British photographer and cookbook author Mary McCartney invites audiences into her London kitchen on Thursday, February 4, 2021, on Discovery+ as she prepares delicious, accessible, and picture perfect meals with her celebrity friends on the new discovery+ series “Mary McCartney Serves It Up.” In each of the six half-hour episodes, Mary shares her sincere love of cooking and her family’s favorite recipes and the stories behind them, showcasing her accessible vegetarian food philosophy for all to enjoy. In each episode, Mary will be joined by her famous friends, at home and over video conference, to celebrate food and friendship with transatlantic cook-alongs, taste-tests, cocktail classes and fun food Q&As. From easy dinners to comforting eats, moreish modern meals, and scrumptious desserts, Mary serves up incredible eats proving every day and special occasions can be vege-licious.
“I’m honored to be launching my new show on Discovery’s amazing new streaming service. With the help of a few friends, I want to show that meat free eating can be varied, delicious and accessible to everyone,” said Mary McCartney. “The recipes are simple, easy and rewarding. I can’t wait for you to be able to join me and my super talented guests for food and fun.”
It’s good food and great company on every episode, from Maple Vodka Grilled Peaches with Kate Hudson, Meatless Marinara Sub Sandwiches with Mark Ronson, and Deluxe Hash Brown Skillet piled high with spicy beans and delicious fixings for brunch with Cameron Diaz and Nicole Richie. But no brunch is complete without a cocktail, so the ladies show Mary their special take on a spritzer. Plus, Liv Tyler is Mary’s official nachos taste tester, and Dave Grohl teaches Mary the secret to his legendary lasagna, while she makes Smokey Dogs and a chef’s salad with homemade dressing to round out the meal. Mary also arranges a food delivery for a virtual party with Gayle King, who famously doesn’t cook, filled with Sticky Crispy Cauliflower Bites, Pea & Mint Dip, and Roasted Tomato & Butterbean Toasts. Together they mix up a delicious mocktail, to toast to their friendship and to sharing a delicious meal.
“Mary McCartney serves up a passion for cooking, a unique culinary perspective showcased with every mouthwatering meal, and a love for connecting with friends over good food which is at the core of every episode,” said Courtney White, President, Food Network.
Mary McCartney is a British photographer, filmmaker and cookbook author and advocate of vegetarianism as part of sustainable plant-based living. Her cookbooks include “Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking,” in which she offers easy, family-friendly meat-free dishes that will appeal to everyone, as well as “At My Table: Vegetarian Feasts for Family and Friends,” offering more than 75 recipes, with recollections of specific celebrations, gatherings, and family highlights through the years. She is also a co-founder of Meat Free Monday, a not-for-profit organization that campaigns for sustainable, meat-free living.
“Mary McCartney brings her passion for food to Discovery+ at the perfect time to offer our global audience ideas for cooking delicious meals for their families,” said Lisa Holme, Group SVP Content and Commercial Strategy Discovery+.
Follow #MaryMcCartneyServesItUp for even more of Mary’s tried-and-true recipes that are perfect for special occasions and everyday dinners alike, as well as behind-the-scenes videos of Mary and her celebrity guests. Fans can visit www.discoveryplus.com, and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more.
Discovery+ is the definitive non-fiction, real life subscription streaming service. The new service will launch with a landmark partnership with Verizon that gives their customers with select plans 12 months of Discovery+ on Verizon. At launch in the U.S., Discovery+ will have the largest-ever content offering of any new streaming service, featuring a wide range of exclusive, original series across popular, passion verticals in which Discovery brands have a leadership position, including lifestyle and relationships; home and food; true crime; paranormal; adventure and natural history; as well as science, tech and the environment, and a slate of high-quality documentaries. Discovery+ will offer more than 55,000 episodes all in one place, with over 2,500 current and classic shows from Discovery’s iconic portfolio of networks, including HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. For more about Discovery+, click here.
Discovery, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is a global leader in real life entertainment, serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year and has category leadership across deeply loved content genres around the world. Available in 220 countries and territories and nearly 50 languages, Discovery is a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio of apps; direct-to-consumer streaming services such as discovery+, Food Network Kitchen and MotorTrend OnDemand; digital-first and social content from Group Nine Media; a landmark natural history and factual content partnership with the BBC; and a strategic alliance with PGA TOUR to create the international home of golf. Discovery’s portfolio of premium brands includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, and the forthcoming multi-platform JV with Chip and Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Network, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. For more information, please visit corporate.discovery.com and follow @DiscoveryIncTV across social platforms.
The following is a press release from Food Network:
Buddy Valastro embarks on an extraordinary new Christmas-themed competition on Food Network as he goes head-to-head with the greatest non-cake artists on Buddy vs. Christmas, premiering on Sunday, November 22 at 10pm ET/PT. It’s bakers vs. makers as their skills are tested in each of the four episodes, as Buddy and his team of bakers goes up against an award-winning scenic designer, a glassblower, an animatronics expert, and a Lego builder. With only 24 hours to capture the spirit of the holidays with their creations, the one that rises to the top with their elaborate design will be crowned winner. From life-size gingerbread houses and snow globes, to incredible toys including drivable sleigh cakes and action figures, and to Santa’s workshop complete with talking reindeer, each creation brings holiday enchantment to life!
“As the Cake Boss, Buddy has mastered the creation of gigantic, life-sized, and incredibly realistic cakes. Now, viewers will be captivated as he takes on his most difficult challenge yet by competing against master builders and expert crafters – it’s cake creations vs. real build designs on Buddy vs. Christmas,” said Courtney White, President, Food Network. “Audiences will be stunned by the remarkable Christmas designs in each episode, with all their spectacular details and special effects, making each one more impressive than the last.”
