Tag: Wendy Waxman

Is Your Table in Shape for the Holidays?

by in Entertaining, Holidays, November 17th, 2012

Thanksgiving Buffet TableI suspect that many basic round white plates or sets of plates adorn many tables around the country for the holidays and for everyday use. Square plates and even triangular dishes have also made a splash on many a table top store display and Web site. But what’s the solution if you have a few of one and some of another shape? How do you know if your table needs a little seasonal shape-shifting?

Here are some suggestions:

1. Layer two square-shaped plates on top of a round shape to create a bit of holiday panache. Most round plates have a rim around the edge to contain sauces or meat juices. These will serve as a great base.

2. Square plates without lips or borders look great atop round plates. Instead of nesting them atop the round plate to form a square, try fanning both plates in a diamond pattern (see photo above), the way bartenders always fan out the cocktail napkins. It’s a little fancy and a bit unexpected.

Keep reading for more ideas

Design Spy: Dream of Spring by Reinventing Winter

by in Behind the Scenes, Holidays, January 13th, 2011
Wendy took a green damask tablecloth from Christmas and used fresh irises and pink accents to transform the table setting to spring.

Design Director Wendy Waxman has been at Food Network since its inception decorating sets, designing tabletop displays and special events, and styling cookbooks. Among her projects are the altar displays for Iron Chef America and the sets of Guy’s Big Bite30 Minute Meals, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Cooking for Real and Aarti Party. Wendy’s favorite pastime is sleuthing for colorful objects and she can be spotted pursuing her quest anywhere, anytime.

Like a post-holiday nymph who refuses to leave the party, January never fails to beckon with its tempting array of alluring sales. This is one post-holiday ritual not to be ignored. A plethora of fresh merchandise awaits discerning January buyers who peruse with a careful eye toward the coming year.

The seasonal green linens of December will surely welcome a spring lamb to the table, and a holiday red tablecloth will be the perfect backdrop for the guacamole and chips of that most sacred American celebration: The Super Bowl. And what better time to stock up on ornaments and decorations for the next Christmas season? You’ll save time and money next November. Here’s the original Christmas tabletop that I transformed for spring.

Wendy's Christmas table, with a green damask table cloth, red charger plates and ornaments, can easily be transformed for spring.

I often can be found scooping up discounted platters, plates, and bowls. I ask myself how a particular shape will enhance what I own already. Will that smooth shiny square plate play well with my favorite round matte dinnerware pieces? Glassware always makes my list, especially for replenishing the ever-disappearing stock of wine and Champagne glasses. I love discovering odds and ends. Glasses that look great together but don’t match give me a chance to build on this stockpile during the rest of the year.

I also love parties, so I never forget the cocktail napkin. Decorative paper napkins are on my radar and come in handy for office and birthday parties, or even stashed in the glove box for that last minute treat on the run. Small linen napkins in silver and gold make an anniversary special anytime of the year.

The venerable tray in any color or form is another sale treasure. I use them for everything from hors d’oeuvres to serving platters for larger fare. Don’t forget that when not in service they look wonderful on kitchen counters and coffee tables.

I bank on these January sales and similar ones after each holiday year-round. Shall we meet in the clearance aisle?

Ready, Set? GO!

by in View All Posts, April 3rd, 2009

Last weekend I wasn’t the only one clocking some extra hours. Former NFNS, spikey haired host, Guy Fieri was working overtime too—shooting. “How can you work, SC, when larger than life personality is three floors above you taping new shows for Guy’s Big Bite? ” you ask. Well, uh, I didn’t…officially. I just sought out the dish.

As Mr. Fieri would say, what I’ve uncovered “is the bomb!”

CONTINUE READING

Do you spy what I spy?

by in View All Posts, March 24th, 2009

I must confess: I took a vacation this weekend, and still thought about work. You see, I went down to Austin, Texas for a friend’s wedding, and while perusing through a neat art gallery there called Yard Dog Art, I happened to do a double take on these interesting pieces for sale by former Austinite, Mike Miller.

