The current age of technology has spawned a slew of independently created multimedia outlets, including MySpace, Facebook and YouTube, and senior Anthony Turco hopes to have the next big phenomenon with Sauté Sessions.
Sauté Sessions is an independently operated online television show that will film its pilot episode April 15 in the Johnson & Hardwick cafeteria. While the title reveals it is indeed a cooking show, the program focuses on relationships and how we can all learn from each other and our past experiences.
“The idea came to me after I had just broken up with my long-term girlfriend,” said Turco, an entrepreneurship and finance major. “I would go to my buddy’s house, and his dad would always be making food during our discussions about breakups, love, sex – anything regarding relationships – and I realized food is a great means of bringing people together.”
What started as an idea quickly manifested into a goal to try to reach out and help others, all while maintaining a carefree and relaxed environment.
“I view Sauté Sessions as being the anti-Dr. Phil,” said Turco, who will host the show along with co-creator John Ferdinand, a junior business management major. “I definitely don’t want to come off as some sort of ‘expert.’ I don’t think there’s such a thing as a relationship expert. We all experience them in different ways, and we can all learn from each other.”
The show will air as an open-forum discussion. Turco and his staff have come up with more than 35 possible topics for discussion, ranging from funny and off-the-wall subjects to serious, intimate issues.
The panel is also open to audience ideas. In fact, audience participation is not only encouraged but a crucial factor in whether the show will be a success.
“I’m prepared to break the ice with some of my own stories, but this is in no way a lecture,” Turco said. “The students who join our studio audience should be open to the idea of discussing their issues or bringing up pressing questions they have. There is a lot of ambiguity when it comes to relationships, and I want the show and the discussions to allow us to feel free to talk about them.”
Of course, there cannot be a show titled Sauté Sessions without food. The show will have guest chefs from the J&H staff and possibly some Temple students in the future. They will be cooking up “good eats,” as Turco calls them, for both the panel and audience to enjoy.
He also hopes to have guest musicians as part of the experience, as well.
Turco anticipates the show to have different segments, including the culinary-themed “Breaking the Eggs,” “Off the Grill” and “The Hot Stove,” but the laid-back attitude of the show will allow for a multilateral direction, leaving plenty of room for improvisation.
Sauté Sessions’ Web site, SauteSessions.com, will contain the edited episode by the end of the month. The Web site, as well as its Facebook page, also provide other avenues for viewer participation and communication.
“The Web site will pick up where the show leaves off,” Turco said. “All of the topics from the show will be on there, as well as different topics that may not have made it on the air. Viewers will be able to make a user name and post topics, as well comment on other people’s posts.”
Turco, who also owns and runs his own DJ entertainment business, is self-funding both the show and the Web site. If the show and Web site take off, he is open to the idea of using advertisers but doesn’t anticipate accepting any monetary donations from supporters.
“It would mean a lot more to me if people donated their time and energy and helped support the show by watching and participating,” Turco said.
It’s difficult to predict Sauté Sessions’ long-term future, but there is potential for both a television show and an innovative social networking Web site. Regardless of what lies ahead, Turco looks forward to the journey.
“Hopefully, word-of-mouth will continue to circulate throughout campus and maybe farther,” Turco said. “I have a team of passionate people around me, and all we can really do is to see where it goes and, most importantly, have fun.”
Nick DeLorenzo can be reached at email@example.com.