Today Show: The Fourth Hour
A large black car with comfortable leather seats and bottled water in the cup holders sat waiting to
leave with it’s passengers, my mom and me. We were whisked through the city and arrived at 15 Rock just on time: 9:20AM. Past security we walked into a medium sized room called the “Green Room” and sat down along with about six other people waiting to be on the famous Today Show. Adam Miller the producer met us there. We had done a pre interview together on the phone a few day before. He calmly explained to me that there would be a teaser and then I would on for three minutes. It seemed to me that being a producer, you not only had to put together the piece, but assure the subjects that everything was going to be alright. He did an excellent job getting me organized and ready for the shoot. Seconds turned into minutes and minutes into hours (meaning time dragged on for awhile before I was asked to sit down for the teaser).
Finally at 10:15 am I sat down at a round wooden table next to the big NBC kitchen with four set places and chairs. Three prepared dishes were on the table. One was a Buffalo Chicken Dip, recipe courtesy of Sarah’s mother. Another dish was Lemon Chicken courtesy of Kathie Lee. The last dish a dessert, Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting, was Hoda’s recipe.
The camera men were set up (with my mom and dad on the other side) and I was on in 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5,4, 3, 2, 1! I ate a tostito chip and that was it. Soon after the teaser Kathie Lee, Hoda and Sarah walked in with a sense of belonging and sat down at the table. Hoda started to talk to me and I of course became very nervous, but kept my cool. The camera man said, “ We’re on in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.” Live TV!
Mustering up my courage I spoke as confidently as I could. It’s hard to talk in front of three largecameras and three famous hosts. The meal went by very quickly. First we dipped our chips into the Buffalo Chicken Cheese dip. My chip broke and I couldn’t seem to pierce the top layer in time. Hoda saved me by giving her chip to me. I took a bite. Sarah shouted over the table, “Oh come on David.” I decided that Sarah’s mom really was a good cook. The 4 cheese dip was great. It was usable for a party or on an upscale restaurant’s menu. The complexity of the cheese, chicken and buffalo sauce really hooked me onto the dip.
Throughout the meal Hoda kept muttering 50 seconds, 40 seconds. I was relieved to hear that I wasn’t going to be cut off and had time to plan an ending to my reviewing. The next dish we gobbled down was the Lemon Chicken. Kathie Lee advised us that the chicken would be improved with more sauce. I
thought that the chicken needed
more flavor, but it also had a home-cooked taste that was unique.
Finally at about 30 seconds we dug into the Velvet Cake. I was told the cake was made with Betty-Crocker’s help. My fork wafted through the cake. It was neither good nor bad. When I hear cream cheese frosting I think of a sour-sweet thick frosting, not thin vanilla. At 15 seconds I was asked to choose my favorite dish from the three. I chose the dip. Kathie Lee cheered and we all clapped! It was over!
The cameras and the hosts moved on and I moved in to finish the Lemon Chicken. I was hungry and I decided it really was pretty good. Thank you Kathie Lee, Hoda and Sarah!
My mom and I walked over to sixth Avenue and 48th. We found ourselves facing a large window with someone inside frosting a big Velvet Chocolate cake! It was the new Magnolia’s bakery (recently opened on the Upper Side and originally in the West Village). How would my favorite cupcake bakery compare against Hoda’s Velvet Chocolate cake? I’ll have to go back and try it….