observant. I watched his segment and totally enjoyed it. Good Eats is one of my fave on the network. Here he is workin' with the Neely's...


Gina and Pat are exxxxactly like they are on their shows and Pat is so sweet, he sent Gina flowers to the set. So cute. Gina is hilarious and really made the 6a.m. call-time work for me, if every one was dead I would've been dead. She was the life of the early morning hair and make-up room. The network filmed behind the scenes video, so hopefully you'll get to see that soon either on the web or during the show. You can truly see how the network is built on such unique people all with a common love of food. We all were on different schedules throughout the day and at one point we all headed to another floor in the same building to shoot a promotional commercial. My part was to grab apples or cupcakes, put them in a gift box and pass it along ... here's my perspective of the set before we begin ...


And the cupcakes allll looked good, I wanted one, but was told the sprinkles were stuck on with adhesive spray because the frosting was put on the day before .... ahhhhh nice trick. Now whether the trick is to save me from eating a poisonous cupcake or to save me from eating a perfectly fine prop ... I'll never know :-).

Speakin' of eatin', when I got in the kitchen to cook with Guy, he had something sitting on set for me to nibble on, what a nice dude ... You'll see us munchin' on it while we make 2 of his dishes. I acted as his assistant, measuring, chopping, grabbing, etc. and I can't tell you what we made, but it was yummy and smelled good from the first sizzle. Here's us chillin' in the kitchen. BTW, these are stills that were being produced while we filmed ...


Then, remember how I told ya I'd just briefly met Bobby Flay? Who knew I'd be in the kitchen with him just a few weeks later??? Even crazier ... this time around it was my 2 recipes and he was my assistant in the kitchen. When I first heard of this I was like, HUH?! WHUHH?! Like for real, first my grandma is cooking one of my recipes and then months later Bobby Flay is helping me prep two of them???? For real, this is my bizzarro life. I have to tell you, none of this is lost on me. I am constantly thankful for the work and constantly thankful for the support. I've lived a life of goals and running towards them, so this is all truly neat. I often pride myself on having the right words to say, but in my head I know I haven't figured out the right ones to tell you or anyone just how this feels. The support is much appreciated and if you're a dreamer, we have plenty in common. All I can ever say is "can you believe it?". So, can you believe I was in the kitchen with Bobby Flay? Me neither, take a look see ....


I did two side dishes, get it, Sunny's Sides? Alliteration makes some people happy teeheehee. Hope you like the recipes when it airs, they are easy, crowd pleasin', vegetarian and verrrrrry economical. Bobby liked them and I saw Giada givin' one of them "tha bizness" (eating enthusiastically) when we sat down to eat at the end.

I gotta tell ya, it was a lonnnng day. Even Gina and I laughed saying we had the earliest call times because we were the rookies, but boy was the day rewarding and busy. If I wasn't on camera, someone was shooting behind the scenes, so I really can't wait to see how all the footage is used. Here's me and Bobby after we wrapped out shoot. I said, "let's take one for my blog." and he was on board!



Take it easy and have a great Friday!!!

20 comments:

Eric said...

I always enjoy those holiday specials when all the personalities from Food Network get together and cook.. I am going to enjoy it even more knowing that you're on it.. You're a class act Sunny, and as a fan I am proud of you. For me, seeing your dreams comes true as you share it with us on this blog, definitely encourages me to continue to shoot for my own goals. I can honestly say. whenever I get set backs trying break into tv, all I have to do is watch your shows and i tend feel better :)And to have one of my tv heroes always answer my silly blog comments and myspace messages with a friendly word always helps as well :)

Darius T. Williams said...

You do know I want to be like you when I grow up, right? Seriously. You're living some big dreams there Sunny! Savor it all...enjoy the flavors! You deserve it!

Great pic w/Guy and Bobby...he made your dishes? wow!

houstonmacbro said...

I cannot wait to see this episode. Sounds like all my favorite chefs were there... you, Alton, Bobby, Giada, Neely's, Guy ... hey, where was Morimoto and Ina?

I am so proud of you (all of you really) and Food TV for taking these cooking shows in totally different directions. The funny thing is that even though ALL of your shows are different, you have the same love, passion, and commitment to food, knowledge of ingredients, fun, style, and the viewers above all. I really feel like you love us. You make us feel like family.

:-)

Okay, stop getting all mushy ... I haeve a paper to finish and then a meeting to attend.

Congrats on the show and again, can't wait to see it.

Mise En Place said...

I'm looking forward to watching the holiday special!

