Exciting News: Canadian Doenjang is on TV

Canadian Doenjang on Bell Local (screenshot)
Canadian Doenjang on Bell Local (screenshot)

We have super-duper exciting news about Canadian Doenjang to share with you, our lovely readers…

*drum roll please*

Five episodes of our YouTube Korean cooking show, Canadian Doenjang, will be on TV!!

How did this happen?

Last spring I was contacted by a producer from Bell Local, a Bell Media community channel, because they were interested in our fun Korean cooking show, Canadian Doenjang. To say I was surprised would be putting it mildly as we – Heejoo, Jen and I – were just doing Canadian Doenjang for fun, mainly because friends had recommended that I do a cooking show (I love to cook and am pretty decent at it). But it was one of those times when we were in the right place (I went to elementary school with the producer’s wife and he saw one of our YouTube shows on her Facebook feed) at the right time (Bell Local was a fairly new channel venture).

Look Mom, I'm on TV! Now there's something I never thought I'd say ^^ (screenshot)
Look Mom, I’m on TV! Now there’s something I never thought I’d say ^^ (screenshot)

Now for those of you that aren’t Canadian, this was a rather big deal as Bell Media is one of Canada’s most recognizable communication companies, its parent company, Bell Canada was founded in 1880, and the Bell Media division includes television, radio, digital media, and Internet properties. Which might explain why my first reaction was to say “Seriously? You want to buy OUR YouTube show? Um, really?” Luckily I didn’t say that. ^^ I just replied back that I would love to hear more.

Doing my Vanna White impression... man, was this funny to do in the grocery store. (screenshot)
Doing my Vanna White impression… man, was this funny to do in the grocery store. (screenshot)

Fast forward a bit and I started to learn a little about the world of TV as we had to make some adjustments to the five episodes of Canadian Doenjang that they liked in order for our simple YouTube videos to be more TV ready/friendly. It was an interesting experience, especially for me, as I really knew next to nothing about TV (other than watching it of course) and there were lots of little adjustments to make our YouTube episodes ready for TV.

So many choices... (screenshot)
So many choices… (screenshot)

So what’s different?

The first episode – our “common ingredients” episode – was completely redone. In fact, other than it being about the same ingredients (the 20 or so common ingredients that I often use when cooking Korean food), it’s completely different. Seriously… here’s our original video (we’re a little awkward, especially me, in it since it was the first one):

And here’s the Bell Local version. Luckily, Bell Local has put it up on their YouTube channel so we can share it with you! It’s almost a completely different show 😛

All of the episodes that will run on Bell Local have an intro (they are all different and run about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes at the start of each episode. We filmed three of the intros walking around Toronto’s Christie Koreatown (Toronto has two Koreatowns – Christie and Finch) on a windy evening late last summer. The other two intros were filmed inside Song Cooks, a Korean restaurant at Yonge & Steeles (near the Finch Koreatown).

The four dishes we will be making in our next 4 episodes of Canadian Doenjang on Bell Local (screenshot)
The four dishes we will be making in our next 4 episodes of Canadian Doenjang on Bell Local (screenshot)

They also added a cute little animation (to all of the episodes) – who doesn’t like dancing food ^^ – and a voiceover (my voice) at the end of the first episode explaining what we will be making in the next episodes.

I was laughing so hard... Heejoo is a much better actor/comedian that I am (screenshot)
I was laughing so hard… Heejoo is a much better actor/comedian that I am (screenshot)

But of course, the biggest difference is that we are ‘fake’ shopping instead of simply talking about the ingredients in my kitchen. I had to *gasp* act – because I’m not generally that animated while grocery shopping, nor do I usually talk that much about what I/we are buying. Luckily Heejoo is super comfortable on camera so she lead the way with her fun personality. 

A mashup of 4 screenshots of the credits from Canadian Doenjang on Bell Local
A mashup of 4 screenshots of the credits from Canadian Doenjang on Bell Local

Thanks go to…

Huge thanks to P.A.T. Mart (Christie location) for allowing us to spend 4 hours filming in their store! It was much appreciated!! By the way, I shop at that location often as it’s on my way home from work so I can definitely vouch for them.

Huge thanks also go to Song Cooks, a Korean restaurant up at Yonge & Steeles, for allowing us to shot the intros to episodes 4 & 5 at their location. It was much appreciated!! And the food they provided us to eat during the shoot was delicious. Plus it’s one of the few (if not only) Korean restaurants in the GTA than you can experience floor seating at.

Thanks Bell Local for picking us up! (screenshot)
Thanks Bell Local for picking us up! (screenshot)

And finally, thanks to Bell Local and Ian, our contact person/producer, for liking our simple cooking show enough to buy the rights to show 5 episodes. While it wasn’t something we sought, it was fantastic and helped our show – and skills – grow (we learned a bit, at least I did, which is always cool). Plus how fun is it to say, “My show’s on TV!”?

So, our lovely readers (and viewers), if you are a Bell Fibe TV customer… you can watch us on demand on channel 1217. You can also watch the promo and first episode on Bell Local’s YouTube channel. And as always, let us know what you think! We love hearing from you!

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival. Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher.

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