Jennifer Mearns appears on student cooking show
Ball State First Lady Jennifer Mearns has always wanted to appear on a cooking show, and on Nov. 28 she will finally make her debut when she appears on “Slice That Price,” making a special batch of her mother’s Thanksgiving stuffing.
“My husband found out about the cooking show when he toured the building, and he said, ‘My wife has been dying to be on a cooking show,’” Mearns said. Shortly after, plans were made for Mearns to appear on an episode later in the semester.
The stuffing recipe Mearns decided to demonstrate on “Slice That Price” fit the occasion for many reasons. The dish was simple and inexpensive, fit the Thanksgiving theme and also paid tribute to her mother, who passed away last year.
“Sometimes when I go to fancy dinners they try to put all this other stuff in the stuffing, and I find myself just wanting my mom’s stuffing,” she said during filming.
Lauren Ravenell, a junior telecommunications major and executive producer of the cooking show, said the crew has been preparing for her visit since late August. The show is run completely by students, many of whom live in the Living Learning community for the College of Communication, Information and Media, which resides in Johnson East.
“We wanted to make sure everything went well and that filming was smooth,” Ravenell said.
The show provides an opportunity for younger telecommunications students, many of whom haven’t been through the Gateway equipment courses, to get an early start.
“There are older students, but there are also many freshmen on the show working lights and camera, and they’re able to get hands-on experience right away,” said Joel Bynum, the assistant director for the coordination of living learning programs. “We try to use equipment that is often cost-prohibitive for students to get on their own.”
Junior telecommunications major Isaac Andrews has been on the show since his freshman year. While he started out in audio, which is his major concentration, he now directs the show.
“It’s been really fun to be a part of,” he said. “I want to get acclimated to all facets of TCOM, so that’s why I stepped up to directing.”
The show films bi-weekly, and releases episodes on the third and fourth Tuesdays of the month. One is an Instagram instructional video and the other is a full-length cooking show episode on YouTube.
Mearns’ episode will premiere the Tuesday after Thanksgiving as a full-length episode on the “Slice That Price” YouTube channel.
While Mearns loved fulfilling her cooking show dream, she loved working with the student body even more.
“That’s my favorite thing,” she said. “The students are the lifeblood of the university. I’ve been really impressed by the students I’ve met – they’re mature, engaged, and really taking advantage of the opportunities here.”
Mearns said she already has another recipe in mind if asked back in future: boursin chicken in a puff pastry.