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The Van Jones Show
Pageant of the Masters
Aired November 15, 2014 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MIKE ROWE, "SOMEBODY'S GOTTA DO IT" HOST: Check this out.
These are not famous paintings. That is not a famous sculpture. Those are actually people, real people in costume on a stage portraying famous paintings.
And it all happen just steps from the Pacific Ocean.
So we're in Laguna Beach. Laguna is a Spanish word for bad traffic. Part of the reason the traffic so busy today is the pageant of the masters is unfolding. This is an art festival that I've heard about for sometime. And honestly I though it was like a "Waiting for Guffman" type deal, you know, like 30 or 40 people get together and so some arty thing. But we came down last night, I went and saw the show where the pageant if you will unbelievable, thousands of people bringing famous works of art to life.
I was blown way and we're going to there again. We're going backstage and see if we can find out if people let me be in one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
ROWE: Oh, God these going to be crazy (ph).
Every summer here in Laguna Beach a bunch of artistically-inclined somebody's put together their annual Pageant of the Masters.
Writer Dan Duling became one of them back in 1981.
DAN DULING, WRITER: 34-years ago I got a call from the event director of the pageant and he was looking a new script writer.
DULING: And his telling me about this production of tableau vivant which a little footnote in theater history which in graduate school you read about it, but was I going to take it seriously? No.
DULING: And it sounds like some kind of community extravaganza slash fiasco.
ROWE: But, Dan became a comfort and now He's the show's writer and historian, which leads us to a spectacular land mark.
DULING: I want to show you this parking lot and just so many things in Southern California.
ROWE: If you just joined us we're about to see a parking lot. How to get in there.
DULING: Yeah, right.
This parking lot was a cleared space in 1935 where Roy Ropp the original creator of the pageant of the masters presented on the stage as he built the Pageant of the Masters.
ROWE: Like the rest of the country the seaside artist colony was struggling during the great depression. The locals want to come up with a way to get people interested in art.
Isn't it interested though that at the height of the depression, the country turned in so many different ways, to entertainment and art and, you know, the very things that, you know, you often think of as kind of extravagance suddenly became kind of critical.
DULING: Well, were coming on the ground of the festival of arts which has been the home since 1941 of the festival and pageant. And you don't need a ticket because you're going to be in it.
ROWE: Yup, I'm going to appear in the grand finale of the evening becoming the living embodiments of the apostle Bartholomew in Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper. But first, it takes a lot to somebody's to bring art to life. 500 in fact time to meet a few.
DULING: The Tech Director Richard "Butch" Hill.
RICHARD "BUTCH" HILL, TECH DIRECTOR: Hey.
DULING: This is...
HILL: I'm Butch, how are you?
ROWE: Butch I'm great, thanks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm Rick.
DULING: Here's the name your replacing, so.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're replacing me.
ROWE: I'm sorry.
All right, so you are Bartholomew?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am, I'm the Barth man.
ROWE: And this is here you're.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am.
ROWE: Maybe I should you up there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
ROWE: Whatever posture ultimately? This is the back of the table obviously.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the back, yeah.
ROWE: All right, so show me Bartholomew.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay on the box. Your hand is around this role. And the other hand is around the cup.
You're going to have Bill Gareth (ph) who stands here.
ROWE: Who's Bill play?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gosh I don't know.
ROWE: You've standing next to him right here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know. I know his name.
ROWE: Bill a disciple.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
ROWE: All right. So anyway there we're.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just lean your left shoulder into his back right shoulder and you look down that way.
ROWE: And what kind of expression does part on you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Neutral expression.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No expression whatsoever.
ROWE: Show me neutral.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. So you very close to him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first week that we were on and a small gust of wind just blew one of his stray hairs and came cross (inaudible).
ROWE: That's -- that's too bad. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is.
ROWE: How'd you handle it? You just tough it out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, you can't move so, you just tough it out.
ROWE: Sometimes you get on apostle hair and in your nose.
All right, I got it. So you're here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, yep, both feet on the box.
ROWE: Both on the box.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
ROWE: Assuming a completely neutral expression.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
ROWE: But not blase, not bored.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not bored.
ROWE: Just neutral.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Neutral.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you could tip your head a little that way as well to get a little more light that way, this way.
ROWE: Oh, like this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go.
ROWE: Like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Just like your head's parallel.
