Category Archives: Craft Services

The on-set life just got a little tastier thanks to C’est La V

I thought our crafty guy last season was awesome, what with him always making sure there were vegan options out for me, but that was before I met the greatest craft service dude in all the land. At the beginning of the season I mentioned to our brand spanking new crafty guy, Joey, that I was vegan and asked if would he mind setting aside some salad without cheese on it or getting a couple sandwiches sans meat and dairy when he ordered food. Instead of just agreeing, Joey lit up and started asking me to bring in my favorite vegan recipes for his kitchen to make and asking for brand names of my favorite vegan goodies. Not only was he up for the challenge but he was totally pumped about it.

I’ve mentioned before how the rule in film/t.v. production is that a “snack” must be provided 3 hours after breakfast and how the snack is really less of a snack and more of a full blown smorgasborg. Well, every day, three hours after call time, Joey has been hand delivering a delicious vegan meal to me and my pescatarian boss. One day we’ll have an awesome pasta primavera, another day it will be lentils and rice then tomorrow he’ll bring us a mexican feast with some KILLER spanish rice and grilled tofu. This alone makes me a very happy lass, but wait, it gets better…

Joey went out and made a deal with C’est La V, one of L.A.’s tastiest vegan bakeries run by the former vegan baker at the now closed Leda’s Bakeshop, to get a regular delivery of an amazing array of baked goods every week. Here is Joey this very morning dropping off an awesome C’est La V platter.


This particular tray had the banana tea loaf which I hadn’t tried yet, and it did not disappoint. Moist and not overly sweet, the delicate flavor impressed all the non-vegans in the office. Of all the C’est La V goodies I’ve had though, my favorites are these: (from left to right) snickerdoodles, kourabiedes, and chocolate crackles.


The snickerdoodles are pretty straightforward but it is remarkable how soft and chewy all these little cookie bites are and I am a total sucker for anything cinnamon. The kourabiedes are a Greek version of mexican wedding cookies and they are out of this world. I normally find Mexican wedding cookies to be totally dry and boring and not worth the calories, but these babies are so soft and buttery they just melt in your mouth and are worth every gram of fat. I normally also don’t like chocolate cookies but the chocolate crackles have won me over with their insanely fudgy, brownie-like texture.

Somedays, Joey will bring this assortment of scones, biscotti, and chocolate chip cookies:

The chocolate chip cookies are as outstanding as the others. The only problem is that they are so cute and tiny that I convince myself that eating 900 of them at one time is a-okay. If you are on any sort of diet, stay away! I usually have a major aversion to biscotti (it’s just like a stale cookie to me) so it really says something when even I thought they were tasty.

The scones are one of C’est La V’s standouts. They are so incredibly buttery and flaky, they have quickly become my boss’ fave. The two flavors we’ve had are golden raisin and cranberry orange. The cranberries in the latter add the perfect tanginess to balance the sweetness of the scone. In fact, literally as I was typing this our wardrobe assistant came running in asking who made the scones in the break room. When I told her they were vegan she was in total disbelief.

C’est La V’s baked goods really are indistinguishable from non-vegan stuff and I have many omni coworkers who would agree. I can’t wait to try their other stuff–they’ve still got a whole menu of cupcakes, muffins, bars, and rugelach I’ve got work my way through! Unfortunately the bakery does not have a shop but you can get your orders in 48 hours through the website.

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Crafty: How crewmembers can be overweight even after running around like maniacs 16 hours a day.

Here is Mark, the Craft Service Key on our show, prepping a tray of agave-sweetened iced Yerba Mate teas to pass around as we shot at a ranch in the valley where it was hot hot HOT. Ah Crafty. You are simultaneously my worst nightmare and my biggest joy in life.

For those of you unfamiliar with the art that is craft services, allow me to fill you in. Craft services refers to the food and drink that is constantly provided on set for the crew. It differs from catering, which, according to union guidelines, must provide a full sit-down meal every six hours. On most shows, there is usually a crafty truck, which is like headquarters, with big refrigerators and amenities like a popcorn machine, espresso machine, etc. Then there is the crafty set-up which is usually right on the set where your friendly Crafty team sets up a smorgasbord of tasty treats and drinks which you can spend all day perpetually stuffing into your face. In addition to this constant flow of foodstuffs, crafty provides a “snack” three hours after every catering meal.

Now this snack isn’t like the celery and peanut butter you might give a kid when he comes home from school, the “snack” is basically a full-on meal just like lunch, the main difference being you eat it while you work, you don’t get a break. One day they might have a buffet of thai dishes, another day there might be an array of gourmet sandwiches. Lucky for me, the crafty guys on our show happen to be awesome and they always make sure that every snack has a good vegan option. And I don’t just mean that when they order sandwiches they give me a caprese and tell me to remove the cheese. There is always a substantial, delicious vegan option. This is really impressive considering they go out of their way to do that just for moi, the only vegan on the crew.

Today, for our second snack, crafty had these amazing mango summer rolls. Fresh mango, cucumber, carrots, lettuce, cilantro, and mint were all wrapped up in sesame-studded rice paper. They were huge–actually more like a sandwich wrap than a roll–and I totally had more than I should have. And therein lies the problem with crafty–it’s a daily struggle to resist stuffing my face full of treats all day long. Click here for a very funny and accurate description of craft services from KCRW’s “Martini Shot” series. So if you have a weight problem, you better not work in show biz because it’s a dieter’s worst fear realized.

In other news, if you are in the L.A. area I highly recommend you try to catch the show at Largo at the Coronet tonight. It’s Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen doing one-acts written by Paul Thomas Anderson. Kirby Von Scrumptious and I went last night (tonight is the only other night) and it was delightful! Technically they are sold out but they save some tickets to sell at the door. It was also a starfest–I haven’t been in a room with so many famous people since going to the Grammys. We sat right behind Jack Black amongst others. So if celeb sighting is something you’re into, Largo is the place to be tonight.

Gary’s Breakfast Bowl of Champions

I’ve had set catering ranging from cold takeout from The Olive Garden (AFI film) to gourmet cuisine from a three star Michelin chef (a commercial for Hummer). While the caterers on our show don’t have any stars to their name, they serve up an amazing array of delicious food.

Breakfast is where our caterer really shines. Unlike at lunch and dinner, there is no menu, you just ask for whatever your little heart desires and they whip it up for you on the spot. Whenever I roll up to the order window in the morning I always say the same thing: “One Gary’s Breakfast Bowl please.”

Gary’s Breakfast Bowl, or GBB, is your typical tofu scramble with tofu, spinach, various veggies, and a sesame/soy sauce. Its name comes from our first AD who insists the tofu scramble be served in a bowl so he can easily carry it while bossing everyone around on set.

I always mix in some of our caterer’s homemade pico de gallo to make a perfect little breakfast!

And just for kicks, here is the infamous George Maya chowing down on his breakfast sandwich: