I met Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis yesterday!
Not only that, but I’m gonna be on her Food Network show, “Giada At Home”! It was a very exciting day.
It all happened very quickly. On Friday night, my friend Kristy texted me asking if I was free Monday morning. Some mutual friends of ours (one of whom, Ashley, works for Giada) were looking for folks to be in the background at a party that was being filmed for “Giada At Home.” I didn’t get many details, except that it was being shot at a house in Malibu, but that’s all the info I needed. Sign me up!
We met up yesterday morning in a nearby parking lot, and a production coordinator shuttled us up a winding road to a gorgeous house with amazing ocean views.
The crew was setting up outside – it was going to be a poolside party.
Check out this view – incredible!
There were about 10 of us party guests, and we waited around while they set up equipment. I knew a couple of the other guests, through Ashley and her girlfriend, Haviland, and it was fun to hang out in such a spectacular setting. Then, it was time to work!
If you haven’t seen “Giada At Home,” the format is simple: in every episode, Giada shows how to make a variety of dishes that she makes, you guessed it, at home. Each episode is centered around a specific event, like a party she’s throwing for a friend or a book club get-together. Most of the show takes place in the kitchen, but at the end of the episode, they show the event, with lots of shots of Giada’s friends and guests enjoying her food.
I won’t spill the beans about what Giada made for the episode I was a part of, or even what the theme was, but needless to say, it was delicious.
First up, they got beauty shots of the food, all laid out on the table. They asked me and a few others to be mingling in the background. Even though we wouldn’t be in focus, they wanted to establish the party atmosphere. We all had drinks, and the camera operator advised us to keep the drinks out of the shadows. I loved watching the crew work, especially in regards to food styling: swapping out different-sized bowls for a sauce, and rearranging items on a plate, just so everything was perfect.
After the beauty shots were over, they got shots of Giada interacting with all of us: bringing trays of food over, describing what she made, passing around things to sample. We had to do a couple shots where we took food but didn’t eat it, because the food was needed for the next shot.
Giada was exactly how she appears on TV – friendly, energetic, and genuine. She came over and introduced herself early in the day, thanked us multiple times for participating, and made sure we were taken care of. She was also very involved with the show – discussing shots with the crew in between takes, for example – and most of all, she was a pro. When they called action, we followed her lead, and she worked our little party, talking with everyone, inserting information about the dishes, making us feel comfortable, and all of it came across very naturally.
By the time they got all the shots they needed, the trays of food were nearly empty, so the crew whisked them away and refilled them. The final order of business were more close-ups of the food, with all of our hands reaching in to take some. Once those were in the can, we were done! All in all, I was there for a little over 3 hours.
One more picture: me, Kristy, and Haviland:
There isn’t an air date yet for this episode, but it’s a few months away. As soon as I learn more, I’ll share it right here!
And don’t worry – I hit the gym hard last night to make up for a morning of on-camera eating. A full hour warming up and lifting weights (upper body), followed by a Boing with Kangoo class.
Keep it up, David!