ROWE: Now it's going to be wearing with me wearing the ball cap somewhere from beyond the pale da Vinci's screaming. All right, great.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think you can do that?
ROWE: I believe I can hit this mark in assumed of than expression of indifference and hold it for 90 seconds. I'm been holding that expression for most of life actually. Yeah, I'm going surprised. Who ordered the lobster?
All right, cool I got it. I think I got it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Check.
ROWE: At the Pageant of the Master, classic art is bought to life with real people. For example, here I get to sit in for Charles Dicken's in Victorian artist Robert Buss' painting Dicken's Dream.
So who drew -- who drew all of these?
HILL: Just kind of collaboration between probably three artists.
ROWE: What the size of the original?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's only like a sheet of paper.
ROWE: Yeah, exact scale, very cool.
HILL: They build the set, paint it white. It comes up on stage on the dark. We have project the slide image on there so the artist can trace.
HILL: Then in goes at the paint shop for a couple of weeks. Comes back here for a lighting rehearsal or two and then it's gone through its whole process. And we do that both every pieces in the show.
ROWE: And I love it. How would Charles Dicken extract himself from his painting, cuts (ph)?
HILL: A couple of crew guys will pull this back and get him out of here. Push the ejecting button.
ROWE: Once these great works have been transformed into sets they need the living part of living art and unflappable core of volunteer performers.
ADAM: Adam, nice to meet you Mike.
ROWE: Nice to meet you.
MICHELLE: Hi I'm Michelle.
ROWE: Michelle who's this?
MICHELLE: This is Hudson.
ROWE: Hudson how are you?
Dada, Dodo and Meme?
So you're a do?
ADAM: I'm going to go with Dada.
ROWE: You're dad a... ADAM: If you don't mind.
ROWE: No he said Dodo that moment, I'm positive. So you guys -- are you in this one or you just.
ADAM: We're in three separate pieces.
ADAM: But not in this one though. My wife piece called "In an era" (ph), I'm in a piece called "Winter Castle". And Lorelei (ph) her second year in the show actually, she's in a piece called (inaudible). That's right.
ROWE: Yeah. How old are you Lorelei (ph)?
ROWE: Six-years-old. And this is your first year.
LORELEI: No, second.
ROWE: Just testing. I know that's what Dodo said I just want to make sure. So is it fun, do you like it?
ROWE: And you could hold perfect still for 90 seconds?
ROWE: And do you look like when you're holding still, what your pose? Like this? What are doing playing -- are playing like a violin or something?
LORELEI: Playing a guitar.
ROWE: You're playing a guitar. Do you know that the name of the painting is that you do?
LORELEI: El Peleho (ph).
ROWE: Is it looked this?
Yeah, which one of these men are you? This one right here?
LORELEI: That's me.
ROWE: That's you playing the guitar. Mr. John Singer (ph) is a sergeant?
MICHELLE: No, John Singer (inaudible).
ROWE: (Inaudible) stuff. There no stuff there right on there. OK, I can also read stuff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's get Rowe a -- who...
MICHELLE: He's on makeup.
ROWE: I'm getting there now, I'm getting there. I always get there man sometimes I just think the scenic are out (ph). Make up grandma is that what we do? Why did you do -- how long you've been doing it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, actually I got Michelle involved when she was five so 28 years.
ROWE: You've been doing this for 28 years?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Often on the whole family and I started out in headpiece and now I'm doing make up.
ROWE: So this is three generation of volunteering?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
ROWE: Why did you get him into it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Initially I think it was because are neighbor wanted somebody to carpool with him.
ROWE: Did it work?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It worked and so then we've stocked with it the whole, you know, entire time and then Michelle started when she was five. I started our son when he was five. And we were excited when she got here piece at five.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And were hoping.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty cool.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's got three more years.
ROWE: And something tells me, I mean no pressure kid but, you know, we're all waiting. What a rich, rich pageant of a life you have to look forward to my friend.
Exactly. It's nice to meet you.
MICHELLE: Nice to meet you.
ROWE: She you -- she you out here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got one more piece for you.
ROWE: Bring her out. Those volunteer performers have only one major challenge staying perfectly still for 90 seconds. I'm going to have a go at it with one of the tougher assignments Perseus holding the head of Medusa by Benvenuto Cellini.
Wow this is a whole different deal.
