Home Ec

One of the funnest parts of shooting my show is getting friends and family in on the action.  Today my first cousin, once removed Kelsie joined me.kelsie piini

testing out my tofu before we shot

testing out my tofu before we shot

The subject was cooking healthy, cheap and easy for college, but then it became cheap, healthy, easy for anyone.

Kelsie is a theater arts major in Riverside so I thought she would be game.  Her singing here.  I really want to help people get over there fear of the kitchen. She is already ahead of me in college, She has pretty hair.  I went through a mullet phase.

Sal Marino, a great chef and friend helped me figure out how to do a version of his AMAZING pea soup.

testing my pea soup

testing my pea soup

No pea soup is better than his.  If you come to LA go  to Il Grano and have it.  My version is made with frozen peas and is very good, if you’ve never had his you would think it ‘s the best, so maybe don’t have his, because then mine is for sure 2nd best.

 

Before we tape the show I spend a lot of time testing recipes.  I have an idea in my head and sometimes it takes several tries to get it right, or I have to scrap it and do something else.  Sometimes it’s good right away.   An hour with Sal and this pea soup was perfect.

 

Next week I riff off the foods of Bombo for Steam Power.  If I seem low energy my as yet undiagnosed C – diff was kicking my ass .. literally.  But, I always have the sweetest people around me helping through!

with director of photography Chris Bierlein

with director of photography Chris Bierlein.  Hang on Chris, I have to run to the bathroom…again.

taking a break in filming

taking a break in filming

green tea

Jerry, our PA, goes to get afternoon fuel

More Green Tea please, thanks

Daphne Dishes RETURNS

Second season baby!

 

That’s right, I’m back!!  More recipes, more kid hi jinx, more tips and tricks from the kitchen.   I’m super chuffed that Daphne Dishes

selfie on set

selfie on set

is returning to the Food Network this Sunday at 11:30am.  I will be live tweeting PST from my screening party. @daphbrog

First Episode is fun.  We do a back yard movie night.  Culver Crest Chicken! culver crest chicken Oh, yeah.  Find out the secret (ground fennel seeds), why I named it that, oh so much.   I’ve long wanted to have a movie night in my backyard and finally get to. It’s so much easier when  PA goes to pick up the equipment.  If only life was always like that. Although I don’t miss the bender board that blanketed the floors of my house while we shot.  Note cardboard and blue tape below.  Little known fact, cardboard floors don’t feel great on bare feet.

producer Craig attempts to direct Rex and Vivien.  Good luck

producer Craig attempts to direct Rex and Vivien. Good luck

Some sweet friends came on the show and Vivien and two of her best friends make their own movie.  All their own idea.  Watch out Sundance. These first 3 shows my gut hadn’t turned on me yet, so I’m happy but chubbier cheeked.  I’ll be interested to see if we can detect changes throughout the season.   I hope you like it.

dangers of antibiotics

 

When you are shooting a cooking show imagine not being able to eat.  No, this is not the Giada de Laurentiis story.  While shooting the most recent season of shows I developed a very unattractive condition.

the day my health took a turn.  shooting at Grand Central Market and looking for a bathroom every 5 minutes

the day my health took a turn. shooting at Grand Central Market and looking for a bathroom every 5 minutes

So, you read about the dangers of anti biotics .. but I figure that will happen to someone else, like aging.  But, low and behold I had an intestinal distress that was a cross between a trip to Mexico and labor.  It went on and on.  I’m more the “Oh, why go to the doctor, it’s just a virus type”, but finally relented after we twice had to stop shooting early. I was not in DaphMasterFlash form.   I kept thinking it would get better.  It didn’t.  The doctor on call said that he suspected I had gotten C-Diff.  It’s a bacterial infection you get when  the antibiotics you took 3-4 weeks before for something else kills your good bacteria in your bowel. ( I had taken two courses a month previous for Strep)  Think of it like your bowels are a trash compactor, but the C-diff caused an electrical outage so the trash can’t be compacted and just flows out with grinding pain that makes it difficult to stand in front of a camera and talk about food.

How to diagnosis?    One day we started shooting later while I high tailed it to UCLA Medical to give 7 “samples”.  The most revolting thing ever.

