I was born and raised in Kansas and learned to cook alongside my mother. Now, along with my wonderful husband, I have taken the plunge into the city life in New York. These are my food adventures: in my own tiny kitchen, and in the many restaurants of the city.

Showing posts with label Equity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Equity. Show all posts

Friday, June 24, 2011

Craft Services, Wrapped

The final few days of shooting for Equity the Movie went by in a whirl of sleepless nights, hours in the kitchen, waiting around, friends, laughs, exhaustion, and good times.

Saturday evening I worked and then headed up to the shoot location in the Bronx to serve up a very late night meal of Wild Rice and Vegetable Soup and Broccoli, Raisin, Lemon Salad (the snacks out also included some snickerdoodles and beer cheese dip). I stuck around for the rest of the night to clean up and send along breakfast for the early morning shoot: muffin cup frittatas and bagels, and some Box 'o' Joes from Dunkin Donuts. Headed towards home at 7:30am.

Got in a couple of hours of sleep before starting all over again--a little bit of shopping and lots of cooking. Then waiting to load everything up into a car to lug off to the second shoot location in Brooklyn. This was definitely the toughest night for me, still feeling like I had so much to do and going on only about 3-4 hours of sleep. I was completely grumpy and no fun to be around, so after setting everything up for the shoot, I headed home for a bit of food, rest, and a glass of wine that was desperately needed. I admit that I had nothing of my own in the kitchen and there was no way I was cooking, so I ordered myself some delivery pizza. Just what I needed to come back to the set at 2am refreshed and ready to serve that night's meal: Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Sugar Snap Peas; and a side of Pesto/Garlic Cannellini Beans. Again it was time for clean-up and prep for the morning breakfast that would be at Battery Park: Tortilla Espanola and bagels, fruit and iced coffee.
Shooting through the door.
We all had Monday night off, which I think was essential to the rest of the shoot. I spent most of the day cooking the meals for Tuesday but then got to spend the evening drinking beers with friends.
The sun rising (I hadn't been to bed yet).
Tuesday dawned--the final day of shooting. All of my prep work was done for the day so all I had to do was lug the food up to the Upper West Side, buy some more water and ice, and set up. Then I got to sit back and watch and enjoy for the rest of the day as we shot in and around Riverside Park. The first meal was in the director and lead actress' home: Focaccia "pizzas" and a Garbanzo Bean/Tomato/Olive Salad. It was a really nice meal as we all got to sit around in the same room, chat, and chill before the long day of shooting began.
Focaccia Bread "Pizzas"

I loaded up some snacks (including no-bake cookies and chex marshmallow treats) and the cooler of water and a small folding table to lug around to the different shooting locations for the day. I enjoyed being able to finally watch the filming happening, and actually got to jump in as an extra in one scene (my career will blossom as the "Jogger". Woohoo!). The final meal took place in the shadow of the Soldiers' and Sailors' monument in Riverside Park. What a beautiful part of town!! I was able to heat up the meal back at the apartment before bringing it over to the park: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos and Yellow Rice with Corn. As the sun set, I packed up all my gear and headed home. I was wrapped.
Getting the shot..maybe...
This was such an incredible learning experience for me. I overestimated the amount food on all the meals, but probably could have had more snacks in between. I did, however, get really great use out of a lot of leftover ingredients putting them into salads or onto the focaccia pizzas. I should have had some better options for coffee serving (perhaps buying a large coffee serving pot would be beneficial next time around). Next time I definitely need better transportation options (it's no fun lugging a table and food on the subway or a case of water, coke, and ice blocks without a cart, and it's hard when the timing of the group transport doesn't work out like it was supposed to). BUT I also learned that I am capable of serving 10-16 people 7 meals and lots of snacks over 5 days in multiple locations. I am pretty damn proud of that. And I will carry that with me for a long time to come.
Lovely place for a meal.
(Once some recipes I used are typed up they will make an appearance here. Stay tuned!)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Craft Services, Step 3: After the First Night

It has been a whirlwind couple of days. At times it's been almost overwhelming, but thankfully I've still had fun (despite the anxiety riddled sleep, waking up multiple times thinking I'm forgetting something). I promise that I have a couple of actual recipe posts to put up here, but looks like they are going to have to wait until after the shoot.

Did a ton of shopping Tuesday and Wednesday, hitting up Trader Joe's, then the greenmarket, then the grocery store. The greenmarket was overflowing with bounty--it was hard to walk away with just what I needed. I was able to pick up a couple of extras though (including a fresh smoked cheese for the focaccia pizzas and some fava beans and garlic scapes for our own dinner). What a beautiful time of year to be at the market! At the grocery store I almost had a meltdown as I loaded up my cart with more and more items--it started to feel like way too much to do (and entirely too much to carry home). I parked my cart in the middle of an aisle, starting to feel the tightness in my chest of an impending panic attack, and texted Joe for some comfort, which was dutifully provided. Then one of the cashiers came to my rescue and told me of the free delivery they offer--thank god!
The state of my kitchen table.
Cooking went off without a hitch. Luckily I had that intricately planned out and was even ahead of schedule. The lasagna was oven-ready, salad greens washed and chopped, mini frittatas made, and soup ingredients cooked off and ready to be assembled on-site.
Lasagna with Rainbow Chard
Mini Frittatas
Friday came and it was time to load up into the car to the Bronx. Of course it started raining as soon as we started loading things out the door. Then it stopped for the (longest car ride of my life through terrible traffic) trip, and started down pouring once again once we were blocks from our unloading point. :::sigh::: With some wonderful help, we were unloaded quickly and I was able to get set up.
The crew at work.
The night passed in a flurry of friends old and new, last minute preparations, and then finally sitting down to the first meal: vegetarian lasagna with layers of rainbow chard and a salad of mixed greens, pomegranate, and sunflower seeds. The snacks were set out to keep the cast and crew going through the rest of the night's shoot, including a homemade hummus, party mix, and peanut butter cookies. Fed and (I'm pretty sure) happy, the crew set to work on the first shots of the film.
Snacks (despite my cooking efforts the Doritos were the most popular thing there)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Craft Services, Step 2

