One hundred episodes is a milestone for any television show, but when it is a cooking show where the star has a day job as a Broadway producer and doubles as the show’s producer and editor it is truly an unbelievable accomplishment. Candy Gold, a lifelong Newton resident, joined NewTV five years ago after a now-famous New Years Eve attempt to find Dick Clark’s Rockin Eve on television landed her on NewTV with a call for show ideas. She looked at her husband and said, “I should do a cooking and wine show on local cable, why don’t I give them a call?” Days later she became a member and began taking classes. Her first episode was filmed in April andNeighborhood Cooking with Candy Gold premiered in August.
Though the idea for the show came to her quickly, starring in a cooking show wasn’t something Candy was destined for since birth. “I was raised on TV dinners,” She explains. “My mother did not cook and I would have never cooked.” That started to change when Candy had her first child. “We had a baby and I was like we can’t order pizza for the infant. I started doing it but I had no idea I’d be good.” After her freelance reporting work dried up in 2008, she pursued a wine certification at Boston University for career advancement. Now, even after the success of her show, she continues to learn from her guests and in more formal settings, “I’m a home taught chef. I didn’t go to school for this so I try to take classes when I can.” She has visited vineyards and taken cooking classes in cities such as Madrid, Valencia, Paris and New York. “In Orvieto, Italy we spent a week working in a kitchen and in a restaurant. It was not a glamor vacation. We went truffle hunting – it was pretty intense.”
A lot of effort goes into producing an episode ofNeighborhood Cooking with Candy Gold, so usually she produces one a month given how busy she and her crew are and all of the time it takes. The first step is to book the guest. Usually, four to six episodes are shot in one weekend, so it becomes a puzzle to fit everyone into time slots. Next, Candy works with the guests to figure out the recipes. They have to be set up in stages; for example if it’s a cake the guests bring the cake already made but not frosted and they prepare a cake on camera, then they take out the already made cake and prepare the frosting and frost that cake. Other times they use the grill or cook in real time on the stove. Once she knows what’s being made, she contacts Whole Foods, who sponsors the show by providing food. Next, she does the prep work, which means measuring each ingredient out in little glass bowls and organizing them. The shoot uses two cameras: A roll is for just the people and B roll shoots down on the food. After a weekend of shooting, Candy comes in and edits on Final Cut Pro. “I’m an editing joke.” She laughs. It takes 5-6 hours to edit each show when every step is taken into account. So, though she shoots many shows at a time, a final product might not be finished for months.
After one hundred episodes, Candy has a lot of great memories from production. One of her favorite shows was when her kids were the guests. They have both taken classes at NewTV and have helped out with the show throughout the years. Other favorites are when her friends come on because, “we can short hand and giggle and I can do a great interview because I know their lives so well.” For example, Candy had her childhood friend Kathy Sidell, President and Founder of The Metropolitan Restaurant Group, on her show. Both women reminisced and said, “Can you believe we’re both doing this?”
Yet, Candy has found it’s not just restaurant moguls that have a food story to tell. She thinks the aspect of her show people most relate to are the food interviews. When her friend Cheryl was on, Candy asked about the best meal she ever had. She described a meal at a five-star restaurant on top of a mountain in Colorado with an amazing view and said that was probably the best food she’d ever had. But, Cheryl told Candy the best meal she ever had was a half of a tuna sandwich she split with her grandfather at the Busy Bee Restaurant in Brookline. He had called and asked her to lunch and she was busy but he really wanted to go so she reluctantly agreed. Two days later he passed away. Candy herself remembers that when she had her first child she delivered late and hadn’t eaten in a long time. She asked her husband to bring her food but the only thing open was Burger King, so that’s what he brought her. “I hate fast food and I hate Burger King, but I was thinking this is the first meal I’m having as a mother. I’m eating this as a mother and isn’t that amazing. I was crying eating those French fries. I was a mother and that was memorable.” Candy believes that everyone has these types of stories to tell. “I’ve had fancy meals but I ask people those questions and what’s important.”
After one hundred episodes, Candy plans to continue producing. Since she began Neighborhood Cooking, her life has changed for multiple reasons. Around that time, she was also given the opportunity to break into Broadway producing, given her experience in theater and directing. Both the show and the producing took off – Neighborhood Cooking has won multiple awards and she is busier than ever in New York City. “Who knew at such a late stage in life my career would be hotter than ever, but it is.”
Click here to watch Candy’s 100th Episode, featuring guest Liz Berman.