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There are few jobs more challenging than producing a television show. Unless, of course, it's producing two shows simultaneously. That's the reality of Paperny Entertainment's David Freeman, an unflappable TV vet who is currently producing Eat St. and World's Weirdest Restaurants. We recently sat down with the busy Buckinghamshire, England native to discuss the highs and lows of his dual roles.
Q. You work on two shows for Food Network Canada. How are you not 5,000 lbs.?
A. I would be 5,000 lbs. if I was out on the road with the crew, but I stay here in Vancouver and manage the shows from here.
Q. Even still, it must be a challenge not to eat all day while watching the footage. What are some of your favourite dishes that have been featured on Eat St.?
A. Well, I have a sweet tooth, actually it's more like sweet teeth, so I'm a sucker for the desert trucks we've featured. There's been the Heavenly Hash Donut from Gourdoughs in Austin which is a regular yummy donut with chocolate coated marshmallows and chocolate fudge icing topped with fudge brownie candy. The Chocolate & Peanut Butter Pie from the Pie Spot in Portland is also amazing, and at Denver's Inventing Room they have super cold ice cream that's been dipped in frozen nitrogen. My dentist won't be happy to hear any of this.
Q. It will be our little secret. Food trucks are known for their outlandish names. What's the most creative name you've encountered during your two years on the job?
A. Well, so many of them are pretty clever, we've had The Shrimp Pimp, I Dream of Weenie, Truck Norris and of course there was Ms P's Electric Cock, which was pretty shocking for some but she did have some amazing chicken. I'd like to own my own truck with the name The Mother Trucker, Burger Chucker for truck stops along Route 66.
Q. Let's talk about World's Weirdest Restaurants for a moment. The series has already featured dozens of off-the-wall eateries. Which one would you most like to visit?
A. Without question it has to be the Kayabuki Tavern in Japan. It's got beer, it's got monkeys, it's got monkeys who serve you beer. I mean, really, need I go on?!
Q. You've been fortunate to work with two great hosts in James Cunningham and Bob Blumer. What do they each bring to the plate?
A. They both understand the shows that they're working on so well. Bob is a pro and has been in the industry for a while and he knows what is needed of him. And James is just such a fun guy. He's very easy to work with and neither of them have egos, which is great.
Q. Wait a second, no ego? Surely you've had to handle one or two diva requests.
A. Maybe, but they don't come from our hosts, some of the diva reactions I've faced are actually a lot closer to home. No names!
Q. Fair enough. What kind of changes can we expect in the year ahead for both shows?
A. With World's Weirdest Restaurants, it's continuing to look for those restaurants that make the viewer go, “no way!” I think without giving too much away that we've already shot in four countries and there's plenty of weird stuff out there. With Eat St., we're having some fun with the brand to see if we can try a few different approaches. I'm very proud of the show and I don't want to change too much so it's just a matter of adding some different seasoning to an already successful meal.
Q. Finally, it's obvious why people love eating good food, why do they love watching it so much?
A. It's calorie free.
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