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CLASH OF THE GRANDMAS: Part 1

Television introduction for Clash of the Grandmas Cooking show for the FoodNetworkSomeone once said that serendipity was finding something good without looking for it. 

That’s what happened to me a few months ago. I was busily chopping onions for my pasta sauce while watching The Food Network . The phone rang.  An unfamiliar voice said, “Hello, Sandra, we’re casting for a Food Network show entitled, Clash of the Grandmas and you were recommended by someone.”

I glanced warily at the phone. 

“Really?”  

“Yes, we’d like to talk with you”

“Well, okay. I guess.”

“So, as I was saying, we’re casting a new show, Clash of the Grandmas.”

 I hesitate, silently.  What pops into mind is the Food Network show, Chopped. I can just see them asking me to create a dessert that includes peeled lamb’s head, black octopus ink and sunflower seeds. That’s definitely not my cup of tea. But I don’t say anything.

As if reading my mind, he continues, “Don’t worry, it’s not going to be a show with crazy ingredients.”  He then asks me to tell him a bit about my interest in cooking.

“I began quite early.  My mother was an excellent cook. I sat on the kitchen counter and watched her cook every night, absorbing her instinct for flavors and unique food pairings.  When I was older, I watched every one of Julia Child’s TV shows and my learning curve spiraled upwards. 

“Later, I studied with Jacque Pepin, ( I still make his chocolate soufflé), Liddy Marshall, and Barbara Kafka, who  introduced me to strawberries seasoned with balsamic vinegar.  Don’t wince, it’s delicious.

I also studied Italian cooking with Guiliano Bugialli in Florence.  Trying to make pasta with Guiliano Bugialli in Italy.

That was a divine experience, but I must admit that I failed pasta making. Not once, but twice. Juliano could not believe my inability to grasp the basic essentials. His attempts to teach me how to make pasta evolved into a live hysterical demonstration reminiscent of Desi and Lucy.

The casting director and I proceeded to talk for about an hour. All about food, my life, my family, my painting. He then asked if I could come to their offices so that they could interview me in person.  I figured, “Why not?”  So, the next day after getting my hair blown out, I went to the production company’s offices where I was videotaped as more questions were asked about my life and cooking experience.

filming me while interviewing me for Clash of the Grandmas Cooking show for the FoodNetworkA few silent weeks passed until the phone rang again. “We would like to do a Skype interview with you and could you please prepare one of your favorite dishes?“

OK, I get my hair blown out again and dash off to shop for the best shrimp and produce I can find.  I decided to make scampi served on top of orzo pasta with roasted tomatoes, basil and parmesan cheese.

Back home, I precisely chopped the parsley, cleaned the shrimp, roasted the bread for fresh bread crumbs, and grated the cheese. (No green box of parmesan cheese for me.)

The plan is to Skype with me at 4PM.  I’m right on schedule and all prepared to start grilling when my outdoor grill fails to ignite. Yikes! A good cook knows how to improvise, so I decide to broil the scampi in my oven. I’m right on schedule when the studio calls to tell me that there’s been a delay; problems at the studio. OK, I can deal with that, but then there’s another delay and I have visions of my scampi decaying into a soggy jumble.

Scampi to show to the producers of Clash of the Grandmas cooking show

Finally, we connect.  I again start talking about my cooking and then present my scampi to them so that they can see that I can prepare a dish which is appealing and photogenic.  After more pleasantries, we hang up as I wonder what comes next?

Another week goes by and again, another lovely person from the production company asks if she could speak with me for 40 minutes. or so. I never thought I was such a sparkling conversationalist, but an hour and a half later, we were still talking. You might ask what we talked about?  The truth is that I’ll be darned if I can remember!

Weeks go by and nothing happens. Then, I get another call and this time they want to interview my daughter and our grandchildren.  At this point, I felt as though I was being vetted by the CIA.

Following those interviews, once again the weeks go by. I’m not sure what is happening or not happening but I know that my appetite for appearing on the show was growing.   Finally, I get the long-awaited call confirming that I will be on the show and they will start shooting in a week! 

I hope this isn’t a build up to a let down, but I can’t share ANY of the details of the actual production.  I was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement which could penalize me for $750,000.00 if I so much as utter a word about what went on during the actual videotaping of the show.  So, please tune in or set your DVR to the Food Network on Sunday, November 27th at 10pm PT/ET and I promise I’ll share some of the fun details after the show airs.


Here we are. Four competitors for Clash of the Grandmas cooking show for the FoodNetwork

Clash of the Grandmas “Granny Family Food Fight” – Episode Premieres Sunday, November 27th at 10pm ET/PT
Show hashtag: #ClashoftheGrandmas, Network handle: @FoodNetwork

Three generations join forces in a special family edition, beginning with four grandmas cooking up a pot pie that reflects their heritage with help from their son or daughter. Next, they must make a brilliant brunch featuring the colors selected by their grandchildren via video message. Then, the final two grandmas must turn peanut butter and jelly flavors into a family-pleasing dessert worthy of the $10,000 prize.