HILL: Yeah, so your hands on the sword and arm is here. Elbow rest. You're up here.
ROWE: Holding it like that?
HILL: You try to hide this.
HILL: That's kind of like how it goes. That keeps you steady.
ROWE: I really though that guy was just holding up that head for a minute that would tough. Wow, OK I'm ready.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, here we go starting.
HILL: Lights her up.
ROWE: But even with this contraction, 90 seconds is a very, very long time to do nothing at all. It's harder than it looks. I'll spare you the pain.
HILL: OK, times up.
ROWE: So the guy who does this, he talk like cut and ripped and he's buffed guy.
ROWE: It's too bad, now I'd love a shot at this one. But I got an extra 20 I'm carrying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Life in theater makes you look thinner.
ROWE: Does it take all 20 pounds.
HILL: No dark theater makes you look thinner.
HILL: Less likely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's coming through, there we go.
ROWE: Butch and his crew are responsible for getting 44 paintings on and off the stage every night da Vinci, Sargent, movie posters to man A (ph) and they do it all in almost total darkness.
So it's literally painting after painting, flat after flat, set piece after set piece and they stock him back here in the order that they're going to have to load them when they go on. So what you windup seeing from the audience is just one, two, three, four back, back up like this. But here it's like you're in the middle of deck of cards. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grab or hold.
ROWE: Why their being shuffled. Yeah. I would pull wrong one out?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, we got it -- we arranged them.
ROWE: The plot of the Pageant of the Masters is revamped every year by screen writer Dan Duling. This year's theme, The Art Detective.
So how do you bring a script to life with a stage full of performers who don't speak? That would be the job of the narrator.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, pretty good how are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, I'm Gary.
ROWE: Richard Doyle.
RICHARD DOYLE NARRATOR, PAGEANT OF THE MASTERS: The resolution of the story is one as clues (ph) to other mysteries are revealed within the case files of The Art Detective.
There's a lot -- really compelling stories around art. It has a lot of effect on our lives. Back through the ages going back to Napoleon and before back to the, you know, the building of the pyramids. Art become -- was such a coveted thing that art became upon and it just take it's to ages whether it is in criminal activity or whether it is in, you know, cultures fighting one another. Coming up to the Second World War
DOYLE: It's all about how the Nazi's and the Third Reich. Then Hitler in particular gearing in those wonder folks decided that if they wanted to conquer the world, if they really want to poses the world they needed to get the art.
DOYLE: Because the art was the basis for all of the culture of these various people that they want to do subjugate. And that's pretty much through with ages.
ROWE: So they're shutting the main which means the audience is coming in, which mean I guess everything sort of changes starting now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Background coming in.
ROWE: Wait let me translate, Mike get the hell out of here.
ROWE: It's just about an hour before the Pageant to the Masters begins. I'm headed backstage to get an up close look at how people are transformed into classical works of art.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a change to see a little bit more behind the scenes.
ROWE: All right, so the head pieces?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Headpiece, yeah.
REAGAN: Reagan, nice to meet you.
ROWE: Lovely to meet you, Reagan. How do you spell your name Reagan?
REAGAN: R-E-A-G-A-N like Ronald.
ROWE: No, that's R-O-N-A-L-D.
All right, so you're in charge of this basic area?
ROWE: And what it is about the head pieces down here that make it different than say a Broadway Show?
REAGAN: We do caps essentially that fits to our cast member's heads.
REAGAN: So this was a back room cap that I fit to the cast member's head then, you know, cut out for ears and it's painted. And I make a hat that gets attached and then the fall (ph) is going to go on the cast member's head.
ROWE: May I? So, they're not necessarily wearing hats or wigs. They're wearing basically like a skull cap.
REAGAN: Like a skull cap.
ROWE: All right, but it's all just a combination of hair and maybe ears.
REAGAN: maybe ears.
ROWE: Maybe a hat.
So how many different heads are you responsible for? I guess we're like...
REAGAN: almost every single cast member gets a headpiece so, about 150.
ROWE: What will I be wearing tonight? REAGAN: You have -- actually the last supper wears wigs. We do some wigs.
ROWE: Hey, how are you?
ROWE: What's your name?
ROWE: Elijah, I'm Mike. How are you?
ELIJAH: I'm good, you?
ROWE: You know you got pantyhose on your head?
ELIJAH: No, I don't.
