Behind the Scenes on Breakfast TV

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woman taking photo in front of dressing room mirror

Oh, delinquent blogger, thy name is Magpie. I simply can’t believe that it has taken me two weeks to post about my little escapade on Breakfast TV on February 7th, usually I would have posted this the very next day.

Oh, it’s just been too busy, flitting around Edmonton, meeting chefs, lovely local celebs and partaking in so many food events to boot. La, so hard to be me.

And as glib as I just made that sound, what is WITH the explosion of food events in Edmonton? I had the pleasure of attending WineFest Edmonton with Kevin and his wife, which was as fun as it sounded. More fun. Too much fun. Yes, let’s just leave my coverage of WineFest as too much fun. Take what you will from that sentence. I would attend WineFest and pay for tickets next year, it was that much fun. However, I’d like to say thanks to the promoters for treating me to a fantastic afternoon of snackage whipped up by Shaw and wine…oh, so much wine. I also learned a few things from Kevin, who is very passionate about his wine and had fun picking up swag with his lovely wife Pam. My kids now have Tequila branded water pouches, I can’t wait to send those to school with them.

Then we have Downtown Dining week coming up and I will be posting about that later today. That kicks off with a wonderful Dining Week Reception for those in the industry, a lovely couple of hours at the Art Gallery with tidbits and cocktails. Hard work for Magpie once again.

Then Sunday, we are off to Blink! which I am incredibly excited for. Now this one wasn’t an industry invite so yes, I chose to add this onto my food event plate, but how could I resist?  The pedway between Scotia Place and Commerce Place in downtown Edmonton is going to be transformed into a 60 seat restaurant called Blink. A six course menu was created by Chefs Paul Shufelt and Tony Le of Lux Steakhouse, inspired by local ingredients.

There was just no resisting Blink. I bought the tickets without even consulting Mike if we had plans. It sold out so fast that if you hesitated, you lost out.

To make my long story short, the food events have been keeping me hopping, nevermind planning the Culinary Arts Cook Off, which is going so fantastic I can hardly sleep from excitement most days. I can’t wait until March 17th!

Part of promoting the Culinary Arts Cook Off was participating in a segment on Breakfast TV here in Edmonton. My partner in culinary cook off crime, Chef Shane Chartrand, is a pro at Breakfast TV, having been on it many, many times.

But me? Not so much. This would be my Facebook checklist from the night before.

Checklist for tomorrow morning on BT.
1. Remember to wear all pieces of clothing.
2. Remember name.
3. Don’t screw up.
4. Try not to embarrass self. (As. If. )
5. Try not to embarass Chef Shane Chartrand (I repeat: As. if.)
6. Try not to screw up school principals name, name of school or again, forget own name. 
7. Write name on cheatsheet. Better yet, wear discreet nametag and wear it upside down so I can read it.
8. Again, clothing is NOT optional, Karlynn.
9. Recite what I need to say over & over till family flips out.
10. Give up on checklist and drink wine.

And #10 was definitely adhered to, in a small amount because the very next morning I was up at 4:30 am. Four. Thirty. AM. Oh, I don’t know how TV peeps do it. Nothing is awake at that time of day, especially not my brain.

So for our segment around 7:30, I arrived at the studio around 6:30 that morning and was directed to the green room, pictured at the beginning of the post.

And proceeded to wait. And wait. And chew my nails from nervousness. And wait some more.

I did have a lot of lovely company there in the green room. Chef Omar from Zinc and Chef Lindsay Porter from 4th and Vine , both who are amazing, awesome, fantastic, super duper people because they/their restaurants are participating in my cook off.

Yes, you can totally buy my affection, I’m easy like that. Participate in my event? I’ll love you forever.

I also have an affinity for talented people who cook. Feed me amazing food and I’ll love you forever as well.

They also happen to be really nice people in real life too, so that helps.

two chefs wearing white uniform, sitting and smiling for the photo

So we did the Breakfast TV segment. Click that link to see us in action.

After that was done, I could finally relax and take some pictures. The weirdest part is that you know the show is still going on, but it’s being filmed elsewhere like the news desk where Stacey Brotzel -who is the news anchor for Breakfast TV – does her stuff. She popped in to meet me since we chat on the Twitter, yet hadn’t met in “real life” yet. She also came in to calm my nerves, which was appreciated because I swear to the Lord above I was vibrating inside. So thanks Stacey, especially for telling us how great we looked because that’s exactly what a woman needs to hear before she goes on live TV. Not that she’ll do great or that she’ll remember everything, she just wants to hear that she looks great.  No matter how many times you thought about your words, how you wrote things out, how smart you are and feel, there will be a dang inner voice that’s screaming “oh my god. what am I going to look like on tv?“. Inescapable and inevitable. It’s human nature..

So they film here, their famous couch area.

set up area where the Breakfast TV films

Then they can possibly zip over to something on this little stage.

the stage on the Breakfast TV set up

Then they most definitely head over to the BT kitchen area, where we shot the segment on the Culinary Arts Cook Off. It’s almost surreal that one moment, you have cameras literally staring you down, you’re chatting with the host,  lights are blazing and there’s utter silence from everyone in the background, then BAM.


And then everyone proceeded to attack the Mac N Cheese that Shane whipped up. So you know that somewhere else, filming is going on, because Breakfast TV doesn’t just come to a screeching halt once you are done, but in this part of the studio you are done. Everyone is loud, chatty and eating.

The orchestration and timing behind everything amazed me, as you can probably tell.

staffs in the kitchen corner of Breakfast TV set up

And Chef Shane Chartrand, cleaning up. Someone else who keeps me sane and stops me from panicking, Lord, if he only knew what he was getting into when agreeing to partner up on this Culinary Cook Off, he might have changed his mind.

He’s the calming Ying to my spazzing Yang. He doesn’t freak over anything while I freak out over everything. Poor guy. Everyone should be sending him condolences from having to work with me.

If you want to express your condolences in person, he’s now the head chef at Murieta’s on Whtye. I am excited to see what changes are coming, if there’s one thing Shane is amazing at, it’s charging forward with bold change and innovation.

a chef in the sink area of the kitchen set up

Another thank you goes out to Ryan Jespersen, the host of Breakfast Television. He’s just as awesome in real life as he is on TV, funny, charming and he manages to put you at ease even though your inner voice is screaming at a frequency only dogs can hear.

the host of Breakfast Television together with his guest

Thanks again to the great crew at Breakfast TV, what a great experience this was!

More posts coming today, I’m in a posting kinda mood!


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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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