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TVFF Field Report: "Shopping with Chefs" Event
Sunday, December 09, 2007 | posted by Mike

Last week, we told you about an exciting opportunity to attend an event at the brand new Sub-Zero/Wolf showroom in Manhattan featuring Chefs Jill Davie and David Myers of Shopping with Chefs. We were also thrilled to be able in include a couple of TVFF readers for a fun night of wine, food and cooking demonstrations in an impressive setting.

Perhaps the most interesting moment of the evening was what I saw when I arrived. As I entered the showroom, I could see in the main demonstration area that Chefs Davie and Myers were doing their own prep work for the evening. That’s dedication to craft! I was introduced to them briefly, but figured it was best to leave them to their work.

The showroom was quite impressive, with state of the art ovens, refrigerators, ranges and wine cellars arrayed around the room and integrated into a number of different decors. I had a tough time imaging many of the appliances in my own kitchen, mainly because a couple of the appliances were actually as large as my kitchen. A number of the gadgets that had been recommended during episodes of Shopping with Chefs were also displayed around the room.

The crowd grew and the beginning of the demonstration grew closer, so we headed for a seat up front. The display area had a long bar with stools, but we headed for a counter a few feet behind that where you could stand and watch. I regretted not grabbing the stools because the chefs went without microphones and it got a bit difficult to hear them.

The demonstration itself was fun, with both Davie and Myers showing that they’re as adept at talking their way through a recipe as they are at executing it. The display area featured two large flat-screen monitors that took the place of the more common overhead mirrors. The menu for the evening was:

  1. Chef Myers – Butternut squash soup flavored with cardamom
  2. Chef Myers – Seared tuna au poivre garnished with dried olives
  3. Chef Davie – Chicken liver pâté
  4. Chef Davie – Chocolate fondue flavored with spices and cognac and served with dried fruit (leftovers from a gift basket, she suggested)

Servers brought around samples of each of the dishes, which were very good. The demonstrations themselves were loose and interactive, with people asking questions along the way. I had a chance to ask Chef Davie how to test the doneness of the chicken livers that she was searing, and she demonstrated the commonly-used “palm technique” for testing doneness of meat.

The real treat of the evening, however, was after the demonstration when I had a chance to chat with Chefs Myers and Davie. Upon introducing myself, Chef Davie confirmed my biggest worry of the evening…she had, in fact, seen the “fun with screen captures” post I had a few weeks ago. She was tremendously good-natured about it, although the fact that I turned bright red may have had something to do with it.

The two have a fantastic and playful rapport with one another, which is funny considering that they’re rarely on screen as the same time during the show. They downplayed their “TV celebrity” status and seemed genuinely down-to-earth. They also passed along some great news when they told me that they’ve just begun filming new episodes and that the chefs will have even more input into the recommendations this season.

The chefs were good enough to pose for a photo (which you can see up there on the left) and then the TVFF group (including NY Bureau Chief Jessica) headed over to enjoy some of the fondue. As we were hanging out and dunking dried dates into the chocolate, Chef Davie came by and chatted with us for about fifteen minutes, filling us in on her recent appearances, including Martha Stewart’s radio show and Tyra Banks’ talk show.

It’s clear, both when watching the show and seeing them in person, that Chefs Davie and Myers are polished food personalities with the potential for success in a wide variety of television formats – be it food lifestyle or cooking demonstration programs. Throughout the evening – whether it was while prepping their ingredients, interacting with the attendees during the demonstration or during relaxed conversations towards the end of the evening – they showed the easy likability and serious cooking chops that elevate Shopping with Chefs above most cooking shows out there.

(Check out the rest of the evening's photos in the slideshow below. Click any of them to see the larger version.)

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