ROWE: Yes, you do man. You do. You do. You do. You do.
ELIJAH: No, you.
ROWE: Well anyway, all right.
REAGAN: This will be you tonight.
ELIJAH: Wait. Are you volunteering?
ROWE: Elijah, I'll take care of the questions. Do you think it'll fit? Is this something we should deal with now?
REAGAN: Actually I think it will fit. We could try it. As you can see our other cast member has a large head as well. So...
ROWE: Did Bartholomew have a...
REAGAN: He had a nice...
ROWE: Side burns?
ROWE: I kind of like it.
REAGAN: It's not too much different than what you got on right now.
ROWE: No, it is. Look at that. There's the SAT. It's got a nice encroaching hairline.
REAGAN: It looks like it. Yes.
ROWE: A full head, a curly hair. Bartholomew had it going on.
ROWE: Upstairs the lights are dimmed and the performance has begun.
Backstage, the lights are bright and it's kind of weird.
That's so funny.
ROWE: This is Victoria. In just a few moments she's going to the casual award (ph). Its kind of a sad painting, isn't it?
ROWE: Look right there and give me the saddest look you can. It's so sad.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello again.
ROWE: What's up? I remember you. You were that smart (inaudible) kid in make up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
ROWE: Getting this thing on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He always knocks my head off.
ROWE: Does he?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
ROWE: What are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Change it on the patio. A following resort to make up, last supper one, checking out the door.
ROWE: That's me. I'm going in. First stop in my extreme Biblical makeover, wardrobe where I'm fitted with the T-shirt best described as very New Testament. Bartholomew. Now it's my turn to get pantyhose put on my head.
REAGAN: So now we're getting in a wig cap. Cover up your hair so when you get your wig on to kind of protect it from your sweat. I'm not sure you might have to loose this.
ROWE: No, I did some research and Bartholomew definitely wore a watch.
REAGAN: They have that. Yes.
ROWE: Yes. He was all about being punctual.
REAGAN: All right.
ROWE: For his last supper, all right.
ROWE: Now what do I do? Makeup? REAGAN: You're going to go to make up.
ROWE: OK, makeup.
REAGAN: That's what I'm hoping you'd look like.
ROWE: That's what we're shooting for. God what kind of makeup is this?
REAGAN: It's imported.
ROWE: This is cadaver makeup, isn't it?
ROWE: Let me see that. No, it says it. This is -- its cadaver gray. It's when you know your career has a taken a bold new and exciting turn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any makeup preferences Mr. Rowe?
ROWE: Yes, I like it gray something in a cadaver.
They go through a lot of makeup here, 50 gallons every summer on both face and hands.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Looking good.
ROWE: I just made the mistake of looking at myself in the mirror. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking how can he get anymore good looking.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You got to look a little older. Each shrub makes you look a little older.
ROWE: Now that I am aged to perfection.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: you're done.
ROWE: I'm done.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
ROWE: All right, I'm done.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Done.
ROWE: It's back to wardrobe for wardrobe. Bartholomew tie-dyed?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pretty much.
ROWE: This is Muslim?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. That's it.
ROWE: That's it? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
ROWE: Because I'm behind the table.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
ROWE: I don't have to worry about my shoes or anything.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
ROWE: All right, good. Now I get a head.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right, you get a wig.
ROWE: Wigs and heads.
REAGAN: So there you are.
ROWE: Oh wow.
REAGAN: An apostle.
ROWE: Wow, its -- I'm Bartholomew.
REAGAN: Yeah, perfect.
ROWE: The information I think has just began, so we'll take another break too and I'll walk around and see if can meet Jesus.
Have you seen Jesus?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably taking a nap.
ROWE: The Pageant of the Masters is winding down. And I am about to make my apostolic debut, in the Last Supper. But before I do I'd really love to meet the star of the painting.
Have you seen Jesus?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's probably taking a nap?
ROWE: Where's Jesus?
Did you see Jesus? Right there? Right here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He went out there.
ROWE: Jesus, I'm Mike.
SAM: Hello. I'm Sam.
ROWE: It's a pleasure. Is this is all of us. I think we should put a band together. Where's Jesus?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's over there.
ROWE: He sits by himself? What?
Seriously, too good for the rest of us.
And just when I'm about to meet the man himself. Please, please don't get up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right now. We need you guys. Come here.
