On a hot day this summer, we journeyed deep into the basement of one our neighborhood's finest establishments, Chelsea Market, switching back through double doors, looming freight elevators, and floors of fluorescent-lit desks in seemingly endless random succession. The end pursuit? Food Network's prop closet.
A prop closet is something of a treasure chest no matter whose it is; props are, in a way, the soul of a visual brand's photography and videography (just as the things in our real homes so often feel an extension of ourselves). Our prop closet is more of a cabinet than an actual room, just three openings piled high with our very favorite forks and plates and platters and glasses. But Food Network's? It's more like a labyrinth.
This is a company that's launched hundreds of cooking shows over 20+ years of production, a company that turned cooks (and their styles) into celebrities and household names. When we say we were curious to see what was in their prop closet, we really mean we were so excited we could hardly sleep. Want to see?
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A good prop closet is a little bit granny's attic and a lotta bit magic wardrobe. Here's a tour through Food Network's prop closet and lots of the treasures we found.
One of Rachael Ray's sets was all-white, and the set of Tyler's Ultimate was always stocked with warm, worn copper cookware on open shelves, giving it a perpetually cozy vibe.
There were probably 10 aisles like these, and a few separate rooms towering with piles of props.
These papier-maché heads are from a Barney's window installation (circa 2010) by Simon Doonan—do you find them as terrifying/enchanting as we do?
Martha and Sandra Lee
Bobby and Ina.
You might be wondering what we pillaged... So much! We bought a handful of items from Food Network directly, to stock in our own prop cabinets and use in our food photography, and our other 700+ favorite items are going to be for sale in our pop-up Holiday Market, located right on Union Square in New York City. It opens the first week in December—safe to say we'll see you there?
Our pop-up Holiday Market opens to the public on December 3 in New York City; sign up here for a reminder! We can't wait to see you there.