Shows & Gardens Galore!

by in View All Posts, March 31st, 2009

This past week has been super busy for not only FN’s Studio A, but also a few outside shoots, as well!

The Big Bite personality that is Guy Fieri has been cooking up a storm with some of his closest friends (hint – there are TONS of special guests in the upcoming episodes of Guy’s Big Bite). But not only that, Tyler Florence is back with another special, and it’s all about burgers coming in May! And this past Saturday, I got to hang out with Daisy Martinez of Viva Daisy. We shot around the Union Square Green Market and a few amazing locations in Jackson Heights, Queens (not too far from where I live!). One of the most classic moments happened at Daisy’s shoot when Mario Batali walked right pass all of us – we weren’t rolling at that moment, but it was still pretty hilarious.

Now that you’re caught up with whats been keeping our cameras busy, here’s an update on my little garden! While fairly upset that I had no sprouts last week, I started dreading the idea of only having 2 large pots of dirt on my desk. My friend Jon built me a shelf which lifted my spirits, but still, no sprouts… just bowls of dirt. And then it happened!!! This morning I came in to find some green stems popping their little heads out of the soil – BASIL! (Thankfully my little garden at home is strong, green and beautiful!)

Until next week – Cheers!
Kendra, Operation Foodie

Talent, Talent EVERYWHERE!

by in View All Posts, March 11th, 2009

Casting Director and Producer, Karen Berrios
Hey Everyone!

Update here from a really great talent test I managed in the kitchen last Thursday and Friday. First of all I have to admit that my favorite place to shoot is in the kitchen. I think you get so much more out of the chefs as far as personality and the producers/directors get a real look into their ability to work in an uncontrolled environment.

When I asked Rob (Bleifer) if the kitchen was available for us to shoot in his response was “yes, as long as my team can go on doing their work”. Of course they could and they did! In the background we heard the bam-bam-bam of tenderizing chicken breast, food processors mixing on high, pans deglazing with a loud sizzle – it was amazing and I’m pretty sure everyone agreed (even Curt, our Audio Engineer).

Here are a few images I managed to snap.

1. Karen Berrios, Producer and Casting Director — main photo.
2. Eggs!!! I told you we scrambled a ton of these.
Talent Test -- Eggs Exam
3. Camera view. See! This isn’t intimidating in the least!
Talent Tests, camera view

As for our Studio A, the fabulous Ms Sunny Anderson is back.

Cheers and till next time!
Kendra, Operation Foodie

Talent Tests

by in View All Posts, February 24th, 2009

Sometimes I feel as though as our Studios A & B never sleep. 

Right after Secrets of a Restaurant Chef (or as we call it: SORC or Secrets) wrapped up last week in Studio A, a few of the producers and I headed over into Studio B for a quick run of Talent Tests.  Studio B, as most studios, wear a variety of hats.  Just by redirecting the lights away from Next Food Network Star’s (aka: NFNS or Star) lounge like set (don’t worry, you’ll see those orange walls soon enough) and setting up some monitors and cameras, we were ready within a few hours with what looked like a completely new set! 

The 3 ladies came in the next day, did a fantastic job… and now Studio B is back to being NFNS ready!  It still amazes me how versatile a blank canvas can be, sometimes completely unrecognizable from week to week. 

Next up on my plate: another Talent Test shooting in our Kitchens (any reason to hang with Rob Bleifer is enough reason for me to come to work) and then Guy’s Big Bite in the end of March!!

A couple of important notes: 

1. On the Rob Bleifer front, I did his makeup last week for a webisode!  Ok, I put a little bit of powder on him (courtesy my friend Kathleen who is our Make-Up Artist) – but STILL!  It was awesome.

2. Congrats to a new Good Food Garden that went up over the weekend in South Beach!!! (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you better check out the link!)  Way to go, Sarah!



Kendra, Operation Foodie

What’s Shooting Now?

by in View All Posts, February 3rd, 2009
Food Network Crew Build Set

While sitting in my cubicle today, my mind began to wander upstairs…soon my feet followed my mind, and I found myself in Studio A of Food Network, the largest studio in the building. This is where Rachael Ray tapes 30 Minute Meals, where Iron Chef America battles, where Guy Fieri takes big bites, where Sunny Anderson cooks for real, and unlike my cubicle, it’s where ALL the magic happens.

But the magic doesn’t happen all at once! After each show tapes, usually a couple weeks depending on the series, the crew breaks down the set and rebuilds for the next show. So there will always be just one show taping in the studio at one time. The question is…..who’s in there today?

Can anyone use their Sherlock Holmes detective work or their Spidey-Sense to figure out what set our crew is finishing for tomorrow’s shoot?

Rachael Knudsen
Associate Producer, The FN Dish

Time to do some good!

by in View All Posts, January 20th, 2009

Just a short note…

Today, history is being made.  Today, our busy Studio A is dark because our talent is heading down to Washington, DC.  Everyday, we should set aside a little time to do something good for our communities, but, today, is a great day to start if you haven’t already!

Whether bringing a few cans of food down to the local food shelter, letting someone have your seat on the bus or train, baking a pie and bringing it to your neighbor, whatever.  Food is the ultimate way (in my opinion) to show people that you care about their health, happiness, and well being.

Tonight, I’ll be attending a benefit for keeping New York’s food pantries stocked!  Many pantries across the country are being hit hard because of the financial crunch.  I cannot wait to bring in my cans and packages and mingle with like minded do-gooders.

Happy Inauguration Day!

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