ROWE: We get the call. It's show time.
I can't believe Jesus is getting bossed around.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, it's kind of your act.
ROWE: I got to pee. I hate to go out there and have to pee. Somebody go and remind me what to do. It's like this and this, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, could you get in all your poses please?
ROWE: My last handler is Rob Boyge. His job, make sure I am a perfect poser. Very, very close to the queue. What do you say? I'm going to do this for 90 seconds. With those three raps on the last supper table things start to move fast. I admit it I'm kind of nervous. I mean in the 82 year history of Bartholomew's I don't want to be remembered as the one who blew the finale of the pageant and became the most hated disciple since Judas. This is happening.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By Leonardo da Vinci, the Last Supper.
ROWE: That was awesome. It's great. All I was doing the staring at the tip of your finger, I just starred. Really, really great guys, thank you.
So to sum up, back in 1932 out of the Great Depression a group of starving artist decide to bring classic paintings to life in order to draw attention to their artistic beach community. Here we are 82 years later with 500 people coming together every summer to keep that tradition alive and tens of thousands gathering to watch. And I just might be back myself next year because let's face it I'm a natural doing this for 90 seconds at a time. I can do this all day. But I won't.
Jean-Georges, David Burke, Daniel, Rotisserie Georgette, what do these fancy New York restaurants have in common besides a bunch of first names that I may or may not be mispronouncing? The answer a certain somebody named Arianne Caguin, a woman on mission to bring back the great tasting chickens of a bygone era which leads us to Lancaster County Pennsylvania, a place where chicken farming goes back in time.
ARIANNE CAGUIN, CHICKEN FARMER: Hey. ROWE: How are you?
CAGUIN: How are you?
ROWE: And I'm good. I'm Mike.
CAGUIN: Nice to meet you.
ROWE: And nice to meet you.
CAGUIN: This is Mike.
ROWE: Hey Mike.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Rowe, how are you?
ROWE: Good to meet you. I'm great. Thanks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great.
ROWE: Say it properly?
CAGUIN: Arianne. No, you didn't.
ROWE: I did OK?
CAGUIN: Yes, yes.
ROWE: You got a "ha" in there though. Arianne.
CAGUIN: It's a French thing.
ROWE: You're very French.
CAGUIN: Do you mind putting plastic boots? I will get it.
ROWE: Yes, do you have any?
ROWE: Great, I love plastic boots. Mike, this is your place?
MIKE: this is one of my -- the farmers that I work with. I work with several different farmers in the area.
MIKE: And so these are our chickens, yes. ROWE: got you. So these are your chickens and you're here to get that chickens.
CAGUIN: This is for you.
ROWE: You're very kind. Thank you. This is for you.
CAGUIN: Thank you very much.
ROWE: Don't get too attached to it. I have great memories associated with that hat. I just can't remember any of them right now. What does this say? This says D'Artagnan.
ROWE: Its one of your musketeers there.
ROWE: So Arianne you get your chickens which everybody seems to love from just this one place or several?
CAGUIN: No, several place. This is the one where we have our green shackle which is a program where we pick up the vegetables from the restaurants, bring them, feed the chicken vegetables and then feed the chickens to the restaurants.
ROWE: So the restaurants that buy your chickens also provide you the vegetables...
CAGUIN: The vegetables, yes.
ROWE: Which you feed the chickens?
ROWE: And then ultimately the chickens return.
CAGUIN: And the outside real free range and then they have those vegetables.
CAGUIN: And its perfectly -- you'll see its perfectly good vegetable place so everybody happy.
ROWE: So what are we going to do? We're going to feed them now?
CAGUIN: Let's feed them.
MIKE: Now I'll step over the fence and you can just hand them to me.
ROWE: All right.
MIKE: There is no door or gate. We found that the rosters are smart enough to...
ROWE: But they are.
MIKE: ... figured how to get out.
ROWE: Roosters are smart and also cocky.
ROWE: See what I did? The roster is cocky, cock a doodle doo.
Besides being skilled in polite laughter Mike also adds generations of his family's farming know how.
CAGUIN: So we have milk. We need to put pieces of bread in the milk.
CAGUIN: And that makes a very nice, very moist breast. And let's out the vegetables in the trays.