The cake designs on Buddy Vs. Christmas were some of the last cake’s Buddy constructed, as the series was filmed prior to a recent accident at his home, where his right hand was impaled, and he was rushed into emergency surgery. TLC’s two-hour special following Buddy’s road to recovery premiering on Wednesday, December 23 at 9pm ET/PT, follows the dramatic events as they transpired in real time with footage captured immediately after the incident. It’s a long, emotional journey, from Buddy’s multiple surgeries, to his family anxiously waiting at the hospital, to grueling physical therapy, and to his first days back at the job. As business deadlines loom, commitments for over-the-top cakes stack up, and the holiday season around the corner, the stakes couldn’t be higher. But above all, Buddy faces the ultimate question: Can you still be the Cake Boss if you can’t make cakes?
“Buddy is like family to all of us at TLC, so we are thrilled and relieved for him that he is on the road to recovery following his accident,” said Howard Lee, President and General Manager, TLC. “Knowing Buddy’s determination and spirit, it’s no surprise that he would give it his all in the hopes of returning back to normal. We are proud to document his journey as part of this special.”
For more on Buddy vs. Christmas fans can head to FoodNetwork.com/BuddyvsChristmas each week to watch behind-the-scenes games with Buddy and to get seasonal recipe inspiration just in time for the holidays. Plus, follow #BuddyvsChristmas for tips from Buddy on how to rescue your baking fails and learn his top tips for sweet success. And for more on the TLC special visit TLC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube.
Both programs were produced by Cakehouse Media.
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ABOUT FOOD NETWORK
Food Network (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to nearly 100 million U.S. households and draws over 46 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine’s rate base has grown 13 times and is the No. 2 best-selling monthly magazine on the newsstand, with 13.5 million readers. Food Network is owned by Discovery, Inc., a global leader in real life entertainment spanning 220 countries and territories; the portfolio also includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Investigation Discovery, and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
Offering remarkable real-life stories without judgment, TLC shares everyday heart, humor, hope, and human connection with programming genres that include fascinating families, heartwarming transformations and life’s milestone moments. TLC is the #1 primetime ad-supported cable network across key female demos.
TLC is a global brand available in more than 84 million homes in the US and 270 million households around the world. Viewers can enjoy their favorite shows anytime, anywhere through TLC GO – the network’s TVE offering featuring live and on demand access to complete seasons. A destination online, TLC.com offers in-depth fan sites and exclusive original video content. Fans can also interact with TLC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest. TLC is part of Discovery (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), reaching 3 billion cumulative viewers in more than 220 countries and territories to satisfy curiosity and captivate superfans with a portfolio of premium nonfiction, lifestyle, sports and kids content brands.
Hulu has released the trailer and photos from the documentary series “Eater’s Guide to the World.” All seven episodes of the first season will premiere on November 11, 2020.
Here is Hulu’s synopsis of the show:
Discover the most surprising culinary destinations in “Eater’s Guide to the World.” Join narrator Maya Rudolph on a quest to find the most unexpected places to score an epic meal, while drinking and dining with the locals along the way.
Season 1, Episode 101: “Dining Alone in the Pacific Northwest“
The best part of dining solo? You can focus on what deserves your attention most — the food. Time to eat your way through the Pacific Northwest, savoring the juicy pork steak, soba noodles, and piping hot fried chicken.
Season 1, Episode 102: “Cultural Crossroads in Casablanca”
No cool friend would let you skip Casablanca while on a trip to Morocco. This can’t-miss port city boasts snails, traditional pastilla, and unreal tagine — you’ve gotta taste it all.
Season 1, Episode 103: “The Ass Crack of Dawn in New York City”
It’s last call and you’re freakin’ hungry. What the f*** do you do? Luckily, you’re in New York City, where your crew can choose from mouth-watering options like Korean BBQ, empanadas, and birria — all before the sun hits the horizon.
Season 1, Episode 104: “Jungle to Table in Costa Rica”
The Costa Rican jungle is basically nature’s candy store, and we’d like to invite you in. Bursting with delicious guanabana, cainito, cas, pejibaye, and of course cacao — known to some as the fruit of the gods! Of the GODS, y’all!
Season 1, Episode 105: “Eating on the Hood of Your Car in LA”
Buckle tf up! When you’re in LA, your car’s your sanctuary. Treat it with the respect it deserves, and dig in to life-changing hot chicken, fresh bread drops, and museum-worthy bento boxes in its presence.
Season 1, Episode 106: “Planting Roots in Tijuana Mexico”
Local, regular, newcomer — whoever you are, Tijuana has something delicious for you to eat. Grab a seat and try the craft beer, pork belly tacos, Caesar salad (trust us) and yeah, you’ll want to stay awhile.
Season 1, Episode 107: “Taking Off in America”
You eat at an airport because you have to, not because you want to. But just beyond the departure terminals you’ll find smoky BBQ, sweet n’ fluffy pancakes and a bowl of warm borbor—all worth going the extra mile.
The following is a press release from Food Network:
Food Network brings out the childhood imagination of five teams made up of professional cake and sugar artists on the new primetime competition series Candy Land, inspired by the classic Hasbro children’s game. Through six episodes, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenowethhosts and guides the teams through the fantastical world of Candy Land, challenging them to create heavenly confectionary showpieces, all the while being thrown curveballs every step of the way by Lord Licorice that puts the teams’ skills to the ultimate test. Premiering Sunday, November 15 at 9pm ET/PT, each episode features the teams stepping into one of the eye-popping lands come to life, including giant candy canes in the Peppermint Forest, life-size gumdrops at the Gumdrop Mountains, a real life gingerbread house at Chocolate Mountain, enormous and luscious lollipops in the Lollipop Woods, and lemons growing right off the vines in the Lemon Lime Springs. The players must forage for flavors and unique ingredients within each land to use for their sugar masterpieces before presenting to judges Nacho Aguirre and Aarti Sequeira, who determine which teams advance down the board game path based on creativity, technical execution, and how well the candies of the land were incorporated. The first team to make it to King Kandy’s Castle wins the game and earns the grand prize of $25,000.
