Food Studies Fridays: Interview 1 – Food Network Exec

FOODSTUDIESFRIDAYS

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!

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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:

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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!

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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!

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Actual footage of me right now.

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.

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The Museum of Ice Cream is as great as it sounds

OMG did you know there’s a Museum of Ice Cream now in New York City? Are you just finding out about this? Do you think that would be a fun thing to do?

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Too bad. By the time the news hit The New York Times, all 30,000 tickets for the limited-time, summer-only pop up museum were sold out.

Thanks to being a loyal Gothamist reader, I found out about the museum on July 9th and promptly bought four tickets at $15/each face value. I put my tickets up for sale last week on Craigslist for a day for $150, a 900% markup, just to see if they would sell. I had 5 inquiries within 24 hours, and one threatening email telling me, “That’s honestly ridiculous, greedy and downright outrageous. I hope you have zero luck selling these tickets.” While the lady had a point, she clearly didn’t realize how far people are willing to go to experience this limited-time engagement.

If you’re shit out of luck and don’t want shell out one hundred fifty smackaroos, don’t fret: Little Girl Big Mouth is here to show you exactly what you’re missing. Sorry. (Not sorry.)

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Room 1: Ice cream! That you eat!

I had a pretty deep rooted fear that the Museum of Ice Cream was just going to involve looking at ice cream and talking about ice cream and there wouldn’t be any real ice cream consumption. Thankfully, my suspicions were proved wrong within two seconds of entering the building. You start the tour with a custom scoop of ice cream made especially for the museum.

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Blue Marble with Kellogg’s: Organic Vanilla with Froot Loops, Lime Zest, Marshmallows, Passion Fruit Jam

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Scoop shot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Different local ice cream vendors will be offering scoops of custom creations depending on when you visit the museum. Scoop schedule:

7.29 – 8.8: Blue Marble & Kellogg’s
8.10 – 8.15: Oddfellows Ice Cream Co.
8.17 – 8.22: McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream & Maman
8.24 – 8.31: Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
8.8 & 8.15: Black Tap

Room 2: Edible balloons that aren’t ice cream but are still fun

This room is called the “cone room” because it’s decorate with a bunch of waffle cone paraphernalia, but the real star of the show is the candy balloon filled with helium that they hand each patron. The balloon is pretty sticky and disgusting but the results are fun:

Room 3: Creating the world’s biggest sundae with freakish non-melting ice cream

This room was a dud. They tell you some history about ice cream and then ask everyone to pick up a sticky scooper and spoon out some magical non-melting ice cream to throw on top of a goblet. You don’t get to put anything in your mouth in this room, so it is inherently less fun. They also encourage you to take a selfie with the oversized bowl of unknown substance. Non-melting ice cream is an abomination and it upsets me.

 

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I know I look happy but I am truly terrified of the non-melting ice cream

Room 4: The chocolate room, where you can put things in your mouth again

Chocolate! Everyone loves chocolate! This was mostly a space filled with projector screens showing images of flowing liquid chocolate. There was a chocolate fountain in the corner but they tell you in advance not to touch it or drink from it, which I get for hygenic reasons, but still a bummer. Thankfully, there are individually wrapped Dove chocolates all over this room for you to eat while marveling at the melting imagery on the walls.

Room 5: This is what you came for: the (fake) sprinkle pool

The sprinkle pool at the MOIC is probably going to be in the top 5 things instagrammed in NYC this summer. The museum has been pushing this image hard in their promotional efforts, and for good reason: the thing is pretty fucking cool and everyone looks glamorous in a backdrop of rainbows. The caveat: it’s not real sprinkles. The pool is filled with little plastic beads that you find in between your toes hours later. Next to the pool, there are plastic bins filled with gummies, more chocolate, and other sugar delivery devices, so you can literally have your cake and eat it too, or in this case, have your candy and eat it in a pool full of imitation sprinkles.

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Dad wondering what the hell this is

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Even if I paid $15 just to get this photo, kind of worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Room 6: Take this pill and eat this ice cream that came out of nowhere, you’ll be fine, I swear.

As you enter this room, an attendant gives you a pellet of concentrated synsepalum ducificum, more commonly known as magic berries (you can buy them on Amazon for $15/pack). The chemicals in the pellet bind to the sweet receptors on your tongue and make sour food taste sweet for about a half hour. To test the effects, a spooky glove-covered hand appears from behind a wall and hands you tart frozen yogurt and lemon slices.

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Room 7: Tinder is here for some reason

The final room is sponsored in part by Tinder, which doesn’t have much to do with ice cream, but okay sure we’ll go with it. There’s a giant ice cream sandwich you can swing on and an ice cream scoop see-saw. But, again, nothing to put in your mouth, so kind of a lackluster finale.

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My parents are actually pretty cute on this giant ice cream sandwich

So that’s the museum! I got to put things in my (little girl big) mouth in 5 out of 7 rooms, and that’s more than I get in a normal museum, so this was an overall win. Go team!

 

 

BREAKING NEWS: TRADER JOE’S IS COMING TO MURRAY HILL

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I’ve lived in Murray Hill for over 5 years. I’m not proud of it, but I’m not NOT proud of it.

When I first moved in, there was an overpriced, cramped D’Agostinos and a smelly, generally upsetting Gristedes. Times were bleak.

In 2012, Fairway arrived like a shiny beacon of prepared food-laden, produce-stacked hope. The subterranean space revolutionized my grocery game. But the cheap frozen foods and cheery Hawaiian-shirt clad staff of Trader Joe’s was still 13 blocks away. Much too far for a Little Girl with Big Bags of food.