ROWE: So we laid out a lovely assortment of vegetables that have won over the best chefs in New York. Note my attention to presentation. Now we will watch the green circle in action as the chicken's tuck into their sumptuous meal or will we? So when hungry chickens refused to act like hungry chickens there's only one sensible thing to do, a different show.
Good evening every one and welcome to another episode of the Iron Chicken. I'm Mike Rowe. Fair warning, tonight's program is going to be a barn burner. Feathers will fly. Why? Because four of the finest restaurants in New York City have come together for bragging rights.
Who has the most delectable scraps in the barn yard? Is it Rotisserie Georgette? Jean-Georges? Daniel? Or David Burke? Your guess is as good as mine. But why guess when the barn yard is packed with legitimate experts. Behind me, dozens of ravenous pullets and cockerels waiting for the moment when the question will be answered once and for all. You may want to wake up grandma folks. This one is one for the books.
Let's get started.
Let's stand over here and stay out of the way.
ROWE: Welcome come to "Somebody's Gotta Do It", Iron Chicken edition. The board of New York's finest restaurants are going bucket to bucket to see whose tick tack table scraps will win over the legendary (inaudible) chickens. And go. Begin.
You can almost feel the tension building. It's unbearable.
Carrots from the Rotisserie. Delicious. I've got funnel (ph). Come and get it. Great. Now that I move.
Is not that the chickens aren't hungry it's just that they hate cameras. I think the entire study is somewhat flawed by our presence.
ROWE: I mean really...
CAUGIN: And they don't come at all. I mean let's say (inaudible).
ROWE: No. There was a German physicist. Eisenberg wrote about the uncertainty principle.
ROWE: Which basically says the act of observing a thing fundamentally changes the thing.
CAUGIN: And that's a good thought.
ROWE: And so, I think what we have here is the uncertainty principle running amok.
CAUGIN: Not formal thing but they are jumping on the (inaudible) it's a potato peals.
ROWE: The chickens are going crazy for David Burke's fowl.
CAUGIN: We don't mind else(ph). I mean the...
ROWE: They're well-mannered.
ROWE: I will say I'm surprised at the etiquette. What's he doing?
CAUGIN: He's going to lay an egg anytime now.
ROWE: Well that will be something to see. I don't think that was an egg.
CAUGIN: No. Me neither.
ROWE: She laid something.
CAUGIN: Yes, and not an egg.
ROWE: Now we're off to the hatchery where Arianne's (inaudible) chickens are bread. This happens to be the farm run by people who literally have a religious commitments to farming with integrity, the Mennonite, they're like the folks two ways (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, they are. They are all old school. Similar to Amish but different. They actually use electricity like Amish (inaudible) and they use the internet too. I thought that interest me. ROWE: The Mennonite are the whole reason Arianne raises her chickens out here. She needs breeders and farmers who she knows will understand the old European traditions and when you see things like weather veins (ph), laundry swinging on the close lines and increases buggy traffic, you get why this is the only place it could be done. It also meant, we had some difficulty getting to meet Arianne's breeder, (Joel Martin). Because Mennonite have a healthy suspicion of the T.V. business.
OK, so we're at the farm, getting ready to shoot. Going through the release process, you know, its 2014, right? We got paper work. Most people don't even read it. This is what you have to sign if you want to be on T.V. nowadays. Well, this is a Mennonite farm and you know, the owners read this and they said that, no, I don't blame them. So we went back and forth with the office for a while and eventually, it's unprecedented.
But we now have releases from the Mennonite a hand-written, super simple. I (Joel Martin) agreed to let CNN and Pilgrim Productions film on my property as long as you do not disclose our address.
The point is (Joel Martin) is the Mennonite who Arianne trusts to breed her priced chickens. And for the record, guys like (Joel), they don't sign releases like ours because they believe their word should be good enough. As far as I'm concerned, it is.
JOEL MARTIN: You give that chicken out an hour it will look like these guys.
ROWE: What variety are they?
CAUGIN: They are heritage bread. That's from France.
MARTIN: Those are from France.
ROWE: So the story really started in France.
MARTIN: It does.
CAUGIN: What they wanted to do is that chicken with a (inaudible) basically reproduced what my grandmother was doing at my father's restaurants. All she was doing, she was thinking and she were plucking out rigid (ph) they want and she would bring that to the chickens and those chickens were magnificent, magnificent. And some people here told me, how innovative, this is incredible. This is not -- this is my grandmother's...
