The Toby Gribben Show Highlights

9/30/2022

Craig Shemin

Season 2022, Ep. 273
Craig Shemin is a former Jim Henson Company staff writer and currently serves as the President of The Jim Henson Legacy. Shemin began his career with Henson as a college intern during the summer of 1987. After he graduated, he was hired in the Public Relations Department, during which time he also worked with the Jim Henson Archives. By 1996, however, he had transitioned to writing, contributing to a wide array of programming, merchandising, and appearances.In TV, Shemin served as writer and consultant (and sometimes lyricist) for the first season of The Wubbulous World of Dr Seuss and received a Writer's Guild of America Award nomination for his work on the show. For the Hallmark Channel, Craig co-wrote all 26 episodes of Telling Stories with Tomie dePaola and contributed to two seasons of Donna's Day. Shemin also co-wrote a single episode of Dog City ("Comedy of Horrors").For Jim Henson's Muppet Stories book series, Shemin wrote three short stories for The Muppet Show characters as illustrated by Richard Walz: "Let Me Help!" and "Forgetful Rowlf" from Off to Storyland, and "Hot Off the Presses" from Cozy Campfire Stories.In the multi-media realm, Shemin scripted two 1996 video games, Muppets Inside and Muppet Treasure Island, as well as MuppetWorld.com's MuppeToon series and the lyrics to the "Muppets Party Cruise Rag." In the publishing realm, he helped Miss Piggy with her 1996 cookbook, In the Kitchen with Miss Piggy, coined the title for One Frog Can Make a Difference, and contributed humorous text and character quotes to The Muppets Big Book of Crafts. He also wrote material for countless Muppet press interviews and appearances, and text for innumerable licensed products, such as the Palisades action figures.In 2001, he hosted the second day of MuppetFest, and with Jim Lewis, co-wrote The Muppet Show Live. He also scripted the concerts Jim Henson's Musical World in 2012 and The Jim Henson Retrospectacle Live in Concert in 2018. Shemin has hosted numerous Henson-related screenings, panels, and events, as well as prepared video content for said events. He currently serves as a "guest curator" for the Museum of the Moving Image's "Jim Henson's World" screening series.In recent years, Shemin researched and wrote the liner notes for Music, Mayhem and More!, co-wrote the "Muppet Morsels" feature on The Muppet Show Season 1 DVD, and produced the extras on the 2005 Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas DVD, including directing and editing the behind-the-scenes featurette. He also directed a documentary on Muppet photographer John Barrett for The Muppets Say Cheese, a 2005/06 exhibition of Barrett's work at New York's Museum of Television and Radio. He also hosted a feature for the Dinosaurs DVD set. In 2014, Shemin wrote and compiled The Muppets Character Encyclopedia, a 200-page guide to The Muppets characters released by DK Publishing. Shemin later penned Sam and Friends: The Story of Jim Henson's First Television Show, published in 2022.
9/29/2022

Ken Hom

Season 2022, Ep. 270
Ken Hom OBE is the man who showed the British how to cook Asian food. A leading authority on Chinese cuisine, he is one of the most respected and celebrated TV chefs of all time. His phenomenal success is easily measured. He is the author of almost 40 books, which have inspired millions of home cooks around the world. And in Britain alone, the Ken Hom wok is found in one in seven kitchens. Ken Hom, who resides in France and in Thailand but travels tirelessly all over the world, continues to appear regularly as a celebrity chef, write books and keep involvement with restaurants worldwide. On any one day, when googling the name ‘Ken Hom’ the search brings back an amazing average of 45,600,00 results.Additionally, he has been one of the fathers in articulating what is now popularly known as ‘fusion cooking'. His seminal book called East Meets West Cuisine was published in 1986. It was his natural development of cultural experiences and elective affinities that lend to the blending of Eastern and Western foods, seasonings, and techniques derived from his family life, professional teaching career and travels. The success of the concept led him to create menus for airlines, and hotel restaurants worldwide as well as restaurant concepts over the last 45 years.Ken was born in 1949 in Tucson, Arizona, where his Cantonese parents had emigrated. After losing his father when he was just eight months old, his mother moved to Chicago to be with relatives. (In 2022, Ken’s father was honoured with the award of Congressional Gold Medal for his services during World War II). As Ken grew up, he found American food unpalatable compared to his mother’s cooking, so she used to send him to school with a flask of hot rice and stir-fried vegetables.Aged 11, he went to work in his uncle’s restaurant, where he earned the equivalent of 30 pence per day. At 19 he headed off to California to study art history and French history. To pay for his university fees he started to give cookery lessons and quickly realised that this was where his heart really laid – especially with his native Chinese cuisine. He soon started teaching first in his home, and then at the California Culinary Academy (a school for professional chefs in San Francisco). He also travelled to France and Italy to explore gastronomy further.