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Host Erik Kennon takes you to Central Mexico to learn how to make made-from-scratch recipes from real grandmothers.
Host Erik Kennon takes you to Central Mexico to learn how to make made-from-scratch recipes from real grandmothers.
126 backers pledged $6,187 to help bring this project to life.

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¡GRANDMA'S COOKIN' GOES TO MEXICO! - a travel/cooking show project video thumbnail
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$6,187

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Grandma's Cookin' is a new web series that will travel the world in search of the best Grandma Chef's. Mexico is just the beginning: Italy, Thailand, Turkey, Brazil and Louisiana are all seasons to come. As the show grows and evolves, you'll have a voice in what countries and regions of the USA you would like me to visit!

The Mission of this show is a return to food made with love. We must capture these priceless Grandma recipes before they are lost! And then we must educate younger generations on how to make real meals for their loved ones. No more more microwaveable taquitos or taco bell! Let's learn to make some delicious, authentic Mexican food!

In Season 1, Mexican Grandmothers will teach you how to make authentic enchiladas, salsas, tacos, guacamoles, and stews. You'll also learn to make tortillas from scratch!

Dearest Kickstarter, please help me raise $6,000 so that I can take you all with me to Central Mexico for seven invaluable episodes of Grandma’s Cookin’- seven different grandmas, seven different authentic mexican recipes, seven teachings about slow food that you can implement and share with your loved ones.

In each episode you'll be introduced to real grandmothers (abuelas) and their most prized, delicious recipes. We'll learn to select the choicest ingredients at vibrant mercados, chef it up in their cocinas, and enjoy the dishes with their familia!

I’ll invest the $6,000 into two Sony video cameras, a digital audio recorder, two wireless mics, a big ol’ hard drive, and the lighting equipment I’ll need to bring you professional, high quality episodes that you’ll be able to stream for free on both Youtube and Vimeo. 

Each episode will be broken into two parts- Part 1 will be a bit more like a travel show- we’ll learn about the history and culture of grandma’s city or small town, we’ll go with her to a local market to pick out ingredients, and we’ll get to know grandma and some of her wisdoms and life lessons before we start cooking. However, if you just want to learn how to make her recipe, you can skip straight to Part 2, which will be step by step cooking instructions in Grandma’s Kitchen. 

At the end of Part 2 we’ll taste the finished masterpiece with her family and reflect on how Grandma’s Cookin’ is not only delicious, but full of a loving quality that holds extended family together. (Despite all the drama!) 

Season 1 will be filmed from January 15th to May 15th, 2013. New episodes will be released approximately every two weeks during the duration of the season. 

Grandma’s Cookin’ will also have a website, facebook page, and a twitter feed updated daily with photos, recipes, consejos (Mexican sayings and wisdoms,) and short blooper videos!

Each episode will be published as an English version (with subtitles) and as a Spanish version (entirely in Español with no subtitling necessary.)

Episodes will be filmed on location in the beautiful Spanish Colonial cities of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Santiago de Queretaro, and perhaps even Puebla and Guadalajara...

Oh, please check out some of these sample episodes to get a taste of Grandma's Cookin'!  But imagine that with your help Season 1 will have much higher quality video and audio!

Reward for Backers who contribute $100 or more- I COOK LIKE A GRANDMA APRON
Reward for Backers who contribute $100 or more- I COOK LIKE A GRANDMA APRON

*** Story of Grandma's Cookin' ***

After getting kicked out of Spain for being an illegal tour guide for two years, I limped back to Portland, Oregon, right at the height of the financial crisis. It was seemingly impossible to find a job in Portland. Running out of options, I remembered that some Mexican clowns I met in Spain had told me that I would always have a place with them in Mexico. I decided, heck, I’ve got nothing to lose, I’ll move to Mexico to join their Mexican Circus! 

Circus life was harder than I had expected. There was lots of clown drama, too. My audition didn’t go so well, but I didn’t have enough money to get a ticket home, and I was having too much fun to care. I was stuck in Mexico and loving every minute of it. How did I get the idea for this new show, Grandma’s Cookin? Well one day I was eating a restaurant in Mexico with some friends and I said “This is the best food I’ve had in my whole life.” One of my Mexican friends said “You think this food is good? You gotta try my grandma’s cookin’!” and then every person at the table started shouting, “Dude, my grandma is the best cook.” “No mine!” Finally I said, “Wait a sec, there is only one way to settle this. I’ll be the judge as to who’s grandma is the best cook.” And so the competition began... 

My friend’s all took turns taking me back to their pueblos so I could try their grandma’s cookin’. It was an insider’s view of central Mexico. But my friend’s took the competition very seriously, and were all convinced that their grandmother would win. I would always bring flowers, and I’d bring ingredients, too. The grandmother’s were always surprised when I wanted to learn how to make the recipe- they weren’t used to having men in the kitchen. I loved watching those intricate recipes come to life, but even moreso, I loved learning the folklore and history of Mexico. What an amazing country. 

Back to the food- the whole extended family would come over for dinner with the gringo who was going to judge grandma’s cookin. They aunts and uncles, neighbors and cousins, they would always ask me to take the first bite, all of them smiling as they awaited my reaction. Would their Grandma’s Cookin be voted the best? 