Shooting begins in less than a week for Equity the Movie, in which I will be the on-set caterer. What's the next step in my preparations? Freaking out.

Just kidding. Kind of.

I have spent so much time prepping, planning, organizing, going over details again and again in my head. I'm almost positive that I'm ready. It's just the thought of actually executing all those details that starts to get to me. I've prepared many meals for larger groups and once even catered an event for 90 with just one other person--but I've never had to cook for 10-12+ (up to 20 on one day!) multiple days in a row for multiple meals in multiple locations. But, I think I'm as ready as I'll ever be.

Tomorrow I am meeting with the producers, director, and assistant director to nail down some final details and hopefully get the rest of my questions out of the way. The biggest things for me are making sure to know what time food should be ready (so they don't have to miss important filming time) and figuring out how to transport loads of food around the city. Then the week will be spent shopping and preparing any of the snacks I can make beforehand (trail mix and cookies, for instance). I will be double checking that I have all of the extras at hand (plates, flatware, loads and loads of coffee). I will be checking and double checking with my expenses, making sure to stay within budget. Then Friday I will be heading to the first set, food in hand, ready to serve it up for the first night of shooting! For all the fear, there's also a lot of excitement.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Craft Services, Step 1

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I was asked to be the on-set caterer for Equity The Movie. I have spent much time lately getting myself prepared for the task.

My first line of business is the research phase. I've started off by contacting the cast and crew to find out food preferences/allergies. No point in planning a weeks worth of food that no one can eat! So far I know I have one vegetarian, one person who does not eat red meat, and one gluten-free individual. I could prepare separate meals for different people, but I feel overall it will be more cost effective to have one meal that fits everyone's preferences-- if at all possible. There may be times where this strays, but for the most part I'm sticking to this plan. Also, keeping things (at least mostly) vegetarian will also save some major bucks.

I also have been trying to work out all of small logistical details. When are we shooting? Where? Will I have access to a kitchen/power/fridge/etc.? How many full meals will be needed for each day? How many people will need to be fed? How will I transport everything? Do I need to find a table/coolers/etc.? A lot of these answers are still in the works as the film crew is still location scouting and working out the finer details for themselves. I do know, however, that the shoot will last 6-7 days towards the middle/end of June and I will be feeding around 10 people per day. I have a basic idea of the budget and know where at least 2 of the shoots are located (and have already cooked in the kitchen at one locale, fortunately). I'm trying to work around the rest of the questions as I wait for the answers to come in.

The majority of time has gone into brainstorming what I want to serve. I have lists and lists of foods for different meals and snacks, most vegetarian and many gluten free. I have spent a lot of time over at Gluten- Free Girl and Simply Gluten-Free to gather some ideas and to better understand gluten-free cooking. I have a file for recipes for the dishes that I've been hunting down so I can keep them all in one place. Since the executive producers would like the food to be as local and organic as possible, I'm also looking into what will be in season when we shoot and creating recipes with those in mind.

Next up I need to narrow down and decide on the basic outline of what I will serve each day so I can seek out prices and put together the budget. The budget is small, but any amount not spent on food will just go back into the film and getting it out to the world to be seen--so I'm trying my best to keep costs low! I need to make a couple of trips to markets to do some pricing to help make sure I'm keeping inbounds. I also need to start gathering all of the little items that will be necessary but are easy to get out of the way now: flatware, plates, cups, napkins, trash bags, towels and the like. With about five weeks left until the shoot begins, it's time to get down to business!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Equity The Movie

I am very excited to announce that this summer I will be acting as the on-set caterer for Equity the Movie. This is a project put together by a group of my very talented college friends. "A suspenseful drama, Equity is a timely and relevant short film that explores the endless sacrifices parents are forced to make in times of economic turmoil."

I am thrilled to be part of the crew. My job will be to provide meals and snacks to the cast and crew during the week of filming. The producers want to make the set a healthy one and do more than just order pizzas for the shoots so I will be working hard to provide healthy, organic, local (when possible) meals with a very limited budget. I will also have to work around and with the diets and restrictions of all of those involved. I am looking forward to the challenge! Over the next two months as I plan and prep for the shoot I will be blogging about the experience here, so continue to check in for reports.

Please head over to Equity the Movie to read about the film and to IndieGoGo to help donate to the project!