Ever since I realized I wanted to cook, I can remember watching cooking shows. So as you can imagine, when I first found out about this opportunity to visit the set of ABC’s The Chew and be at the tasting table, I was pretty excited.
After getting shuffled into the press room and then made to fill out boring forms, I got ushered to my seat, where the hype-man (or in-house comedian) gave us a full-fledged lecture on how to clap, when to clap, and what fun really looks like.
The reality of what I saw behind the scenes wasn’t exactly the same vison I’d come to expect from watching the tube.
Producers were frantically pre-chopping, camera operators were dashing about, and slowly my visions of the Food Network’s seemingly complex spectacle faded into oblivion.
At this point Michael Symon had offered me a cup of coffee so my focus quickly returned to the actual fun I was having. I think I was so nervous I asked for two sugars. I usually have it neat. Then Carla Hall came rushing out.
Her energy was infectious, and the crowd clearly loved her. She came over to have a bit of a chat with the tasting table about her new book and her project with Staybridge Suites to bring hotel-ready recipes to guests. She was truly delightful.
No staged happiness there! I was really excited to see Danielle Brooks pop out of the curtains; she joined the panel on stage to chat up the new season of Orange Is the New Black and learn how to make vegan mac and cheese. (Who knew that all you need is soaked cashew nuts instead of cream?)
The experience was over in less than an hour, but what an interesting veil to lift for a brief moment.
I always harbored dreams of hosting my own successful show, but it’s more likely I will end up like one of these 25 failed food celebrities.
Natalie Lobel is a Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal who enjoys navigating the food space with a compass and a wooden spoon. You can follow her food adventures and diet experiments on her Instagram @natlobel.