The people populating your typical set for a Food Network show generally wouldn’t be winning a lot of fashion awards. The crew has a lot of running around to do, and let’s be honest, we didn’t get into this line of work to wear suits and skirts every day. But one notable exception to this rule could be found on the set of Ask Aida Season 2: Executive Producer Irene Wong. It doesn’t matter that the set is an obstacle course of fat cables, Irene will be wearing heels. Tall heels. I rarely seen her in pants, let alone jeans. Fabulous dresses, killer boots, hair perfectly in place. In short, Irene brings the style and puts the rest of us to shame (she’s the Susie Fogelson of the set).
As an example contrast this pic of Irene on set (pic on the left) with with a shot of a more typical wardrobe choice (pic on the right)…
Personally, I think the sneaker selections of Executive Producer Bob Larson and myself are pretty sharp and certainly practical, but I think Irene made us all feel pretty slobby that day.
FN Dish recently posted about the secret storage room that houses Food Network’s props, flatware and goodies from the last fifteen years. FN Set Decorator Wendy and her colleague Jamie curate the entire collection.
FN Fan, Robin, recently asked an excellent question: “When a show is introduced with a new on-air personality, how are props selected? Is a collaborative process between you and the on-air personality?”
Here’s the scoop from Wendy… “I really like to blend new, used and vintage elements to create intriguing backgrounds and tabletop designs… Most people live among newly-acquired purchases or gifts, heirlooms, impulse items, and hand-me-downs. This is the same for sets at Food Network, except with attention paid to camera angles, color, which foods will be featured, etc.”
As Robin guessed, Wendy does meet with each chef, along with key members of the Food Network production team before a show commences shooting. This helps her translate their vibe, energy and personality into the artistic choices seen on air. Have a question for Wendy? Post below and let her know.
Recognize these bold pieces from Sunny Anderson‘s set?
If you’ve ever tried to talk to camera while wielding a large chef’s knife, you’d know that it’s easy to mistake your finger for a piece of produce. You might also know that thumb wounds seem to bleed disproportionately to the severity of the cut. At least we found that out on set at Ask Aida, Season 2.
It was Shoot Day One and all was going as smoothly as ever, until poor Aida missed the preserved lemon and got her thumb instead. Ever the trooper, she wanted to patch and get back into action, but her thumb was not cooperating. I immediately thought of liquid bandage, but it turns out that stuff doesn’t work well on cuts that are still bleeding. The first aid kit had clotting spray, but that failed as well.
Producer Matt applied pressure, but all that did was make it hurt even worse. It wasn’t until a crew member suggested a wet tea bag that we found our solution. Who knew? Apparently the tannic acid in tea is a natural coagulant. It’s a common remedy after getting wisdom teeth pulled or for problematic cuts on pets. For all that we know about food, our ‘food as first aid‘ knowledge is pretty light! Learn something new every day — particularly on set.
- FN Fay, Program Manager
Alton Brown and his lovely wife, DeAnna, braved a sunny but cold NYC morning the other day, not far from the Food Network offices. The couple was walking briskly while squeaking in some speed window shopping in the process. They headed up from the quaint West Village into the Meatpacking District, which is home to more than a few high-end retailers and boutiques from Diane von Furstenberg to Catherine Malandrino and Stella McCartney.
It was clear that many of the passers-by were also serious Iron Chef fans. Alton and DeAnna got more than their fair share of rubbernecking tourists, curious stares and whiplash glances. Even in jaded New York City, it’s hard not to be star struck sometimes…