Food & Comedy:
Building a Brand

While I've always loved both laughing and eating--at some point in my life I would write things like "Live, laugh, love and EAT!" in people's yearbooks or somewhere equally as cheesy. And while I've been working in food for about 10 years, I've only been doing comedy for about four and a half years and running my own food tour company for just a few months less than that. And after figuring out a way to combine those things on stage, the brand continues to grow!

I just can't contain myself or my food.

I just can't contain myself or my food.

In 2015 I finally began to work on this voice that I've always known to be who I am--a New York City Food-Obsessed Comedian. I was given a place to work on a show that I'd conceived of for months. One that brought food and comedy professionals together and had them swap roles for the night. I called this show The Food Funny. It ran at The West End Lounge, which was where my sister was managing at the time. The first show that I did was a different and much longer version than the last one I did, which was a mini resurrection that occurred last fall at Silvana. I have learned a lot from those experiences, in terms of developing such a show, and I know that what I have now is such a strong concept that just needs the right home. So, I'm looking and I've started pitching to venues--if you think you know of one, please contact me

Top: photo from my first show at The West End Lounge, where I actually included interview segments for my guests. Turned out that was much more interesting to me than to my audience. Bottom: My last mini-reboot of the show was only the cooking portion, but was high energy and a lot of fun. I now have a much better idea of how to make this show work and keep it fun and different for the whole hour!

Top: photo from my first show at The West End Lounge, where I actually included interview segments for my guests. Turned out that was much more interesting to me than to my audience.

Bottom: My last mini-reboot of the show was only the cooking portion, but was high energy and a lot of fun. I now have a much better idea of how to make this show work and keep it fun and different for the whole hour!

And now, after getting back on my feet from my injury. After I've tried, in misery, to work some temp jobs, I'm getting back the confidence and personal strength needed to put myself out for the things that I really should be doing--the things that I'm good at AND enjoy. And a good part of that is writing. I am a talented writer, whose been too afraid of failure and too afraid of my competition to really put myself out there.In fact, a friend of mine who I met by having her on The Food Funny as a guest, sent me submission guidelines to be a writer for the new Taste Talks Food and Drink Awards happening at BAM on September 26th. Of course, this was actually the evening the submissions were due, and I was on a sort of a date when I got her message. But I called it an early night and went home and sat in front of my computer for about 2 hours, trying to put together the perfect packet for this gig. I even wrote her a message after submitting: "OMG that was actually way more stressful than I thought it would be, cuz like I should be doing shit like this, and I'm not and so I wasn't prepared, and I feel like an idiot, and whatever, I am an idiot, and now I think I need to run out and get a whiskey." And I did actually go get a whiskey. And then I spilled my anxiety to my local bartender and got to vocalize how it's really a great thing that I did it and hopefully it'll be the thing I need to light a fire under my ass to start writing more things like this.

I'd like to thank my best friend, the horse from the Grand Prospect Hall Beer Garden

I'd like to thank my best friend, the horse from the Grand Prospect Hall Beer Garden

Cut to about two weeks later, and I've set a couple of deadlines for myself and managed to get my tours for the rest of the year posted. And then I get an email back from the Taste Talks folks that they would like to hire me as a script writer for the awards!! And, as I start to doubt myself, I remember that this is the kind of thing that I've been working towards for years now! This is what I've been doing every day, by keeping up with the food news of the world, by trying to add some commentary here and there, but putting together comedic bits of any kind, by watching all of the ridiculous cooking competitions and trying as many restaurants as I can, while taking silly pictures of the aftermath of my devotion. Not to mention actually producing an awards show for the Guides Association of New York City for the last two years, and currently working on the third. I am made for this gig! And all of my favorite food and funny folks are going to be at this event! And so I take it as a sign that things are moving in the right direction. For all of the crappy things that have happened in the last two years, there have also been a lot of good things, and this is definitely one of them. Tomorrow, I meet with the crew for the first time, and I've already started brainstorming on some funny food material. I look forward to seeing what's next on this journey. And I hope that you will join me for the ride!

Not my first Awards Show! In the inaugural GANYC Apple Awards, I actually presented the award to the Outstanding Achievement in Food category, with Rudd and Daughters winning the trophy! 

Not my first Awards Show! In the inaugural GANYC Apple Awards, I actually presented the award to the Outstanding Achievement in Food category, with Rudd and Daughters winning the trophy!