Chef Daniel Green of ShopNBC: A life of healthy eating, part 3
This is the final chapter in our interview with Daniel Green. In part 1, we learned about the healthy diet that helped him conquer his weight problem. And in part 2, we found out how he broke into the TV business. We now pick things up just as his career is taking off.
For years, Green never found work very inspiring. But he was about to do a complete 180. He realized he could channel his personal passion for healthy eating into a career. And as a TV chef, he now had a way to help thousands--even millions--experience weight-loss success similar to his own.
From 2000 to 2001, Green did cooking segments and shows for the Carlton Food Network, and later moved to the BBC's UK Food (akin to our Food Network) to guest chef and co-host Good Food Live. He also landed a series on Discovery Health, and made appearances on a slew of morning programs.
Off the air, he debuted his first cookbook (Green's Cuisine), composed of recipes he'd used to battle his own weight demons.
"Television goes away, but the book will always be there," he says. "If someone asked me to write a book next year, I'd be very flattered and would love it. But it would never mean the same as doing the first one, because it was the hardest to do."
In early 2004, ShopNBC offered him a chance to come onboard as a chef and host. The prospect was tempting: tons of live airtime in over 70 million homes. Plus, it provided a unique opportunity to sharpen his camera skills. "I'd done a lot of TV," he says. "But never the hours home shopping requires."
He talked to his wife--who he calls his strength and mentor--and they decided to head to the Midwest. But the transition was difficult on every front. At work, Green was pelted with new products and the unforgiving pressure of being on-air for extended blocks of time. And at home, his family was having a hard time adjusting to the move.
"It was tough," confesses Green. "I knew what I was doing was right for my career, but that doesn't always mean it's right for family."
For the first time in his life, his two great passions were at odds--but there was never a question who'd win out. After a few years, the Greens started planning a return to London, and he accepted a position at QVC in the UK.
But things have a funny way of working out sometimes. Green, along with his wife and daughter, slowly began to feel like Minnesota was home, and they ultimately opted to stay.
The decision has paid off, and Green's time at ShopNBC has proven invaluable. As a host, he pitches everything from watches to cookware. And last year he launched his own show, Daniel's Kitchen at ShopNBC.
"I'm still learning in front of the camera," he says. "But now I can have a live feed go on for three to four hours, not have a break, talk talk talk, be relaxed, and have products thrown at me I've never seen before."
Over the past eight years, he's done a mind-boggling 6,000 hours on ShopNBC, which averages out to over 14 hours of live TV every week. And that's just his day job.
In his "spare time," he does TV series locally (Kitchen Takeover on Twin Cities Live) and in Asia, as well as guest segments with the likes of Paula Deen and Andrew Zimmern. He's even hosted with Joan Rivers--who he found pleasantly surprising: "She was unbelievable. Strong. Says what she thinks. No ego. Remembers everyone's name."
Green's also published six cookbooks, written for magazines, launched a line of gourmet products, fed millions of passengers on KLM, developed recipes for Président Cheese and Heinz Salad Cream, and created menus for several hotels.
"I'm passionate about how I lost weight--and how I can help anyone lose weight--in a healthy way," Green says. "I do a lot, but I don't regret it. I'll never look back and think, I could've done so much more. And that's a nice place to be."
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