Real American Meals

Home, Style — By on March 18, 2011 at 5:45 am


(L-R) Jacqueline Stiller, Producer Suzanne DeLaurentiis, Show Creator Joanna Le. Photo by Aynaz Anni Cyrus.

Real American Meals

By Buddy Sampson 

Food and cooking has always been a link to intimate gatherings, which include love, tradition and family. Family and cooking in homes all around the world, have been a barometer of the family dynamic, culture and tradition.

The Scoop LA will be doing a series of articles on an exciting new cooking show, with the working title “Real American Meals.” The show seeks to go outside the box and norm of the usual cooking shows presented on food staples such as The Food Network, by going into different families’ homes and not only exploring recipes, but the rich tradition of families at dinner tables, revealing not only valued family recipes, but their culture as well. The brainchild of Joanna Le, the show’s creator, the show promises to be entertaining and engaging. “Most cooking shows are boring,” said Joanna Le, who, along with her sister, Jacqueline Stiller, both of Vietnamese heritage, own a cosmetic company, two cosmetics. “We want to bring a whole new element to cooking shows, bringing entertainment and comedy to the cooking show genre.” The producers of the show include Ivan Kavalsky and Executive Producer Suzanne DeLaurentiis. But how did the show come to the attention of the producers? “Joanne and Jacqueline were sponsors for an Oscar gifting suite we held,” said Suzanne DeLaurentiis. “Joanne said, ‘I have this great idea idea for a cooking show,’ and I loved it and it was original, so we decided to do it.” De Laurentiis looks forward to the interactive possiblities of the show, and it will give viewers the opportunity to write in and invite “Real American Meals” to their kitchens and living rooms.”Anybody can write in and we’ll come to their houses,” said DeLaurentiis, who has been a Hollywood producer, filmmaker and icon for over 30 years. “It’s about conversations and family tradition rather than just recipes.”


Producer Ivan Kovalsky. Photo by Deborah Hayter.

Producer Ivan Kavalsky, who has worked on a number of movies, including “10th & Wolf,” directed by Robert Moresco and featured James Marsden and Brad Renfro, indicated that food is an important part of family culture. “My wife (Veronica DeLaurentiis) is Italian and food is an important part of Italian culture,” said Kavalsky.”When we have breakfast,we’re talking about lunch, when we’re having lunch, we’re talking about having dinner.It’s all about families bringing their ethnicities in the kitchen and bringing international heritage to American culture.” He and Suzanne DeLaurentiis will be shooting a musical comedy, “How Sweet It Is,” scheduled to start shooting in May/June of 2011. The show, directed by Jay Black and hosted by hilarious comedian and actor Brian Herzlinger is destined to be a major hit.

The Scoop LA was on set to view the taping of the first show, which, appropriately, featured Vietnamese cuisine. Brian was absolutely hilarious in the show as Joanna Le and Jacqueline Stiller introduced a traditional Vietnamese meal. She illuminates a common thread of most families. “We spend a lot of time cooking and eating,” she said. “We use sauces and seafood, which is accompanied by rice, the main carbohydrate.” But she maintains the greatness of American culture and its importance in the kitchen. “America used to be hot dogs and hamburgers,” said Joanna. “But there’s such a diversity here, which is what defines America. Food makes a connection for all of us.” Her sister Jacqueline, also describes an additional virtue of Vietnamise cooking. “Vietnamise cooking is leaner and healhier for you,” said Jacqueline. “I cook every night for my husband and baby and I try to cook with that in mind.”


Hilarious Duo Jay Black, Director (L) and Host Brian Herzlinger. Photo by Deborah Hayter.


Host Brian Herzlinger and Director Jay Black, who have known each other for many years, since 4th grade, have a winning chemistry together and make a great team for the soon to be successful series. “We met in the lunch line in 4th grade, quoting Police Academy lines,” said Herzlinger about Black. They’ve come full circle, helping to do a rewrite of a new Police Academy show. Brian admits that his cooking skills are rather elementary. “I was tired of cooking in the microwave and decided to do some stove cooking,” he said. “My cat jumped on the stove and I singed the cat’s whiskers.” Fortunately the cat survived and Herzlinger, well, is best served as the show’s comic foil. Jay hasn’t a much better story. “My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, liked Swedish fish and I decided to test it and put my hand into the bowl. I was on fire. It was like putting my hand into a bowl of molten fish lava.” Looks like this duo is best served hosting and directing. They are a very funny duo.

This show promises to be a major hit. Visit

Special thanks to Publicist Deborah Hayter and Suzanne DeLaurentiis for letting us have The Scoop!


The Scoop LA interviews the Director of Real American Meals, Jay Black and Brian Herzlinger, the host of the show, on the set of the first episode. The duo have known each other since the 4th grade. Video by Deborah Hayter.


On the second episode of “Real American Meals,” The Scoop LA speaks to Brian Herzlinger (L) and Jay Black. Look for Real American Meals to be a major television hit.


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