Sunny Anderson said...

eric, lemme tell ya, determination is the key. i called my agent everyday for 2 years, even on days there was nothing to report, i just wanted him to know i was determined. i had an in with the network from doing emeril and i didn't want to waste that open door and let it close before i got a chance to step through it. when people see you are determined they do either of 2 things, get on board or get off at the next exit. someone that used to work at the network and no longer does told me recently, i just wouldn't give up and that's what did it. recognize people that are getting off at the next exit and be okay with the departure, they'd only slow you down. and for the people on board, may just be 1 person ... make sure they know on a regular basis that you are still determined. so, if you can do something forward moving on your dream everyday, i'd say you are on the right path. i promise you all i've done is dream and work. never did anything under the table to get ahead, never cheated lied or slept my way up. so it is possible for the good guy to win. goooooooo eric! :-)

dtdub, man i'm savorin' and word, bobby made my dish! cool bobby story, the network wanted me to call my dish something other than i wanted to call it and he knew, right when we started the segment, bobby took up for me and called it what i wanted to ... he can do that! i can't. then later alton went back and called it what the network wanted to, to my faaaaace. he can also do that. i can't lol.

houstonmacbro, i can't wait to see it too. it will surely be a surreal thing to view for me. i can not believe i was there. and the fact that i was sick and not completely awake sux, but i masked my fever and sniffles and really did my best to enjoy the day. only towards the end did people know i was sick because they all wanted to go to chelsea market for a f&w event, and i was like naw, lil ol me is goin home to sleep like a kid. have fun adults! and i do love you guys. really, just like my radio family ... i know that there are choices and you choose to hang out and watch and read and stuff, so i appreciate that. we alllll love food, so this is just a way for like-minded people to connect. i just met someone that used to fax me during my show years ago, i remember the faxes, everything. gave her a big hug ... it's neat to meet the fam, so if i'm ever in your area, please come meet me and say hi. i think my isolated upbringing of moving every year has made me this way ... open to the world and fine with it. thanks for the words man

mise en place, i can't wait to see it too ... i really want to see the other segments because many times i was working in another area of the set while people were cooking on camera, so i missed most of the show. glad i snapped the pics, i'd have nothing if i didn't. no one would believe bobby did my dish! lol ... i'd have to convince people until the show aired teeheehee ...

Mise En Place said...

Hi Sunny,
I have to admit, I came to your blog for the first time this morning because of the posting about the Food Network holiday special and seeing Alton Brown's name in it! I'm a huge Alton fan. I've watched your show too :) But, I usually work or am too busy on the weekends to catch it on a regular basis. The Food Network really needs more cooking shows in primetime!

Now, from reading your posts and responses to your readers/fans/viewers, I can say I will certainly try harder watch your show :) Set my TIVO, in fact!

Your words of about pursuing your dream are very inspiring! I'm trying very hard myself to get a dream to happen. I'm determined to make it happen and your words are very encouraging. I now know maybe someday it will happen if I'm persistent enough!

I'm add you to my blog roll so I can get updates! :)

Sunny Anderson said...

mise en place, i think i've seen your handle on foodnetworkfans if i'm right ... so i know you are a bloggin foodie :-) ... i think alton is the man! he is very intimidating and his silence is very loud if that makes sense. i sit and watch good eats and marvel at everything, the production is top notch! glad you found me through alton :-). he is soooo different from me, so i dunno if you'll like my style, but give it a try. i'm very ratatouille ... anyone can cook and hopefully watching me demo some easy recipes will get people in the kitchen to switch up those same 5 meals they keep going back to. maybe after watching my show, they'll have 6 go-to meals :-). i'll see ya on tivo! now, for dreams ... read this an believe it. THEY COME TRUE. all you have to do is prove you want it by making that one scary step. whatever it is, it's different for us all, but take the chance on yourself, if you won't, no one will. excuses are sentences we make to hide our true laziness, so if there is a sentence you use, like "i gotta wait for my dream until i finish so and so" or "i'm not in the right city to make it work blah blah blah", you gotta ditch those for the ones that work. i'll scale over a mountain if you told me my dream was on the other side. raining, no shoes and not a mountain climbing gene in my body, i'd do it. i wouldn't say .. well i gotta go get the right shoes lol ... or i gotta take classes on climbing. the truth is, the things that you think are holding you back, didn't hold someone else back, so why use them against yourself? ok, lemme stop cuz i can do this forever. people have to understand, this is it ... we only get one chance in this vessel ... give life a try. we got to work, not life. :-)

Complaint Department Manager said...

