by Martha Tinkler
I have a few different jobs—writer, cooking instructor—but on my best days, I am the On-Set Assistant for a little show you might know: Paula’s Best Dishes. I scramble around for everything from orange zest and orange drinking straws to whitefish and white lace. And if The Lady wants more butter, I get her more butter!
But I’m not the only one hustling; during filming there are usually 20 to 30 people running around at top speed trying to make the magic of seamless television. You know what they say about laws and sausages? It’s best if you don’t see how they’re made! Television shows are about the same! And all this in Savannah, Georgia? Let’s just say that on a smoking hot August day it is hard to keep enough coolers full of bottled water…and the empty bottles start to pile up.
Last September, we were all gearing up for another busy shoot, rigging the lights and sharpening the knives, when Libbie—my boss, Head Food Stylist and Senior Food Editor here at PaulaDeen.com—came in with a tub full of brand new reusable water bottles and a proclamation. “The Lady’s going green!” After seeing all the wasted water bottles, Paula decided to make a change. No more bottled water. She installed water coolers on the set and provided a reusable bottle for each crew member.
And that wasn’t the only change. Some people say less is more? With Paula, more is more. Everything needed to be green! In the house, recycling bins popped up around every corner. In the kitchen sustainable seafood became a must, produce should be local and—as much as possible—from Paula’s garden. In addition, all of the leftover food (and there is a lot) goes straight to a local boys and girls home just down the road.
Trim fat from the food? We wouldn’t dare! But we now have a leaner, greener show thanks to our favorite Southern lady.