For the last several years, Bianca Simonian, the enigmatic owner of The Early Bird Café- has been the smiling face behind the favorite restaurant for many locals and expats alike. Normally it comes to one’s attention as being cited as the most authentic local California eatery. From the Cholula on the table to the variations of breakfast fare on the menu, the place oozes authenticity as much as it does delicious breakfast-y goodness! Never one to stand still long enough to get bored, we caught up with Bianca in the midst of a recent California adventure to see what she is doing across the globe.
Give us a little background on how the idea for the show came to you?
Towards the end of my stay in Kuwait, I was approached by someone back in LA about putting together a reality-based show for Food Network on my life in Kuwait. There were two issues with that: 1) I was moving back home to Los Angeles, and 2) people in Kuwait are EXTREMELY camera shy. SO, instead of letting this opportunity slip through my fingers, I rearranged the concept a bit…hence “The Borderless Chef”.
What is the concept, title etc.?
“The Borderless Chef” is basically a food/travel show that will kick off in Kuwait, and document me taking my story around the world in search of other risk-taking Americans who have opened food-related businesses abroad. I want to hear their stories. I want to get to know a culture and its food, through their eyes.
Who else is involved with the show (and what roles)?
I created the show, but there have been a lot of friends who have contributed along the way, either with production or even via our Kickstarter page, which was started to raise funds for this project.
Being a Los Angeles native, ironically I know next to nothing about the TV/film industry. But, the entrepreneur in me sees opportunity and is eager to tackle the challenge.
Give us any details around putting together the pilot?
The pilot was filmed in Kuwait at a variety of my favorite locations. It is being edited in Los Angeles now, and should be ready for viewing by the end of the year. So, for now we are just wrapped up in the work of getting it ready for you.
Where did you film when you were in Kuwait?
While in Kuwait we were able to shoot around town…Mubarakiya, which was particularly fun because I was able to get involved in making some fresh irani bread with the guys there, The Early Bird, etc. It was a total learning experience for everyone, in that, structuring a show like this can be challenging. As much as you plan ahead of time, things will not always be guaranteed. So ALWAYS have a “Plan B”.
So you made a pilot in Kuwait, where is the next stop on the map?
So far, we have lined up a second episode where a young man has set-up his own restaurant in Costa Rica, and a third Episode where a young woman has set-up a detoxifying raw food retreat in Thailand.
How are the prospects for it so far (any potential roadblocks)?
Well, aren’t there ALWAYS? In starting a new venture there are sets of “standard” roadblocks I believe. It’s whether or not you let them stop you that really matters. As of now, financial, organizational, and an evolving list of team-members. Other than that…we have the whole world in our hands!
Follow updates for The Borderless Chef via Instagram and Twitter: @borderlesschef or at: www.facebook.com/theborderlesschef