Saturday, August 2, 2008

Rosemary's School for Cooks

Well, I'm just back from a 'slightly busy' week working on the final of 'Rosemary's School for Cooks' at Swinton Park in Yorkshire. The schedule was hectic to say the least but in a warped kind of way I had a really fun time - the crew are like an extended family, every single person was lovely and hilarious in their own special way, so they made it all worthwhile.

The series was produced by RDF Media, Bristol and is ftransmitted every week day at 4pm on ITV from the 27th of October for eight weeks. Rosemary Shrager is the star of the show of course and with her enthusiasm and talent for cooking she encourages the students to excel. Each of the first seven weeks starts off with a new batch of eight students. Students are eliminated throughout the week to give a finalist at the end of it. The seven finalists plus one lucky wild card student then head off for work experience with either Adam Bennet of Simpsons in Birmingham or Willie Pike from Loch Green House Hotel in Scotland. The eight finalists then return on week eight to win an amazing placement with michelin star chef Nigel Hanorth of Northcote Manor in Lancashire.

My role as Home Economist was to edit (and test on location) the recipes, highlighting the parts that the students might struggle with so the crew don't miss any juicy bits! I also source the ingredients for the students, presenting them in our back kitchen (farmers market style!) for them to come and collect. The day before the students cook each menu I am bustling away in the back kitchen preparing everything for pack shots the next morning. The plates of food from these hero shots are then revealed to the students so they can see what lies ahead for them that day, yikes! And then off i go again on the next days food as well as helping the students with what they are up to that day. It's funny that as the week goes on it starts to dawn on them what i am up to so they keep their eyes peeled for any hints of whats coming up the next day!

I don't know how much I can say about the final, which we have just finished filming, so i better not say much, other than the format is very different to last years. It was definitely a challenge to work on, but i buzzed on the pressure and somehow we all managed to pull it off! I am a bit relieved, as in pre-production I worked out schedules of how the students should tackle things to ensure they got through everything - on location i began to have my doubts, as it was a tall order but thankfully it worked, phew! Smiles and crazed wrap parties all round!

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