Every dish I tried was out of this world, and I’d always say the same thing to break the tension. I’d say- this food came down from heaven!! This food is a miracle!! And the whole family was so proud, and they’d say, This guy, he really knows his stuff! After I’d been stuffed full of plate after plate of authentic mexican cuisine, they’d often joke, Erik, you ate so much, we’re going to have to roll you back over the border. I told every grandma that she had won first place, and the grandmas would always cry and tell me to come back as soon as I could. 

Those experiences left a mark on me. I knew I had something powerful that I needed to share. And thus Grandma’s Cookin’ was born.

*** Show Theme Song Composed By KW PLUCKETT ***   http://kwpluckett.bandcamp.com/

*** Logos And Branding By Heather Cannon *** http://www.creativehotlist.com/profile/hcannon/portfolio/group1

*** HERE ARE SOME MORE SAMPLES OF MY CAMERAWORK AND EDITING. THE FOLLOWING ARE PROJECTS I DID IN PORTLAND FOR THE PORTLAND FARMER'S MARKETS ***

Risks and challenges

Risk/Challenge: Crew

This production sports a three-person crew—me as the writer, host, producer, and editor... and then two Mexico-based cameramen, one of which went to film school in Barcelona. It is possible that the roles of writer, host, producer and editor are too many sombreros for one person to wear.

Risk Management: I enjoy playing all of those roles and am up for the challenge, but if the work load becomes too much, I will hire an editor in my home town of Portland. I’ve already got PDX filmmaker Jason Faust of Faustus Films on color correction for Season 1, and he will pick up editing responsibilities as necessary.

Risk/Challenge: Safety

Another risk is that of my own personal safety.. and the safety of film crew and equipment. News reports over the last few years have shown an alarming rise in violent crime, some of it directed towards Americans visiting for business, pleasure or journalism.

Risk Management: I have spent many hours considering what areas of Central Mexico I can safely film in and what methods of travel are most secure. Because I lived in Central Mexico for a year, I know what highways to take when traveling from shoot to shoot, and because I speak Spanish fluently, I will be talking to informed locals that I trust about what areas of each town are safe for me and my crew to film. Plus, the film crew are Mexicans, and have friends and family for us to stay with in each of the towns we’ll be visiting.

Risk/Challenge: On Screen Talent (Grandma's)

Finding the right Grandma for each recipe takes more time and attention than you might guess. Due to the fact that some our recipes will be decided upon by Kickstarter Backers who contribute $999 to the project, I will have to wait until they’ve chosen their recipes and then find the perfect Grandma to teach us.

Risk Management: Once I have the list of recipes that will be filmed for Season 1, I’ll pass the list along to several Mexican friends who have very large extended families. They’ll get the word out through the grapevine (Grandmavine?) and send me dozens of recommendations. The first weeks in Mexico will be spent pre screening each of the Grandma recommendations to find the right amount of spunk, wisdom, and, of course, culinary prowess. If the recipe can be found at one of Central Mexico’s thriving food stands, or puestos, I’ll ask some of the Grandmas who own such food stands if they would like to instruct us. They chef it up for a living and have lots of food oriented wisdoms to share.

Risk/Challenge: This is my first time taking on a project of this scope and scale. I have run several walking tour companies, created many theatre productions, and organized and executed quite a few film shoots. However, this will be my first project that spawns products and rewards that need to be produced and distributed.

Risk Management: To ensure that I’m on schedule towards delivering the project rewards on time, I’ll be coached and managed by a mentor of mine who has built her entire career around independent projects with similar deliverables. She will assist me with developing a project management schedule for the delivery of the products and awards.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    AN E-HUG FROM GRANDMA AND I.

    A warm, tingly feeling that only implies the sincerest gratitude from myself and all the Grandma Chefs of Season 1 :-)

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THIS TACO IS FOR YOU.

    One day in Spring of 2013, when you least expect it, you'll receive an email with a photo of a exquisite, delicious taco. There will be an explanation of what it is called, how you order it in spanish, where you can find it, and there will be photos of the taco cart or stand that it came from, and a picture of me eating it on your behalf!

    I will be taking photos of dozens and dozens of different types of tacos from all different regions of Mexico. Which one will you get?

    "This Taco Is For You" will be emailed between January 15th and May 15th, with different backers receiving different photos at different times. If you are vegetarian or vegan please let me know so I can choose your taco accordingly :-)

    The taco photo and history will make your day... it will make you smile... and trust me, it will make you hungry...

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    DOWNLOADABLE E-BOOK COOKBOOK.

    You'll receive the above award AND a downloadable PDF cookbook that revolves around the recipes of Mexican Abuelas, or Grandmothers. It'll be formatted for Smartphones, iPads, and Kindles, too. The cookbook will feature at least 10 recipes, stunning photos, and words of wisdom from the grandmothers. I'll be writing a touching introduction about how Grandma's made-from-scratch food brings the family together in Mexico... and what we can learn from this.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    HD DOWNLOAD OF SEASON 1 + EXCLUSIVE EXTRA EPISODE OF YOUR CHOOSING.

