We’ve been stars of TV lately with two promotions for Civitan’s fundraiser on THV 11 and KATV Channel 7 as well as Salt Bowl pep rally breakfast on KATV Channel 7. We thought we’d spend this week’s blog on how we prepared for the events.
- Getting on TV – We have to say Ashley Copple with Civitan Services did much of the work to get us on TV for the Civitan Services event so getting on there was easy with her. We also have a great in at KATV (one of our staff’s husband is the new director) and were delighted to be asked to provide the breakfast for the Benton Panthers pep rally for the Salt Bowl. So the first step to getting on TV is asking and so since we were asked so we were lucky in that respect.
- Figuring out the Menu – Once we were asked, we started brainstorming what our menu was going to be like. For Good Morning Arkansas, they specifically wanted the chef to show the viewers how to put a meal together. This is always tricky because we don’t want to give out a recipe that we use very often (“Trade secrets and all”) but we want it to be something that reflects what we do and something that is also easy to do at home. We chose a simple refreshing pasta dish that we actually do offer in our Drop-Off Catering Specials. We also wanted to find a choice that reflected what we would be providing for the Civitan Services fundraiser Murder at the Masquerade so a pasta dish was a good choice. For the THV 11 segment, it was very, very early in the morning but we also had the same issues as above. We ended up not actually showing the viewers how to put the meal together so our Prime Rib ended up being a good choice. It’s very elegant menu item and one of our signature pieces. For the pep rally, we knew we’d get mentioned but we were not sure they would see our food so we decided to have one of our chef’s there making food to order. It gave the kids and fans something fun and if we did get to be on air we could make it interesting!
- Practice Makes Perfect – The next thing we have to work on is practicing putting the food together in the time allowed. They only give you 5 minutes for everything including talking about the event as well as preparing the food. So practicing and prepping in advance are key items. Producers can be funny people to work with though and we’ve learned the hard way that what they tell you is not always what ends up happening, so one thing we prepare for is the unexpected. Part of the practice makes perfect is also sitting down with the whole team (our marketing director –Melinda, our catering director –Mary, our chef – Serge and anyone else who is going on the segment with us –in this case – Ashley with Civitan Services). We discussed who was going to say what and how it was all going to work. It’s also helpful to give pointers to the team – don’t look at the camera, be relaxed, pretend you are just talking to the reporter and don’t think about the many viewers who are watching. Things like that!
- Rolling with the punches – Remember earlier when I said you have to prepare for the unexpected. Prepare for them to tell you to get there early to prepare your food on site, find out you are not going on until 2 hours later and won’t have time to prepare the food. Or you should prepare to find out they don’t have a kitchen for your chef to prepare food on the day before the segment. These are the unexpected that can and do happen. We’ve also been unexpectedly pulled out to talk in a segment when all we were to be were bystanders. You roll with the punches and make it work.
- Lastly, have fun and it usually all works out in the long run. We have three recent segments here that prove that. Maybe we were a little nervous, maybe we fidgeted, maybe the camera shot did not get a good angle on the food, but I bet you the viewer probably didn’t notice that much or at least you can pretend. When you are a caterer being on TV is not your calling but making good food is. We can’t all be Giada or Bobby Flay!