Research thrills me. Really, it does. It’s the pursuit of the unknown and the satisfaction when I find it. I poke, prod, and peruse until the subject has received the complete attention it deserves.
Being versatile, flexible, and curious about anything related to food is what makes me tick.
“No one writes a book alone and I wasn’t foolish enough to try. Liz knows her stuff and what she doesn’t know she can find out. She’s fast, thorough, and accurate.”
– Nina Planck
Each ingredient in every basket for every show gets researched – history, flavor profile, how to buy, use and store, and anything else of interest. This information is then shared with the judges and host Ted Allen to provide a framework for their comments and expectations. It’s a ton of fun!
This show gave me a chance to dive deep into single subjects such as Hawaiian foods, Bar Food, and the world of noodles. The research was geared around the ideas the producers had for the content of the show, and sometimes brought new ideas to light
Throwdown with Bobby Flay
Based on production schedule and approved topics, I searched the country (via the internet and telephone) for strong characters to challenge Bobby in a cook-off, based on their credentials, personality, and location. The best casting tapes were then selected to pitch the network executives their story and get it produced.
A show is more than recipes. Producers rely on research, from the historical/cultural, technical, and culinary view, to write the scripts and provide talking points for the host. I had to find appropriate material that would explain complicated culinary information in an easy-to-understand format for the average viewer.
The United States of Arugula
David Kamp needed information on everything from home cooking trends in America to biographical notes on Poppy Cannon, a fascinating mid-century food writer. My research took me to the New York Public Library to peruse old James Beard cookbooks and big agribusiness reports.
Nina Planck & Nancie McDermott
From the scientific (peanut allergy data) to the historical (origins of the pineapple upside down cake), each of these authors had very specific research needs.