Katie Deutsch, Producer for Chopped & Beat Bobby Flay & reality tv editor Aldan Mackey Talk Top Chef Behind The Scenes

Written by: Briana Phipps – April 14th, 2020 4:47pm pst

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AfterBuzz TV’s Top Chef After Show was joined by Katie Deutsch, a producer of 6 cooking shows including Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay,, and reality television editor Aldan Mackey. They, along with hosts Anne Walls and David Gordon discuss the most recent episode of Top Chef, plating food for camera, and how producers work storylines! 

When asked what they thought so far of the season, Katie mentioned that while shows always take a while to heat up, (pun intended), this season so far felt a bit lackluster. 

“I think the beginning of the season is always a slow burn.  It’s hard to build it up but you want to, like, you know, churn the waters, so it’s… I do wish it was a bit fiery. I think that this week, this week we saw Tom, kinda like, trying to, like, raise that a little, but, yeah,  I mean, I could see a bit more fire.” 

Since this is an All-Star season it’s only reasonable that you would expect more drama right out of the gate, since each contestant has already been through this and knows how things run. 

The main thing for a reality show, we’re all intrigued about, is how everything works behind the scenes. For food shows one of our number one thoughts is “how do they make the food look so appetizing in those slow circled shots?”   I know what you’re thinking, because it’s what I was thinking too: “that has to be done up for the camera”. Like when you see the burger on the commercial and it looks so full and appetizing, only to find out that half of it is glue, paint, cotton balls, and toothpicks. However according to Katie that is not the case, at least in her experience. 

“No, what you need to do is, you make multiple plates, and so there’s one just for the camera. So you have your up-close camera plate, and then you have one that you serve to the judges. It’s exactly the same…the food producer can’t touch it. The only time a food producer would touch it is if, and this is scandalous, but if the food producer took a plate off your station, and something happened and I’d have to make it look better, I can’t, I can’t recreate a dish., Most shows that I’ve worked on, you have your camera piece and you have your judges. And it’s just that sometimes there’s interview flukes, where the people sitting down that are being interviewed for the show are like, ‘well you know I had to make five plates’ and you’re like *claps* ‘Four plates.’ 

Another thing she said, that was a bit surprising to hear, is that when you see the same storyline brought up in multiple episodes, it’s not always a producer or editor trying to make you think something will happen. Sometimes it’s the only thing they could make a story out of that was naturally happening at the time. 

“So for me, as a producer, house reality is sometimes like some of the most painful stuff to produce because there’s not a lot that happens.  The people, the competitors are tired, and they don’t want to talk to you or like whatever, so it’s like you kinda just reach for any kind of story or cuteness you can put together.” 

For more fun tidbits like these check out the full discussion on our after show: 

Tune in every Friday at 9pm to watch AfterBuzz TV’s Top Chef after show live, and If you’re a fan of Top Chef and the AfterBuzz TV Top Chef Aftershow, make sure to share this article with a friend!  Keep tuning into AfterbuzzTV News and our after shows for the most up to date news and information. 

About The Author:

Briana Phipps is a host, producer, and scheduling coordinator for AfterBuzz TV. She is currently the host for Teen Mom News Weekly and is your go to for all things Broadway! Whether you want to discuss intense TV dramas, the latest reality scoops, or the best guilty pleasures to watch she’s got you covered!

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