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

…and I played the wife

Mark was asked to be on a chef competition show.  He was a bit wary as Top Chef Masters was NOT his favorite experience, but his manager ( me) said he should do it.  It’s “Knifefight” on Esquire channel. Use to be G4 channel and before that I am sure it was two other channels before that.  He had been a judge on an episode on the last season with Exec. Producer Drew Barrymore next to him and had a good time.  (“She took my card!” Um she is never going to call you dude.  She didn’t)

Mark clapping behind his new BFF

Mark clapping behind his new BFF

“Knife Fight” is more irreverent than Top Chef with it’s super serious, jib shots of chefs waiting to be judged with the dum, dum, dum music and the “Go pack your knifes” blow off.  It’s demoralizing.

this sucks

this sucks

The producer of “Knife Fight” asked who Mark wanted to compete against and we both said, “Sal Marino”.  He is our friend and a great chef, unsung really.  Owns Il Grano. They would have fun.  It’s shot at Gorbals where the chef/owner/ Ilan Hall is the host.  He is a nice guy.  Also, it’s a shorter shoot than Top Chef which drags on and on with them plying the chefs with cheap booze in the hopes of some “Big Brother” meltdown and for no pay.  All unscripted exploits the hell out of people in general.

So, I trucked down to watch the shoot and then ended up being part of it.  That is if they show my back shucking peas.  It was fun to see both Sal and Mark cook.  They had one hour to cook with the surprise ingredients.  Great to see them both in action.  I can’t say what they made ( or Drew Barrymore will come and beat me)  and I didn’t get it to eat it, but it looked fab.

Maja, Sal’s wife, was also there.  She is my friend so it was a fun outing.

...they all laughed, except for Josiah in this picture

…they all laughed, except for Josiah in this picture

The chefs had known each other before, but we all became good friends when our daughters were going to pre school and they became friends.

With a judge on the show Chef Josiah Citrin who helms the BEST French restaurant in LA, Melisse

With a judge on the show Chef Josiah Citrin who helms the BEST French restaurant in LA, Melisse

As the shooting went on they were placing Maja and I for reaction shots.  So when it finally airs, think May, you might see my “wife” visage.  In the meantime, it inspired Mark and Sal to finally cook together for real.  This weekend and next Mark is going to jam with him at Sal’s restaurant.  A special menu they collaborated on.  It’s going to be good.   I will play the wife and eater. MORE INFO HERE