Our segment airs next Tuesday, 2/22, 10am, on ABC
I said that I would write up my experience when I tried out for “the next food network star,” which of course I did not, so I want to get this one out before it is too late. These days it seems as though anytime that I have an idea and don’t act on it right away, another one quickly comes and replaces it.
A few weeks ago I received a facebook message from the step sister of my last girlfriend saying that she enjoyed reading my blog and that her friend, who happens to work for the Rachael Ray show, was looking for sibling rivalries in the kitchen. I said, ah what the hell, wrote in, mentioned the whole sending my brother to the hospital with eight stitches bit, and wallah, two weeks later we were filming on the Rachael Ray Show.
I think it was that night when I heard back from her saying that she was really in to the the situation with my brother and I. And before I knew it I was getting calls and emails constantly about the show. Man, I didn’t realize how much time, effort, and STRESS, goes in to putting on a show like that. I suppose it makes sense though, everything has to be “perfect,” as it is filmed in front of a live audience, there is not that much room for effort.
Rachael Ray does a segment once every few months on her show called “Rivalray” where two people go head to head with the same dish done their way with one crowned victor. We didn’t have any specific “favorite” dish that we both cook, as we are always cooking new foods and progressing, but we thought it would be a nice challenge, since the guest judge was diabetic, to make something that could easily be heavy and “unhealthy” and create a version that was on the lighter side. In this case, instead of making a bacon cheeseburger with crispy cream fried donuts on top, we thought we would take the burger, slider actually, and make it a turkey burger with a whole wheat bun. To take it a step further, no cheese…
Whaaa? No cheese? Sounds like a shitty and boring burger to me, no cheese, whole wheat bun, turkey? Come on? I am going to be honest and say that that was actually how I felt at first. But only for a second. After that it hit me and I was reminded why everything happening made sense. Anyone can throw some bacon and melted cheese on a burger and call it a day. But where is the fun in that? Sure it may be delicious, but for someone who has made a million, and eaten a million more, cheeseburgers, it was time for Mike and I to try something new.
And damn right we did.
I made a turkey burger with a Middle Eastern twist. Whole wheat homemade pita bun, made some cashew cheese, chili garlic hummus and I pickled some cucumbers. Mike took an Asian spin on the dish and made a caramelized shitake slider with a whole wheat bun, a sesame peanut slaw and a hoisin glaze.
But someone had to settle the “score” between the brothers and who had the better turkey slider. Who could have been a better judge for our show than another musician brother, Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers? A musician, diabetic, a health conscious eater, and well, umm, a Jonas Brother, duh.
Ironically I am reminded of a time about 3 years ago when I moved to NYC. My phone broke and I had to go to apple to get it fixed. I went to the one in SOHO as the one on 14th had yet to open, and there was a line of high school/middle school girls out the door freaking the fuck out. “Excuse me officer, what is going on here?” I asked. “Oh, this boy group, “The Jonas Brothers” are playing a show here in a few moments,” he replied. “Who the heck are the Jonas Brothers,” I asked. “Damned if I knew,” said the officer.
That was three years ago, think about all that has happened since that moment in time in their lives. And today I was on the Rachael Ray show and Nick Jonas was tasting my food, life is but a dream. Say what you will about the Jonas Brothers, everyone has their opinions about everything, but the dudes have accomplished the one goal that I truly have in life. A goal so grand that if I too achieved it I would have nothing left to think about, to work for, to live for.
Getting my very own episode of South Park of course….
Anyhow, the taping of the show was great. A camera crew came by our apartment and filmed us cooking and talking about food for a good seven hours. I felt relaxed and alive, it was quite surreal. At the actual show, a few days later, the energy was high, Rachael was extremely easy to talk to and friendly, Nick Jonas had a calm and caring innocence to him that I really appreciated as I imagine his life can be a bit hectic, and the whole staff was enjoyable to hang out with and easy to work with. In the past, when they have had sibling RivalRAYs there is no prize for the winner but the loser has to do some sort of humiliation, usually dressing up in a silly costume, but the Rachael Ray crew must have felt us “special” for when Nick Jonas announced that Mike had the winning burger Rachael also awarded him $1000 to guitar center!!! That blew our minds. And no humiliation for me, though I would have happily dressed up as a turkey and danced around.
The beauty of this experience was that the moment when the winner and prize were announced my brother and I knew that while we played up the competition to add excitement to the moment, ultimately we share everything (aside from a bed and girls?) and the win was for Brothers Green as one. Nick seemed to feel bad for having to pick a winner for he said he has other brothers and he knows what it is like to compete, but Nick if you are out there reading this I hope you can understand the love Mike and I have for one another and how every part of the competition was perfect. Thank YOU for being part of the moment.
One last thing that I would like to say in regards to the overall experience. Nick Jonas, being a diabetic, probably has a fair amount of dietary restrictions. That can be a hard thing considering how much delicious food is out there. But that is the beauty of food, there IS so much out there. If you can’t have cheese, well think of all the substitutes you CAN have; avocado instead of mayo, silken tofu instead of cream cheese, cashew nut cheese…the list goes on and on. If YOU have dietary restrictions or allergies to foods that you wish you could eat, let me know what they are and I will help you figure out a clever and creative way around it them.