Welcome to the inaugural post of Food Studies Fridays! Every Friday for the next 10 weeks, I’ll be posting an interview with someone who works in the food industry as part of a final class project. (Yes, I’m in school, in case you missed that announcement. More info on that here.)
We’re going to kick it off this week with a very special guest from Food Network. Food media is a large part of my graduate program as many students go on to work at media outlets like Food and Wine Magazine, Food52, and Heritage Radio Network.
Without further ado, meet Madeline Langlieb, Programming and Development Executive at Food Network!
So I’m cheating a little bit because Madeline is one of my best friends. I’ve had the privilege of tagging along with her to many awesome food events. Here I am mooching off her in the VIP section of the Big Apple BBQ this summer:
In addition to keeping me well fed, Madeline is the Executive in Charge of Production for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, which was nominated for an Emmy this summer. Go Mads!
Q: How long have you worked at Food Network?
A: 5.5 years.
Q: How did you end up there?
A: My first job at a talent agency led me to my current company. I previously worked with talent and production companies that star in and create shows for Food Network. I was previously on the selling side, and now I get pitched shows and work towards getting them on TV.
Q: What are a few of the major challenges in your industry?
A: There are so many ways to get content, especially food based content. Be it on linear tv, on Instagram, blogs, Snapchat, Facebook, there seems to be more and more options for food focused content. Keeping up with trends and staying relevant is always top of mind. We try to create compelling shows that will entertain and inform our viewers.
Q: What are a few of the major pleasures in your work or industry?
A: A lot of people say I have the best job in the world, and I wouldn’t say that they are wrong. I get to work for a beloved network, and make entertainment for a living. I also get to eat and drink some pretty bomb stuff.
Q: What’s the most bomb thing you’ve eaten recently?
A: Milk ice cream with honey over freeze dried honeycomb from The NoMad!
Q: What skills do you use to be successful at work?
A: It all boils down to having great relationships, creativity, and being able to execute ideas.
Q: If there was one thing you could change about your work, what would that be?
A: I wish there were more hours in the day, both to produce new shows and to eat more food!
Thanks Madeline for being Interview #1! Tune in next week where I talk to a food entrepreneur who is disrupting pasta.