Not long ago, I discovered ABC's cooking show, The Chew. When I realized that the taping was based here in NYC, I thought it would be a great opportunity to get tickets, as I could recap my experience here on the blog.
Tickets for the show are available about a month in advance via 1ioata. I put in my request back in December and a couple weeks later, I was informed that I was chosen with priority tickets for one of their January tapings!
Post holiday, the theme of the episode came at a great time- Slimmed Down Secrets: Revealed! Angela Bassett was also a special guest and she helped make a dish alongside the hosts (Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall, & Daphne Oz).
The morning show required waking up extremely early, which has been difficult to do lately with these crazy cold temperatures! Thankfully one of my good friends was able to join me last minute and we arrived to ABC's studio by 7:30am so that our seats would be guaranteed. Fortunately, we did not need to stand out in the cold too long, and we were able to check-in and head to the waiting room as other ticketholders made their way in.
Prior to the show, I received several emails reminding me of the dress code rules since the cameras tend to pan on the audience quite often throughout the show. I decided to pull out my super bright coral sweater because I knew it would stand out. I would definitely recommend following the instructions...as you will see later on. I would also additionally recommend eating some breakfast before, because all you are offered while you wait are some processed granola bars and small water bottles. (Only the real food, it seems, is served on set!)
Now, perhaps one of the biggest draws of The Chew, is their coveted Tasting Table, which is placed right in front of the set for 10 lucky audience members to get the opportunity to sample all of the dishes that are made on the show. I wasn't really quite sure how those people got selected.. but I stayed hopeful that maybe I would be lucky!
Well.... as luck would have it, I saw a few production people in the waiting area scouting out the audience members. I had a feeling that maybe this was for one of those special seats. I caught a crew member's eye and gave her a nice goofy smile. She then proceeded to come up to my friend and I, letting us know that she may have space on the Tasting Table and wondered if we'd be interested. Of course I was interested!!! When she came back, she confirmed that we were in! I was beyond excited- OMG I was going to be on TV!
I sat at the table alongside nine other women who were equally excited as myself. My friend sat in the first row directly behind us, and then all the other ticketholders filled the remaining seats in the studio. The set was quite busy and full of production crew getting everything ready. It was definitely an inviting work-space to prepare and cook food! There was still some time before the 9am taping, so our warm-up comic, RC Smith, cracked jokes and gave all of us the run-down of what we needed to do as audience members. We had to practice our clapping, from just a soft clap to an all out hoot-&-hollerin type of clap. We also had to laugh on cue for a good minute, which just ended up being hysterical in itself. A DJ played some tunes that got everyone in a lively mood while RC interacted/picked on some of the audience. Everyone was laughing and having a good time.
As the broadcast was nearing, the hosts started to make their way out on to the set. Michael and Carla came over to all of us at the table and shook our hands, welcoming our visit. Mario, Clinton, and Daphne soon followed, waving hello, and then the show began. It was cool to actually see what really happens on set in between takes while all the commercials are played. The hosts would start dancing with people in the audience or take photos. It was really nice to see how cool and laid-back they were. I was so lucky to get a selfie with Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz!!
Finally, the moment we all were waiting for...cooking began! Clinton started off the morning alongside celebrity Angela Bassett, making their version of Lightened Up Lemon Squares. Next, Carla demonstrated how to make a Cauliflower "Risotto" paired alongside a Shaved Carrot Salad with a Feta-Buttermilk dressing. Lastly, Mario and Simon made a wonderful Ribeye Tagliata with Escarole. And yes, after each cooking demo, us lucky table tasters had a sampling of all the dishes! They were all quite good, however, I really enjoyed the Cauliflower "Risotto" and plan to make the recipe at home (click the photos below for recipe).
What a way to start a day! A wonderful experience and so much fun. I would definitely like to do it again.
Check out the video clip below to see my happy face on TV during the first 8 minutes of the show as well as from the 29 minute mark until the end.