How to feel better?  Stop eating.  That’s what I did.

still not knowing what I had I read my script with a kaopectate chaser.

still not knowing what I had I read my script with a kaopectate chaser.

 

We had a lot of shows to do.  I had to keep working. I had sweet friends come and guest star on the show.  I was making great food.  One night I made a really fantastic, fancy meal for the show and was feeling ok, so I ate it all. It was a fun night.  The next day we had off and I couldn’t get out of bed.  Except to go to the, well, you know.

Let's live for tonight!!

Let’s live for tonight!!

Two days later they called and said to hurry up and start taking Flagyl to get rid of the C-diff. I had had ELEVEN days of… D-stress… if you know what I mean.   I have to eat very simple, bland foods and not drink at all.  If I have protruding collar bones by the end of this it will have been worth it.  The last days of the shoot I was feeling a bit better, but weak.   I would sit on a stool while we talked through what we were going to shoot.  When it was time to get on camera they would pull the stool away from me and I would bring it!  I felt better performing.  I was so focused on the job it got my mind of the grinding, labor like pain I was in.

behind the scenes:  while I made great food, this is what I was eating OFF camera.  Green tea, pro biotics, pedialyte

behind the scenes: while I made great food, this is what I was eating OFF camera. Green tea,bananas, pro biotics, pedialyte

The medicine made me dizzy . As soon as the shoot was done I went down for 48 hours and put myself on healing with funny movies.  My faves so far to wipe the tension off my face and put on a smile: “Hot Tub Time Machine”  ( My generation)  “The Wedding Ringer”. Basically, if it didn’t have dick and fart jokes, I was not interested.  (Not as good “Admission” with Tina Fey and “It’s Complicated”, both need 30 min cut and a better script. ) Also caught up with all the Jane the Virgin’s. Please, do yourself a favor and watch it.  From the start.  So funny and has satire and magical realism, all my faves.

The good news is I had put on some Grief Pounds, so I’m psyched that I have lost 9 lbs. B

Okay, so be careful with your gut… and wash your hands.

Daphne Dishes is Back!

Season two baby, Season 22222!  Super Excited to officially announce my show is coming back!!!

JUST Finished shooting most of the show.. hence, lame on posting… It returns with more food, more laughs, more Rex and Viv on June 7th Sunday at 11:30 on the Food Network.  Yeah, that’s right.   Although right now it’s on reruns on Sunday at 10:30am  ( set your DVR to ease confusion)

what me have a cooking show?

what me have a cooking show?

The charming folks at Concentric Entertainment were back to produce.  Actually it was all the same folks except my brother’s long lost friend Barbie was on hand to also work on the show. Barbie takes the kids to school so mommy can get into make up I wanted her on board, not only because she is a hard worker, smart, but I was a tad bit afraid of PTSD considering the tragedy that befell the night before we shot the last shoot and wanted someone who knew us near ( totally get how people like Elvis get an entourage).  Thankfully grinding intestinal upset was the only problem ( that’s another post) on this season.shooting daphne dishes

It was a challenge to get recipes together for 13 episodes, especially since my number one advisor, my chef husband, is working non stop on his newly opened eatery, Bombo.  However the work I did helping him get that open did inform some of my recipes and I have one episode titled “Steam Power” where I riff off the steam kettle power that generates most of the dishes at Bombo to change the way we do home cooking.

lunch break at Bombo with my the gals who make me look good wardrobe Lauren Francis, hair and make up Crystal Bernal. On our "on location" day at Grand Central Market in downtown LA

lunch break at Bombo with my the gals who make me look good: wardrobe Lauren Francis, hair and make up Crystal Bernal. On our “on location” day at Grand Central Market in downtown LA

I hope you like this next season.  I felt like I finally started to get it this season.  How to cook, host, look at camera, stir a bowel so the cameraman can see it, etc.  It’s a trip.

 

Stealing Ingredients

Here is Daphne Dishes, without the production value. No lighting, no make up and clothes.. I have a cold.   I did this a while ago, but thought it would really fit with my Food Network show running.

One of the yards I take from belongs to the best couple of people you could ever hope to live next door too.  They were at Mark’s pop up last night.  They leave the side gate open so the kids can play in their yard if they like.  They are the borrow sugar kind of folk.  Although, I think it’s usually been olive oil.  Plus, they let me raid their citrus tree. I think the hip name is “forage”.

