I’ve been out of the office lately and in the test kitchen. When I rolled out of the Food Network test kitchens last week, I left with lots of recipes and about 7 extra pounds around my mid-section. Worth-every-bite.
When Kelsey’s Essentials was picked up for its second season in early February I was ecstatic. Primarily because this meant that I still had a job. The television business is an interesting one and you never know what is coming next. It’s important to appreciate every moment because you never know when it could be over. Thanks to amazing viewers who consistently tune in and support the show, the dream lives on for another season. (and I can take a huge sigh of relief) None of it would exist without a magnificent production company, the amazing culinary staff at Food Network/Cooking Channel and countless others. Thankfully season 1 was a success and has given me the chance to take another whack at it with season 2. I learned so much the first time around and cannot wait to implement those lessons that I learned.
Right after I received the good news that season 2 was moving forward, I immediately submitted my show theme ideas and started working on recipes. This process is extensive and mentally exhausting. A season typically consists of 13 episodes with usually 4-5 original recipes per episode which equals out to about 60 recipes. (woah) The times that I enjoy being in the kitchen most are when I’m cooking from the hip. Unfortunately this means that I rarely write my recipes down. So I spent the entire month of February trying to remember all of the recipes that I have made and fallen in love with over the past couple of months. Once I physically had recipes written, I headed into the Food Network test kitchens where I, with my culinary producer and other talented culinary staff began testing 60 recipes. We tested for over a week mostly had a lot of success. There are always adjustments to be made and small tweaks to recipes that make them even better. One of the best parts of this process is brainstorming back and forth with everyone in the kitchen. It’s truly amazing to be surrounded by a group of people who love food so much and have the ability to take the crazy ideas that they have in their heads and make them happen on a plate. It’s a privilege to be amongst the group.
We’re about a month away from filming and I cannot wait to share all of these delicious recipes. I loved the recipes that I shared on the first season, but let me tell you, the recipes this time around will have you wanting to jump through the television screen with fork in hand. We’ve put each recipe through a good amount of testing to make sure that all of the recipes will work beautifully for the home cook whether you live in New York City or North Ogden.
One last perk of hanging out in the Food Network kitchens is that you usually don’t leave empty handed. Take for example last Thursday…I walked out with Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Quail and Wild Boar Ragu. (thanks to Secrets of a Restaurant Chef that was filming in Studio A) Anne Burrell can cook, real good.