(Also there was this one time where a Trader Joe’s checkout guy asked me out via a note in my bag of apples and we went out once and he told me his hobbies included drawing graffiti in subway tunnels but that is neither here nor there.)

EVERYTHING IS ABOUT TO CHANGE. Trader Joe’s is moving into the old Food Emporium space on 32nd and 3rd Ave in fall of 2016. Looks like I’ll be staying in my apartment in Fratty Hill for the rest of my life. Check out the original article below for more details:

Trader Joe’s Coming to Kips Bay – DNAinfo

We’re just waiting on you now Wegmans.

A Short Video Series: LGBM and Family Eat Weird New Zealand Gas Station Treats

While traveling with my family through New Zealand, we picked up some traditional and newly developed Kiwi snack foods at a local gas station. This gas station wasn’t quite as special as the one in Australia because that one had kangaroo tails in the freezer next to the ice cream.

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While we didn’t buy the frosty Aussie appendages, my family members were kind enough to sample their other New Zealand snacks on camera. Varying results below.

SPOILER ALERT – Pineapple lump face:

THE FULL REACTIONS:

Pineapple Lumps

Vanilla Shake M&Ms

L&P

LGBM is going DOWN UNDER!

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G’day mates. As of this Friday, I will be embarking on a two week journey to Sydney and Ayers Rock in Australia and Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand with the fam. I will eat shrimp on the barbie and Vegemite (but not really) and whatever they eat in New Zealand. Are there kiwis in New Zealand or just the birds called kiwis? Is that an ignorant question?

Also, THIS:

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Baonana Split aka fried bao w/ice cream, fresh bananas, salted peanuts & Nutella from Belly Bao in Sydney. Yaaaaaaassss.

Any other reccos?

Grilled Cheese and Entrepreneuship: My article in the Cornell Alumni Magazine

In an unbelievable stroke of luck, the Cornell Alumni Magazine let me write an article about my favorite thing in the world: grilled cheese. Spencer Rubin ’08, owner of Melt Shop, spoke with me about his adventures in cheese grilling and what it takes to start a fast casual empire. This is what it looks like in print in the July/August issue, out now:

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You can read the full article online here: Earl of Sandwich

Celebrate America with Melted Cheese and New Restaurants

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You can’t blame Boehner for getting emotional – that is some sexy cheese. I also may have cried while eating it.

Get out of your backyard (if you’re lucky enough to have one) and head to one of these new or newish restaurants in NYC.


Santina

This new hot spot right under the High Line is always full of beautiful, trendy people. The palm trees and colorful dishware make you feel like you’re on the Mediterranean coast. The food is light but pricey – buyer beware.

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Cecina with avocado trapenese. Fancy words for chickpea pancake with Mediterranean guac.

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Kale salad

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Tortellini sorrentina – goat cheese tortellini

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Bonus round – Cocktail: Manganelli punch. Comes in a fun pineapple great for taking hilarious “Look I’m drinking out a pineapple!” pictures.

Get it here: 

Santina – 820 Washington Street


Upland

Everyone’s been raving about this new Flatiron place for dinner, but I actually liked it better for brunch. And the room glows with gold light so it makes you feel like your robbing the gold bar supply from a bank. A delicious, heavy breathing-inducing bank.

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Pastry Basket – house-made grapefruit pound cake, baguette, bacon and chive scones, cinnamon sugar donuts, lemon poppy muffin, butter + jam

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Spanish frittata – roasted garlic mayonnaise, espelette + chives. A Spanish tortilla masquerading as a frittata. Still good.

Get it here: 

Upland – 345 Park Ave South


Maman

I’m gonna start some shit when I say this: Maman is the new Levain Bakery. If you don’t feel like shlepping to the Upper West Side and waiting on a 20 minute line for a cookie, Maman’s are just as good.

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Chocolate chip walnut cookie

Get it here:

Maman – 239 Centre St


Gato

This is Bobby Flay’s newest Spanish influenced NYC restaurant. Most of my pictures from here came out really shitty because I had just gotten a new camera and didn’t know what the hell I was doing, so here’s one of the most popular and unique appetizers: scrambled eggs.

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Scrambled eggs, almond romesco, boucheron cheese, tomato confit toast

Get it here:

Gato – 324 Lafayette St


Root and Bone

Southern food is my favorite type of food. I have an unrefined palate and I don’t like sushi or clams or beef tartare or basically anything that “foodies” should like. I might be the worst, but Root and Bone is the best.

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Apricot and ricotti bruschetta

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Grilled peach caprese – gooey pimento cheese croquette, charred peaches, pickled green tomatoes, baby heirloom tomatoes, basil & molasses vinegar

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Macaroni and cheese – big pasta, crunchy cheese & biscuit thyme crust

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Fried chicken & waffle sandwiches – whisky maple syrup, pickled green tomato, watercress, on a cheddar cheese waffle. We didn’t even order this but they brought it to us by mistake and I wasn’t mad.

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Crispy chicken biscuits – tabasco pepper jam, jar of pickles & root chips

Get it here:

Root and Bone – 200 E 3rd St


Raclette

The mothership. This shoebox in the East Village has literally 6 seats in it. You order a plate of vegetables, potatoes, and meat, and they come by with this giant wedge of hot cheese and melt it on top of your food. They have a few other things here but why bother: you know why you came.

They’re doing a solid business in takeout, which I don’t really understand, because how does the cheese melting work? Does the delivery guy come with the wedge of cheese and the contraption that melts it and do it for you in your living room while you watch your 5th episode of Law and Order SVU? Or, much worse, is the cheese pre-melted? Just do yourself a favor and get here ASAP.

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Get it here:

Raclette – 195 Avenue A