Who can you steal from?

bittersweet recipe

It’s very exciting these few Sundays now.. where I watch my show.. where I get tweets from people I don’t know saying they like the show.  I get emails from distance cousins who I have heard not from in years that they are loving seeing my show.  I also loved in the most recent episode bringing in some of our friends to be on the show.  I also thought that overall of all the Daphne Dishes, this one was the best.  It held together. I loved making the food, loved my cocktail.   It’s a light, fun show… I hope… with some information. However, the making of it was more fraught than is seen.

One clue to that can be seen at the end of this show..”In Memory of Jeff Wannberg.”handsom

I have made reference to there being a big loss that shadowed the filming of the show.  The night before we started shooting my brother killed himself.  Jeff was not my blood brother, but a brother he was.  We came into each others life at about 2 or 3, start of pre school.  I got kicked out because my mom was the teacher and the school thought it better if she didn’t teach her own kid.  But, Jeff stayed.  It’s hard to describe to people who didn’t know us in childhood, teen years, 20’s, but each year he became more and more part of us, and visa versa.  Our homes were a few doors away and he was the only kid in his house.

4th of July in Culver City in the '70's. Dad, Cec, Jeff, me

4th of July in Culver City in the ’70’s. Dad, Cec, Jeff, me

We needed a brother, he needed us.  We went to the same progressive school for a while, so we had short hand for our unconventional childhood.  “We joined a cult” Jeff said just a couple of years ago in his characteristically dry humor.  In our teen years organically we began to call him brother, he called us sisters.  It annoyed us to no end if someone said, “but you aren’t REALLY siblings.”  We responded with annoyance or cut them out.  As he once said, “I’m not going to say, they are my really, really, really, really good friends.  That’s not right.”  It wasn’t.  We were far more ingrained than that.

I cannot sum up our relationship or Jeff in a blog post and it wouldn’t do him justice our lives together. But, since September 9th everything has been…different. He was in my sister’s weddings.

Happy Day

Happy Day

I officiated at his US wedding.  I was his best man at his Australian nuptials ( where is wife is from). We are use to him being here for family events.  It was hard having him in Australia the last several years, but he wanted to come home.  We wanted him to come.  It was just a matter of time before he did.

He was always with us at Thanksgiving. We started playing football at Thanksgiving because of Jeff.

Thanksgiving. Jeff behind, brother in law Kevin next to my mom.  I'm the one with the mullet next to my dad

Thanksgiving. Jeff behind, brother in law Kevin next to my mom. I’m the one with the mullet next to my dad

He often made a turkey.  Jeff loved to cook.  He loved French food and classic American food.  He opened his own American steak house in Australia.     I, like all those who love him, are left bewildered and bereft.  In my case I’m puffy and bewildered as I’ve put on some big grief pounds.

He was so smart, quick witted, a brain like no other.  Even while he was living far away I kept up with him with skype, phone calls, email, social media. But, it’s no subtitute for being there.  When I moved back to LA in 2000 I took an apartment that was less than a mile from him.  When I decided to do my solo shows he was the only one I wanted to direct me.  The only one I trusted.  He was a photographer, a post production producer, an app producer, dog lover, bon vivivant.  He was and is someone very special.

love

love

I didn’t know if I could get through the filming, as I mentioned before Food Network kindly offered to postpone the shoot, but I know these opportunities might not come again and I know how hard Jeff hustled to get projects that he wanted off the ground.  His wife said, go for it.  That shot at the end of the show  (“Eat up Sports fans”) When I catch the ball from Vivien was the only time my face was onscreen that first day. I can see the puff and the pain in my face. Bewilderment.  People who are also survivors of suicide know the bewilderment.  The shock.  The first few days I would wake up early before the crew arrived.  Make coffee, talk to Jeff, “Why, why?  How could you leave us?”  I would lie down on the floor and cry.  Then I would get into hair and make up and when the producer said, “Sparkle in the eye”  I turned it on.  Everyone I worked with was very patient and kind with me.

“What do you need?”  a Food Network executive said that first day.

“Ask no one to bring it up.  I will come un done.”  She did and they didn’t.

