Sunday, 2 August 2015

Hannibal S3 Ep9: Woman Clothed With the Sun


Will's new dog

Ate my opening poem.

Nothing to put here.


Peeking at the sets and poking around the studio 

As the food consultant on Hannibal my job is to create the food you see on screen. But as part of the Hannibal team, we are all immersed in the each other's creative stew - there is so much to admire. It starts with the scripts which are so beautifully written. Then every time I come to set, I am awestruck by the beauty of the components that the various departments create. They often go unseen. Mrs Jacobi's murder scene has nothing to do with the food but it is so striking that I want to show it to you here:

First the script where it all starts:
This episode was written by Helen Shang and Jeff Vlaming

 Then the source material is considered:

Blake's painting : Woman Clothed with the Sun

Then the Art Department makes a concept sketch:
The set decorator will follow this drawing to create the set, the costumer to make Mrs Jacobi's robes and hair and make-up to add their part on the actor to create the dramatic tableau

Then the set is built, decorated and actors prepared
The lighting department gets to work

And then they shoot it 
But the lighting is so dark that you can't see anything anyway. But never mind...take my word for it - it's spectacular. Now, on to the food!

Keep your fork...there's going to be pie!

Wow, previously luckless Francis Dolarhyde sees a glimmer of good. He has met Reba and a flicker of love lights his darkness. If anyone can pull his soul back from the edge of evil, it would be she. Her metaphorical offering: a fresh whole cherry pie that welcomes love’s plunging knife. I’ve always said that you can get anything you want with a well-made home-baked pie. There is magic in that confection and it speaks directly to the heart.
Plenty of pies for Reba to cut

By the way, if you wondered why Reba sticks a toothpick in the centre of the pie, it’s so she can use it as a knife guide to tell where the centre is: all radial cuts from there will create a complete wedges.

Prepping platters for the dinner.
BTW, the numbers written on the table are for when we have a big party scene with tons of extras as party guests. Each extra has a glass that has to be refilled for each take, so each extra has a number and their glass goes on the corresponding spot on the props drinks table so everyone gets the right glass back.

Get Granny Dolarhyde's dinner on the table -- or else!

Now that Hannibal is in jail, the food scenes are limited so there isn’t much cooking for me to do. Thank goodness this episode’s script calls for a flashback of Dolarhyde as a boy having dinner with Gramma Snaggletooth and her crusty tenants. I am tasked with making a dinner of bad boardinghouse food. What??!! Ugly food? You want me to make unappetizing dinner for 10? Impossible.
Lining up the reset plates for Granny's dreadful dinner
Nevertheless, of course I swallow my art heart and do what is right for the scene. I compose a menu of greyish mush: tuna salad, mushroom macaroni casserole, boiled cauliflower with fava beans, pyrogies in sour cream and onions. This is way harder than anything Hannibal might have cooked up. Making up the platters, my hand reaches out to embellish, fluff and decorate. NO, hand, no! No garnishing today!

Hey, did someone drop their dental plate in the vegetable dish?

One bit of fun I had: throwing giant pozole corn into the cauliflower fava bean dish. I thought they looked just like snaggley teeth.

Giant white corn "teeth" sprinkled in the vegetable dish.

Dreary storm...a long night at the Dolarhyde's 

This was one of those shoots: a cold dark Toronto night. Gobs of food to schlepp – tons of dishware to fill. The set looked musty and dusty. The food looked worse. The extras holding area was set up facing my cooking station. So the actors who were playing the seniors at the dinner slumped in these chairs between takes and watched our every move as if they were front row at a tedious avante-garde play.  Victoria, my assistant and I worked the whole night under the unamused glare of 16 glazed, bored, crabby eyes. The only break we got was an unexpected power failure when the entire building was plunged into darkness and everyone had to file out to the winter night. The crew moved on and shot the bus stop scene outside while we lounged in the craft truck waiting for the lights to come back on indoors.

On the plus side, it was my first time on set with Richard Armitage who is thoroughly charming and courteous. As well as the sweet actor who played Granny Dolaryde who was warm and bubbling with youthful exuberance until she was on camera and transformed instantly to a hollow-eyed evil harpy.

Those Dolarhydes…I guess every family is weird in its own little way.

On a lighter note: wasn't it fun to have Freddie back? Even if I didn't do a food scene with her!

LaraJean Chorostecki in the snow

Next week: Becoming a Dragon doesn't require fine dining. 

More of Bedelia and her history with her mysterious dead client to look forward to!
Reba and Francis get to know each other really well. I mean really really well.
Hannibal is helpful, then NOT HELPFUL.

With all this going on, who's got time to eat? Or cook?

I'll take this time off to do some work for other shows around town: Suicide Squad, Damien, Heroes, 11/23/64 and see what the other special agents, devils and superheros are up to. I'll show you the results - and some more Hannidinners cause although Hannibal is in jail, that hasn't stopped you from cooking!

All material copyright of Janice Poon/Feeding Hannibal, except Blake painting of course and photo of LJ Chorostecki which is from Far, Far Away site. All other photos are by Victoria Walsh/Feeding Hannibal


  1. Those pies look worthy of The Pie Hole! :) And yes, please, food from other shows would be fun, too! Fun, too, to see you adding that extra touch (hee hee hee pozole teeth! hee!) to even the greyish menu.

  2. Hi Kathy - I do miss the Pie Hole. Always wanted Kristin Chenoweth to guest star at Hannibal with the hopes that she would burst into song during sensitive scenes.

    1. Even on Pushing Daisies, we never did get a Raul Esparza and Kristin Chenoweth duet. [pout]. I was waiting for that. Closest one can get is this.

    2. Thanks for the link! I love Esparza's singing and always thought we really needed a Hannibal musical episode - everyone on the show can sing or dance - Hugh has the sweetest voice and Armitage can really sing. Well everyone on the original Star Trek cut an album, so why not!

  3. I just re-read Red Dragon over the weekend and "hollow-eyed evil harpy" really does sum Granny Dolarhyde up!

    Now, an important pie accompaniment question for you - custard or cream?

  4. Hmmmm - I like custard with cherry and berry pies, cream with stone fruits and cheddar with apple. Don't forget whipped cream with cream pies. Well let's just say I like pies.