“For almost three-quarters of a century and with over 50 million games sold, Candy Land is one of the most beloved childhood memories for generations of families everywhere, and we are thrilled to be able to collaborate with Hasbro to bring viewers on this immersive journey with such an iconic property,” said Courtney White, President, Food Network. “And with Kristin Chenoweth’s charismatic presence, she is the perfect guide in capturing the imagination of audiences, making the world of Candy Land truly come alive.”
“Candy Land is what the world needs right now – oh, and also sugar,” said Chenoweth.
Host Kristin Chenoweth welcomes the players to Candy Land before presenting the teams with their first challenge to create mystical and magical creatures the likes of which have never been seen before. Each team must present their work of art to judges Nacho Aguirre and Aarti Sequeira to see which team’s time in Candy Land has come to an end. Other episodes feature the teams designing inventive and edible means of transportation for the citizens of Candy Land, creating beautiful upgrades for the town squares within each land, and a final challenge with the last teams standing thinking outside the box to deliver a one-of-a-kind gift that will need to impress King Kandy.
Whether it is over a 100 pounds of chocolate used for Chocolate Mountain or 1,000 lollipops needed to create the Lollipop Woods, go behind the scenes to see how the breathtaking set of Candy Land comes to life in the special premiering Sunday, November 15 at 10:30pm ET/PT. Host David Bromstad (HGTV’s My Lottery Dream Home) treats viewers to an exclusive peek into the making of each land and the creative process of the minds that are undertaking this monumental challenge, along with learning the history of the iconic Hasbro game that continues to be a childhood favorite.
For more confectionary magic, don’t miss expert baker Dan Langan in the exclusive web series Inspired by Candy Land where Dan creates sensational sweets and cakes that draw inspiration from the classic children’s game. The companion series available on FoodNetwork.com premieres the week of November 9 with new episodes rolling out weekly.
For more information on Candy Land, viewers can go to FoodNetwork.com/CandyLand to access insider videos with Kristin and the judges, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes photos from the set. Plus, join in on the conversation throughout the season using #CandyLand.
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FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to nearly 100 million U.S. households and draws over 46 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine’s rate base has grown 13 times and is the No. 2 best-selling monthly magazine on the newsstand, with 13.5 million readers. Food Network is owned by Discovery, Inc., a global leader in real life entertainment spanning 220 countries and territories; the portfolio also includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Investigation Discovery, and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
Culture Representation: Taking place primarily in New York City and briefly in London and Versailles, France, this documentary about celebrity chef/author Yotam Ottolenghi’s Metropolitan Museum of Art event to celebrate the cakes of Versailles features a cast of white and Asian people representing the upper-class and middle-class.
Culture Clash: The challenge for this event was to bring a modern twist to classic pastry dishes, and there were a few conflicts with the museum staff over what the chefs should and should not do.
Culture Audience: “Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles” will appeal primarily to high-end foodies and fans of these chefs.
In June 2018, celebrity chef/author Yotam Ottolenghi (who owns and operates Ottolenghi Test Kitchen, a cooking hub/office in London) presented a celebration of the pastries of the legendry French court of Versailles in an event that took place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (also known as the Met) in New York City. The exhibit event, titled “Feast of Versailles with Yotam Ottolenghi,” included the work of several notable chefs who were personally invited by Ottolenghi to participate. The straightforward documentary “Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles” (directed by Laura Gabbert) chronicles the behind-the-scenes story about this event.
The movie begins with Ottolenghi in London (where he lives) talking about why he decided to head up this event: “I was looking for the next challenge.” He says the Metropolitan Museum of Art approached him for the job. Ottolenghi remembers thinking, “Why am I getting an email from the Met? I don’t hang out with the Met [crowd].”
Ottolenghi continues, “When I saw that Versailles was the upcoming exhibit at the Met, I was intrigued. Food and art and history meet at one big event at the Met about cakes inspired by Versailles.” Considering that Ottolenghi has a background as a pastry chef, he had this thought of the event: “This is for me.”
Met Live Arts Department general manager Limor Tomer explains the idea behind the Met’s “Feast of Versailles” exhibit: “We think of performance and performance work very broadly, so the art of the kitchen fits very well into that. When we were thinking about Versailles, we were thinking about, ‘How do we give people an embodied way to understand what Versailles was and how it fit socially and culturally into people’s lives?'”
To prepare for this prestigious undertaking and to get a better understanding of the culture of Versailles, Ottolenghi visited Versailles, including the landmark Palace of Versailles. He also worked with a tutor on Versailles history: Bard Graduate Center assistant professor Deborah Krohn, who mentions in the documentary that Versailles was different from most other royal courts because there was no real privacy.
The general public could come and go in the Versailles court, which made the royals and upper-class society feel more accessible to lower-class people, but it also created more social envy, since poor people could see all the luxury that other people enjoyed in the court. Ottolenghi comments toward the end of the documentary that the court of Versailles and Instagram have parallels, since both are open to the public, but people use these forums as ways to boast, show off and create envy.
Ottolenghi opens up about his own background in the documentary. He grew up in Jerusalem, and his parents were academics who expected him to follow a similar career path. After a stint in the Israeli Defense Forces, he graduated from Tel Aviv University in 1997, with a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree in comparative literature. He relocated to Amsterdam, where he edited the Hebrew section of NIW, a Dutch-Jewish weekly magazine.
Ottolenghi’s career path turned to cuisine when he moved to London to study French cooking at Le Cordon Bleu. He still has a passion for writing though, as evidenced by his cookbooks and his articles/essays in publications such as The Guardian and The New York Times. Ottolenghi, who is openly gay, lives with his husband Karl Allen and their two sons. Ottolenghi talks warmly about his family, but they are not featured in the documentary.
Ottolenghi’s international and well-traveled background has clearly given him an open-mindedness to other cultures. His business partner Sam Tamimi, who’s briefly interviewed in the documentary, mentions how they both were raised in Jerusalem, but in very different parts of the city: Ottolenghi grew up in Western Jerusalem (which is predominantly Jewish), while Tamimi grew up in Eastern Jerusalem, which is predominantly Muslim.
