ScreenViews: Meet Pablo Muñoz, Director, Culinary Producer & Fettuccini Alfredo Fan

In our second installment of ScreenView, we sat down with Pablo Muñoz, director and culinary producer at Canteen specializing in food related media. He has directed food shoots for major networks and brands including cooking shows, television and web advertisements, as well as social media campaigns.

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His multi-faceted, multi-hyphenated career has deep roots in food. He has been a chef for over 12 years, a professional food stylist & culinary producer for 10 years, producing Emmy nominated cooking shows for various networks. 

Pablo’s unique background allows him a thorough understanding of not only how to create and produce culinary content across different mediums, but also how to direct and construct shots, from simple recipe how-to videos, to the more complex food action and effects.

  • How did you get started in the industry? Did you always know that you wanted to work in food, or was there a specific moment that influenced you?

I used to watch great chefs of the east on discovery channel as a kid and really loved watching them in their commercial kitchens cooking in their pristine white chef coats.  They had absolutely no personalities; really just showed off their techniques with amazing food.  Then, Emeril Lagasse and Bobby Flay came along. That sealed the deal.  Those guys made food cool.  After working as a chef for 10 plus years, I was brought an opportunity to work on a cooking show with none other than the man that inspired me to become a chef, Bobby Flay.  I immediately drew similarities in the restaurant business and television production business.  Both require thick skin, abilities to multi-task and to solve problems on the fly quickly to ultimately create an experience.  I loved every minute of it.  Production was my next logical step.   

  • Who’s your favorite food celebrity to work with?I really enjoy working with Bobby Flay.  He’s been around for a really long time on tv, knows the business inside and out, and is loyal to his staff as long as they give him their all.  I respect that he has worked his ass off to get to where he is and continues to work hard at all his endeavors.  It is amazing to watch a master work at his craft, both chef and star. 
  • What’s the most exciting thing you’ve worked on in the last year?

A Carla Hall “salt” commercial spec that we shot earlier this year.  It was awesome to see her really get into the shoot especially the voice-over script where we really nailed finding her voice.

  • What’s the life of a Food Network star really like?Life of a Food Network star is BUSY.  A lot of popular chefs have their own show or shows, plus make appearances on each others’ shows, or appear as judges on various competition shows.  They may have their restaurants, cookbooks, line of cookware and endorsement deals keeping them even more busy.    
  • Do you think food & tabletop work gets the recognition it deserves?

With such an influx of food media, content and accessible platforms created by ever-changing technology, food has more avenues than ever to advertise and when you flood any market you drive down the cost of it or the value of the work of specialists. This means that clients, specifically in the tabletop world are working more & more in a time-pressured environment – quicker turnarounds, often lower budgets to achieve masterful & delicious-looking products.  I have seen commercials made hastily by non tabletop directors, stylists, etc.. and I feel that you can tell the difference in the quality of the work. As artists, we, of course are harsher critics, but sometimes a client may not notice or care to notice how to make food look exceptionally great on screen. Understanding the commoditization of media (and food) in general, I love working with people who have a deep understanding & appreciation for the way food should be shot.

  • What skills do you need to be a successful director these days?

If you are going into the world of tabletop production, you should have an above average grasp of food and how it will relate to being on screen – from the ground up.  Camera angles and movement, lighting techniques, food styling, and props and rigging needs. This will give you a leg up on making sure what you commit to shooting is friggin gorgeous and 100% attainable.   

  • Which ingredient or dish are you tired of seeing on menus?

Brussels sprouts.  Everyone is deep frying them, putting them on pizzas, and turning them into appetizers. Love them, but I’m all Brussel-sprouted out. 

  • Who is the person you most admire in the food industry right now?

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Chef Jose Andres and his World Central Kitchen.  I was deeply moved by his act of going to Puerto Rico to help feed those in need.  The magnitude of his contribution there is immeasurable.  He continues to be proactive with his World Central Kitchen making a difference because he can, and all this with almost 30 amazing restaurants and eateries to his name. The man is a machine and continues to inspire.    

