Hospitality goes live on Fort Wayne’s NBC Today

Jan. 26: Kent Hormann from Fort Wayne’s NBC calls with a very cool request: Can he come to campus and get a live cooking demo from a hospitality administration instructor to help Ivy Tech Northeast promote its Special Cuisine dinners? ABSOLUTELY.

At 5:30 a.m.?

ABSO- … wait, when?

5:30 in the morning.


It’s for the morning show.

When would you need to set up?

5:10 a.m.

OK. Let me see who I can find. We can make that happen.

Chefs, in case you were unaware, don’t get up early. I mean, who likes to set their alarm to a time that begins with a 4? I’m sure there are some of you out there, but it’s a tiny percentage. And with chefs, the percentage is even tinier.

But Sarah Hughes, a hospitality instructor, was game. And she even promised to recruit a few students to help out.

Not wanting Sarah to worry about anything but the cooking, I agreed to meet Kent that morning and do whatever I could to help out.

Fast forward five days.

8:39 p.m. Jan. 31: I brush my teeth for bed. I typically don’t go to bed until 11 or 11:30, but I need to get up early tomorrow to meet Kent. Maybe I can fall asleep quickly and still get seven hours of sleep?

12:31 a.m. Feb. 1: This is the final time I recall looking at the clock. So much for a full night’s sleep.

4:15 a.m.: My alarm rings. Why is there sand in my eyes?

4:45 a.m.: Crescent Avenue is EMPTY.

4:51 a.m.: So is Ivy Tech. Check out a panorama I took of the Coliseum Campus parking lot.

The Coliseum Campus (and my car) parking lot at 4:51 a.m.
The Coliseum Campus parking lot (and my car) at 4:51 a.m.

5:08 a.m.: Kent arrives to set up. He will shoot two live shots: at 5:45 a.m. and 6:45 a.m. Sarah and three hospitality administration students start setting up for their first demonstration: shrimp scampi.

5:34 a.m.: “They don’t know it, but they’re live right now,” Kent whispers to me behind the camera. The station is showing the the set-up.

5:45 a.m.: Live shot No. 1! Here’s what that looked like:

Click images for caption info and to zoom.

6:07 a.m.: Kent interviews Sarah for potential use over the 6:45 a.m. live shot. He asks what goes into cooking–a lot of heart, Sarah says; when folks feed you, it’s a way of saying “I love you”–and what sorts of things students learn in the program. One detail that sticks out to me is Sarah’s description of the term “umami.” It’s a type of taste like bitter, salty, and sweet that folks don’t often think or know about that refers to a warm feeling in your belly. Merriam-Webster calls it a meaty, savory flavor.

6:41 a.m.: Sarah and the students finish preparing for the second live shot, where the students will prepare a ahi poke, a tuna sashimi dish with toasted sesame seeds.

Click images for caption info and to zoom.

Check out the second segment on Fort Wayne’s NBC’s Facebook page, in the comments section of this photo. You can also watch the below snippet from the morning Sarah shot on her phone of students prepping shrimp scampi.

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