January 10, 2012
Volatile—and absurdly ripped—celeb chef Robert Irvine is a name and visage food TV freaks know well. The names Daniele De Marco, Chris Layhe, Beau Saunders and Tyler Burroughs, maybe not so much.
The former is the star of Food Network's Restaurant: Impossible, and a special guest at Monterey Bay Aquarium's 2011 Cooking for Solutions. The latter four are CSUMB Teledramatic Arts and Technology grads who all worked on an episode that shows 10pm Wednesday, Jan. 11 through local production house Chris Layhe and Associates, Inc.
The "impossible" task for the episode: To overhaul a family-run bistro on Pacific Street in Santa Cruz named Hoffman's (420-0135) that's more than $2 million dollars in debt.
"I was a film major and just graduated," Burroughs says. "Just seeing how a professional set is run was pretty cool."
Here are some other random trimmings and tasty insights from Burroughs on his debut reality TV experience…
What surprised him most: People are told reality TV is staged or scripted. It wasn't. "Almost everything actually happened," he says. "Very little was manipulated."
The best reaction from the Santa Cruz set: "Some guy tried to buy stuff from the crew's [staging] tent like it was a street sale," Burroughs says. "The guy was hoping for some nice chef gear." Apparently the strainer really turned the guy on.
What stuck out most about Chef Irvine: He yells at everyone. "The executive producers, the crew, the camera guys. Nobody is safe. It's not just for the cameras. If there's something wrong, he's really going to call you out."
What Burroughs has planned for the show's debut: To watch it with his college buddy he brought in to helpo. "There were so many cameras there. There was nothing that wasn't on camera. We're wondering if we're gonna be on it. It's a personal thing to us, not so much [a] social [scene]."
What he learned about food: "I learned a lot about how restaurants are managed. How restaurants have to analyze how much it costs to make a dish, and how they base prices accordingly so it's profitable. How they teach that is definitely interesting. Seeing all the costs involved—you go and buy a dish in the restaurant, you don't think of everything that goes into it: all the different ingredients, factoring in food loss, all of that, and the time, really. The longer it takes to prep, the less cost-effective it is."