“Oh my God, what a crazy time. How are you all?” On TV, surrounded by a group of young men with a camera – her children – they behave like her crew. “Things have changed a lot, but what hasn’t changed is that I still love cooking.”
The home audience seems to agree with more people thirsting for the food network.
Usually, TV viewers can count on the most delicious cable channel to have a respite from the chaos of the world. However, this particular mess – the coronary virus pandemic – was infinite. She has transcended all aspects of life and changed it in ways that make everything that is natural once in existence seem more of a memory than a moment will return – the same feeling one would feel in a frozen wedding cake piece.
With production beginning in the second week of March, the network was quick to recognize the need for programming that has been taking place right now, and has been delivered. With a mix of home-grown originals, a healthy inventory of programs that were photographed to their completion but not yet broadcast and a large library, the network has emerged as the perfect recipe keeper for epidemic programming.
“The really interesting, encouraging and satisfying thing is that different types of people come to us for various reasons,” said Courtney White, head of the CNN food network. “It was great to feel that our content was needed more than ever.”
Food for thought
Last month, the network’s highest rating was in seven years, with average increases of 20-30% in any given week, according to White. She said that some parts of the daytime makeup collection increased up to 70%.
Men watch more, too. White sees the rise partly because some of the void left by the absence of organized sport has been filled by watching the chefs swing from toe.
“What we found out is that as soon as the sport gets dark, audiences thirsting for competition come to us while they are not our regular food viewers,” she said. “Seeing the battles playing on the food web scratching the itch there.”
It is true that the network has been playing many roles recently.
Sometimes, it’s a clue, like when “The Kitchen” hosts made a full episode featuring recipes based on ingredients they already have in their bunkers at home. Or when Amy Schumer and her husband, Chef Chris Fischer, recent additions to the Food Network, found themselves quarantined without all the ingredients needed to bake their cookies, they set off and provided a homemade answer to peanut butter cups.
At other times, repetition of mobile food offerings is a reminder of what was in the past and what we yearn to return to.
Arguably at its best, it draws attention to a swinging industry to its core.
Local restaurants were also a focal point where dining rooms were emptied and profits declined for many.
Trina Gregory-Probst, the chef / owner of the Se7en Bites bakery in Orlando, Florida, was among those that appeared in the last episode.
She and her wife, Va Propst, are set to return on Thursday after they were completely closed in mid-March to focus on caring for her mother, who is at great risk.
For the episode aired last week, Fieri sent apple pie cake ingredients that were served with cinnamon ice cream and caramel spray. It looked as good as it seemed, and Fieri wasn’t the only one to have fun.
Gregory Probst told CNN she had answered nearly 500 emails from people asking if they could ship the ingredients and goods to them. It is a welcome start as it prepares to reopen.
And she said, “The amount of gratitude we have for how this has changed and changed and shaped our lives at a time when we really don’t know what will happen from week to week, it is to say the least.” Break the sound. “I’m sorry. I feel so passionate about it. I try to hold it together, but this is our life.”
“Our employees are like our family, and I feel like we are part of this big food network family too. They really make you feel that.”
Se7en Bites is just one of many establishments looking to reopen, and this represents a mind-set for the food web, and in particular, Chef Robert Irvine, host of “Restaurant: Impossible”.
For nine weeks, Irvin was holed up in his Florida home, where he, among other content, filmed a special episode of “Restaurant: Impossible” as he interrogated the owners who had appeared in the show in the past.
Although his specialty is to bring restaurants back from the edge of the abyss, he knows that the order is longer than ever with restaurants reopening and hopes to recover.
A new iteration of his presentation will help them to do so responsibly, with a focus on precautionary procedures and protocols, aimed at instilling confidence in restaurant owners, employees and beneficiaries alike.
He told CNN: “The food network, listen, it’s a network facing the consumer, but think about it: all the chefs, owners and managers, all watch the food network. So what a great platform to help re-launch America.” “How do we open these restaurants and give the consumer this feeling of safety?”
His wife is among the skeptics of returning to personal food. In many ways, he said, he is his target audience.
“We will drive this way,” he said. “No other network will do what we do.”
Irvine said he would focus first on restaurants in the areas allowed to open and places where “the epidemic has been proven to have subsided.”
Regarding photography, he said that the crew will definitely be smaller, and there is a possibility that they will be able to quarantine the bus after testing the coronavirus, to ensure everyone’s safety.
Irvine is looking forward to starting filming and getting episodes for those in need of information across the country. He wants to help the millions of restaurant workers affected by the epidemic to return to work – safely – in any way possible.
As of last week, White was unsure of production schedules over the network.
“I think every show will be different, and every situation will be different,” she said. “I think, obviously, the production community is really eager to get back to work. We work closely with production companies and talk about them through plans that keep everyone safe.”
She said that many of the programs that have adopted home survival models will continue to produce episodes in this manner during the summer.
Even a new program starring chef Michael Simon was born out of an idea that started during the epidemic on a network page on Facebook, which they treat as something like experimental cuisine.
About two months ago, Symon started preparing a daily dinner on Facebook Live in response to the growing demands for easy and friendly quarantine meals. So far, White said, the self-capturing videos collected 30 million views, and got a fairly simple concept by moving to a linear grid.
Among our fast food from this time, White said, “How smart we are and how quickly are we producing.”
“Amy Schumer Learning Cooking” was another lesson on speed.
Production in the series began within two weeks of its release in late March. It premiered just weeks after on May 11.
“I think one of the greatest lessons here is that we can move quickly, be objective and at the right time,” said White. “As the story and needs around food and restaurants change, we can change that very quickly.”