Monday, April 21, 2008

Are you ready to party?

When my friend Jamie emailed me last month to tell me that she and her boyfriend had gotten tickets to one of the special New York tapings of Paula Deen's show, Paula's Party, I was extremely jealous. But Jamie kindly sent me the ticket information and I managed to get a pair of tickets for Joe and I to attend today's show. Filming at the Food Network Studios in Chelsea Market, it was exciting to see where all the Food Network magic happens. We arrived at 9:15 am as instructed and were placed in line outside the studio door. As we stood there, I spotted Paula's husband, Michael, walking in. Of course I had to call out and say hello, and he stopped to greet me - for some reason I found this exciting. Anyhow, after waiting a few minutes in line we were brought into the studios and taken on a giant elevator to the 6th floor, where Paula's show would be filming. There, were given our instructions for the taping - clap loudly and show lots of energy, eat anything Paula may give you and act like its the most delicious thing in the world even if you hate it, don't pick your nose or do anything else unsightly, etc.

Armed with our do's and don't's, we were granted access into the studio where the show would be taped. Decorated in greens and blues with beads and chandeliers, it was very inviting. We were told that cameras were prohibited, but I snuck a quick shot of the set while no one was looking:

Joe and I were seated at a great table close to the "stage," but truthfully every seat was good as the studio was small and there were no more than 120 guests. Once the audience was seated, we were entertained with Paula trivia, a dance contest and other fun things until they were ready to begin filming. We also filmed a lot of "reaction" shots - the audience clapping, laughing, cheering, etc. Things moved quickly once taping began. Gordon Elliot, Paula's producer ran the show and before we knew it Paula was on set and we were rolling. Paula is adorable in person and super sweet and friendly.

The theme of the show we attended was "Lay it on Me" and all the recipes featured were layered. Paula's first guest was Cameron Matheson from All My Children and Dancing with the Stars. I wasn't very familiar with him, but he was very charming and funny. He and Paula made a french toast trifle together. It was interesting to see how the show was filmed. They would film some banter, then taping would stop and a staff member would come out and walk Paula through the recipe she would make, showing her where all the ingredients were, etc. Then they would return to filming. After Cameron, Paula welcomed Daisy Fuentes and her sister, who made a Cuban lasagna with eggplant and chorizo. The final guest was a comedienne, whose name, no matter how many times Paula told us to "remember her name, because she's going to be huge" I have forgotten. She and Paula made a layer cake with a cheesecake in the center. Between takes Paula walked through the audience and made it a point to talk to greet every single guest and shake everyone's hand. It was a fun experience and I can't wait to see the finished show!

After the taping, Joe and I grabbed yummy burgers at the Meat Packing District Diner, then went back to Chelsea Markets. I had been eager to check out Eleni's Bakery, since I had heard a lot about their cupcakes, but I found myself underwhelmed with the store and unwilling to shell out $3 for a single cupcake. I decided to spend my money on other sweet treats, so Joe and I headed to one of my favorite NY spots - Dylan's Candy Bar.

This two-story candy land has a staircase made of candy and features a vast candy store downstairs and a cafe and ice cream parlor upstairs. I could spend all day wandering that store!

Decisions, decisions. I finally settled on four chocolate bars - milk chocolate toffee and banana for my mom, a fellow chocoholic, and s'mores and hazelnut for me, and a bag of assorted candy (chocolate-covered cashews, chocolate-covered cookie dough, malt balls, etc.) which I am currently enjoying as I type this. Mmmmmm....
Overall, Joe and I had a great day in the city and I am thrilled I got to get up close and personal with the Food Network. Hopefully you'll spot Joe and I on an upcoming episode of Paula's Party! And babe, thanks for coming with me today - I love you and your willingness to follow me all of NYC in search of candy and Food Network fame!


Joseph said...

Ain't we cute????

~Amber~ said...

Sounds like one heck of an awesome day!! Yep, that means I am super jealous. :)

Lauren said...

Your pics are so super cute!! I am jealous - Cameron Mathison?? YUM!! His character's name is Ryan and I tease Pat that that's why I like the name. ;)

Bridget said...

Wow, that is really cool! I wish she filmed in Texas! :)

That is disappointing about Eleni's...I love their website and assumed the store is fabulous as well.

Love your blog!

Moni said...

That sounded like SOOO much fun!!! I want to go to that candy store!

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Hallie Fae said...

Wow, you're so lucky. I love candy, that would be the first place I go. I might have to convince my boyfriend to take me on a trip to NY and visit the Food Network Studios. Looks like you had a ton of fun!

Cookie Madness said...

That sounds so fun! I went to Chelsea Market last summer and had fun looking at the shops. The people who live nearby are so lucky. I didn't get to see a Paula Deen taping, though.

I was amazed with the appearance Eleni's gorgeous decorated cookies, but I didn't bother buying one because I had a feeling they looked better than tasted. Unfortunately, I did buy a Fat Witch Brownie. I was so excited about trying one because I never buy mail order brownies and here I was right at the source. The lady at the counter was nice, but the brownie was dry and bland.

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