August 14th, 2017
I received an email invitation on behalf of a production company. Apparently, they would be in the area “shooting a documentary-style show for Showtime focusing on an up-and-coming chef endorsed by Gordon Ramsey [sic].” Maybe that should have been my first clue that something was off, but it wasn’t. After all, if they want to use Ramsay as part of their pitch, spelling his name correctly should take priority. Or perhaps it was purposely written that way. The devil’s in the details, I suppose.
“We’re contacting you…” the email continued “… because you are one of South Florida’s most influential food critics. Your prose is fresh and evocative – you do a brilliant job of conveying your impression of South Florida’s restaurants. With that in mind we’d be honored to have you take part in our show. We would love for you to attend a private dinner with our chef, hear his story, offer advice, and (most importantly!) taste his food. Our cameras will capture this authentic interaction, which should take about 2 hours. We are looking for your honest and informed feedback.”
I’ve been very vocal about the Michelin Guide in Miami topic for several years now: here and here. Coincidentally, I’d filmed an interview for another Michelin-themed project just weeks prior to this offer. I wrongly assumed they’d compare. I couldn’t find much information online on the company, but I did briefly look at their website for validation: simple, polished, and professional. Check! In addition, Masterchef would be holding casting calls in town around the same time. I wrongly assumed this production company was related. Check! One week later, I interviewed over the phone with one of the
con artists producers for about 20 minutes. Charming and easy going Alexis inquired about my entire life in detail. The following week, I also spoke to sweet-as-apple-pie Julia who conducted another in-depth phone interview about all of my dining experience with special attention to any Michelin dining I’d done. Many emails, texts, an introduction selfie video request, and several other phone calls later, the filming date was set.
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