Vivien was with me the first few days.  She would stand by the cameras before we started, give me a smile and a thumbs up.  “You can do it mommy.”  It would fuel me.  I was torn up by grief, survival guilt, and guilty that I had a big project going on when he was having a hard time making his opportunities come to fruition.  When Vivien wasn’t there I would look at her pictures on the fridge and then turn around and cook for camera.  Like so many moments in my life my kids are joy gas.  I’d be a broken down jalopy without them.

my kids there for me on a shoot day... before my grief weight set in

my kids there for me on a shoot day… before my grief weight set in

When we had a day off I really collapsed.  That’s when I realized how much the show was good for me.  I loved the absorption of work.  The first few days I was trying to contact everyone who needed to know about Jeff. I had a great need to speak to people who knew us when we were younger, before something went wrong, something went sideways.  But, then I switched and I couldn’t speak about it.  If I did I wouldn’t be able to work.  I clicked over and while the camera was on, or even with the crew I started to have fun.  Jokes were coming more easily.  So, for the Game Day show it was later in the process ( except for the football scene) and I was feeling better.  When Trish showed up, who is truly one of my best friends and who knew Jeff, I could let my guard down a little.  When I give her the drink and we toast it’s pregnant with meaning.  She knew how special he was and how deep our connection was and how I was hurting.

After the shoot we had his memorial, his celebration of life.. what is the right thing to call it?  We decided on JeffCon’14.

While we were shooting I asked if he could have a memorial credit.  It has to go through some channels.  Then a few weeks ago I got an email.  Yes, his name would be there.  I was glad, but I got back down on the floor and cried.in memory of jeff wannberg

Like anyone who has lost someone you don’t want your loved one to become “the dead guy” and with suicide you don’t want their method of departure to define them.

Some of Jeff’s friends and I have connected or reconnected like never before.  It’s been a great source of support. Also, I went through an 8 week Survivors of Suicide group.  A lovely group of people.  That helped a lot to sort through the layers of feelings with people who were on the same journey. The sense of failure, rejection, lost.  One friend of Jeff’s was over a couple of months ago and said that I should start posting and talking about the show coming on.  Really?  I was not feeling like celebrating.  Then I remembered what one woman in my group said, “Fake it till you make it.”  So I did start posing about it and talking about it and people were very sweet and excited and that felt good.  I just want Jeff to be here with me.  So by having his picture in the first episode about my mom’s healthy eating and his name in the game one I feel there was a touch.

Of course the way my brain and humor works is so influenced by him he is part of it.

So, it might seem just like a light little food show, but there was a lot going on.

New Eatery!

We just announced the name of Mark’s new eatery: Bombo! bombo This will be his first ever fast casual concept after a lifetime of winning praise and awards in the fine dining realm.  After Campanile closed.. or as Rex calls it,  “your cooking job”, we talked at length about what he wanted to do and how it needed to work with our life as a family.  Our dearly departed Tar Pit was a cocktail driven place so the hours were terrible for a family with young kids.

We also felt strongly that fine dining while not completely over was played out.  In post recession America even if you have money most don’t want to flaunt it.. at least not in a restaurant.  Even if people in LA still spend $100 on dinner they want it to be in a relaxed environment while they were jeans.  A few strong fine dining places can withstand this Age of Casual, but not a lot. They’ve been dropping like flies.

Plus it was played out for Mark.  He wants to cook.  He likes cooking for people, not necessarily rich people or having the artifice and overhead that goes with a ‘fancy’ place.  So in my capacity as his business development manager I started thinking locations.  Areas of town, and then where within those areas.  Eventually our search landed at Grand Central Market in downtown LA.  Built in 1917 it’s been getting a lot of press lately as they revamp it.  It combines many elements of LA’s culture.  Latin, Asian and now celebrity chef driven.  Bombo is going to emphasize seafood, but not just seafood.  There aren’t many places in LA that you can get reasonably priced seafood outside of  a sushi joint in a mini mall.   Mark was keen to work with steel jacketed steam kettles.

something like this

something like this

They are pretty and will be prominent in our design.  They will allow him to cook things quickly using his 4 broths as his base. Cut to a montage of financing, design, approval for permits, negotiations and now we arrive at the moment where we have announced the name.  It’s inspired by the kettles as Bombo is Spanish for bass drum, as well as used loosely to indicate a kind of musical energy, excitement.  Also, we liked how it sounded.