Host: Cameron Mathison

Competitors: Saba Abed (Richmond, Virginia), Aliyah “Mama Pain” Najm (Atlanta, Georgia), Sandy Sallin (Beverly Hills, California), Blanca Simpson (Memphis, Tennessee)

Judges: Sharone Hakman, Aarti Sequeira, Jake Smollett

All images appearing on CLASH OF THE GRANDMAS: Part 1 are the expressed property of Sandra Sallin. All rights reserved. In other words, don’t steal it!



  • Karen H. - Sandra, I can’t wait to see this show featuring you! I enjoy your blog so much and always look forward to your posts. Happy Thanksgiving!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Why, thank you for your kind words. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.ReplyCancel

  • Karen H. - Sandra, I can’t wait to see this episode featuring you! I love your blog and your great sense of humor. Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thank you so much for those nice words. I hope the fun is translated to the screen. It was a hoot! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.ReplyCancel

  • Marietta Leis - So exciting because it sounds like it could be a lot of fun! You’ll be fantastic I know. Go to it!!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - It really was great fun and exhausting. I mean we were really running around that kitchen. Loved it.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy guilfoyle - I share 72 seconds on screen as an extra with Dolly Parton in Straight Talk!
    I understand the blowouts and appreciate the excitement!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Yes, it really is exciting. Can’t wait to see it. I’d share 72 seconds with Dolly any time.ReplyCancel

  • Lillian Plummer - Oh Sandra I am so delighted to hear your fabulous news, how exciting and fun is that! No chance of me seeing it down under I wouldn’t think, which is a huge disappointment, even less chance in HK. You are so talented, excellent painter and cook, enjoy your success and I wish for you more of the same. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your lovely family. Best wishes dear IG friend. xxReplyCancel

  • Bungalow Hostess - Oh my that sounds like a long process…glad you made the cut and I hope I can see this on the Canadian food network as we get different programming than the US
    Hope you had fun!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Hm? Maybe you can watch it online? It was a ball! Loved it. Also exhausting.ReplyCancel

  • Ann Gentry - Sandy, i am sitting at my restaurant Real Food Daily with Ben and Carla who I ran into tonight. What fun to re-connect with them, We’ve had a few laughs and I enjoyed catching up. They told me about your TV debut! I will watch and wish you the best of luck. If anything , sounds like you had fun in the process.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - What a fun thing to do. Thanks for Ben and Carla for mentioning the show. Yes, it was an exciting time. Let’s here it for Real Food Daily if you’re in L A and you want to eat very healthily.ReplyCancel

  • 1010ParkPlace - I had to laugh about your CIA interview. Funny stuff, but frustrating I’m sure. So looking forward to watching your show this weekend. BrendaReplyCancel

    • sandra - I’ve never talked so much inmy life! But everyone was super nice and fun to speak with.ReplyCancel

  • Susan B. - I CANNOT WAIT!!! This will be so much fun to watch!!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - I’m kinda nervous. It will be interesting to see how they put the show together.ReplyCancel

  • sandra - Via Email OHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! I was furious! You and your daughter were delightful; and that show I thought was so stupid and the show people were rude and stupid! You and the other contestants were GREAT!!

    GRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

    Penny
    logo-penny_bianchi.pngReplyCancel

  • Barbara H - Your hair looked great and I thought your brunch was delicious.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks on the hair and I’m glad you liked the brunch! I certainly liked it!ReplyCancel

  • sandra - VIA email:

    OHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! I was furious! You and your daughter were delightful; and that show I thought was so stupid and the show people were rude and stupid! You and the other contestants were GREAT!!

    GRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

    PennyReplyCancel

  • sandra - VIA email:

    Dear Sandy,

    Len and I were so excited to see you on T.V.. We were greatly impressed with your cooking skills. To get through the competition to be on the show highlighted your talent. We guess yellow is your new color when you cook. From now on, your family will expect great meals from you.

    Best regards,
    Brenda & Len SichelReplyCancel

  • Judi Briscoe - Oh Sandy, now I can say “I knew her when”!!! You never cease to amaze. I’ll be watching in November!
    Your WWF bud in Texas,
    Judi BriscoeReplyCancel

    • sandra - You can watch it on iTunes. The name of the episode is Granny Family Food Fight. It will cost you $2.99ReplyCancel

  • #FoodTVChat Interview with Sandra Sallin | Diva Foodies - […] hope you were able to join us for our #FoodTVChat with Clash of the Grandmas contestant, super talented home cook and artist Sandra Sallin because we had a […]ReplyCancel

  • Katie Clooney - So sorry I missed it. I will go over and watch it on itunes. You look positively adorable in the pics. Enjoy your week, Sandra.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Katie. I hope you enjoy it. I thought it was a lot of fun. Bon Appétit!ReplyCancel

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