This openness to other cultures is why Ottolenghi consciously decided that he wanted to invite chefs from various countries to create pastry art for the Versailles exhibit. In the documentary, he says he started his search by following pastry chefs on Instagram. Ottolenghi says he was looking for “pastry chefs who take their art so seriously that the push the boundaries of technology, flavors, presentation. And it was really important to me that they actually be as dissimilar from each other as possible.”
The chosen pastry chefs were:
Dominique Ansel, originally from France and currently living in New York City, this James Beard Award-winning baker is best known for creating the Cronut®, Cookie Shot, DKA (Dominique’s Kouign Amann) and Frozen S’mores.
Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, originally from the United Kingdom, this London-based duo known as Bompas & Parr, are conceptual artists who infuse technology in their work and are known for creating extraordinary gelatin art.
Dinara Kasko, originally from the Ukraine, has a background in architecture and makes pastries using 3D-modeling technologies.
Ghaya Oliveira, originally from Tunisia and currently living in New York City, is a James Beard Award-winning executive pastry chef at Daniel (a famous French restaurant in New York City), and she is known for her reinvention of French-based plated desserts.
Janice Wong, originally from Singapore, has a specialty in interactive, edible art, especially with chocolate.
With this dream team assembled, the chefs meet with members of the Met museum staff to go over planning and logistics of what the chefs will create. The Met staffers who are featured in the documentary include art curator Danielle Kisluk-Grosheide, production coordinator Sruly Lazaros and executive pastry chef Randy Eastman.
Ansel, the most famous pastry chef in the group, was an obvious top choice for the exhibit. But beyond Ansel’s name recognition and talent, Ottolenghi explains why he thought Ansel would be a perfect fit for the project, “Everything he does is grounded in tradition but modern.” In the documentary, Wong says she was a less obvious choice and she was surprised to get the assignment, since she is known for her contemporary style. However, Wong says she was intrigued because she got to do pretty much anything she wanted for the exhibit.
The chosen chefs also open up about their backgrounds. While Ansel knew from an early age that he wanted to be a chef (he’s began training as a chef after he left high school), others took a different path to their culinary careers. Kasko has the aforementioned background in architecture. Oliveira used to be a ballerina and later worked for an investment company.
Wong had a background doing “math-oriented work,” but her life changed after she survived a serious car accident where she was hit by a drunk driver. “Everything changed,” Wong says, “Something happened between the left and ride side of my brain. I kind of switched.” And so, she became more of a creative person, which led to her profession as a chef.
The biggest challenge that the chefs face in the “Feast of Versailles” exhibit is creating their elaborate works of art in the limited time that they have. They only have about a week on site at the Met to create their displays. Oliveira says she was “very inspired by nature and the gardens of Versailles,” so she decides to make an ambitious display of cakes with a lot of floral motifs.
Bompas & Parr run into problems because they decided to have some running water through a funnel/water pump as part of their exhibit, only to find out from a nervous Tomer that the Met usually doesn’t allow running water in the gallery area where the exhibit will be taking place. There’s also some Bompas & Parr drama about some items that they needed to have shipped from England, and it’s questionable if these items will arrive on time.
The Met executive pastry chef Eastman creates some conflict when he tells Kasko to add more fat (cocoa butter) to her cake batter, but she disagrees because she thinks there’s already too much fat. Eastman is very condescending to Kasko, by telling her about all the experience he has, and she reluctantly follows his advice. It seems that she only did so out of respect because the Met was the hosting venue. But Kasko ended up being right about her recipe, and she had to redo the cake batter the way she originally planned. All that lost time caused her more stress.
Naturally, the climax of the documentary is the big event, which attracted the type of Met crowd that you would expect. (Admission to the event was at a minimum price of $125 per person.) “Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles” isn’t a groundbreaking culinary documentary, but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable look into the process of how this “Feast of Versailles” event was produced, as well as an insightful peek into the personalities of the chefs who created the event’s masterful dessert art.
IFC Films released “Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles” in select U.S. cinemas, on digital and VOD on September 25, 2020.
HBO Max announced today that the Selena Gomez cooking show, SELENA + CHEF will premiere on the streamer Thursday, August 13th. The series is executive produced by Gomez for July Moon Productions, along with executive producers Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman, and Leah Hariton on behalf of Industrial Media’s The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC). The unscripted 10-episode cooking series features the multi-platinum selling recording artist, actress, producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist as she navigates unfamiliar territory: making delicious meals while stuck at home in quarantine.
The world-renowned chefs featured during the season includes Angelo Sosa, Antonia Lofaso, Candice Kumai, Daniel Holzman, Jon & Vinny, Ludo Lefebvre, Nancy Silverton, Nyesha Arrington, Roy Choi, and Tonya Holland
“Having some of the best chefs open up their kitchens to me was a humbling and fun experience. I definitely discovered I have a lot more to learn. I’m also really happy that we were able to highlight and raise money for some incredible charitable organizations,” said Gomez.
“Watching Selena with these incredible chefs has been a delicious joy,” said Sarah Aubrey, Head of Original Content, HBO Max. “You don’t need to be an experienced chef yourself to enjoy the show; you learn with her and get to see all the fun that happens in the kitchen. Try not to watch it while hungry!”
Since social distancing at home, Selena has been spending more time in the kitchen than she ever imagined. But despite her many talents, it remains to be seen if cooking is one of them. In each episode of this unapologetically authentic cookalong, Selena, with the support of her Quaranteam, will be joined remotely by a different master chef. Together, they’ll tackle cuisines of every variety, share invaluable tips and tricks, and deal with everything from smoking ovens to missing ingredients. Each episode will highlight a food-related charity, and this casual, funny, and informative series will embrace both the struggle and the joy of learning to cook — while inviting audiences to follow along at home.
