Getting ready to film the homemade ricotta cheese segment

Anna Mintz is an Associate Publicist for Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, and is an editor for The Recipe Club. Originally from Atlanta, she now lives in New York City and loves exploring NYC’s restaurant scene and trying out new recipes in her own kitchen.

Earlier this spring, some members of the Random House sales team and I traveled to the Food Network studios in Chelsea Market to meet Anne Burrell on the set of her hit Food Network show, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. Anne’s debut cookbook, Cook Like a Rock Star (Clarkson Potter, October 2011), comes out this fall, so the members of our sales team were eager to meet her.

Craft services counter

We walked onto the set, and they were already getting ready to start filming and cooking. On the menu? Braised stuffed veal breast and homemade ricotta cheese. Yum! Anne graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and has worked at some of New York’s top restaurants (including Lidia Bastianich’s Felidia and Peter Hoffman’s Savoy), so there was no doubt that anything she prepared for the show would be delectable.

Anne chats with her producers between takes

After a quick meeting with her producers, Anne dove right in and began cooking and teaching her viewers how to make restaurant-quality food at home, the premise of her TV show, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. First, she butterflied and pounded the veal breast with a meat mallet, and then lined the veal with thinly sliced prosciutto. Next, she prepared the stuffing for the veal breast, which was made with spinach (sautéed with olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper), mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of rosemary. It wasn’t long before the set started smelling all kinds of delicious!

Someone must have said something funny off set!

Everyone was amazed to see that Anne taped each seven- to eight-minute segment without the use of a teleprompter, and she rarely needed to stop filming and “cut.” In fact, she only stopped when the show had a built-in commercial break or when she needed to step aside and let her food stylist attend to one of the in-process dishes.

Members of the Random House sales team pose with Anne and her editor and book publicist

It was so much fun seeing Anne Burrell in action; her effervescent personality really stood out and impressed us all. Whether she was telling us how to use garlic most effectively (“perfume the oil, remove the garlic, and ditch it—it’s fulfilled its garlic destiny!”) or reminding us of the most important part of cooking (“at the end of the day, the food should taste good!”), we truly felt the love and passion Anne has for making good food!

Click here for more photos from our visit to Anne Burrell’s Secrets of a Restaurant Chef set: