Since my first food segment in 1993, (the week after Disney closed the bakery)... I grin from ear to ear when I get on the set. It was all a lie in 1993. One of my last days off at Disney I was watching a morning show on KCAL9 in Los Angeles, Live in LA with Cyndy Garvey and Steve Edwards. Mr. Pie was on. I thought he may have the best way to roll out a crust and I wanted to see this guy do it. I was in shock.. He took a frozen crust and pressed it into the shell. Did he not have a message... Did he not teach anything? I called a colleague Nancy McDermott, told her I wanted to do the food segment for the show. Without any training or being in front of the camera I knew I could do it.. One thing Disney did teach me is that "No" is not a word. Nancy told me to look for the name of the segment producer at the end of the broadcast, get the number and then call. (This was before the internet). The next day I phoned Mimi Prizza, Segment Producer. She met with me and told me to bring a few ideas for segments and my "reel" of shows I have done. Not letting her know I had never been in front of the camera except a failure at a Game Show.. I created 12 shows, brought so much food that I knew her mouth would be full and she could not ask for the reel and would "Love" me and my ideas! The next few days I studied the show, the food segments and how the food was handled and presented.
Start first with a finished product for a "tease". (All the way to the left of the table), then all of the ingredients in the order of the recipe. Explain each ingredient and the amounts SLOOOOOOWWWWW so people can write it down. (remember no website for them to get it.. Oh they can write in with a SASE!), then have whom ever helps you make your food.. "Work', such as mixing or stirring.. Have a partially pre made item at a point that you need it.. I saw that each guest got about 3-4 minutes.
I showed up at Mimi's office across the street from the studio on Melrose. Nervous that I would be found out.. I took Muffins, Cookies, a Cake, a pie.. so much.. Mimi was in heaven.. She phoned another producer they loved my ideas and I was on the next Thursday. Blueberry Muffins! Mimi never asked for my Reel. I was a regular on the show. I created a wedding cake for the wedding show, I created chocolates, candies and more.. Then I was asked to try out for a new show that was national. Mike and Maty. on the ABC Network (this was before Disney owned it). The pilot and my segment was Cinnamon Rolls. I made them for the entire 230 in the live audience. Again, I moved into the resident food segment person on the show.
Since that December in 1993 I have been hundreds of shows coast to coast. I love teaching and showing how easy something is to make..
I had lunch with Mimi when she was working on the old Rosie Show in NYC.. She said.. "You know I have been wanting to ask you something.... Did you ever have a reel?" Nope. Blueberry Muffins were my first and not my last!
I love to show "behind the scenes" Here is the set from behind the camera. You can see the fake fronts, the weights holding my table set.. Nothing in the kitchen works. To the right is the green screen for outdoor shots.. The left is another sit down interview set.. I still set up my segment like I did 19 years ago.. But now I understand the lingo... Blocking, Tease, Bumper Shots, swap out, beauty.. and the actions. In Five...Four.. Three.....