Selena Gomez began making the transition from young actress to adulthood with such films as Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers.” She appeared in the Academy Award nominated film “The Big Short” opposite Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling as well as “Fundamentals of Caring” alongside Paul Rudd. Most recently, she starred in Jim Jarmusch’s film “The Dead Don’t Die” opposite Bill Murray and Adam Driver. Gomez has added executive producer to her list of credits serving as an executive producer of the hit Netflix original series “13 Reasons Why” Most recently, she executive produced the critically acclaimed Netflix docu-series “Living Undocumented” which created much buzz and discussion regarding the polarizing issue of undocumented people living in the United States. Selena also executive produced the upcoming feature film “The Broken Heart Gallery.” Earlier this year, Gomez released her critically acclaimed album RARE which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 her third consecutive studio album to debut atop the chart. The first single, “Lose You To Love Me,” gave Gomez her first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. As a solo artist Gomez has accumulated over 22 billion global streams. Next up, Selena will launch her highly anticipated Rare Beauty cosmetics line exclusively at Sephora. The mission behind the brand it to embrace one’s own uniqueness and build a community of support around a healthy self-image.
This project marks the second collaboration between IPC’s Holzman and Saidman and Gomez following the last year’s groundbreaking, six-part docuseries Living Undocumented, which the three executive produced and Saidman also co-directed. Holzman and Saidman also lead IPC’s parent company, Industrial Media, an independent production group with ownership interest in IPC, Sharp Entertainment, 19 Entertainment, and B17 Entertainment which is currently producing Craftopia hosted by YouTube star LaurDIY for HBO Max.
Gomez is represented by WME, Lighthouse Management + Media, Ziffren Brittenham LLP.
About HBO Max
HBO Max is WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer offering, which debuted May 27, 2020. With 10,000 hours of curated premium content, HBO Max offers powerhouse programming for everyone in the home, bringing together HBO, a robust slate of new original series, key third-party licensed programs and movies, and fan favorites from WarnerMedia’s rich library including motion picture and TV series from Warner Bros., highlights from New Line, and catalog titles from DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and more. Website: HBOMax.com
WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences through its consumer brands including: HBO, HBO Now, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others. WarnerMedia is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T).
About The Intellectual Property Corporation
Industrial Media’s The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC) is an Emmy-winning IP creation and production studio based in Van Nuys, California. Founded in 2016, IPC develops and produces a wide range of television, film, documentary, and interactive mobile content. The company has series in production or development with a wide range of US broadcast, cable networks, and streamers. In 2017, the company was awarded an Emmy and in 2018 a Producers Guild Award for its series Leah Remini: Scientology & the Aftermath which was nominated for another Emmy in 2019. IPC was acquired by Industrial Media in 2018.
Culture Representation: Taking primarily place in Mexico and the United States, this documentary about celebrity chef/author Diana Kennedy (a white British woman whose specialty is Mexican cuisine) features interviews with white and Latino people representing the wealthy and middle-class.
Culture Clash: Kennedy became a leading expert in Mexican cuisine, but she’s always at some risk of being accused of cultural appropriation.
Culture Audience: “Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy” will appeal primarily to foodies and people who like biographies of celebrity chefs.
“Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy” is a lot like the woman who is the subject of the documentary: matter-of-fact yet self-congratulatory and entrenched in tradition rather than experimentation. Born in 1923, British native Diana Kennedy (who participated in this film) is considered a leading expert in Mexican cuisine. This documentary that tells her life story follows the expected format of new interviews mixed with archival footage. If it weren’t for Kennedy’s sassy personality, the movie (which is the feature-film debut of director Elizabeth Carroll) would actually be pretty dull.
This is one of those laudatory celebrity documentaries where talking heads do nothing but praise the star of the movie. Celebrity chefs José Andrés, Rick Bayless, Gabriela Cámara, Pati Jinich, Alice Waters and Nick Zukin all gush about Kennedy in their separate soundbites featured the film. (Andrés and Zukin are two of the documentary’s executive producers.) The only real criticism of Kennedy actually comes from Kennedy herself, who describes herself as often being cranky, impatient and stubborn.
Cámara says about Kennedy: “I think she’s a legend. Many Mexicans are against admitting that she knows more than they do about their food.” Andrés comments, “You have to be Diana, to have the character she has, to achieve what she has achieved.”
Waters says of Kennedy’s influence on teaching Mexican cuisine: “She taught us the traditional ways and was not doing her own variation.” Bayless adds, “She’s the first person in the English-speaking world who first really mined the richness of regional Mexican cooking.”
Zukin gives this over-the-top compliment about Kennedy: “She’s a high prophet for Mexican food. Diana doesn’t care if people like her. She cares if Mexican food is evangelized … She’s going to tell you the truth.”
Jinich (the host of the PBS cooking show “Pati’s Mexican Table) has this to say: “I think Mexico as a country will be eternally indebted to her efforts.” Abigail Mendoza, a chef and native of Mexico who has been a close friend of Kennedy’s since the 1980s, “Thanks to Diana, Mexican cuisine is where it is … And she’s very Mexican in her soul and heart.”
You get the idea. Fortunately, the documentary keeps these effusive soundbites to a minimum. “Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy” (which is named after one of her cookbooks) is at its best when it just lets the camera roll to show Kennedy living her life. As she says in the film: “I’ve had a funny life. Let’s face it.”
Although Kennedy undoubtedly has immense talent to earn all of this praise and respect, her cookbook editor Frances McCollough asks a question that this documentary attempts to answer: “How can it be that a white British woman knows more about Mexican food than anyone else?”
It’s pretty clear from watching the film that Kennedy is certainly an expert in her field, but she also had the privilege and connections to be handed a massive platform through the media and book deals. Perhaps equally talented native Mexican chefs haven’t reached the same level of success because of racial barriers in the culinary industry. Kennedy tells her version of her life story, which is edited in between scenes of her in the present day.
Born as Diana Southwood in Loughton, England, she doesn’t really talk about her childhood in the film. Instead, the documentary skips right to her tales of joining the Women’s Timber Corps during World War II. While in the Women’s Timber Corps, she learned to plant trees and developed her lifelong passion for the environment.
