Thursday, July 30, 2009

WGN Midday News with Chef Rick Bayless!


How's this for a culinary adventure?!? Today was an exciting day because I was featured on WGN Chicago's Midday News. It's was a great opportunity to talk about the recent RedEye Virtual Kitchen Stadium competition I won, along with Chef Rick Bayless and RedEye Competition Chairwoman, Dorothy Hernandez.

The behind the scenes of a TV news station is pretty interesting and seeing how it all comes together is a lot of fun to watch. Here's the news desk where Steve Sanders, Dina Blair, and Tom Skilling sit during the broadcasts...

The room itself is filled with quite a few cameras and lights, filling up the ceiling...

My cooking segment was towards the end of the Midday News so there were quite a few segments ahead of me, including Tom Skilling's weather report. He stands in front of a huge green screen in which images behind him are only displayed when it's broadcasted. It's quite a skill to point to various parts of a green wall without seeing what city or state it is, much less what the weather front is bringing in!

Tom is such a personable and warm person... just like he comes across when he's doing his thing on camera. The RedEye staff and I got a chance to take a pic with Tom before he headed out...

While the Midday News was filming, I was cooking and preparing my dishes... did you happen to catch the 2 "camera teasers" before the segment during the broadcast? There were moments where the set had to keep quiet since the cameras were rolling and there was always someone to tell us how many minutes/seconds until air time.

So show time is only a few minutes away and Chef Rick Bayless arrived. It was great that he remembered me a couple of weeks ago when we met at a BBQ picnic event, even though it was a pretty brief encounter during such a busy event. After (re) introductions, we took a group picture together...

We had a few minutes to talk about the recipes, how our segment will go and some last minute prep. Chef Rick Bayless was extremely kind and warm. Off camera he's slightly soft spoken and just a pleasure to be around. On camera, his upbeat personality shines through his big smiles and you can certainly feel his positive energy!

..... And it's showtime! You can watch the cooking segment here! Here are some shots from the interview too...

One thing that wasn't seen on the cooking segment was Dina and Rick trying my dish. I think it was because everyone was pretty hungry up to this point and they had to endure the great aromas from the kitchen while I was cooking and preparing. It probably wouldn't have been pretty seeing it on camera because we all devoured everything when the cameras were off. I received quite a few compliments from everyone on my dish, including Chef Rick Bayless... and it was quite an honor to not only have him review my recipes but to meet him and have him try it in person!

Special thanks go to the RedEye staff, especially Dorothy Hernandez for creating such a fun cooking competition and reaching out to me to participate; Chef Rick Bayless for participating as the guest judge and his time to come out and join me in the spotlight; the WGN News team and crew who made it quite a fun experience; my husband Louis for being my biggest fan and ultimate recipe taste tester; and my parents for their help, support and inspiring me to continue my culinary adventures.


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