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'Calling All Cooks'

Visits Ted & Lisa

The Finished Sticky Buns
The finished product.  This is the batch we made "on the show".   Actually, it's last batch of the third of the four batches I made.

Cathy Ballou, having a good laugh
During the shoot, we had a lot of fun.   Here's Cathy having a good time during the "beauty shot".


I was contacted by one of the staff from Weller-Grossman Productions.  The scheduled air time of the show is 

August 7th, 2000 at 10:00pm Eastern
(9:00pm Indiana Time).

FoodTV Network's "Calling All Cooks" show visited Ted & Lisa's house on March 12th.  Here are a few "low-tech" shots using an inexpensive digital camera. 

Ted was "Guest Chef Number 110" and he made Grandma Blair's Carmel Pecan Rolls (or "sticky buns" as we called them as kids).

Eric Wallace was the director from Weller Grossman Productions in Los Angeles.

Cathy Ballou, originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, now living in Atlanta, is one of two hosts for the TV show. 

The film crew is from Indianapolis.  They were contracted by Weller Grossman to do the shoot.

We started filming about 10:30am (the crew did the intro shots starting at 10:00am at Friendship Gardens in Plainfield, IN).

We had lunch around 1:00pm and finished filming about 4:45pm.

All in all, it was a fantastic experience.  Cathy Ballou is a wonderful warm host.  We had a great time!  Eric was also a very nice guy.  We had lots of fun. 

One of the highlights of the show may never air!  We had our own "blooper" (who knows, it's a gem.  I hope they save the tape).  Part of this recipe calls for corn syrup.  Cathy, acting as my assistant, was supposed to reach down and get the bottle of corn syrup from the corner cabinet.  Cathy very elegantly reached down and grabbed a bottle and presented it to the camera.  She even made sure the label was straight so the camera would see that it was corn syrup.

However, it didn't appear that anyone immediately noticed her error!  Without skipping a beat, as if it were part of the show, I informed her, "uh, Cathy, that's balsamic vinegar."  Of course, at the time, the "faux pas" got a good uproaring laugh from the film crew and Cathy as well.

Cathy Ballou
I think Cathy was pretty anxious to get her hands on a sticky bun!  Luckily, the "beauty shot" didn't take that long!


The experience was very enlightening!  A lot of work goes into cooking shows.   (yes, for the cook too!).  My "guest chef segment" had to have three swapouts.  A swapout is a prepared "stage" of your recipe.  It's normally used at natural occuring breaks in the progress of the recipe.

And, it can cause some technical difficulties.  For me, the second swapout created a bit of a problem.  The swapout was the risen dough.  They were filming me rolling the dough out with my wife's wonderful marble rolling pin.  Of course, that filming took about 20-25 minutes!  Anyone that works with dough will understand the problems!  The dough became warm, sticky and absorbed the extra flour! With all the extra rolling, my dough was too thin, a few holes emerged, and it covered too large of an area.

However, the sticky buns turned out great!  We did bake that final swapout (it wasn't filmed though).  And the crew got to have some.  They even requested the recipe (the recipe will be posted here after the air date).

The "tasting" was a bit awkward.  The "tasting" was actually done at 10:30am.  That's backwards.  Normally, the tasting follows the taping of the cooking segment.  But, we did this so everyone in my family could leave in the afternoon (we taped on Sunday).  I was also coming down with a VERY bad cold.   I wish I could have the opportunity to tape it over without having that awful cold!

I enjoyed myself.  I wouldn't mind doing it again!  (Psssst, can I host my own FoodTV show?  Please?  I've got some reallllly good ideas!)  I'd also like to go to culinary school and open a Polish restaurant in Indiana!  Or, how about my own cooking show on public TV?  Any takers?

Eric Wallace, on the left, the director
Outside of lunch, this is the only rest I had.  Here they are taking the "beauty shot" of the final dish.  Eric Wallace, the director, is on the left.

Cathy Ballou
Cathy Ballou watching the crew take the "beauty shot".


Get the recipe by clicking here:

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