After World War II, she was invited to go to Jamaica. Kennedy comments on her decision to live in the Caribbean: “I was propelled by a lot of hormones.” She says that while she was in Jamaica, she was nearly kidnapped.
And then she moved on to Haiti, where she had a fateful stay at Hotel Olafsson in 1957. She checked into the hotel on the same day as a handsome stranger named Paul P. Kennedy, an older man who was a correspondent for The New York Times in Mexico. Diana moved to Mexico to be with Paul, and she says she fell in love with him just as she fell in love with Mexico. She says in the documentary that Paul will always be the love of her life.
She eventually married Paul, whom she describes as someone who was the life of the party and a person who had a warm and humorous personality that naturally drew other people to him. In her early years of living in Mexico, Diana developed a habit that she has continued throughout her life: She would go to village marketplaces to sample the local cuisine, find out how it was made, and ask the local merchants what kinds of food that they and their families were eating.
Diana says that most chefs who study other cultures’ cuisines don’t take the time to interview local people to find out what their families are eating. She gives herself a lot of praise in the film for taking that extra step, and she says that’s probably why she has more credibility in Mexican cuisine than other chefs of Mexican cuisine who aren’t natives of Mexico.
In her early years of living in Mexico, Diana says she didn’t have a car, so she would take a “third-class bus” (the type that lets chickens and other animals on board) to make these excursions to various marketplaces. She definitely has a car now. Some of the funniest scenes in the documentary are of Diana nimbly driving her Nissan SUV and showing mild signs of road rage, as she impatiently curses other drivers underneath her breath. Diana has a real fondness for the car, which she says has taken her through every imaginable terrain and weather.
Diana and Paul had a happy life in Mexico, and she says she was lucky that he accepted her for being “crazy.” She worked at the British Council, while he continued to work for The New York Times. Diana says, “I certainly wasn’t the traditional housewife. I never wanted children.” (Paul already had two daughters from a previous marriage. Diana’s stepdaughters are not seen or mentioned in the film.)
But then, tragedy struck when Paul was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1965. Diana and Paul moved to New York City so that he could get medical treatment. But by 1967, he was dead. The following years that Diana spent as a widow in New York City were some of the loneliest and saddest in her life, she says. Diana never remarried.
But when one door closes, another one opens. After Paul died, Craig Claiborne—who was The New York Times food editor from 1957 to 1986—set Diana on a path to become a world-renowned chef whose specialty is Mexican cuisine. Diana had always loved cooking, but she didn’t see herself as becoming a professional chef until she got the motivation and help from Claiborne.
Diana says that she once offered to get a Mexican cookbook for Claiborne, and his response was that he didn’t want a Mexican cookbook unless she wrote it herself. At the time, Diana had been giving private cooking classes in her home to privileged society women in New York. Thanks to Claiborne, The New York Times gave Diana a prominent feature article about her cooking classes. This media coverage led to other opportunities, and the rest is history.
Diana eventually moved back to Mexico, where she still teaches small, private cooking classes in her home, which is a spacious villa called Quinta Diana, in Michoacán, Mexico. The documentary includes footage of her teaching a class of a diverse group of people, ranging from experienced chefs who have multiple restaurants to a relative novice who’s only been cooking for three years.
There’s also archival footage of Diana on her TLC series “The Art of Mexican Cooking With Diana Kennedy,” which was on the air in the early 1990s. And there’s a clip of Diana as a guest on “The Martha Stewart Show,” with Diana making traditional Mexican tamales with Martha Stewart.
The documentary also shows Diana at industry events, such as when she was inducted into the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame at the 2014 James Beard Awards, or when she was a panelist at The Los Angeles Times Food Bowl in 2018. During a Food Bowl studio photo session separately and together with fellow chef Cámara, the photographer comments to Diana about how feisty Diana is. At one point during the photo session, Diana jokes, “Thank God my black panties don’t show.”
The documentary takes such a reverential approach to Diana Kennedy that it doesn’t really have her reflect on all the opportunities that came her way because of her privileged situation. Yes, she’s undoubtedly talented, and she has many fans who are native Mexican chefs. But Diana came up at a time when white people were almost exclusively given the best opportunities for chefs to reach a worldwide audience through the media and book deals.
Diana says in the documentary that perhaps her biggest influence was Mexican cookbook author Josefina Velázquez de León. However, Velázquez de León would never have been given the same glamorous opportunities for fame and fortune that were given to Diana Kennedy. A lot more people know who Diana Kennedy is rather than the Mexican chef/author who was Diana Kennedy’s biggest influence.
Nowadays, culinary audiences are more attuned to giving cultural credit where credit is due. Cultural appropriation is not as acceptable as it was before the 21st century. Although the documentary hints that some very talented native Mexican chefs might have been overshadowed by Diana Kennedy, there is no further exploration of that subject, since the filmmakers only seem concerned with portraying Diana Kennedy as the best thing that ever happened to Mexican cuisine. It’s a “fan worship” mentality that’s a little off-putting to people who expect documentaries to have a more objective approach.
One thing that the documentary captures well is Diana’s tireless work ethic, since there are many scenes in the film that make it obvious that she has no intentions of retiring. Diana says, “One is never satisfied. There is so much more I’d like to do.” She also says, “You’ve got to realize that cooking is the biggest comeuppance.”
Diana is also very outspoken about her concerns about the environment and where the world is headed. She gives this rant in the documentary: “I think it’s shocking that the more we are connected electronically, the less we are united.”
She continues: “And then, in certain parts of the world, machos come along like [Vladimir] Putin and [Donald] Trump and all the rest of it and want to change it. They don’t see the beauty of this world. We’re destroying our planet. We’re destroying our environment, and it’s such a loss for young people today.”
