Friday, September 24, 2010

Cooking Good with Mr. & Mrs. P

Cooking good with Mr. & Mrs. P
By Wallace Clark
Gazette Writer

According to their blogspot, Michael Paez and Cristene Martinez-Paez are: “…newlyweds, homeowners, Chihuahua parents, party planners, travelers and most importantly, best friends. We have so many recipes and cool ideas to share that we decided to start a blog.”

The Miami Springs couple is doling out great recipes and ideas on entertaining on their blogspot and Facebook page and their fan base is rapidly growing. In late October, the Paezs will have a taste of the big time when they appear on Ingrid Hoffman’s TV cooking show.

The Paezs are Miami natives, 28 years old, and neither has had professional training as cooks. Cristy has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and works in public relations. Michael has a bachelor’s degree in science. He reviews research for human subject safety issues for medical school doctors. But the couple has further aspirations in mind.

“Our dream is to have our own cooking show because there isn’t one with a couple,” said Cristy. “Well, except for the Neelys. My goal is to introduce cooking to young adults because most of them don’t want to cook. Everyone says they are too busy but we’re both busy with demanding jobs and we find time to cook. Cooking is the universal language and it brings people together.”

Michael said he and his wife are entertainers and love to have parties. “In order to have great parties, you have to have great food so we started creating recipes and writing them down,” said Michael. Cristy said, “In the beginning I used to burn a lot of stuff or undercook food. It’s not easy until you cook things a few times. I still can’t cook rice.”

Michael said things didn’t always go as planned. “We had a few disasters. And sometimes we have to make adjustments. Once we bought a pork loin at Costco and it just wouldn’t cook right so we chopped it up, added seasoning, pan fried it and made appetizers. We called them pork loin bites.”

When the Paezs perfected their stack of recipes, they started photographing the food and figured that a publishing company would love them but that hasn’t worked out yet.

Naturally, the Paezs are big fans of The Food Network and once when they were watching a show called “The Next Food Network Star,” the winner said she started out as a food blogger. “I thought if she can do it, then we can do it,” said Cristy.

Michael said, “That’s when we decided to create a blog and share what we did. It became popular because we cook all types of food and we get inspired by our travels. We put our twist on meals we like and try to make them healthier. We also try to simplify the recipes.”

Mr. & Mrs. P’s blog is what took them to the next step toward having their own cooking show and Cristy’s brother was the connection. “He sent the blog to all of his friends and one was the godson of Ana Maria Hernandez, producer of Ingrid Hoffman’s show, Delicioso, on The Food Network,” said Cristy. “We met Ana and she liked us so much that she wanted us to make an appearance. Hoffman’s show had been revamped and expanded to an hour since she appeared on The Food Network. The new one is entirely in Spanish on TeleFutura.”

Before appearing on Hoffman’s show, producer Hernandez and a cameraman went to the Paez’s Miami Springs home in late August to shoot some footage of the couple cooking and entertaining friends. The lucky diners were filmed eating and they might even appear on Hoffman’s show along with the Paezs.

A few days later, Michael and Cristy went to TeleFutura Studios in Doral where the Hoffman’s show is televised. The biggest surprise was that there was a second kitchen behind the scenes preparing the same dishes created by Hoffman. That food was used for perfect close-ups. Plus, if a dish called for five items, someone in the second kitchen did the chopping and measuring for Hoffman to use so the show wouldn’t bog down.

The Paezs go the grand tour and learned that behind the studio was a warehouse with countless cases of dishes, glassware, eating utensils, cookware, table decorations and every accoutrement that a cooking show would ever need.

Cristy said, “After we were on with Ingrid, we sat there and watched and really enjoyed seeing the process. I found it fascinating, especially the décor used to dress up the table and set.”

“It took six hours to film a one-hour show,” said Michael. “But it wasn’t like Ingrid was cooking the entire time. Her new show is like a variety show in that she also has guests and she talks to them.”

Michael said the crew films two shows in a 12-hour day and a full season can be completed in two weeks. The show with the Paezs is set to air at 10 a.m. on October 23 on TeleFutura.

Michael and Cristy have a symbiotic relationship and are a well-synchronized team in the kitchen, always smiling and mutually complimenting each other. And the warm bantering is always tinged with humor.

“We’d like to have a show called, ‘How to cook together without killing each other,’ ” said Cristy.

Check out Mr. & Mrs. P’s blog: and they’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Wallace Clark and the River Cities Gazette for featuring us. - Mr. & Mrs. P

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