“We are not here to feature, we are here to discuss, we are here to nitpick,” says Stephanie Zubiri-Crespi of the TV show she co-hosts with Spanky Enriquez.
Entitled Let’s Eat, the show traces its history to a school requirement. “One day two years ago, I got a call. Mikey Belmonte, the son of Miguel (The Philippine Star president and CEO) had a project. He wanted to come up with a magazine about food and asked me if I was interested to write for them,” recalls Spanky who has been blogging for 10 years (check out juice.ph for some of his articles) and is known in the food industry as an expert in marketing and social media.
Aside from Mikey and Spanky, the lean team included Don Jaucian as editor and Gabby Cantero as photographer. Their first issue came out in June/July 2013. By the end of 2014, Let’s Eat officially became a part of the STAR Group of Publications. It’s now distributed nationwide every last Sunday of the month. The success of the magazine encouraged its expansion to TV.
“STAR has always had the vision to create something about food because that’s what people really love but it was kind of put on the backburner. When McCormick came in, it was go go go from there. McCormick is the perfect partner because it upholds everything we believe in, in terms of real cooking, real food, bringing out real flavors,” relates Stephanie who has a column in STAR and blogs at thegypsetters.net (and soon on stephaniezubiri.com!).
The show’s teaser aired during the launch at Hole In The Wall in Century City Mall had mouth-watering food shots interspersed with frames of the hosts enjoying with the guests.
“We promised that we’re going to be ourselves,” Spanky points out. Highly opinionated and articulate, they make an entertaining view on the small screen. Both are much involved in the production aspect as well. “Spanky and I created the line up for Let’s Eat. We write the voice overs ourselves so it’s very personal. We don’t just show up and then spew out lines,” Stephanie clarifies. “There’s no script in general. We have a flow, certain talk points that we feel are important and we need to cover but most of the time, it’s overtaken by whatever comes to our mind or whatever’s on the plate or what the chefs/restaurateurs say,” she chuckles.
“They always have to tell us to cut already because we’re just talking and talking and eating and eating,” discloses Stephanie. “We like to tease each other. I really like vegetables and Spanky hates them so I always push him, eat your vegetables, eat your greens”.
“Our conversations are very appetizing,” Spanky guarantees.
“We’re not afraid to say that we don’t like something. We’re not just here to feature we also really want to learn about how it is cooked, why did they choose this beef, why would you serve it like this, why do people prefer it like this when it should really be like that? We really discuss with the chefs. Sometimes I like to ask chefs their pet peeve, yung mga juicy stuff. I try to spark something,” Stephanie elaborates.
Let’s Eat runs for 30 minutes and revolves around a topic that varies weekly. “It could be steak, seafood, or wine pairings. It’s everything from the pedestrian to the high end and what we try to do is to try to fill the segments with things that will cover all the aspects of that topic,” explains Stephanie.
For its pilot episode on September 30, 8pm, Let’s Eat will feature street food. Catch the show on The Lifestyle Network, SkyCable and Destiny Cable Channel 52. Regular episodes will air every Wednesday, 8:00pm with replays every Thursday, 11:30am.
Followers of STAR Lifestyle columnists Claude Tayag and Cheryl Tiu will be happy to know that the two culinary experts will be joining the show as segment hosts later in the season.
Other shows under StarTV are Modern Living, Wheels TV, and Single Single.