Darius, you will never grow up, deal. If you did, we wouldn't have much to talk about anymore.

Sunny, I tried to watch the Neely's I really did, but the whole "sweet" thing got to be a bit much for me and started giving me cavities, so I had to go. You have managed a great medium, don't ever change...if you do, try not to be more grown up, I can't have Darius growing up before me, it just makes me look bad.

Glad to hear your feeling better, roll with it girl!

loathingfear said...

I'm jealous you got to meet Pat and Gina. I'd really love one of those cupcakes right about now!

Scrapper1 said...

hey Sunny,got a question thats not food related.who is your choice for greatest rapper of all time?just curious

Sunny Anderson said...

complaint dept. mgr., let's hope i maintain the great medium, there's a thin line btwn enthusiam and annoyance and i know i can be annoying. i just hope not so much that you tune out from the food, that's what's really important to me. good thing is what works for some may not for others and in that case the network has ya covered.

loathingfear, they are just so cute together really. pat is a real good dude, takes care of her sweetly and they are also doing their best to juggle home and children, so i dunno how they do it. i'm just me wth a boyfriend and can barely find time to wash clothes and answer emails. i admire them because i know what this television engine can do to ya ... and i'm just a beginner. they have a bigger audience and i can only imagine the workload. and as for the cupcakes, by the end of the day my brain decided i could still eat them if i ate from the bottom, up- scooping the frosting from the other end ... but by then it was too late lol...

scrapper1, i say tupac shakur. why? because he made party songs, songs to make you think, songs to make you cry, commercial hits, songs about women that were introspective ... he just was a great all around rapper. when eminem made me cry with lose yourself (i know, i do, it's inspirational n stuff to me), i thought ... he's on the way for me, now all he has to do is make a party track lol ... in the rest of my top 5 in no order, scarface, jay z, eminem, andre 3000. u?

Mrs. L said...

I'm glad you are living this bizzarro life cuz it means we can tag along with you :)
I had that miserable cold thing and am just now feeling like I can get back in the kitchen and cook again. I hope any remnants of said cold are gone for you soon.

Scrapper1 said...

my choice for greatest of all time is Nas.he cannot be touched lyrically.the rest of my top 5 is Pac,Scarface,B.I.G and Jay.least we got three picks in common.lol.

Sunny Anderson said...

mrs. l, i'm glad you are along for the ride :-) and i think the cold is gone ... i think. one more night and i'll know if i don't wake up with a messy sinus issue...

scrapper1, ahhhhhh nas, i think he's lyrical too, just hasn't done my "all around" lyricist thing yet ... i'm waitin, glad you have scarface up there, he is totally under appreciated. i think sometimes confuse commercial or sales with best. we got something in common like bobby n whitney, good stuff. lol.

Lys said...

The holiday specials are the best! I love it when everyone gets in a room and cooks and, girl, Bobby Flay AND Giada. OMG - now those are some of my other faves. This should be fabulous - will have to set the TiVo.

Congrats and great pics!

Sunny Anderson said...

lys, i know right? i watched it last year ... watched it, and now i'm on it. i can't wait to see it, i think i'll cry. this has all been so crazy. i just can't believe it. i think i just gave my self a headache thinking about it ...hope you like the show!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sunny! I was pleasantly greeted by a familiar voice while my wife was watching Food Network this morning. I looked up and said, "Oh snap, that's Sunny!" I had to explain to her that you used to work at HOT 97, which I used to listen to when we live there. I'm in Kansas City now (some BBQ recipes maybe?)

I really enjoyed watching your show ("Gone Shuckin'" is the episode I saw) and will be watching weekly... and trying your recipes!

Sunny Anderson said...

anon, 1st, thanks for listening when i was on the radio! i just loved it and now i'm really enjoying this part of my career as well. you and your wife are in a great bbq city! i have some good stuff on the way, so hope you continue to watch the shows. same chick, nothing's changed, but now they use my last name. :-) welcome to the blog!

bunny said...

Hey Sunny, found you via Darius' blog. Can't wait to see the holiday specials. You look like you LOVE cooking and it radiates all up on my screen girl! I wanna try the churros and the huevos meal that just aired the other day. Looks absolutely delish!

Sunny Anderson said...

bunny, so glad darius brought you this way. he is such a foodie and an excellent story teller. love to read his words. i do love cooking and really i love eating, so i'm a slave to my addiction. the churros are easy and you can freeze the dough. thanks for watching and welcome to the blog!