Recipe Rehab for ABC TV, November 14, 2012

Soo Family featured in ABC’s Recipe Rehab on Saturday morning. Aired April 27, 2013

Crew and cast, plus family dog Beans!

My culinary creations are simply to die for!   They taste fabulous and the lard, butter, bacon, and sugar I use are reputed to cause death with prolonged use!  It seems that word of my unhealthy barbecue exploits reached the casting directors for the Saturday morning ABC program called Recipe Rehab which runs on 200+ ABC affiliate stations in America.

Sheeva, the Producer, explaining the shoot to our family

They decided to feature the Soo family on this TV show where favorite family dishes that are yummy but not healthy get an extreme makeover by the show’s chefs.   Each weekly episode would feature two professional chefs trying to redo the family’s recipe into a healthy low-fat and low sugar version.   The family would taste the two versions and then determine which chef was the winner.

In mid-November 2012, the five-person crew headed by producer Sheeva from Trium Broadcasting showed up and spent about 9 hours with our family shooting the various segments needed for this half-hour program which is scheduled to air in February 2013.  Yes, it does take a while to get all the shots needed.  The shoot was done in 4 segments: 1) interviews with the family 2) cooking our version of the dish, 3) cooking and judging the healthy versions by the two anonymous chefs, and 4) post judging interviews.

The shoot was grueling as it took about 9 hours to complete

Amy doing her OTFs (On The Fly) interviews


So what was it like to be on TV?  In a word, it was grueling.  There are many retakes because they had to shoot a scene with different lenses (zoom versus wide angle) and from several positions.  Also, the producer is asking questions constantly and guiding your responses.  For example, you introduce yourself and say, ”Hi, my name is Joe.”  Well, the producer will say, say it again and drop the “my name” and say, ”Hi, I’m Joe.”  So you retake the scene and this goes on the entire shoot.  You also have to maintain high energy while on camera.  This is fine in the first couple of hours and as the day drags on, it gets harder and harder to appear preppy and high energy.

Sheeva and her crew were super nice!

The dish selected by the producers for the shoot was SYD’s Peach Cobbler which is a gooey mess of peaches in heavy syrup and brown sugar and butter.  Within the fruit was the bubbling crust made of flour, lard, and butter.  I think my recipe is the world’s best peach cobbler, and the crew who tasted it certainly thought so, but it’s really a heart-attack on a plate!

After we made our family recipe, the two boxes of ingredients from the two anonymous chefs were brought in.  There was an iPad in each of the boxes with the custom developed healthy recipe.  I got the yellow box and Brian and Amy got the green box.

The green and yellow boxes appear and we shoot the segment where we cook the chef’s healthy recipes

Drum roll please!

My box had fresh peaches and the recipe involved grilling the peaches on my outdoor grill to bring out the sweetness and it also made them juicy and tender.  I was instructed to puree some ginger snap cookies and prepared a low-fat lime juice and lime zest sauce.  My kids had almond meal, sago balls, yogurt   and frozen peaches and blueberries.

Green box was Brian and Amy’s and it had almond flour and frozen peaches and blueberries

Yellow box was Harry’s and it involved grilling the fresh peaches.

The recipes were not too complicated but mine had more steps with the grilling and food processor pureeing so my kids finished their green box recipe first.  Both went into the oven for about 20 minutes.

Green box ingredients being mixed up

Yellow box ingredients being mixed up

So for the $50.00 question, how did they taste?   Well, let me just say that one tasted like fruit compote of grilled peaches and the other like cooked peaches with a low-fat bread pudding made from the almond flour.  You’ll see the full recipe on the website when the show airs in February 2013.  How did the zero fat and zero cholesterol versions compare to my 1,300g fat and 300 g cholesterol heart-attack version?   Not even close!   Give me my Southern-inspired recipe any day.  The luxurious mouth feel and sweetness cannot be matched by a low-fat version.  I’m sorry!

Green box recipe final product

Yellow box recipe final product

It was a lot of fun being on a TV shoot in our home kitchen.  My kids got some air-time instead of Dad for a change.  This was two TV shoots in a week for me with the first one being at the Kingsford Invitational the weekend before.   It was a great learning experience for Brian and Amy as they are seniors and juniors, respectively, in college majoring in Business Communication.  The crew even asked if they might be interested in applying for internship positions at Trium Broadcasting.  How cool is that!


UPDATE: ABC aired the show on Sat April 27, 2013.  Here is the sneak peek

Shoot finally over.

Sheeva’s crew Strikes the Pose!