This past week, Michael Symon brought his new Food Network show Food Feuds to Akron and to Barberton. I didn't hit any of the Barberton festivities but when I heard that the final scenes of the big burger battle between Swenson's and Skyway was taking place at Highbridge Glen park, literally five minutes from my house, I was so there! So I made a quick call to mom around 9:30 am that went something like this:
Me: Hey what are you doing?
Me: Well get up! Michael Symon is filming his show down the street and I'm coming to get you so we can go.
Mom: OK!! OK!! I'm up, I'm getting ready!
Me: Be there as soon as I can.
So, five minutes from my house turned into 40 minutes to go pick up mom, 40 minutes back. But she loves Michael so I had to take her. Supposedly people were going to start gathering at the park around noon, with filming to take place at 2:30 pm. We got there right at noon and there were maybe 10 people there. A fireman stopped us and said that the time had moved to 2:00 pm. I asked him what did.. the filming? The time to show up? What? He had no clue. So we hung out a little while, then decided to head back to my house and grab a quick snack then head back. When we went back, there were a few more people than when we had left, but not a lot. Foolishly, we didn't bring chairs so we had to sit on the grass while we hung out and waiting for something to happen. Slowly more and more people started to filter in. But it really wasn't looking good for a big crowd to show up.
Some of the folks from Swenson's were around, putting up signs and handing out homemade signs to hold up during the show.
We sat there and waited and it seemed like nothing was going to happen. There were no TV vans, no one was here to set up for a taping. Nothing. Then suddenly, Michael Symon was suddenly there, things were happening and it was on! The crowd had suddenly grown too.
The crew took Michael down to the river where, presumably, they were filming some shots of him most likely introducing what the show as going to be about. After about 20 minutes or so, we started getting instruction from various people and Michael Symon himself so we found a good spot to stand while the show was being filmed.
Michael is awesome. I can't say that enough. He's funny and personable and entertaining. And come on, that laugh? Who could resist that laugh.
It's getting down to the nitty gritty in the battle between Skyway and Swenson's, to Akron institutions of burgerdom. But first, crowd reaction is needed so we were instructed to cheer and clap on cue, then boo on cue, then act surprised on cue. We did these takes several times, and then it was Michael's turn to do his. He has to film each take a minimum of 3 times (more if he messes up, which they all assured us was very likely). During one of the takes, he got it done absolutely perfectly, they called cut and said, "Perfect! Let's do it again." Michael's response to that was, "welcome to television!"
Michael finally crowns the winner and that's a wrap! All in all, it was a pretty fun day. If you want to know who won, you'll have to wait to watch the show. It airs sometime in October of November. And if you already know who won, because I do know those beans were spilled already, don't post it here!