It’s finally here! After multiple trips to the west coast, straight weeks of shopping, prepping, beautifying food, traveling, and shooting tv we have made it! PowerHouse Productions is so thrilled to share this series and I am so grateful to be on the team! A redesign show with a food element is the best of two worlds collided. Design and food connect through creativity and passion for the basic human needs of comfort and joy!
It’s just one of those yummy things that I want to talk about! It’s a baked french toast kinda re-modified. On one of the recent shows we did the talent created this French Toast deep dish and instead of dipping slices in egg and milk and placing directly into a casserole dish, he cubed them up and made something very similar to a bread pudding. I was so psyched to remake this and shoot it at the office because well, I got to have some for lunch. Those are alwaaaays the perks of working in food, you are surrounded by it all the time which means you can feast off it more often than not. I wonder what it’s like working on Wall Street? Do those guys get to feast on food all day like me? or maybe you?! Probably not. They get to feed their brains with inflating stocks prices. That’s about it. So, in these moments I do consider myself very lucky!
This is a super awesome time! New Soul Kitchen is airing this week on Saturday, March 16th. Cleo TV will be featuring a new series with Jernard Wells and Porsche Thomas highlighting soul food in their own very unique ways. Porsche Thomas will create her version of soul food, through a vegan lens! Very interesting, actually, and a great show to watch if you are looking to transform and still want to eat yummy, rich foods. Her co-star Jernard Wells is such a hoot and I always looked forward to his silly commentary on set.
I really enjoyed my time working with the talent! This was my first major shoot and it was a TOTAL whirlwind, shooting 12 smaller episodes in just 3 days. And, It happened, it really did. I’m talking about all-nighters, fighting off an intrusive cold with nasal spray- which actually worked it’s magic in only a few hours, and juggling food shopping, recipe reviews, photographing beauty shots, and setting up and breaking down three sets a day. It was like a crash course of sorts and I had to juggle leadership with perseverance. It was an incredible challenge.
But this sweet series is finally here and I cannot wait to share more!
Pack and repeat. Car rides and unloads. Vegan gluten free and all natural food coloring. Does it make sense? I feel like it’s been ages since I wrote! I was in an LA time warp for two weeks and could not find a quiet moment when I wasn’t dozing off to write. In fact, now that I have returned I still can’t believe I was there for two full weeks. It went so fast because so much was condensed into this time.
Oh my goodness! Those days made me realize how incredibly important it is to journal. The places I go, the people I see, the creativity of developing and making food, the things I learn, everything is an experience and it’s part of a larger story I am telling. As I traveled from the Grove market to Sprouts Market and Pavilions I wondered the difference in the quality of food on the west coast versus the east. I also realized how much these people love their Trader Joes! If you couldn’t find one item at Whole Foods you have four other places to ponder which makes working in LA quite versatile for a food gal.
Although the days were packed with organizing and travel, setups and pack ups, I found light in the smaller things. Like getting to work outside under an avocado tree or decorating a kitchen with oblong- plump oranges or lemons or limes from the nearest citrus trees.
Those are the little things that make you go…oh!
I remember sitting in Rochelle’s office brainstorming show topics. In my novice experience this was the first approach to bringing a show to life! It all seemed like it happened years ago too. So much work compressed into a time warp. I always looked forward to the creative calls we had with JJ where he would spew out recipe ideas for the show. My job, was then to bring that to life. I spent evenings and days zipping around finding props, locating butchers and grocers near the set, calling equipment rentals, and finally coming together with my culinary team- who were fabulous! And, I realized after all was said and done that my organized self needs to be even MORE organized, which makes my head spin.
An eight day shoot turned me into a stair hustler, being that the culinary team had a kitchen on the first floor and the set was on second. A “frat boy” apartment was turned totally upside down with speed racks and tables full of props and ingredients thoughtfully placed about the living and dining area. Show labels and recipes were flying all over while equipment was getting misplaced. Certainly controlled chaos, but it felt amazing!
This week TV One is launching a new network called CLEO. A network geared towards African American Millennial women. A network full of unique fun and food from the heart. Some of the shows you will see airing are produced by PowerHouse Productions Executive Producers Rochelle Brown and Sonia Armstead. The shows premerieing throughout the first half of the new year will be with Chef JJ Johnson, Jernard Wells and Porsche Thomas, and Jake and Jazz Smollett. Super exciting!!! YAY!
JJ’s show will air this Saturday at noon on CLEO.
It has been a whirlwind being a part of the pieces that put this show together! From creating show topics to recipe development, prop shopping the right colors, textures, and patterns, leading a fabulous culinary team, and beyond the shows scenes. I am filled with gratitude for this humbling experience.
I can’t wait to share more with you!
When I started with PowerHouse Productions in September of this year I had not a clue what I would be exposed to, who I would meet, and what it would be like leading culinary on projects that my bosses and Executive Producers Rochelle Brown and Sonia Armstead produced. I was granted the opportunity to travel to California a few times already to work with them and their team of producers and crew members to create unique content for TVOne. To create memories that cannot be transformed into a better time. To laugh way too much and sleep way too little.
I would love for you to tune in this evening for the premiere of Living by Design Holiday Special with Jake and Jazz Smollett. Every family has a way of recreating the holidays for their families or friends so Jake and Jazz will show you how they create theirs. Their pink speckled wooden tabletop will be covered with champagne and smothered chicken and surrounded by friends (inclusive of some unique guests).
When staging the set and setting up each food segment everything had to be perfect. Herbs were hit with a little extra spritz, veggies were squeaky clean, and the overall organization of ingredients landed on the island in a way that Jake or Jazz could easily determine which one needed to be used next while simultaneously cooking and entertaining the camera. Smothered Chicken and Collards, Pot Roast and a crabby Potato Gratin, and the luscious finale of Peach Cobbler created their perfect holiday meal.