Diana also shares her philosophy on life. “You can’t win them all.” She adds, “How horrible it is for people to go around wanting to be loved and liked. You just go on doing what you know what you want to do. And at some point, the tide will turn and you make your mark—or you may not.”
Although Diana is extremely confident about her abilities and accomplishments, she shows some humility when she says, “I’m very honored the way so many people look at my books and appreciate what I’ve done. That’s all you can do—and cook for them.”
The cooking scenes in the documentary are fairly good, but not outstanding. What’s actually more impressive is the documentary’s cinematography of Mexico’s gorgeous landscape. Some of the aerial shots are breathtaking. (Paul Mailman and Andrei Zakow are credited as the film’s cinematographers.)
“Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy” is not a bad documentary. It’s just not a very insightful or revealing film. It’s the documentary equivalent of a Wikipedia page instead of an illuminating biography.
Greenwich Entertainment released “Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy” in select U.S. virtual cinemas on May 22, 2020. The movie’s digital/VOD release date is June 19, 2020, and the DVD release date is June 23, 2020.
The following is a press release from Food Network:
Food Network’s biggest stars offer the ultimate guide for the best dishes they have ever had while also giving viewers an up close and personal look at recipes to make at home in “All-Star Best Thing I Ever Ate,” premiering Monday, July 20th at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network. Whether it is the most sensational sandwiches, best burgers, or one of a kind dishes, Food Network icons showcase the best bites they have tasted through eight one-hour special episodes, with Sunny Anderson, Valerie Bertinelli, Alton Brown, Anne Burrell, Bobby Flay and Alex Guarnaschelli also sharing some of their own personal recipes that take on each episode’s culinary theme, perfect for viewers at home.
“We are excited to bring ‘All-Star Best Thing I Ever Ate’ to the schedule, as fans get more of what they crave with firsthand recommendations for the best dishes and personal recipes from Food Network’s biggest stars,” said Courtney White, President, Food Network.
Throughout the season culinary pros give their picks for the country’s most amazing eats. Guy Fieri takes viewers on a journey to the bright lights of Las Vegas to get his favorite meaty burrito guaranteed to satisfy cravings, while Molly Yeh divulges where to find the best fried pickles in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Rachael Ray has an unbeatable breakfast sandwich in Pittsburgh. And for those who want to make the best thing they ever ate, don’t miss recipes from Food Network’s stars, including Bobby Flay’s perfect rib eye, Alton Brown showing how to make pizza on the grill, and Valerie Bertinelli’s delectable homemade churros.
Head to FoodNetwork.com/BestThingIEverAte to see where your favorite chefs like to eat and to catch up on past episodes. Follow #BestThingIEverAte on Food Network’s social channels to weigh in on your ultimate restaurants and favorite meals.
Culture Representation: This documentary examines the business behind the delicacy of sea urchin, with the film featuring interviews with a predominantly white cast (and some Asian representation) of sea urchin divers, chefs and journalists.
Culture Clash: “The Delicacy” addresses the controversies over fishing for sea urchins, including the environmental impact and what sea urchin divers have in response to people who are offended by their line of work.
Culture Audience: “The Delicacy” will appeal mostly to non-vegan/non-vegetarian people who are passionate about fine dining and are curious about the specifics of how sea urchin goes from the ocean to human consumption.
“The Delicacy” takes a fascinating look at the business of making sea urchin a fine-dining item. Unlike other food TV shows that focus primarily on the end results of food preparation, “The Delicacy” takes a deep dive (literally) into the entire procedure of making sea urchin available to the public, including showing how sea urchin divers work, how sea urchin goes through processing plants, and how sea urchin is prepared for meals. The heart of this 70-minute movie is with the sea urchin divers, since the documentary shows a very human side to their line of risk-taking work.
Sea urchin is eaten for its center, which is called “uni” in Japanese, and is usually eaten raw. And sea urchin is considered among the top-tier of luxury seafood. Uni Diaries blogger Haiwen Lu, who’s interviewed in the documentary, comments on sea urchin: “A lot of other delicacies out there, like foie gras or caviar or oysters, I feel like they don’t have that buzz factor like uni has.”
Celebrity chef/restaurateur Andrew Zimmern says, “My relationship with sea urchin? Profound.” And he comments on preparing sea urchin: “It’s a simple process but a rare thing.” Yoon Ha, wine director of San Francisco restaurant Benu, adds: “There’s nothing like sea urchin. It’s eaten raw. It’s sweet. it’s briny. It’s incredibly luxurious in texture. It’s a perfect luxurious food item.”
Other restaurant chefs interviewed in the film are Justin Cogley, executive chef at Aubergine in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California; Kyle Connaughton, executive chef at Single Thread in Healdsburg, California; and Aaron Koseba, chef de cuisine at Single Thread.
It would have been very easy for “The Delicacy” filmmakers to keep the movie focused on glowing commentary about sea urchin and filling the documentary with glam shots of sea urchin being prepared. The film certainly shows those fine-dining aspects of sea urchin, but director Jason Wise also includes a history of why sea urchin became a delicacy and what kinds of people fish for sea urchin today.
The history of sea urchin being a delicacy is known to date as far back as the days of the Roman Empire. Archeologists have found evidence that after the upscale vacation city of Pompeii was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius erupting in the year 79 A.D., the upper-class people who lived in Pompeii used to frequently dine on sea urchin. Because sea urchins live in deep underwater environments, they were much harder to get in the days before deep-sea diving equipment was invented.
The documentary then veers off into a brief history of abalone and how it created a “gold rush” for abalone in California, beginning in the 1950s and peaking in the 1970s and 1980s. Unfortunately, abalone (which has a very slow reproductive rate) was being “picked almost to extinction,” says Food & Wine executive wine editor Ray Isle. And that scarcity led to a crackdown on fisheries that sold abalone and the rise of aquaculture businesses that work to grow aquatic life that’s harvested for food. Andrew Kim of Monterey Abalone in California is shown in the film giving a brief tour of his business.
