David's Craft Services has served many a starlet on set. Without naming names, owner David Dreishpoon said that once he was on set for a movie and a female star requested carrots, alfalfa sprouts, and celery by the bushel every day for months. He was told much later that she was taking it home to feed her horse. Even movie and TV stars need to be thrifty in these tough economic times, right?
Dreishpoon caters the set of USA's Royal Pains, starring Mark Feuerstein, Paulo Costanzo, and Jill Flint. A few years ago, they were shooting in New York and Dreishpoon got a request to have a "special treat" every afternoon for the crew. "I was given carte blanche to go into any restaurant and buy whatever I wanted for the cast," he said. "For example, one week I went to Vincent's Clam Bar and bought them out of the most expensive lobster and fish they had, sometimes walking out with a tab of over $2,000 per day for a whole week. Production was totally cool with it." Those lucky stars certainly get royal treatment.
On the flip side, it doesn't take much to make some stars happy. Dreishpoon caters the set of Damages, starring Glenn Close, on a regular basis, and when asked if the legendary actress has diva demands to match her status, Dreishpoon said surprisingly, no. "Give Glenn Close a bag of Oreos and she is a happy camper!" he said fondly. To be fair... who wouldn't be a happy camper with a whole bag of Oreos to themselves?
Chef Jeff Stansfield, owner of Advantage Catering has a long career in the craft services business. One of his most memorable jobs began with a call from Oprah. "She said that she had a friend coming in to do the Dr. Phil show, which she produces and we cater quite often. She requested my barbecue ribs, which she loves. I showed up and had no idea who I was cooking for. He seemed like a nice guy — really tall, skinny, something to do with politics. He and Dr. Phil and Oprah ate ribs and chatted. That guy is now the President of the United States."
When asked if he'd ever gotten any strange requests from stars at events, chef Stansfield laughed. "Of course," he said, "It comes with the territory. One time I was at a party where the host requested an omelette bar. We made omelettes for everyone that attended. Demi Moore came over and requested an omelette made from the whites of quail eggs. We had to run out and source some quail eggs really fast in the middle of the party!"
Another memorable event for chef Stansfield was with one of his favorite clients, Drew Carey. "Drew had a friend that was getting married and threw a party for him. He requested a life-sized cake in the shape of a naked woman, that was... ahem... anatomically correct. That guy knows how to party!"
A huge trend in craft services right now is offering healthy vegan and vegetarian options. Chef Stansfield said that his company produces a huge number of meals in this vein, and they also provide special vegan cakes that don't have dairy, eggs, refined sugar, or wheat flour. Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks are among the many clients who love chef Stansfield's vegan cakes and request them often.
Growing numbers of people are adopting a vegan diet these days, but are there still plenty of stars who just want their meat and potatoes. According to Stansfield, one of those people is Arnold Schwarzenegger. "The Terminator is one of those guys that you can't even say vegan or vegetarian around," Stansfield joked. "He loves his meat, especially brisket, and to smoke his cigars." We wouldn't expect anything less from our favorite action star.
Many stars, from Katy Perry to Lady Gaga, are also requesting more eco-friendly operations for craft services. Stansfield explained that one of the major problems with companies like his is bottled water. "You can go through more than 10,000 bottles of water during production. That is a lot of plastic in landfills." This realization prompted him to offer personalized, reusable water bottles on set for the cast and crew. "It's something that we feel really good about and so do our clients. We all want to make sure that we're treating the Earth responsibly while still offering great service" he said. "We have a lot of clients that want this, including Johnny Depp, who are willing to pay a little extra to make sure they're being environmentally conscious."
Has chef Stansfield ever cooked with or for any celebrity chef? After all, who would be more fun or interesting to cook or cater for than someone who really knows their food? Stansfield has cooked with some of the top chefs in the business, including Anthony Bourdain, Mario Batali, and Thomas Keller. "Chefs are the most fun people in the world to cook for, because they really really love food and are always curious about what you make and how you made it," Stansfield said. "I don't remember what I made for these guys because I was literally so in awe of the fact that we were all at the same table!"