CAUGIN: ... and it's not even her idea. I mean, when he was doing in France at the point.
ROWE: The Mennonite might be old-fashioned but when it comes to technology, it's not like they live in the Stone Age. MARTIN: Grab that machine up there, place that over the eggs.
MARTIN: There you go. Now we put the eggs in the tray. Push the little button. Bingo.
ROWE: Genius, Ingenious. I have some Mennonite-related questions.
ROWE: What's the difference between Mennonite and Amish?
MARTIN: Basically, they have retained a lot of the old traditions. Such as driving horse-and-buggy versus driving a car.
MARTIN: And the reason they do that is because they're trying to protect their community, retain the values.
ROWE: Right. Is it the same...
MARTIN: And the same way as the Mennonite.
ROWE: ... in the Mennonite.
MARTIN: But it's just that we have decided to kind of drawn a line at the different place.
ROWE: Yeah. I mean regarding technology.
MARTIN: Right, the modern technology, we have electricity that we're using here. You will that as Mennonite community, we're slow in embracing new technology. And the reason we do that is we want to watch and see how it affects society and how it affects us.
ROWE: What about this? What about my crew? What about T.V.? But you trusted us enough to come here.
MARTIN: Yeah. But as you know, we were hesitant.
MARTIN: We observe what's happening in what you guys do.
MARTIN: For example, the Amish Mafia.
ROWE: Let's talk about the Amish Mafia.
MARTIN: So as a community, we look at that and we see what they're doing and it's forest, it's a joke. It's not real at all.
ROWE: Right. So why bothered trusting the likes me and these guys and CNN and come over here and not turned you into the Mennonite Mafia (inaudible)...
MARTIN: Because, somebody has to share about who we really are...
MARTIN: ... and share the truth.
ROWE: Right. All right, so really, the only other thing to do is to go flip the bird. But I'm still unclear where that happens. Is it on property?
MARTIN: It happens in my home. My kids and my wife's kitchen, she offered you her kitchen.
ROWE: See, this is huge. You not only trust this in your place of business. You're going to let us in your home...
MARTIN: We are.
ROWE: And we're going to prepare the chicken there in your kitchen.
MARTIN: We are honored to have you come to our home.
ROWE: No, I'm honored to be here. We're not going to break any China. We're going to be on our best behavior. Guys, good deal, be in your best behavior please. Can we do that? Chris, you promise?
CHRIS: I promise to be on my best behavior.
ROWE: All right now. We're going to take a break. During the break, my crew will take a sacred vow to be on their best behaviors.
Ben, you're not even come in the house.
ROWE: Our somebody is Arianne Caugin. She's come all the way from the south of France to the middle of Pennsylvania Dutch country to raise a better chicken. The question is why? Listen carefully. This is the point of the whole show.
How would you feel about walking with me across the bubbling brook just over the bridge as you say some insightful and unforgettable thing?
CAUGIN: OK. You (inaudible) come from family in (inaudible) South of France. And I'm the seventh generation. I'm the oldest and so I wanted to show what I could do, you know. I wanted to do show that I could do something in my life and when they started that (inaudible) almost 50 years ago, it was to provide the best meat and poultry possible to the home cooks as -- with for the pistachios (ph) in America.
ROWE: Speaking of that. Would it be OK now if we go to the chicken where we can eat a couple of these adorable?
CAUGIN: And cook them first.
ROWE: Let's do that.
CAUGIN: We have to wait to the 75 (inaudible).
ROWE: Yes, but at T.V. time, it's going to happen in the next couple of seconds.
CAUGIN: All right.
ROWE: Step one, compare a typical super market chicken with one of Arianne's.
I see a plumper version here. I see a leaner version here.
CAUGIN: You see how long the breast is and how we round this on is. You see how wet this guys is. Is that going to be tender? Yes, for sure, but beyond tender is going to be really be mushy.
ROWE: Mushy is not good.
CAUGIN: When I came to America and I tasted chicken young, that mushiness, I couldn't understand. I really couldn't. We don't have that in Europe. So, I just want to them very, very simply so that you really taste the difference. So no garlic, no herbs just salt and pepper.
Very nice. Walla (ph). New York, yes, yes, yes.
ROWE: So, I mean if you -- are you doing more or less exactly what you want to do in this giant industry of food?
