Behind the Scenes of a TV Cooking Segment

Have you ever wondered what it takes to put together a food shoot for television? In partnership with the Georgia Peanut Commission, National Peanut Board registered dietitian Sherry Coleman Collins (aka @PeanutRD on Twitter) often does on-air cooking demos on a local Atlanta outlet CBS 46 show Atlanta Plugged-in.

Prepping Food in Advance

Sherry spends the day before prepping the 3-4 dishes she plans to share on air. This process starts with making a list of recipes and ingredients, followed by a trip to the grocery store.  With ingredients on hand, all of the ingredients are washed and chopped.  Items that require cooking are prepared fully before segment, while the ingredients for no-cook items are portioned out for easy assembly.  Everything – including food, equipment, and serving pieces – is labeled in detail to keep Sherry organized during her segment.

Atlanta Plugged In Peanut Recipes

Food Styling for TV

Making food look pretty and appetizing for television isn’t easy. Picking foods with bright colors and are easy to make will make an on-air segment a piece of cake. Also bring extras in case things have been made multiple times while shooting. It’s also important to bring extra props. Sherry brought a box full of plates, bowls, and silverware to use on air.


Most cooking segments are filmed in under 3 minutes; that’s why it’s important to prep parts of your recipe in advance so you can finish each dish on time. It’s important to be energetic and hands on while cooking to keep the viewers’ interest.

To view the most recent segment, Sherry filmed please click here.

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