So I’ve been setting up pop up nights for Mark where he can try out his new dishes on real people, not just me in our kitchen.  It’s great for focusing him and I like it because a couple of times there was a critique  I wanted in a dish, and the public backed me up.  Hurumph.  But, really he is making some tasty dishes, reasonably priced, but still flavor packed like his food at Campanile was.  Tonight he starts a trio of Tuesday nights at our neighborhood favorite, Rascal.  If you are in the area come by.

Our friend Eric, Mayor of LA, stops by our pop up in Nov.

Our friend Eric, Mayor of LA, stops by our pop up in Nov.

After a couple of under eventful work years both of our projects are debuting roughly around the same time.  If “Daphne Dishes” gets a second season maybe I can make something at Bombo for the show. It’s been a great partnership, we both assist and advise each other.  Almost ten years of marriage and it all seems to be working well. (knock wood)mark peel daphne brogdon

it’s almost time…

For my show to start.  SUNDAY JAN. 4th at Noon on Food Network.  I’m getting nervous.  Nervous worried- that Food Network will write and say, “we’ve never had NO ONE watch a show before, until now.”

Nervous Excited – OMG I’ve never had my OWN show.  I’ve always been part of an ensemble.  Its got my name, my stove, my toaster.. oh, not my toaster, they thought it looked too dingy so they moved it for the show.

You'll never make toast in this town again!

You’ll never make toast in this town again!

If you all can watch the 6 episodes that will be rolling out over the next 6 weeks I’d be mighty appreciative.  If you are on any social media please use #daphnedishes and @coolmomdotcom @foodnetwork in any posts.  They do notice this stuff.

I really hope you like it.  Please give  me any feedback, because if it gets a pick up I can incorporate your notes into future shows.

Mom in the make up room, otherwise known as my bathroom. Expert work done by Crystal Bernal

Mom in the make up room, otherwise known as my bathroom. Expert work done by Crystal Bernal

The first episode is very dear as my mom and sisters are featured.  I’m reworking healthy recipes of my mom’s but making them taste better.

My kids are in it a bit.  Mark will be in some episodes, he is always in the opening title.  (See how fast he can chop onions)

The day before we started shooting we had a deep loss in our family, which I haven’t been able to write about yet.  It was very hard to carry on, but everyone from the Food Network to my kids were very supportive.  I loved having Vivien on set when she wasn’t in school.  She is my little ray of sun and when I was on set and downcast she would say “Mommy” and give me a smile and thumbs up.  Then I could put a smile on my face.

Vivien sets up the shot

Vivien sets up the shot

 

Daphne Dishes

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT…

I’m going to have my own show.

A show on Food Network

daphne dishes

Recipe testers, Rex, Vivien and family friend Judah. All who make cameos in the show.

I know!!

 

daphne dishes

Vivien helping me get camera ready. Sitting in chair bought for me by Richard Hart, my first National TV co host.

This has been in the works for about 4 years.  From the first call from Food Network till now.  Thanks to the mom blog world that helped birth  co creations Momversation, Coolmom and made it possible that my friends and family no longer had to truck out to a crappy black box theater with a leaky toilet to watch me perform. In early 2008 they could stay home sit on their own leaky toilet and watch me perform online.

I’ve hosted a lot of shows since 1996, but nothing is as challenging as hosting a food show.  Well, live red carpet is no picnic either, but this was a big challenge for me because I can talk to camera.  I can be funny.  I can cook. But, all at the same time while SMILING, that’s a hat trick.  I worked on about 15 recipes for the the show.  Some I mastered after a bout 4 or 5 tries.  Others I made so much I thought I would never eat them again.  I developed a brownie recipe from scratch.  Mark said I was nuts to do that.  “Start with a known recipe and tweak it and make your changes from there.”  But, in the end it turned out. Though I did gain 5 pounds in the prep and shooting of the show.  I had to make sure they all tasted good!

concentric gang on daphne dishes

So, it starts Sunday January 4th at noon.  It’s just 6 episodes and if it does any numbers we can hopefully make more, so I really need any support you can give it.  I need the eyeballs.  There are good recipes in it, some helpful hints, cute shots of my kids.

Remember, by supporting this new venture, you don’t have to leave your house!

xo