Top Chef, Williamsburg + Mayonnaise

25 Jul 2008

Eat In Kitchen

Word from Gothamist is that the new Top Chef contestants are living in my hood at the McCarren Park Condos. When asked what was filming, a crew member deadpanned “A mayonnaise commercial. Just a mayonnaise commercial.”

Mayonnaise and Cat Food are the two tried and true classics of film set crowd control. Tell the public that’s what you’re shooting, and they’ll keep on moving – the thinking is that nobody cares about these products. No prom king, sorry.

That said, while working on set I’ve had odd conversations with passerby about the virtues of condiments and cats. And even as a filmmaker, I am not immune from such chicanery. Last week I walked by a set and paused to ask what’s shooting – in my query using code to convey my insider status – it’s OK, you can tell me what’s really on camera.
But alas no pass for me, just a stonefaced response: “Hellmann’s Mayonnaise.” I smiled and pushed on.

no brands for you!

(Bonus Points go to whichever upstart filmmakers create a meta-text that integrates Top Chef with their Carroll Gardens brethren Real World.)


  1. 31 Jul 2008 Erica

    Hey Michael,

    This is Erica, the intern from Saatchi. Kudos for using a Natalie Dee cartoon; my favorite!