Chat Chow TV sprung onto the web in mid-April, bringing weekly video interviews with the people behind Miami's restaurant industry. The site is run by Giovanny Gutierrez, a local web developer, his fiancée Lauren Bernat - who became a hit on YouTube a few years ago when Gutierrez posted a video of her doing the hula on Wii Fit - and the couple's friend, Emely Jimenez, who has a desserts blog.
So far Bernat has interviewed Ortanique's Cindy Hutson; Michael's Genuine bar manager Ryan Goodspeed; Wayne Eldred, Tarpon Bend's general manager; and Bernie Matz of the Cafe at Books & Books. A new video is posted weekly.
New Times: How did the idea to do Chat Chow come about?
Lauren Bernat: Well, it was Gio and I are both are really big foodies. We love food and we love trying new places and Gio is a real big geek -- I call him that. It's not a cooking show. It's about people in the industry, about talking to people.
What was the thinking behind it?
Giovanny Gutierrez: Thinking behind Chat Chow was that I personally love food, I'm big on Yelp, Miami has some amazing restaurants but there's very little video content and none really on the people in the industry. Very few interviews with the cogs that run this big machine that is a multi-million dollar business. I wanted to meet them... see what inspires them every morning, find out where they see Miami in 10 years and even everyday things like what would they buy at the supermarket if they had only five dollars.
What do you hope to accomplish through it? What do you want to bring to viewers?
GG: I'm just happy to see people getting into the show, subscribing on YouTube, commenting on the videos, etc. It's great to know that viewers are interested and care for the content.
Lauren, you've been on TV quite a bit for other reasons but had you done this type of on camera interviews before?
LB: I figured it would be fun to jump on. Now I'm on the opposite side; I'm the interviewer, not the interviewee. This is a little more difficult because the idea of this show is [to have] people chatting. We're looking at each other, not at the camera. The hardest thing I have to deal with is asking the right questions, and being quiet and not interjecting. It's for fun. I want to learn and grow.
How does the filming work?
LB: Usually what we do is we pack them all in one weekend. That's the most effective right now for everyone's schedule. We schedule eight episodes in two days. It's hard work, man. You have to make yourself different for each episode, choose what to wear, different make-up. We make it happen but it's tough. At the end of Sunday I'm exhausted and your weekend is gone. But it's fun because you get to eat and drink and meet such cool people.
Where do you like to eat in Miami?
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LB: Nowadays, we love Indian and we go to Mint Leaf a lot. In no particular order, we love sushi, we eat sushi a lot and Mr. Yum has always been good to us. Mandolin is a good one that we hit up quite frequently. You know what we visited recently that was good? Crumb [on Parchment]. The desserts were great, reasonable prices. We had this peach cobbler that was awesome. A great veggie burger: Houston's. Michael's is always a classic.
What can people expect on the show in the coming weeks?
LB: We're interviewing Douglas Rodriguez this weekend, Mark Zeitouni from The Standard. We're filming Jonathan Lazar from Sustain; we're doing The Local. Angela Garcia, she's a pastry chef. We try to run the gamut of people. You know instead of Michael [Schwartz], how about Ryan?