Fiona Robinson, one of our fearless foodie VPs, set out on a media tour in support of the popular Dairy Farmers of Canada 2014 Milk Calendar this past week. The tour was a roaring success, kicking off at Canada AM and hitting TV and radio stations all over Ontario (a second leg of the tour took place in Halifax, Nova Scotia as well). Fiona had such a great time on the tour with Milk Calendar spokesperson and professional home economist Jennifer MacKenzie (@Foodworxjen) that she felt compelled to share a few observations with us from the road:
1. Stylin’ for success
Watching your favourite chefs or foodies whipping up a delicious recipe on a lifestyle talk TV show looks simple and great, but a lot of prep work goes into making those short four to five minute segments come together. To pull everything together, you need the help of a great food stylist who can source and secure the ingredients, prep all the food, package it all up and transport to the TV set. Then in under 20 minutes, set it all up in an attractive, ready to assemble arrangement so that food can be prepared within tight TV timeframes. Without this advance work, you would have an ignored TV host, a super stressed chef and very little food cooked.
2. “The miracle of television…” is no miracle at all
The phrase “through the miracle of television” is used when you need to cook a dish on live TV that normally takes, say, 40 minutes and you instead have one four-minute live segment. The chef pulls out the final dish from the oven or from underneath the counter and ‘through the miracle of television’ it is fully cooked and wondrous to behold! However, behind this ‘miracle’ is a lot of work. And a great stylist. See observation #1.
3. Making it look easy
In addition to a great stylist, you need a food savvy spokesperson who can multitask under pressure. Within three to five minutes, this superstar has to banter with the host, remember every element of the recipe and communicate each component step-by-step to viewers while chopping, sautéing, stirring, mixing, blending, or whatever else the recipe requires. And they have to do this all while a TV camera is pointed at them with thousands of viewers on the other end. I don’t know about you, but I get flustered with just the dog watching me cook.
4. Everyone loves the Milk Calendar
I have been on other media tours that were well received, but none that brought out such sentimentality as the Milk Calendar. Everyone from the receptionist, camera person, producer, host and even other guests commented on how much they love the Milk Calendar, not only for the recipes, but because it evokes such fond memories. The Milk calendar has been marking special occasions and bringing families together over food since 1974 (it’s just a tad younger than me!). If you want to take a walk down memory lane, go to MilkCalendar.ca to find every single recipe since the Milk Calendar began.