    You'll receive all the above AND the ability to download High Definition copies of all 7 episodes of Season 1.

    Plus, I'll film an extra episode exclusively for Kickstarter backers like yourself! You'll be the only ones to see this 8th episode! There will also be some deleted scenes and bloopers that I couldn't fit on the Youtube reel.

    FINALLY- You and every other $25 and up backer will be able to vote about what Mexican recipe you want the exclusive 8th episode to be about! You decide, I'll find a Grandma to teach us...

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    THE TACO SPECIAL. You'll receive the above awards AND a DVD copy of my short documentary all about the tacos of Mexico. Unlike the shows main webisodes, it won't have anything to do with grandma cuisine- the "Taco Special" is all about Mexico's best taco carts, stands, and traditions. Did you know there are morning tacos and nighttime tacos? They are very different! By the end of the documentary you'll know how to order tacos like a pro. Also, this DVD will be a much higher definition and picture quality than the free grandmother recipe episodes on Youtube.

    And the best part? You'll open your package to find that your DVD is wrapped not in a chintzy plastic sleeve... BUT IN A CORN TORTILLA!!!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    MEXICAN ADVICE VIDEO MONTAGE- every country has their own unique proverbs or sayings, but let me tell you, Mexico is a land full to the brim with enlightening folk wisdoms, or "dichos." I will collect some of these gems and juxtapose them over vibrant textures of everyday life in mexico, all set to local ballads and tunes. This short, 10 to 15 minute long video documentary will be included on the same DVD as the Taco Special. It will be relaxing to watch and will inspire you each time you watch it. Of course you’ll receive all of the above awards as well...

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    SPICY MEXICO WALL CALENDAR- all of the above rewards PLUS a customized calendar (July 2013 to July 2014) that has different hi-resolution photos of spicy Mexican chili peppers, salsa, and other hot foods for each month. Each photo will be accompanied by a description of that spicy foodstuff and a scale of how much it made Erik cry when he ate it.

    The calendar is complete with 1- real Mexican holidays and the foods that are traditionally eaten on those days AND 2- made-up holidays like “say Hola and Adios at work day,” “host a Mexican food pot luck day,” “send Mariachis to a friends house day” and “wear a sombrero and drink tequila all day day.” (Warning: that last one may appear several times... especially around Erik’s birthday...)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    I COOK LIKE A GRANDMA! apron- all the above AND an apron screen printed with a logo of a BadA$$ Grandma Chef cooking up a storm. Underneath her it will say “I cook like a grandma!” With this apron you’ll be able to show everybody that you have watched season 1 of Grandma’s Cookin’, you’ve trained with all 7 Grandma Chefs, and you now have astounding Grandma Cookin’ skillz...

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    SMUDGES OF EVERY RECIPE COOKBOOK- all of the above rewards AND a paper cookbook comprised of photocopies of each recipe handwritten by the Grandma who taught it. The best part? During each video episode the featured Grandma will sign your copy by smudging a little bit of the salsa, guacamole, or cake icing we’re making on each page of this very special, VIP cookbook! Only 20 of these available, so don’t miss your chance!

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    Pledge $199 or more About $199

    NAME ON WEBSITE AND AND SKYPE CONFERENCE WITH ERIK. All the above rewards AND you'll have your or your organization's name emblazoned on a special thanks page of our website! PLUS you'll get to Skype with Erik for 20 minutes while he is in Mexico. He'll answer questions about the show and he'll ask you for direction and guidance. Your ideas will help improve the show! He'll call ya from a Mexican Plaza so you can see the vibrant colored churches in the background...

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    Pledge $499 or more About $499

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT + EXCLUSIVE SPOKEN WORD SLAM POEM- all the above rewards AND your name will be included in the credits of every episode of Season 1. ALSO, you'll receive an HD Download of Erik performing a 5 minute Spoken Word Slam Poem about his experiences in Mexico. Erik has performed monologues and Slam Poems at Theatre Festivals and Poetry Competitions around the world...

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    Pledge $999 or more About $999

    YOU CHOOSE THE RECIPE- you get to pick a Mexican dish that you’ve always wanted to learn how to make and Erik will find a Grandma to teach it to you! The episode will be dedicated to you and you’ll be thanked by Erik at the beginning of the episode. Plus, you’ll be listed as an executive producer, Papi! ONLY 5 of these available, so jump on this chance to choose the recipe!

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    Pledge $4,999 or more About $4,999

    EPISODE WITH YOU- all of the above AND Erik will fly to your house (well, at least to the closest airport and then call you from a payphone and ask for a ride to your place) to teach you how to make one of the Grandma Recipes he learned while in Mexico. We’ll get the whole thing on video and then send it to the original grandma chef so she can watch it and have a good laugh. “Silly gringos,” she’ll say, chuckling to herself... “but their enchiladas turned out pretty well...” OR, IF YOU PREFER, ERIK WILL COOK WITH YOUR GRANDMA AND MAKE AN OFFICIAL EPISODE OUT OF IT!

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Funding period

- (45 days)