“5, 4, 3, 2…”

Dallas FOX Demo

Texas was a blast! Everyone there is so nice. We were in Fort Worth at the Central Market, which by the way is AWESOME. They had everything there. I’m sorry to say this because I am a huge fan of Whole Foods but this place kicked ass. They had produce there that is very hard to find. The store was huge. It was like being a kid in a candy store…I wanted everything. The minute we got there the chefs that run the cooking school above the store gave us a tour. This was no ordinary tour my friends. This was a VIP all you can eat and drink tour. If we as little as pointed to something it was being opened and served to us. “what kind of beer is this”  POP, within seconds it was being poured into a glass for us. “dehydrated whole garlic? I’ve never had these” wrapper comes off the packaging and 2 seconds later I’m popping one in my mouth. It was very cool. You’ll hear me say this time and again, it’s a wonderful perk in our industry.  They showed us the kitchen where we would be prepping for the event. It had everything we needed.

The day I landed which was the day we got the awesome VIP tour I had to prep for a very early segment that was taking place in Dallas about 45 minutes from Fort Worth the next morning. I had to jump right in and start working. Mind you I flew in from the Bahamas and was up at 3am for a very early flight to Fort Worth. I landed, checked into the hotel, went to Central Market, sipped on some beer, checked out the kitchen and started prepping. After, I came back to the hotel had a light dinner then went to bed. I woke up at 4am to pick up the food and equipment to drive it to Dallas for the FOX segment the next morning. I was exhausted. We all were. Stephanie and Jen met me there later that morning. The segment went as usual. Fast. Easy. Oh wait, one major hiccup. When I got to Central Market to pick up the food and equipment it was in a cart ready to go. I figured it was all there. I have been doing this for many years and I should have known better but it was early and I was tired. I packed it into the trunk without checking and went on my way. As I was unpacking at the studio I quickly noticed a pot missing. Why didn’t I notice this early? A pot that had the ragu in it I made the day before was sitting in the fridge at Central Market doing me no good. My heart sunk. Shit. Fuck. The pot was left behind in Forth Worth 45 minutes away! And traffic was only going to get worse. I frantically searched my bag for the contact at Central Market. I called and luckily the woman I needed to speak too picked up. “Molly, holy shit” I said. I explained the situation. She was busy apologizing for forgetting to pack it and I was busy apologizing for not checking. “Shit happens I said, let’s just get it here” I had a little over an hour before we were on air, LIVE. I rolled the dice with this one having faith it would get there in time. I needed this pot with the ragu. It was crucial. We were showing stages of the recipe since these segments only last a few minutes and Stephanie wouldn't have time to finish the dish on camera. I needed the “done” ragu for display and for the anchors to taste. I had her send someone right away. I was so nervous about the traffic. It was a close call. I mean I’m talking minutes. The pot arrived and I ran it to the studio, placed it on the stove top and within minutes I heard “5, 4, 3, 2…” It was only then that I took a breath. God, I love my job.

That evening was the actual event back in Fort Worth. It was a pretty large menu. We had about 8 stations set up for tasting and we were expecting 300 people. I spent the rest of my day with Mario (line cook from Girl and the Goat – great guy) prepping for the event. With the help of some volunteers and the chefs from the cooking school we pulled it off. They did a lot of the prep in advance so thanks to them we were looking good. Well, of course something went wrong. I mean, why not after the morning I had? Why not throw another wrench into my mix? One of the dishes was a smoked and braised goat, a last minute addition to the menu that Stephanie added the day before. This takes time. Goat has to be cooked low and slow. We smoked it in the morning then put it in the oven right away to braise with plenty of time, so we thought. It just took forever to cook. We kept checking it but it wasn’t where we wanted it. We gave it until 6pm. The guests were to arrive at 6:30pm. That gave us 30 minutes to shred the meat and reduce the braising liquid. 6pm rolled around and I checked the goat. It was finally done. It could have went a little longer but it was good to go plus we were running out of time. I had Stephanie taste it and she approved. We reduced the shit of the braising liquid over high heat as quickly as we could. You can’t rush that process it just boils away as you impatiently wait. Kind of annoying when you need it right away. You walk by it a million times and watch it boil. Nothing you can do. Once we were happy with the consistency we mixed it with the meat and sent it out to the station a little late but no one noticed. Of course the headache dish was the favorite of the night. Definitely worth the time. It was so good.

It was a good time to be in Texas that night. I got to watch the Rangers almost clinch the World Series. Great baseball that night. That would have been awesome to experience had they won but we manage to party that night without the win. The Cardinals went on to win the World Series.

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