If you haven't already heard, 2016 is the International Year of the Pulse and to celebrate, Canadian Lentils has put together an amazing contest for food bloggers across Canada to audition for the chance to shoot an episode of their very own cooking show with none other than the Lentil Hunter himself, Chef Michael Smith!  That's right...you could be The Star of The Show!

Chef Michael Smith and The Star of the Show

FBC's Ethan Adeland had a chance to sit down with Chef Smith to find out more about Canadian Lentils The Star of the Show contest and to pick his brain for his best tips for creating your audition video!  Remember, the winning blogger will get the opportunity to create an entire cooking show video with Chef Smith's whole production team!

FBC: When we see you on television, you’re smooth, relaxed and it looks like you have been doing it for years, which is true! Obviously you must have gone through your own cooking on television growing pains. Can you share an early story of a stumble that you can now laugh at?

CMS: When the camera starts rolling, you enter this weird universe where normal rules don’t apply and you often find yourself doing odd things. On an early Inn Chef shoot, I once filled an entire blender with hot simmering sweet potato soup and turned it on. After the ruckus died down, we shut production down for the day while we cleaned $50K worth of gear, me and the shadow of me rendered in sweet potato puree off the set behind me.

FBC: What are three things you know now that you wish you would have known when you first began filming the Inn Chef in 1998?

CMS:  1) Trust yourself, you’re enough 2) Look the camera deep in the lens imagining the person watching 3) Be authentic. Remember the things that brought you the opportunity in the first place

FBC: What are the keys everyone should keep in mind when making their audition video?

CMS: Relax, it’s really just a chance to show us who you are and how well you can communicate what you’re feeling

FBC: What shouldn’t they do in their audition video? What will make you groan?

CMS: The single hardest thing to do on camera is talk about something different from what you’re doing with your hands. The best Food TV hosts have mastered the ability to add value to their cooking far beyond just a narration of what the audience can already see. It’s like reading Power Point slides when you say: “now I’m chopping the onion.” We can see that already, perhaps we’d like to know more about why!

Chef Michael Smith and The Star of the Show

FBC: What are you looking for in a potential Star of the Show? What makes you stand up and go “WOW?”

CMS: Connect me to you and your food. Help me get excited and empower me to cook. Our job is to entertain, not for the sake of being entertaining, but so we can grab your attention and teach our viewers something

RELATED:  Half Your Plate Twitter Party with Chef Michael Smith! Thurs May 26!

FBC: Why do you #LoveLentils?

CMS: Lentils are healthy, tasty, inexpensive, easy to find, easy to cook, loved by all, great for the environment, great for farmers and grown in Canada!

FBC: Can you tell us about what the 5 selected bloggers can expect when they arrive in PEI?

CMS: The red carpet treatment!

FBC: What kind of Star treatment is awaiting them?

CMS: You’ll be surrounded by a group of fun, caring professionals – no divas on my team! We want you to succeed and will do everything we can to make you look like a Grade-A Rock Star!

FBC: What will a typical day be like on set?

CMS: You can expect to work hard, play hard and learn lots.

FBC: Aside from the obvious…(round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, beautiful PEI, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with you in your professional kitchen) - Can you share your thoughts about the unlimited and exponential possibilities that may come from this?

CMS: First and foremost, we have tremendous momentum already teaching the world about pulses and lentils. You get to jump on the train and be a part of that success. We will produce for you a-state-of-the-art, slickly-polished video that depicts your experience on set and culminates with your on-camera presentation of your ideas.

FBC: Any final words of encouragement and inspiration for the would-be Stars of the Show?

CMS: This is a great opportunity to have some fun, learn lots about video production, lentils, how to cook in front of a camera and the world of effective food presentation. You’ll end up with an amazing video souvenir and you can expect to raise your profile with your existing followers while meeting lots of new ones. The single best advice I have for you is to be authentic. Be yourself!

Don't forget to RSVP and join us on January 21st for the Star of the Show twitter party where we'll have even more tips and info on how you can become the star of your very own cooking show with Chef Smith (plus the opportunity to win some pretty cool prizes!).

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