When we shot the Food Network Tour video, I remember noticing this same art from Sunny Anderson’s Cooking for Real set, and here they were again creeping up in my vacation (perhaps to remind me to get back to the office?). Can you spy the art I’m talking about behind Sunny? I’ll give you a clue: It’s right above the big, red arrow I pasted on the image:

When I first looked at these pieces on Sunny’s set, I even remember saying to myself, “Oh that art is neat,” but I had no idea the history behind the pieces….until now!

Continue reading about Sunny’s set art.

What we’re hiding in the basement

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, February 23rd, 2009

Follow Ask Aida’s Noah Starr into the underbelly of the Food Network studios, and meet Design Director, Wendy Waxman.

Wendy Gets Your Tables Set

by in View All Posts, December 23rd, 2008

Wendy recently shared a bold tablescape which prompted:

Dear Wendy,
Every year something goes horribly wrong and I’m left with a mis-mash of clutter on my table. You mentioned bold colors (which I LOVE) but my walls are bright yellow and orange. Is it over the top to incorporate more bold colors in my tablescape or should I go subtle? I don’t want my guests to need sunglasses but I don’t want it to look blah! ~ Robin

Here’s what Wendy shared:

While table settings should connect to the immediate environ, it’s the type of gathering that determines the “flavor” of color…

  • High energy: If it’s a lively event with spicy foods and fun music, go bold!!! A tropical “bamboo” green would also be a great choice in your setting, Robyn.
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  • Down to earth: Neutrals or creamy textures are great for a more conversational, daytime mood.
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  • Tryouts: Test how your color vision works with your table and the rest of the room. Paint swatches are helpful. Or in a pinch, try book jackets, colorful clothes like sweaters and scarves, or simple objects around your home to achieve that preview.
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  • Start small: Still unsure? Use a touch of bold color via napkins or a table runner for a color splash with impact.
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Best,
Wendy

Design Director Wendy Sees Red

by in View All Posts, December 16th, 2008

Food Network Design Director, Wendy Waxman, got her latest assignment — create a vibrant tablescape for a Food Network charity event featuring Chef Duff…oh, and make it kid-friendly. Wendy immediately saw red — in a good way.

As the table came together, Wendy shared some great tips…
1) Bold, vibrant colors will stay true to you – going bold works well all year long, whether the holidays or the 4th of July.
2) Pick a plate that’s ready to take the stage. For this, Wendy fell for a rich collection from SoHo-based Global Table.
3) Let your creativity bloom. Wendy chose amaryllis and orchids from Ovando to complete her vision. A top-notch florist should always supply fresh product (and ideas, if you want them).
Have a holiday tablescape question?
Hit Wendy up in the comments below…
Or check out her holiday tablescape photo gallery.

Dish on Dishes — Wendy’s Back

by in View All Posts, December 5th, 2008

Various serving trays from Food NetworkFN 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?

FN Dish on Dishes

by in View All Posts, November 14th, 2008

One tiny canister corner

One of the best kept secrets in NY is tucked beneath Food Network. In an undisclosed location (think: the warehouse in Indiana Jones), lies a vast storeroom of the dishes, props and accessories FN has used for the past 15 years. Rachael Ray’s original GBs, Mario Batali’s favorite ravioli rolling pin, Sunny’s entire kitchen — it’s there.

One artistic visionary, FN set decorator Wendy and her creative prop coordinator, Jamie, have the awesome responsibility of maintaining, organizing, expanding and decorating with the massive collection.

FN Dish will start showcasing certain pieces, like this giant bowl that’s great for “kicking light” — (being highly reflective on set). Wendy stumbled across it and knew it would be perfect for a dramatic Iron Chef America ingredient.

Questions about a Food Network set? Need inspiration for an innovative tablescape? Curious about culinary “minis”? Post and Wendy will attend to the most burning questions…