  • What one meal could you eat for the rest of your life?

pasta-1181189_640.jpgFettuccini Alfredo.  It was the first dish I was taught to make by an Ecuadorian chef in a classic Italian restaurant.  Go figure.  The recipe I learned is not common believe it or not, but will clog your arteries within seconds of even reading the recipe.  The sauce is heavy cream, with a whopping dollop of butter that gets reduced down a tad, then poured over fresh egg fettuccini noodles that have been strained straight out of boiling, salted  water, then stirring vigorously, you throw an egg yolk and a palm full of parmesan cheese in.  The egg yolk and cheese thicken the sauce with the remaining and heat and serve.  It is so good, your heart races just before it stops.  I just adore this dish.

  • If you could invite 3 people (living or dead) to share a meal with, who would that be?

Anthony Bourdain
Dave Chappelle
Bruce Springsteen

I love food, comedy and music. 

Get a glimpse of Pablo’s TableTop reel here: https://vimeo.com/177120381

Robots Will Transform Fast Food

Visitors to Henn-na, a restaurant outside Nagasaki, Japan, are greeted by a peculiar sight: their food being prepared by a row of humanoid robots that bear a passing resemblance to the Terminator.

The “head chef,” incongruously named Andrew, specializes in okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake. Using his two long arms, he stirs batter in a metal bowl, then pours it onto a hot grill. While he waits for the batter to cook, he talks cheerily in Japanese about how much he enjoys his job. His robot colleagues, meanwhile, fry donuts, layer soft-serve ice cream into cones, and mix drinks. One made me a gin and tonic.

H.I.S., the company that runs the restaurant, as well as a nearby hotel where robots check guests into their rooms and help with their luggage, turned to automation partly out of necessity. Japan’s population is shrinking, and its economy is booming; the unemployment rate is currently an unprecedented 2.8 percent. “Using robots makes a lot of sense in a country like Japan, where it’s hard to find employees,” CEO Hideo Sawada told me.

Read more at The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/iron-chefs/546581/

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Campbell Soup, NowThis partner on video news food channel

Campbell Soup Company and its agency Wavemaker are partnering with video news brand NowThis to launch a new food vertical, “NowThis Food,” that will focus on how food impacts culture, communities and the environment, according to a press release made available to Marketing Dive.

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For the channel, NowThis will produce both editorial and Campbell-branded social video content covering news and food waste and sustainability, two of Campbell’s key initiatives. NowThis is part of the Group Nine media holding group that also includes Thrillist and The Dodo.

To celebrate the launch, NowThis hosted its first interactive community event at the Astor Center in New York City, joining Harlem Growth, a local nonprofit dedicated to mentorship and education on urban farming, sustainability and nutrition.

Dive Insight:

With the launch of NowThis Food, the social video brand is not only growing its list of verticals, which number 11 and include news, politics, sports and more, but it is also aiming to further its following with millennials.

Mobile-savvy millennials have also been labeled as “food-obsessed,” spending nearly $100 billion per year on food and expressing concern about where their food comes from. More than 60% of millennials expect GMO-free ingredients, and nearly 70% are willing to pay more for organic foods, a report by Maru/Matchbox found.

Food brands have struggled with how to market to millennials, with some touting their sustainable practices or organic products. Partnering with NowThis, which averages more than 2.5 billion monthly social media views, Campbell Soup Company is ensuring that it crosses paths with millennials and delivers a message that resonates.

NowThis Food’s partnership with Campbell came about after they created a content series together earlier this year and highlights the trend of brands creating partnerships with digital media platforms in order to better reach millennials. NowThis also recently partnered with Chase to create a personal finance channel, called NowThis Money, targeting millennials and featuring content from both brands.

from Marketing Dive: https://www.marketingdive.com/news/campbell-soup-nowthis-partner-on-video-news-food-channel/512620/

‘Alexa, add my favorite yogurt to my list’

As grocery e-commerce gets more personal, Diego Maniloff of Unata says it’s time for retailers to turn their efforts to voice recognition technology.

2017 has been an incredible year for grocery retail. Companies like Amazon and Walmart are relentlessly innovating ways to heighten convenience and strengthen the presence of digital in grocery shopping, and it’s challenging other retailers to do the same. As we enter this new competitive era of grocery shopping, retailers should turn their attention to a technology that has the power to truly revolutionize the way we shop: voice technology.

