the gourmoo shoot – behind the scenes
This past December I flew to LA to be part of a cooking competition. But not just any competition. This was a big ol’ film production, complete with celebrity chefs and prizes galore. Makeup artists and stylists, directors and PA’s (that’s “personal assistant” for those of us in the biz ;), long days on set (I just like saying that) and a lot of really yummy food. It was quite possibly one of the most awesome things I’ve ever done. And the coolest part? I wasn’t competing…I was one of the judges!
I’d originally planned on sharing this behind-the-scenes post the very moment the shoot was over, but life just seemed to get in the way – between cooking and kids and Christmas and work and cooking and eating, there just didn’t seem to be time for everything! And then I decided that it would make much more sense to talk about it just before the official launch, which is happening in the next two weeks!
Before I get to some fun behind-the-scenes shots, here’s a promotional video that talks about what the contest was about:
So the contest was all about showing how you can use Lactaid milk in place of regular milk when cooking and still turn out some crazy awesome dishes! I have to admit – being someone who didn’t know much about the whole lactose-free world – I’d never known that Lactaid is real milk, just without the lactose. And that you can use it just as you would regular milk. And there were some really awesome dishes turned out in this contest! It was pretty funny because you could just see the film crew drooling as the judges got to try all the yummy food! I’m pretty sure not much of it went to waste, though ;-)
But – and I’m not sure I can say this, but I just have to! – not all the dishes were great. And although our hope was that they all would be amazing, it did make for a much more interesting and challenging competition for the contestants (and for us). And I think that the contestants improved so much over the course of the contest that it was great to see it all come together by the end. But now I have to shut my yap – you’ll just have to watch the episodes for yourself!
Okay, so about those fun pictures!
This is pretty much how each day began, with me in the makeup chair. And how my day ended, and pretty much everything in between. It’s amazing we even got any shooting done with all the hair and makeup going on! It was sooo fun!
Here I am with Chef Lala. I was really looking forward to meeting her! Here’s a little bit about her:
LaLa developed her love of food in her family’s Mexican restaurants. She then attended the famous Le Cordon Bleu (Paris) and has studied around the world learning the intricacies of global cuisine. LaLa has been a guest on the Today Show, Martha Stewart, Discovery Health National Body Challenge, National Univision and National Telemundo Shows, to name a few.
Chef Lala was funny, kind, full of energy and just has a great aura about her. There were always a lot of laughs when Lala was in the room!
Here are Chef Marlon and Eric Rosen, the host of the show. Here’s a short bio about Chef Marlon:
He trained at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts program in Pasadena California. After that he worked at Le Parc Suite Hotel in West Hollywood as Chef de Cuisine and The Hotel Bel-Air as The Banquet Chef, obtaining the prestigious Mobile Five Star and AAA Five Diamond Award.
Impressing the likes of Stevie Wonder, Eddie Murphy, Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith and other famous dinner guests caused great demand for Chef Marlon to service private catering parties for celebrities and VIPs in Los Angeles. In 2007 he started BupyStyle Events, his Catering and Event consulting company for his loyal patrons. In 2008 he added private chef to his credits by working for a member of the royal family in Kuwait for two years.
What’s not on there is that he just finished touring with KISS as their band chef! Riiiight…and I was the third judge because…? Okay, I’m a damn good chef and I know what I’m talking about…but let’s just say that my bio is a tad shorter than these fine chefs. But I held my own and felt right at home, so I can’t complain too much. Chef Marlon was such a cool guy and I was so impressed with how kind, intelligent and down-to-earth he is. Plus, he promised me back-stage tickets to KISS when they come to town. You can be sure I’ll post pics when that happens!
Here I am with “my” makeup artist, Desirae. Love her!! She’s amazingly talented but so sweet and has the most positive attitude of anyone I’ve ever met. She was at Barbara Streisand’s house the week before she did my makeup! How crazy is that?!!
This is Anna Christopher, the most awesome director ever! Not that I have anything to compare her to, but she was sooo sweet and funny and professional. But I knew I’d love her before I’d even met her; when we spoke pre-shoot last summer I could tell we’d get along well. She rocks!
One of the monitors…what was I doing there on the top right? hmmm…
Getting ready for our “after the fact” interviews (interviews we’d give after each episode). Desirae would track me down with those brushes and sooo much lipstick!
Producer Gabe and a bunch of the crew.
Me with Eric Rosen, the host of the show and a food and travel writer. His personal facebook page is inundated with photos of his travels – he’s everywhere, all the time. Eating lots of delicious and exotic foods. I need to figure out a way to be his best friend. All suggestions welcome.
Just me and my makeup…
I think Chef Lala must have taken this photo. Here’s the story…early in the shoot I mentioned that I really needed to get some In & Out while I was there (I used to live in So Cal and they don’t have it on the east coast); Chef Lala heard this and took it upon herself to make sure it would happen. The last day of the shoot we skipped the catered lunch, hopped into Chef Marlon’s car and took a trip to In & Out. It was sooo fun!! We all went a little crazy for it and couldn’t wait to dive in when we got back. Case in point…
Yeah, that’s me feeding Chef Marlon fries. We all agreed that fries always taste better in the car, so although we did end up waiting to eat most of them, we couldn’t resist setting up this shot of me feeding Chef M. Eric and Chef Lala were in the back, laughing hysterically while Eric took this shot. Good times!
So that’s basically it. I’d love to share shots of the food and more juicy details of how things went, but you’ll just have to wait until the episodes go live! I’ll be posting each episode as they’re released, so check back soon!