A Q & A with the Creator & Star of ‘In Deb’s Kitchen’

A new year means new experiments! Here is my blog’s very first q&a.

Debra Shigley on CBS

Debra Shigley has crafted a totally 21st century educated woman’s career of many hats, many options. She’s a lawyer, a journalist, a speaker, a career coach, a television correspondent, a book author and a magazine editor. She is also my friend and college classmate  and she quoted me extensively (and anonymously in her women’s career guide book! Deb (formerly Debra Hunter).

Now, she’s also a web television entrepreneur. Deb has just launched the first episode of ‘In Deb’s Kitchen’, a short segment cooking show about using a mix of fresh and prepared ingredients.

Deb! I had no idea that you cooked! What’s your relationship to a home-cooked meal? Are you a lifelong cook?

I’m not! My husband Kevin is actually a great cook. For our first Valentine’s Day, he made me a fancy fresh pasta dish and homemade rice pudding.

I learned a lot from Kev (ed. note: he co-stars in the show), and started cooking a lot more after we got married about 5 years ago. That’s a funny thing that happens to a lot of women I think, once you become a wife and especially after having kids (we have a 2 year old son and an 8 month old daughter). Call it old fashioned, but I think it’s really nice to be able to cook a nice meal for my family.

Web video is an exciting but uncharted and risky area. You run published a go-getting career guide book, you appear on The Today Show, which are both really traditional things to do. How did this show come about? When did you become such a daredevil?!

It really was one of those ideas that just sort of came to me! After my second baby was born, I rejoined the 9-5 world after freelancing and speaking for a few years. I’m a travel editor by day. But it has changed our day-to-day lifestyle. I don’t have time anymore to, say, run to the grocery store during a weekday to pick up all the ingredients for a new recipe I wanted to try that night.

I did a little survey of my Facebook friends and found that a whopping 78% cook dinner with a mix of fresh and packaged ingredients– which is not the kind of cooking shown in most cooking shows. So, I thought, and a why not make my own show? I came up with a budget, “crewed up” with some friends of mine in Atlanta, and we shot 6 “pilot” episodes in a very busy two-day shoot!

Have you gotten any exciting leads from the show or any interesting viewer email?

Yes! You’ll see me cooking on a certain national morning show later this month (omg!), and I’m working on several marketing partnerships to distribute the show. Some of my favorite cooking products have expressed interest in sponsoring… It’s early yet but all very exciting!  Lots of people have requested kale recipes. Also, gluten-free. One woman said the kitchen didn’t seem like it was my kitchen. No, it really is! For the next round of episodes I’ll make sure to have some pics of my family on the fridge 🙂

Now, turn your attention to all those other men and women who aspire to become YouTube stars. What advice do you have for them?

I’m certainly no expert at this, that’s for sure. But the simplest advice I can offer with any endeavor or creative impulse is to just do it! Don’t wait around for permission and maybe don’t get too caught up in research before you start. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really study all the other cooking shows on YouTube before I filmed this. If I had, I probably would have been too intimidated to even try (there are indeed a zillion shows out there!). So follow your gut, put your voice out there, and don’t be attached to the results.

New episodes of ‘In Deb’s Kitchen’ will post to YouTube every other Tuesday at 10 am.

And readers, I hope you like these interviews (I have a celebrity one lined up next!)

Published by Christina

Writer, wife, mother, native New Yorker

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