Spoiler alert: I’ve never filmed a show in my own home before… until now!
6 months ago, if someone told me I’d be filming Giada At Home 2.0 from my own house… with no crew… and all on an iPhone… I would have laughed. Many people think that’s how cooking shows are filmed – I guess we did a good job all these years! – but in reality, most are shot on a set in a production studio with a pretty extensive crew. There are professional lights, multiple camera operators, and lots of people helping to produce, cook, and take photos to make it all look seamless.
However, due to quarantine, the new season of Giada At Home is more literal than ever. If you’ve ever wondered exactly what it’s like day by day in my home, this show is it! There was a lot of cooking yes, but also pranks, bloopers and some cooking blunders along the way. I thought it would be fun to offer my Giadzy readers a behind-the-scenes look at just what went into shooting my new Food Network show at home- and lets just say, I have more respect for content creators now more than ever before!
I was really nervous about doing my own hair and makeup. I wasn’t nervous about my clothing but hair and makeup was a whole other story! I’m approaching 50 this year, and lets just say, the lights in my house are not very forgiving – and neither is 4k! I even debated whether to do the entire show in my reading glasses at one point. But luckily, my friend and makeup artist, Julie, gave me a virtual tutorial and showed me a few tricks, so fingers crossed it turned out okay!
This show was truly a family project. My family are always on my shows – they are the reason I fell in love with cooking, and the reason I stay inspired, but I’ve never shot a show WITH my family. It was just me, Jade, my boyfriend Shane, and occasionally my team member Natasha who would drop off groceries and supplies. We all had our specific duties – much to her excitement, Jade was on dish duty, which she eventually embraced enough to make up a name for one of her dish gloves (Meredith!). She also was the resident artist, and drew all of the artwork we used for the show! Shane was the camera man. He would also set up the lighting and tripods in the morning while I would get my hair and makeup ready. Natasha was the one running out to grab groceries, and would sometimes come help when we needed an extra pair of hands to hold up a light – or to film some behind the scenes footage!
We shot the entire show using 4 iPhones. No professional cameras this time around! We had a total of 4 iPhones and we placed them all around the kitchen. One was on a flexible tripod angled down on my cutting board so you could see all the food being chopped- but sometimes lived in the fridge for shots of me grabbing ingredients. We shot the wider shots of the kitchen by mounting two iPhones on small suction mounts- one to a cabinet and another to a wall. And lastly, the fourth camera was the one operated by Shane. He used this stabilizer tool that came in really handy – it created these miraculously steady shots, even when he was running backwards down the street trying to film Jade and I riding our bikes!
The recipes… and ingredients changed a lot depending on what we could find in the grocery store. Much like the rest of the country, we had a hard time finding ingredients. We had to change a lot depending on what we could find at the grocery store… for example, chicken breasts were nowhere to be found, so we used thighs! Finding eggs for the frittata in the first episode was a struggle, too – we looked for them for over a week. And yeast, well, that was out of stock everywhere… luckily, my neighbor had some and lent it to me. Thank goodness I didn’t burn the deep dish pizza though, because I only had one packet!
Speaking of burning things… I did that. A few times, actually. With so much to focus on and so many moving pieces happening, it was all too easy to forget about something in the oven and move on to the next thing. For instance, I had a loaf of banana bread in the oven and when we shot the next dish, I totally forget about it. We had to make the entire thing over again… and wait for it to bake… again! I burned the frittata, too. I should know better than to put something on broil and walk away, but it happens to the best of us!
We played a lot of pranks. Shane is such a jokester, and we definitely snuck in our fair share of pranks in between takes. There was one in particular where we tampered with Jade’s solar oven for her school science project- she had to see if an oven made of cardboard and foil would get hot enough in the sun to cook her egg. Well, she left for a bike ride and Shane and I cooked it, even seasoned it for some reason and put it back in and let her believe the it worked! We caught her reaction on camera, and it was so hilarious (I think you had to be there) — but the jokes and laughs were endless!
Now that you’ve got the inside scoop on what went on behind the scenes, I hope you’ll be extra excited to watch this very special season of Giada at Home 2.0! It premieres this Saturday at 12pm on Food Network – so be sure to tune in!