Eat Street, the Cooking Channel show that features America's best and craziest food trucks, was in Miami this weekend to film three of Miami's favorite food trucks.
Eat Street's format has local food writers and bloggers describing their city's food scene and the trucks, so I was asked to provide truck-by-truck commentary Here's a little rundown of filming.
Friday 1 p.m.: Though Mr. Good Stuff's lunch service at Coconut Grove is being filmed, call time for the crew and the truck was early in the morning. Filming took place from 8 a.m. right through to 2 p.m. Food prep interviews and shots of partners Alfredo Montero and Julio Garcia cooking their Lunas are in the can well before the first customer.
The weather is overcast and soupy, but that doesn't stop the crowds from coming out. The Grove Harbor Marina is lively with the activities of people ordering and eating. It's my turn -- I get a mixto, a luna of half SOB (brisket), half the Redonk-a-donk (meatloaf). The crew gathers around as I first talk about the food truck scene in general, then about Mr. Good Stuff. Then it's time to eat.
There's nothing more daunting than having a boom mike shoved in your face as you're trying to tear off a hunkful of meat from an overstuffed Luna. There's one especially uncooperative onion that refuses to be swallowed and its dangling from the side of my mouth as the camera zooms in for an extreme closeup. The only thing I'm thinking is that Angelina Jolie has nothing to worry about, because I'm not replacing her any time soon.
Sunday 3 p.m.: The crew has already filmed Dim Ssam a Gogo yesterday at Wynwood. They're now at Kendall Car Wash where a mini-roundup has formed around Latin Burger's two trucks. CheeseMe, Sugar Rush and Fish Box are there to show solidarity and serve a late lunch to the crowds, who come out in the extreme afternoon heat.
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The Eat Street crew is interviewing LB owner Jim Heins when I arrive. They then film some customers eating and describing their food experience. Once again, its my turn. An old pro at this, I order a Latin macho burger and chicken mole taco and wait to be called. When the food arrives, once again its time to talk...and eat. One bite's not enough for the camera and I find myself shovelling half a burger into my yaw as Kiro the director asks me questions. It's a lot like when you're at the dentist and he tries to strike up a conversation. Only tastier.
What did I learn? Eating on camera can be nervewracking. Think of every date or business lunch you've ever had where you worried about food between your teeth or talking with your mouth open....now picture that being turned into a YouTube video gone viral!
Still, it was great fun. I'll be waiting for a call from Food Network to host my own show any day now... any day...