We Talk to Gail Simmons About New TV Show, ‘The Feed’
What makes The Feed different from other shows?
That’s exactly why I was so excited to do it, it was different and gave me the ability to stretch my legs and do something silly and fun. The idea came out of wanting to have a show talking about topics and goings-on in the food world the way you’d talk about them with friends: topics that are on food sites and social media, trends in food that are filling our news feeds. We had so much fun ruining around New York and trying to one-up each other.
What’s the general format of the show?
Every episode gives us two challenges, but it’s not like a super-competitive challenge; this is just us trying to out-run each other for bragging rights and fun. In one episode, we talk about eating on the go and we each come out with “the next big thing” in on the go food. It’s three different perspectives. Marcus is an accomplished, fine-dining chef, I come from an educated dining editor perspective, and Max is a comedian who is the guy who brings us down to earth.
How is your experience on this show different from Top Chef?
It’s a 180 from anything I’ve ever done. Top Chef is obviously a competition show and it has more of a formulaic concept. The Feed is a looser concept. It gave me more freedom to show a sillier side of myself. I learned a lot. Shooting The Feed was fun because I did a lot of things I’ve always wanted to do like butcher a pig.
I heard that for the pilot episode you work with Dominique Ansel and create your own food mashups. What was that like?
Arguably, Dominique created and made famous the perfect mashup, which for over a year has been the mashup to which others are measured. The three of us try to make our own version of the mashup. To me, what makes the cronut so genius is that it’s the perfect amalgamation of two different cultures- French and American. I’m from Canada so I mash up something very Canadian with American food. We all come up with absurd and hilarious things, and we learn along the way, with Dominique being the perfect starting point.
What makes something trendy in food, and how do you portray that on the show?
In the last 10 years, we have had such an enormous expansion in food media, that everyone is a foodie. We talk about trends like everything becoming artisanal, creative hangover remedies, urban myths, kitchen gadgets and the overlap of food and design. I think people will always try to come up with that thing that people want to talk about, photograph and make meaningful. The Feed is about bringing everyone into the conversation.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi