Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Introducing ‘Open Seating’

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

I’m pleased to announce that I’m the host of a new restaurant TV show on the CW 57 called “Open Seating.” It’ll be aired several times this week, with times and days listed below. Guests will be from restaurants, bars and specialty stores all over southwestern Wisconsin.

While I’ve been on TV before as a guest, it was interesting to be on the production side. My first meeting with the staff at CW 57 took place in March, when we discussed informally my experience, potential show formats and possible guests. We both decided not too long afterward to move forward with the concept.

In early May, I came into the studio to shoot a promo for potential advertisers. The CW 57 staff then went out to secure sponsorships and begin booking guests, with a target date for the first episode around August or September. In the meantime, I told everyone I could about the show.

By the end of the summer, we booked a few guests, and I returned to the studio in mid-August to shoot a pair of commercials. I decided to wear a suit and tie in those spots, because I thought, what the hell, I’m on TV now, so I’d better look good.

Last week, on a Tuesday afternoon, we filmed our first episode, with guests from Wonder Bar, Koffee Kup, Firehouse Subs and VOM FASS. With some unexpected down times in between guests, it took about four hours to shoot a half-hour episode. We’re hoping to get that down to two hours for four guests.

I had a lot of stuff running through my mind during the interview portion. I obviously had to pay attention to my guests and come up with follow-up questions as needed, I had to remember to try to sit up straight and I had to be cognizant of the time (1 minute left, 30 seconds left, 10 seconds left …). Also, eating and talking is not as easy as it looks on TV, plus it’s challenging to say something other than “this tastes good” after each bite or sip.

There wasn’t a monitor in the studio, so I didn’t actually see what I looked like on camera. Thus, I’m a bit nervous, and I’ll be watching it for the first time like everyone else when it airs this week.

I’m not sure when we’ll actually shoot the second show, as we were happy to get the first episode under our belts. I’ll be posting each episode to, and you can see behind-the-scenes photos on our Facebook page and chat with us on Twitter.

Hope you like the show!


Airing times (CT):

  • Sept. 23 – 6:30 a.m., 7 a.m., Noon
  • Sept. 24 – 4 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 25 – 8 a.m.
  • Sept. 26 – 4 a.m, 1:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 27 – 3:30 am., Noon
  • Sept. 28 – 4 a.m.

Wisconsin restaurants on TV

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

I’ve compiled a list of restaurants and bars in Wisconsin that have appeared on national television shows. Admittedly, I’ve only been to a handful of them, but I hope to visit some of these places this year.

Anchor Bar and Grill, Superior, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” – This was a viewer’s choice, so Guy Fieri didn’t actually go here in person to sample the burgers.

Franks Diner, Kenosha, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” – Guy Fieri stops by for breakfast and tries the Garbage Plate.

Ian’s Pizza (State Street), Madison, “Bizarre World” – Andrew Zimmern orders slices of Mac and Cheese and Lasagna pizza in his only Madison stop.

Mercado El Rey and Polonez, Milwaukee, “Bizarre World” – The former is a grocery store where Andrew Zimmern ate beef tongue. At Polish restaurant Polonez, Zimmern ate pierogies and duck blood soup.

AJ Bombers and Sobelman’s Pub and Grille, Milwaukee, “Food Wars” – In the battle of best cheeseburger, AJ Bombers was crowned king.

Old German Beer Hall, Milwaukee, “Appetite for Life” – Wearing lederhosen, Andrew Zimmern does the chicken dance with a polka band.

Elegant Farmer, Mukwonago, “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” – Usually Bobby doesn’t leave the New York area, so I was really shocked to see him in Wisconsin to have a pie throwdown.

Martino’s Italian Beef, Benji’s Deli, Red Rock Saloon, Milwaukee, “Man v. Food Nation” – Last year, Adam Richman visited Martino’s for the Italian combo and Benji’s for the Hear-O-Israel sandwich. At Red Rock, he coaches a contestant to take on the Unforgiven Challenge, which is a burger, fries and hot wings in 23 minutes.

Kroll’s West, Curly’s Pub, Champions Sports Bar and Grill,¬†Green Bay, “Man v. Food Nation” – Apparently Adam Richman enjoyed his time in our state, as he also went to Green Bay, where he enjoyed the buttered double cheeseburger and prime rib sandwich at Kroll’s West and the beer brat at Curly’s. At Champions, he coaches two contestants who get one hour to finish a six-pound burger in the Gravedigger Challenge, named after Gilbert Brown.

Solly’s Grille, Bacchus-Bartolotta Restaurant, Milwaukee, “No Reservations” – In his “Heartland” series, Anthony Bourdain learns about the buttery burger at Solly’s and eats, among other things, the beer cheese soup at Bacchus.

The Old Fashioned, Madison, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” – Troy Johnson raves about the cheese curds at The Old Fashioned as his All-American dish.

Super Bowl food commercials

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Here are some great Super Bowl food commercials I’ve enjoyed in the past. You won’t find obvious ones, like the Snickers-Betty White commercial. I wasn’t going to include any beverage-related, but Budweiser’s “Wassup” commercials had so many great follow-up spoofs that I had to mention it.

Whatever you do, just don’t try to eat what you see in these commercials, or you may gain 60 lbs.

    Madison Startups Gold's Gym Fitchburg Madison Local Shops
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