All Posts By Operation Foodie

FN: A Brand To Believe In

by in View All Posts, January 6th, 2009

Hello, 2009!  Thank you, 2008!

I’m sure we can all agree that 2008 brought new ideas, concepts, challenges and solutions.  Last year also introduced me to a brand that I can honestly believe in.  I have to admit, I am quite the skeptic when it comes to big business doing good deeds.  However, since I’ve been working here I’ve had the opportunity to be part of projects that are much bigger than making TV. 

Aside from the obvious perks, I now get to actually give back to the community and work with the Good Food Gardens.  It is purely volunteer and I have to admit that I am learning tons about gardening and sustainable food practices.  (Not to mention, I get to spend time in the kitchens with Sarah Copeland who heads the project.)

The themes for my 2009 are REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, LISTEN, LEARN, GET INVOLVED and GIVE BACK!  I have a feeling this is one New Year’s Resolution I won’t be pushing off.

Cheers!

Kendra, Operation Foodie 

 

Home & the Holidays

by in View All Posts, December 30th, 2008

The holidays are the time to enjoy good food and wine with family and friends.  It is also a great opportunity to expand our palettes and give new ingredients a chance!  This came into play Friday evening when I was grocery shopping for a seafood feast I wanted to prepare for my boyfriend’s family.  I spotted a box of squid in the seafood aisle and knew instantly that Italian fried calamari would make a delicious appetizer to my seafood brodetto!

Upon opening the frozen box, I realized they were whole and needed to be completely cleaned!  I seized the opportunity to pull my man in the kitchen and pretended I was Alex Guarnaschelli on The Cooking Loft teaching my student how to clean and fix the thawed squid.  It was so much fun and after he got over initial texture, I think he enjoyed it!

Needless to say the simple recipe of tossing the clean ringlets in flour, lightly frying in EVOO and finishing off with fresh lemon zest and parsley was a hit!  They were gone in minutes and I think I earned about 5 brownie points. 

Next up: Bottarga (cured caviar) Pasta and Oysters for New Years!

Cheers! 

Kendra, Operation Foodie

Appetizing Perks: Operation Foodie Observes

by in View All Posts, December 23rd, 2008

New York during the holidays has always been a delectable time of year for me.  Windows sparkle with lights and ornaments, fancy mulled drinks line bar menus, and working at the Food Network is the cream cheese topping on the Red Velvet cake!

Walking through the Chelsea Market every morning, you are welcomed with the scent of freshly baked pastries, breads and cakes.  While in the studio, I have the pleasure of hanging around some of the best entrees being prepared by our wonderful hosts and food stylists.  The gigantic room fills with whatever is cooking and it’s heaven!

A few Saturday’s ago I was working on a new special with Tyler Florence (HINT: think Football).  To my surprise he approached me with a warm bowl of his special chili!!  It was in a festive green dish and garnished with care.  ‘What a lucky young woman!’, I thought and thanked him up hill and down.   It warmed me right up – slow cooked pork with Mexican flavors.  One word: Delicious

At the end of the long, fun day, I passed by one of my favorite wine shops.  I was greeted by my friend, Vladi (the general manager), and invited in for a glass of Bordeaux he had just opened.  The perfect ending to yet another exciting day at the FN Studios (regardless of it being the weekend).  It just goes to show you that even if the hours are long, it is worth every simmering second!

Cheers!

Kendra, Operation Foodie

Sunday Sauce to Turkey Mole

by in View All Posts, December 11th, 2008

Operation Foodie here, with an insider look at production — on set at the Food Network Studios.

Just as recipes range from second-nature to baker-perfection, so does food television production. The dependents upon what make it a cinch vs. the need for more elbow grease vary… Shows like 30 Minute Meals are well-oiled machines that literally take about 30 minutes to shoot. The crew is small, Rachael is very low maintenance, the set practically builds itself, and the days fly by. These are what I consider the “Sunday Sauce” shows: consistently good and something the whole family finds comfort in.

Others take more managing, prep, and creative organizing. I call these the intricate “Turkey Mole” shows. The ingredients are particular, measurements precise, timing is specific, and attention to detail is immense.  Our “Turkey Mole” shows range from the new, like Guy Off The Hook, to the veterans, like Iron Chef America. Crew sizes are much larger and there are a million things on the stove at once (literally and figuratively).

Guy Off The Hook was my first show in larger Studio A, and I recall how much prep work was required just catering for the audience.  I was amazed at how much our team genuinely cared about the experience each guest would take home. From the moment Guy walked on the stage to wild cheers, I knew we’d achieved much more than we had hoped for.

That’s all for now! Back up to the studio to check in the crew for Tyler’s Ultimate!

~ Operation Foodie