Debut date set for new Food Network show featuring local food blogger Molly Yeh
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn.—The Food Network show "Girl Meets Farm," featuring Molly Yeh, local food blogger and cookbook author, premieres at 10 a.m. June 24.
The seven-episode series focuses "on the types of things I would do regularly," said Yeh, who lives with her husband, Nick Hagen, on his family's farm north of East Grand Forks.
"We tried to incorporate everyone I spend time with on a regular basis."
Each episode revolves around a specific theme, such a baby shower for her sister-in-law, a brunch for girlfriends and an anniversary celebration.
"I really enjoyed the creative process, developing a list of recipes and the collaborative work with the production crew," Yeh said.
The show will feature recipes "inspired by the farm and region—things like hot dish, rhubarb, eggs from my chickens," Yeh said.
For each episode, she chose recipes and created menus, drawing from her Jewish and Chinese heritage and "food inspired by my time spent in New York City," said Yeh, who grew up in a Chicago suburb and attended Juilliard School of Music in New York, where she met Hagen, a fifth-generation farmer. They married three years ago.
The recipes "are all very meaningful to me—they tell a story," she said. "The food of the region is my inspiration. It's a total melting pot of recipes."
Yeh's parents-in-law, Roger and Roxanne Hagen, her parents and other family and friends appear in various episodes. Her husband is in every episode, she said. "They had so much fun with it."
Yeh first met with Food Network personnel during a promotional tour for her cookbook, "Molly on the Range," in October 2016 in New York. Not long after, a production crew came here to shoot a short "sizzle" spot. The pilot for "Girl Meets Farm" was filmed in December, she said.
A crew of more than 20—mostly from Los Angeles and New York City—spent about two-and-a-half weeks here in April shooting the scenes for six other episodes.
"It was a blast to have them here, to show them around town and around the farm," she said.
They shot scenes such as her shopping at the Kittsona Lifestyle Boutique, taking lunch to her husband as he worked in the field and enjoying local nightlife.
"At Toasted Frog, I introduced them to cheesy fried pickles," she said.
Filming recipe-making scenes meant learning to work with the cameras and "how to move my hands," she said. "I had to learn to not say 'like' or 'just' or 'amazing' so much," and to find different ways to describe a dish.
The popular host of the blog "My Name is Yeh" said the transition to filming for TV was made easier because of her experience with video for her blog in which she offers instruction on preparing recipes.
"I love the idea of showing my recipes on video," she said. "There's so much more you can show."
Yeh and Hagen say they are pleased with how their community is portrayed in the series.
"They've captured Grand Forks in its true best light," Hagen said. "It's a great opportunity for non-Midwesterners to see what a mid-size Midwestern city is all about."
The Food Network is on Channel 34 on the Midcontinent cable TV system.
This story has been updated to correct the date of the first show.