Southern Hospitality

And that just about wraps up one of the coolest projects of my career. Send a cityboy with a country appetite down south to talk about holiday food! Sounds like a simple task, but lesson learned: don’t host with your mouth full!

My task was simple, engage in a two week 5 city tour down south and connect with local woman and help them with their video submission for a nationwide talent search Taste of Home magazine (America’s #1 food publication under the Reader’s Digest banner with over 5 million subscribers). At first you’d think women would flock to the opportunity to become Taste of Home’s spokesperson and Ambassador of the Holidays, especially with the $50,000 check that comes with the title. For whatever reason, more women applied with our help than in the comfort of their own homes. surprising to me, yet a total compliment. It occurred to that the bet hosts out there sure do make it easy. Ryan Seacrest (American Idol, E! News, Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve), Carson Daly (TRL, Last Call w Carson Daly, NBC’s New Year’s Eve), Vanessa Lachey (TRL, Wipeout, Entertainment Tonight), Quddus (TRL, Duets, Dance on Sunset), Damien Fahey, Susie Castillo… heck even Kelly and Sharon Osbourne… They’ve all got one thin in common… They make it look so darn easy! Truth of the matter is.. Hosting is definitely a skill set that gets better with experience. Breathing, posture, phrasing, presence and then you’re supposed to remember what to say!? It’s like riding a bike… The best bike riders don’t focus on riding their bikes, they focus on driving it. Steering it. Controlling it. Pushing it to the limits.

I find that great hosts tend to be experts in their fields. Entertainment, fashion, culinary arts, entertaining, sports, etc… Perhaps that’s what made this specific project such a pleasure… I was working with women who truly loved what they did in the kitchen.. So with a few pointers here and there everyone was able to talk about their signature dish and the faces of the friends and family who light up around the dinner table when the dish is served.

For my family, it’s our spider cookies. I’ll leave it at that.

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