When we film a dinner in a restaurant, I like to eat there the night before to make friends with the wait staff, learn the rhythm and quirks of the place, reserve the best table for the cameraman’s needs, and learn which dishes we’d like to feature in the show — while actually enjoying a meal there. Then, the next night, we return with our gear, create the lighting we need, be sure those dining around us are ok with us filming them, and make it happen. There are so many complicated little dimensions of filming a great meal, but we do our best to include one in each show.
While filming a meal is never relaxing, it almost always looks that way. Here’s a candid little moment as we set up to film dinner at a fish joint in Alexandria. Although we were eating before many other diners arrived, we peopled the place with the entourage that accompanies us everywhere we go: driver, security, and local officials excited to get a photo with us.