TV show hosted by UBC Sauder lecturer tops multiple categories at Leo Awards
UBC Sauder’s Chad Brealey (2nd from left), seen with the rest of the Salt, Fresh & Field team celebrating their 2019 Leo Award wins
A Canadian TV show that brings food, cultures and people together at the dinner table has won five trophies at the 2019 Leo Awards, a prestigious event organized by the Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Foundation of British Columbia that celebrates the best works from B.C.'s film and television industry.
Salt, Fresh & Fieldis co-produced and hosted by Chad Brealey, a UBC Sauder Lecturer who teaches and law and business communications. The show journeys into some of the less-chartered locations across the country to spotlight its culinary traditions and explore communities through their relationship with food.
Salt, Fresh and Field won in the categories of 'best information, lifestyle or reality program', 'best direction', 'best picture editing' as well as 'best sound.'
Brealey also won the 'best host' award for his work on the program.
Conversations start around food
Brealey conceptualized the idea for the show about ten years ago to explore the connection between communities, cultures, wilderness and the ecosystem of food.
"I wanted to effectively take the viewers with us, I wanted to get into the depth of it," said Brealey. "Ten years ago that didn't exist."
Brealey's initial work got the attention of Telus, which then commissioned the show to produce more long-form programmes through its STORYHIVE project. The show now boasts 24 episodes, each attempting to illuminate our connection with food and helping us understand where our food really comes from.
"It's critical to get people around the table. It is the basis of so many cultures — conversations start around food."
In one episode, Brealey explores the ocean around Victoria for the reviled and revered sea urchin. Another episode takes him to Slave Lake in Alberta where viewers vicariously experience hole fishing. Throughout the show, the audience meet chefs and community members who embrace the joys of cooking and eating an inspired meal together.
'Recipe is business communications'
Brealey's experiences — and success — in the field of food and lifestyle films find their way back into the classrooms at UBC Sauder.
"The message that I bring to the students is that it's important to be interesting," said Brealey. "In order to attract attention or set yourself apart you need to be interested.
In fact, Brealey sees parallels between the world of cooking and business communications.
"The way to make a recipe is pure business communications. There's an expected outcome, there's an order, there's creativity, there's hope, there's emotion in it. If you write a recipe with flaws, the result will be bad. And if you don't write a memo, a business plan or a case well, you won't get the result you wanted," explained Brealey.
The changes taking place in the media landscape and rising awareness amongst consumers is creating a platform for shows like Salt, Fresh & Field to leverage their success and explore more stories.
"There's a demand from the consumer's side that things are challenged, questioned and investigated," said Brealey.
You can watch episodes of Salt, Fresh & Field on their website.