CAUGIN: It's been 29 year. At the beginning, I was on the phone, calling the customers on Monday then sweeping the floor. But today, it's a different job all together. I do not sweep the floor anymore I have a 170 employees today.
CAUGIN: Yeah. And, we just opened a warehouse in Chicago. We are opening one in Houston.
ROWE: We mentioned four restaurants today earlier, how many restaurants do you served or altogether?
ROWE: I have no idea you were such a...
CAUGIN: Yeah, but no that chicken. The chicken is very limited to seven restaurants.
ROWE: How much more expensive is it?
CAUGIN: This one saves one (inaudible) a pound...
CAUGIN: In a super market.
ROWE: The mushy (inaudible) that.
CAUGIN: (Inaudible) is the water. This chicken, the green (inaudible) called whole sale, it is close to $7 a pound.
ROWE: So that's more.
CAUGIN: Much more expensive. Yeah.
ROWE: That's more. That's 700 percent more.
CAUGIN: Yes, yes.
ROWE: This better be some chicken.
CAUGIN: I hope you will appreciate.
It's perfectly cooked. All right, we're ready to eat.
ROWE: You're happy?
CAUGIN: Yes, I'm very happy.
ROWE: If I'm not mistaken, I believe we're about to embark on a taste test. Arianne is going to curve me off a piece of meat and then do the same thing. I would expect for this mushy, water soaked hag (ph) over on the right. And I'll taste them both and hopefully pick the right one.
CAUGIN: Blindfold the man. Are we good?
ROWE: I can't see anything.
CAUGIN: All right, all right.
ROWE: OK. The time has come.
CAUGIN: OK, so first, it's a piece of the breast. Tell me if it's too hot.
CAUGIN: It's too hot? Isn't it?
ROWE: Good. OK.
CAUGIN: OK? Ready?
ROWE: I'm ready. CAUGIN: All right.
ROWE: Unlike the recently canceled iron chicken, this little competition could have actual consequences. If I can't tell the difference between a supermarket bird and Arianne's priced bullets (ph), well that would be embarrassing for me, for Arianne, and for the chicken.
That's a better chicken.
CAUGIN: Very good. Very, very good. I'm very proud.
ROWE: It's not even close.
ROWE: It's not ever closed.
ROWE: It's no even close. There's so much more flavor in it.
ROWE: I am so relieved.
CAUGIN: Me too. Me too.
ROWE: I'm really relieved, honestly. Wow.
MARTIN: Thank you Lord for Mike and Arianne and just (inaudible) bless (inaudible) too as we partake (inaudible). We thank you for it in the name of Jesus. Amen.
ROWE: Amen. Now, as we share our meal with the Mennonite who are gracious enough to allow ekie (ph) T.V. people into their world, I feel a summary coming on.
Before I invite crew in, I feel like I got to say something, wrap it up sort of way. So, seven generations from France, (inaudible), 117 employees, looks like you're done it. So congratulations.
CAUGIN: Thank you, thank you very much.
ROWE: But where would France be without hospitality and the collaboration of Mennonite. And where we, not for the English out there buying all these stuff. Am I right?
ROWE: Clearly, it takes a village to build a better chicken, but if these premium birds are ever going to wind up and everyone spots, another group will need to step up those high-end consumers and those fancy restaurants are an important part of making this poultry affordable for everybody.
Hey, somebody needs to establish the market for this stuff. Arianne's chickens are just like Tesla's (ph) and solar panels, and the first H.D. T.V.s. Only tastier.
BENJAMIN: Welcome back to (inaudible).
ROWE: Its good o see you.
BENJAMIN: You as well. The chef has prepared for you a (inaudible). She's a French heir loom of chicken.
ROWE: I see.
BENJAMIN: The chicken itself is served over a zucchini puree with (inaudible) summer squashes.
BENJAMIN: Zucchini blossoms ... (inaudible) of course a buttermilk broth.
ROWE: Endlessly playful.
BENJAMIN: And, the usual sir?
ROWE: The usual is most unusual here in (inaudible). I think you'll agree when you find yourself in the area. Benjamin thanks so much.
BENJAMIN: Please enjoy sir.
ROWE: Best of the misses (ph).
BENJAMIN: You as well.
ROWE: You got the idea. T.V. is T.V. but in real life, I'll swing with the swells. Anyhow, that's what that's all about. And that taste like chicken. Really good chicken.