“In the midst of uncertainty, when there is this kind of situation of not knowing what to do, you realize that the majority of people aren’t doing anything. So there’s an opportunity there to do something.“~Kate Sullivan
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Good conversation over a delicious meal with friends is the stuff of my pandemic daydreams. Emmy Award-winning journalist Kate Sullivan has found a distinctive way to tell inspiring stories over food – and package the combo for streaming.
To Dine For is her celebration of ingenuity, hard work, and achievement told over food, now available via PBS and Amazon Prime. There’s also a companion podcast.
Each episode showcases a conversation between Kate and her guest at a restaurant of her guest’s choice. Whether recorded in a Michelin-starred dining room or a booth at IHOP, Kate’s genuine curiosity makes for intimate and revelatory discussions. With a side of buttermilk pancakes. Or garlic noodles.
“I’ll be honest,” she says, “one of the very clear intentions I have for the show is for people to feel different after they watched the program…for them to sit down, to have 30 minutes to be absorbed in the location, to be transported to this restaurant.” And, by extension, into the lives of innovators like Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz and Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan.
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“So often we get pigeonholed…and it’s the story we tell ourselves – well, maybe, I can’t do anything else but this – and that is a complete lie.“~Kate Sullivan
As a viewer, To Dine For’s format feels especially transportive right now. Part armchair travelogue, part ask-me-anything, the show offers respite from the uncertainty swirling around us. The interviews remind us that daring to dream is always an option.
Kate says the process of crafting, pitching, and producing the show taught her the same. It took a leap of faith to leave her secure but draining job in local news and trust that inspiration would lead to personal and professional fulfillment. Mission accomplished; To Dine For is now in its third season.
As for the show’s future, Kate’s not letting the pandemic slow her creative flow. She’s exploring new ways to tell stories over food, circling back to her reason for developing the show in the first place. “Why did you get started? Why are you doing what you’re doing? Sometimes we lose sight of that.”
When viewers watch the show, Kate wants them to feel like guests at the table, virtually breaking bread with someone whose experiences or point of view might differ from their own. And when the conversation’s over, she hopes they leave feeling nourished.
Hear more from Kate about To Dine For over on the crossover interview for Podcast Envy! Coming soon…
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Special Music during our stretch break: Glass bass by Frankum & Frankumjay on Freesound.org. Licensed under the Creative Commons.
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