As the famed host of the cooking show Maggie’s Magic Menu, Maggie Liu is also the executive chef of Le Bistro de L’olivier, a well-known French restaurant in Taipei.
(This billboard is up in downtown Taipei for Maggie’s latest cooking show.)
My sister Paulina and I got very lucky when we were chosen to be the guests in one of the many episodes of Maggie’s Magic Menu Season 2. In the first half of the episode, we invited Maggie to our home and cooked a dish for her. In the second half of the episode, Maggie would return the favor and treat us to a feast she cooked based on a menu specifically catering to us. For my sister and me, it’s all like a dream-come-true: We got the rare chance to sample the great food Maggie made for us as well as to appear on a 30-min. popular TV show.
(Maggie and yours truly)
(Maggie chatted with my sis Paulina.)
You may have seen many cooking shows, but do you know how they were filmed? Here’s a peek inside the filming studio:
1. Only a small corner in the studio was designated to the film shooting purposes.
2. The host and her guests were outnumbered by the filming crew; all were busy like crazy with their own assignments.
(In preparation for the shooting)
3. It’s advisable to apply adequate sunscreen as a protection against the blazing spotlight.
(Professional makeup was indispensible.)
4. Most of the time, one had to repeat a single move until the director was satisfied. That means Maggie the host at times needed to ply her dishes in and out of the oven several times before the best scene could be taken.
5. The host needed to keep up the talking so as to make sure that every scene would run smoothly without a hitch or a tongue-tie. She must not stop talking even if she was the only person in front of the camera.
6. The audience would see you move flowingly in a certain sequence, like ring the bell, walk into the house, and sit down. But in fact those were separate scenes taken in the reverse sequence, i.e. you first sit down, then walk into the house, and ring the bell.
It’s really thrilling for me to see what it was like behind the scenes in a studio. The shooting process was full of fun and excitement. But to be honest, it’s a tiring experience for sure. I’ll bet you’d have the same feeling if you were there for once.
Many thanks to the lovely host Maggie and her hard-working yet good-humored filming crew for giving me and Paulina a most memorable experience we would continue to cherish for life.