Abalone is brought up as an example of what could happen to the sea urchin trade if there is too much fishing of sea urchin and not enough protection of the species. The documentary points out that illegal poaching of all endangered species will be a reality, but the goal is to not let valuable animals in the food chain reach the point of near-extinction.
Sea otters are mankind’s biggest competition in eating sea urchins. Lillian Carswell, U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s southern sea otter recovery coordinator, notes that sea otters were at the brink of extinction for decades, because they were hunted for their fur. But due to a fluke in nature, a part of the reef near Big Sur in California made it difficult for boats to dock there, so a small group of sea otter that lived there began to multiply and thrive. Generations of sea otter still live there today.
It’s in California, off the coast of Santa Barbara, that the documentary takes another turn, with an up-close look at some modern-day sea urchin divers. The movie focuses primarily on four of these rough-and-tumble group of adventurers: Jim Marshall, who is considered the respected elder; Harry Liquornik, an extrovert who considers Jim to be a like a mentor/father figure; Harry Liquornik, who is quiet and reserved; and Stephanie Mutz, who says she’s the only woman who’s a professional sea-urchin diver in California.
This quartet of sea urchin divers all know each other and have worked together at one time or another. Jim and Harry have a long history together, and they jokingly tease each other, with Jim saying that Harry is “cocky,” while Harry says that Jim is “grumpy.” Mutz considers Liquornik to be her mentor, and they work closely together.
Diving for sea urchin is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. There’s a constant threat of being injured in various ways, and being killed by a shark is also a very real possibility. (And true to his sense of humor, Liquornik jokes that as he gets older, it’s harder for him to fit into a wetsuit.) Sea urchin diver Billy Eggers is also interviewed, but the other four divers get most of the screen time in the segments that feature the divers.
Although the job can pay well (top divers have the potential to earn six-figure incomes), there are also huge risks involved in the work, such as the aforementioned on-the-job injuries and shark attacks, as well as bad weather and the unpredictability of when business might be slow. The divers also have to develop a keen knowledge of where to dive for sea urchin, because the quality of sea urchin depends on how much kelp that the sea urchins eat. The more kelp that a sea urchin can eat, the higher the quality of the sea urchin.
And for people who think that fishing for sea urchin will destroy the food chain, Marshall’s response is that letting sea urchin overpopulate the ocean would actually damage the food chain, since “too many sea urchins … would wipe out the kept forest.” Kelp is essential for ocean life, so the divers say that there needs to be a balance in not destroying a species but also not letting a species overpopulate the ocean.
One of the best aspects of “The Delicacy” is the cinematography from Jackson Myers and the underwater photography by director Wise. Regardless of how someone might feel about the ethics of eating animals, most people would agree with how life in the deep ocean can be stunning and awe-inspiring. Some of the underwater scenes in “The Delicacy” are absolutely gorgeous.
Full disclosure: “The Delicacy” director Wise (who is a producer, co-editor and co-writer of the film) is also the founder of SOMM TV, a subscription video-on-demand service for enthusiasts of food, wine and travel. “The Delicacy” can be viewed exclusively on SOMM TV, which was launched in 2019 by several of the filmmakers of the “Somm” documentary series. If “The Delicacy” is any indication of SOMM TV’s original documentaries, then SOMM TV is a good alternative to other food-centric networks that have programming appealing mostly to casual-dining audiences. “The Delicacy” is the kind of documentary that fine-dining foodies deserve.
The movie ends with sobering reminder of the human cost of diving for sea urchins. Throughout the movie’s segments on the sea urchin divers, there is archival footage of California diver Jim “Wiener” Robinson. He died of a shark attack in 1994, at the age of 42. Marshall, Liquornik and Motyer all give emotional testimonials about Robinson and how his death affected them.
Not everyone agrees with the idea that humans can kill animals for food. Mutz has this response to people who are opposed to her line of work: “I might go to urchin hell, but I’m okay with that. I don’t have any remorse.” Regardless of how people feel about animal rights or eating animal-based food, Marshall sums it up this way: “Fishing will always be around as long as people have to eat.”
As restaurants look to reopen, the needs of each will change as government restrictions and safety recommendations evolve. Restaurants that have never taken reservations may find themselves looking for ways to adjust floor plans to allow more space between tables and manage capacity. To help restaurants reopen and adhere to these new norms, OpenTable is rolling out two new initiatives: an enhanced restaurant management platform and price cuts for 2020.
OpenTable’s technology has always enabled restaurants to connect with diners to manage reservations, prepare for shifts, and maximize table availability, but enhancements to the platform will provide added support for restaurants so they can adhere to social distancing guidelines while providing updated health and safety information to diners for when it is safe to eat out again.
These advanced features are now paired with discounted pricing to reduce the reopening costs of our customers and to encourage new restaurants to join OpenTable. Beginning in May, restaurants that sign up for our “Open Door” pricing program will enjoy: no OpenTable subscription fees through the end of 2020, no cover fees through September 30, 2020 and a 50% discount on cover fees through 2020. OpenTable’s standard subscription and cover pricing will resume only in January 2021.
“Restaurants need help to reopen quickly, safely, and successfully as local restrictions lift. We’re doing our part to help them by waiving fees and updating features with the post-COVID-19 dining experience in mind,” said Andrea Johnston, COO, OpenTable.
Restaurants interested in the Open Door Program can receive follow-up information and first-access to participate here. Over the past few weeks, OpenTable has rolled out a number of efforts to support the restaurant industry from releasing data on the staggering decline in seated diners, to launching OpenTable for groceries to help manage overcrowding and long lines, to hosting weekly webinar series providing expert support for restaurants during this time. For a summary of all the efforts that OpenTable has done to support restaurants during this time, please visit https://restaurant.opentable.com/news/.
About OpenTable OpenTable, part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), is the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations, with nearly 60,000 restaurants globally using its software to seat over 134 million diners monthly. OpenTable helps diners discover and book the perfect table and helps restaurants deliver personalized hospitality to keep guests coming back.