Back in January we were in pre-production for the fifth season of our cookery and travel show Tastes Like Home with Catherine Fulvio. In the first four seasons we had been all over the world and we were excitedly planning our dream destinations for the next year. Would we have an all Asian season (our episode from South Korea was very popular!)? What about a tour of Eastern Europe? Could we explore some of the lesser known parts of Africa maybe?
As we all know plans came crashing down with the Coronavirus Pandemic. Travel was out, big crews were out but people needed new and interesting things to watch on telly. Everybody was suddenly inside, looking for new recipes to cook and a bit of escapism. We thought a nice to provide both was to do a retrospective on the favourite places that we visited over the years, along with some new recipes inspired by those locations.
So we did just that. We built a new set for filming the recipes with a new sponsor, Belling Ireland, coming on board and providing top of the range appliances for our kitchen studio. We wrote the scripts that would eventually become Season Five. We got in contact with the lovely families that we had met all over the world and had great catch ups over Skype and Zoom. We put a call out on social media and got heaps of suggestions of things to cook. Catherine and her team worked on the recipes that we would eventually film and we got to work. Our editors got to work on finding all the gems from the past four seasons and shaping them into new and engaging stories.
Filming anything during Covid presents a new set of challenges. We had to strip the crew right back with all members assuming double or even triple duties. Once we had planned how to execute the production safely we got going. Adhering to all the required safety, PPE and social distancing protocols meant that only two crew were able to be in the studio during filming so we rigged some remote cameras and all other crew (sound, DIT etc.) had to operate from separate locations. The shoot went smoothly and we had all the recipes filmed and in the can inside of a week.
The feedback from this season has been very positive with new and old fans alike enjoying the new format and appreciating the fact that while normal service is halted for a while, we can still go out and create the entertainment that people need at the moment. Clips and recipes from the new series can be found on www.tastelikehome.ie