Sunday, August 9, 2009

Great Minds Think Alike

I didn’t get the call from The Food Network. Rest assured that while I may have acted all cool, calm and collected the first four days of our vacation I was totally anxious for my cell phone to ring. I’d worked my tail off to complete the massive application, filled with mini essays ranging from a couple of my original culinary tips to “what ingredient would you be” to “what was the most difficult time in your life”. Friends read it, offered suggestions and I improved it to the point that I was truly proud of what I was handing in. I couldn’t find two recent photos of me (since I am always the one taking the photos), so I handed in a smashing one from the last time Jeff and I went away solo (where I looked radiant) and one surrounded by my little ones who were two years younger than they are today. When I stood in line at the big NYC open audition I felt confident of my background and what I have to offer. So, after my allotted three minute Q&A on: who I am, my culinary background and why I want my own Food Network show, I went on my merry way, pretty confident that I had a great shot at being The Next Food Network Star. I mean, who wouldn’t want a show aimed at busy moms that taught techniques for family-friendly dinners where the ingredients can be flexible (particularly useful if your kid has had a meltdown in Aisle 2), assembly is quick, and most of the meals can be prepared ahead of time (passing along the knowledge garnered from my personal chef business)?

What I didn’t know when I pitched myself as their new “it” girl is that they’d already chosen the winner for the current season. The finale, which had taped well in advance, was going to air two days later. I sat across the table, so hopeful. But I didn’t have a crystal ball. The winner of the current season, Melissa d’Arabian, is also a warm, personable, friendly mom of little ones…with an MBA…who left the corporate world to follow her passion for food and cooking…who genuinely loves to see the “a ha” moment when she passes a cooking tip along to her fellow mom friends…and her recipes are quick, flexible and family-friendly. Her winning show, which debuted today, will teach you to cook for 4 for $10. She’s polished, but not slick. She is friendly, and real. It’s like having your friend pass along some of her culinary tricks and meal ideas.

One way to look at it: I am one season too late and I spent a lot of time and energy working towards a show aimed at moms, which the casting crew knew was a goldmine...and they’d found their gal long before I auditioned in NYC.

The flip side: the Food Network folks see the potential in this “busy mom” market, and while Melissa and I are pretty darn similar on paper, I still think there’s room for one more mom filled with knowledge, an appreciation for what is realistic when it comes to mealtime, and who likes to share these ideas with her friends…and their friends…and their friends. So, I am not giving up. Instead, I am going to relish another year of the stay-at-home-mom gig while my little ones are still little; I will continue The “Full Plate” Blog; and for those who would like some hands-on help, I’m aiming to launch my cooking lessons once the mayhem of the start of the school year lulls a bit.

Let’s let someone totally different—like someone who really knows their “localvore” knowledge and can present it in an attainable, sensible manner to folks across the country-- win this season. And by the time they cast for Season 7, I will have shared my knowledge with all of you for one more year and maybe they’ll be looking for a mom a lot like me. So, until then, I go back to the “mom-a-licious” mantra from when the blog started, where I mention I am try to do it all, and do it well. In addition to making homemade meals for my family, I want to raise happy, kind, confident children; be an interesting and interested wife; get back into shape; see my friends; volunteer in my community and children’s schools; stay abreast of what’s going on in the world; and stay grounded.


  1. We love you Eila! You're our star!!!

  2. Lisa CorradoAugust 11, 2009

    This sounds like a "not right now" rather than a "no". I'll bet you'll have your show in the near future.


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