Kevin Sorbo (aka hercules) & Elizabeth Reaser, shooting at Alexanders on 30th, North Park
Aside from my busy veg adventures with opening the San Diego location of Nature’s Express, I’ve been doing some black market catering. Well not really, but I have had the opportunity of a lifetime. There is this new TV show, and the lovely lead actress just happens to be a vegan. Since the show is being filmed right here in San Diego, they needed someone to provide on set food for the actress, Elizabeth Reaser, playing the role of Bella.
When this first fell into my lap, I thought it was a one time gig. Turns out they needed more vegan goodness then I had dreamed of.
The show revolves around Bella, an early thirties woman who is trying to find ‘the one’. She meets a fortune teller that tells her she has one year, or she’ll never be getting hitched. the catch is that she has supposibly already met the one. So like most single women out there, she starts a list. The Ex-List. Each episode is centered around Bella reconnecting with a former ex boyfriend. Not a terrible idea for a sitcom.
So whats a vegan actress to do when a scene calls for food, and there’s no way she’s bitting into something thats not vegan? Well, she gets a personal vegan chef to cater her every acting bite! How darn cool.
Tea Platters in the wonderbread factory
I’m not sure if I should be posting these pics, but oh well. It’s too fun to not write about. I’ve done about 10 different dishes for the series so far, and up until 2 weeks ago, I didn’t even feel comfortable taking pictures on set. So far I’ve done vegan eggs benedict, penne a la vodka, chocolate cakes, thai stir-fry, cookies, gourmet dinner for 2, omlettes tea platters and a carpacchio salad. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it’s not just one plate each. Every time they shoot a scene they film the shot from 4 different angles. Which means the food has to look the same every time. So for the one vegan chocolate cake, I needed to make 6. And so on.
There is usually a ton of leftovers, that everyone wants to take home, or I end up bringing to the treehouse kids…. lucky vegans. Its crazy to think about how much time, and energy go into a single 23 minute episode. From hair & make up to lighting and sound. It really does take a lot of manpower. It was so great to see all the beautiful places in San Diego turned into a TV sitcom. Newport beach, cool restaurants and pubs, and one of my most favorite places in all of San Diego, the mission hills nursery.
Heirloom tomato Carpaccio with vegan mozzarella, and balsamic reduction
In the end, the show started getting bad reviews, and CBS decided to cancel it. The Ex List had a total of thirteen episodes whom all aired on French-Canadian television in 2009.
Elizabeth went on to star in the motion picture Twilight, playing the role of Edwards’ ‘mother’. And I returned to dividing my time between Ritual Tavern, and Nature’s Express, yet again.
In the time of 2 months I received 5 paychecks from FOX studios. After hanging them on the fridge to show my personal A+, they will be framed, and saved in the grandkids box. Gold star for me.