It is estimated that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be done by voice alone. With consumer adoption already underway, it won’t be long before smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Home become our go-to for search, inspiration and, most importantly, shopping. As consumer habits and expectations shift with the rise of voice technology, so must grocery retail.

However, voice assistants pose an interesting challenge. Unlike smartphones, computers and tablets, they lack a visual interface and for that reason they are unforgiving when it comes to accuracy of results. Gone are the days of shopper patience when sifting through search results. Sitting and listening to a voice assistant list over 20 different varieties of apples will feel drawn out, painful, and to be honest, incredibly frustrating.

Diego Maniloff

For that reason alone, personalization is paramount. To provide a seamless customer experience, grocers need to understand two things. First, there is only one answer. Second, you need to draw on past behaviors and orders to get that one answer right. Consider this: Your shopper realizes she’s out of yogurt, so she asks her voice assistant to add more to her shopping list. Enter your personalization engine. Instead of asking which yogurt your shopper prefers or listing available options, the voice assistant can confirm in one response that her favorite yogurt — which she purchases on a regular basis — has been added to her list.

Read more at Food Dive: https://www.fooddive.com/news/grocery–alexa-add-my-favorite-yogurt-to-my-list/512355/

Diego Maniloff is the vice president of tech innovation at Unata, the leading provider in 1-to-1 digital solutions for grocers. He is a computer scientist from Argentina specialized in the art of personalization technologies. He received his BS/MEng degrees in Telecommunications Engineering from Universidad Blas Pascal in Córdoba, and upon becoming a Fulbright scholar he joined the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. After completion of his MS, Diego became a research fellow at MIT, focusing on applied AI and data analysis. At Unata, Diego led the engineering team for five years, during which he built the award-winning personalization engine from scratch. Today, he oversees research and development of emerging technologies that have the potential to shape the digital grocery industry.Learn more at www.unata.com.

Red Robin Splits with KBS

Red Robin appears to be in search of a new creative agency.

KBS is no longer working with the client, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter. Red Robin has yet to respond to repeated requests for comment. As of publication, a KBS spokesperson has also yet to respond to our request for comment.

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The burger-focused casual dining chain appointed KBS as its agency of record in July of 2016, following a review launched that April. KBS subsequently rolled out a man bun-mocking campaign at the beginning of the year. Red Robin had previously worked with Vitro, which it named as its AOR back in 2013.

KBS announced yesterday that it would not be participating in longtime client BMW’s creative review, which was launched in October.

from AgencySpy: http://www.adweek.com/agencyspy/we-hear-red-robin-splits-with-kbs/140859

Castle Brands Announces National Television Advertising Campaign for Goslings Rum

Castle Brands Inc. (NYSE American: ROX) announced today the launch of a Goslings Rum national television advertising campaign. The television commercials can be seen on NBCSN during telecasts of Premier League Soccer games and programming, National Hockey League games and programming, and Skiing and Snowboarding competitions, among other sports oriented and targeted telecasts.

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Goslings Rum will be the marquee sponsor of Premier League Soccer during the December 2017 Manchester Derby featuring top-ranked Manchester City against second-ranked Manchester United. The new advertising campaign builds upon the increased global exposure that Goslings Rum acquired through its sponsorship of the 35th America’s Cup. This advertising will expose the award-winning Goslings Rums to new demographics of non-traditional rum drinkers.

The commercials feature Malcolm Gosling, President and CEO of Gosling-Castle Partners Inc. (“GCP”), Castle’s 80.1%-owned strategic global export venture with the Gosling family. GCP holds the exclusive long-term export and distribution rights for Goslings Rum and Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer for all countries other than Bermuda.

The commercials were shot and produced featuring Goslings award-winning, hand-crafted rums, the trademarked Dark ‘n Stormy® Cocktail and Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer, the best-selling ginger beer in the U.S. Goslings Rum recruited an international team of filmmakers to create a finished product with a luster that befits the prestigious, slowly-aged, award-winning Black Seal Rum.  “I said, if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it first class,” explained Mr. Gosling. “We put a world of care into our products; we need that to come through in the look and feel of these television commercials.”

Read more at Business Insider: http://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/Castle-Brands-Announces-National-Television-Advertising-Campaign-for-Goslings-Rum-1010490911

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