T.C.A. Press Tour Brings Croquet, Ice Bars, and Iron Chef to Town

TV networks entertained critics in town for the twice yearly T.C.A. press tour with events that included croquet, ice bars, and dishes from Iron Chef contestants.

By Alesandra Dubin August 7, 2009, 4:03 PM EDT

Fox's T.C.A. event

Photo: Courtesy of Dan Scott

The Television Critics Association, which represents more than 220 journalists in the U.S. and Canada, brought its twice yearly press tour to town, a chance for the group to have face-to-face contact with network execs, producers, and talent. The exhaustive presentations and programming officially began at the Langham hotel in Pasadena on July 28 with related events at nearby venues; the tour wraps on August 8.

Among the programming was a July 30 event for the Food Network at a private residence in Pasadena. Kristi Foley and Joey Forster of Bounce produced the event celebrating the announcement of the network’s new shows, What Would Brian Boitano Make? and the upcoming season of The Next Iron Chef. Food Network senior vice president of programming and production Bob Tuschman introduced Boitano, and Alton Brown presented the 10 finalists of this season's Next Iron Chef.

Guests sipped Boitano’s specialty drink “Italian 88,” made with champagne, grapefruit juice, and vodka, served from a custom ice bar. Each chef finalist had a tasting station serving small bites, including crispy fried oysters with shiso, sancho pepper, and wasabi-yuza sauce, and Truffle Tremor goat cheese sandwiches with brioche and honey butter. A high-res LED screen decked the poolside floating stage, and a Nintendo Wii gaming area showcased the Food Network’s new game Cooked or Be Cooked. The residence's wine cellar offered a special reserve wine tasting.

Fox Television's party on August 6 at the Langham, overseen by director of special events Karin Pofsky, took over the horseshoe-shaped gardens on the property, which Russell Harris designed around a theme he described as “South Beach meets Viceroy.” The team used new tents and cabanas from Town & Country, and Harris designed an ice bar executed by Carving Ice. Activities for the guests included karaoke, croquet, miniature golf, horse shoes, and mini massages. Stars of the network's new shows posed in front of a step-and-repeat before joining the party.

CBS's party, overseen by CBS Television's vice president of talent relations and special events, Ian Metrose, took to the Huntington Library in San Marino on August 3, with production from Poko Event Productions. Guests had cocktails and nibbles, and hob-nobbed with stars, producers, and executives from the CBS Television Network, the CW, Showtime, CBS Television Studios, and CBS Television Distribution. The Huntington grounds—home to renowned botanical gardens and an 18th- and 19th-century British and French art collection—were available for guests, who lounged amid opulent furniture rentals from Town & Country. “The furniture chosen for the event was continuous with the theme of the location, and the party decor added a subtle elegance to the already breathtaking landscape to enhance the beauty of the surroundings," said Metrose.

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