Food TV would be a cool thing to do. Mess around in the kitchen–take a few videos. Eat good. What could be better?
Meet food TV mega-producer Irene Wong. After Irene Wong produced half a dozen hits for the Food Network, she went independent and started her own production company, IW Productions. These days, she spends nine months a year on the road shooting 6 days a week for a grueling 12 hours a day.
Irene and her crew came to El Real Tex-Mex on Saturday to shoot a segment for Unique Eats on the Cooking Channel. Irene and company got there at 4 AM! That’s one hour after we close on Friday night. Chef Bryan Caswell and I were asked to arrive at the leisurely hour of 6 AM. Irene’s gang had already lit the entire kitchen and were testing equipment when we got there. They had Caswell wired up with a microphone before he got a cup of coffee in his mouth.
I was flattered when Irene told me she had all my cookbooks. To make myself useful, I ran out and got everyone some hot glazed and boudin kolaches from the North Main Shipley’s. The crew scarfed the doughnuts and kolaches without ever taking a break. One camera crew did crowd shots when the restaurant opened at 11, while another crew set up food close-ups upstairs on the balcony. By the time the 9 hour shoot was over, I was exhausted.
I won’t ruin the movie by telling you the ending or what dishes the show wanted to feature. I am not sure when, or even if, the footage shot at El Real footage will make it on TV. Irene Wong and crew didn’t hang around to socialize. They had several more shoots scheduled for Houston restaurants and stores.
Dang, that food TV thing looks like a blast–right?