Rick Sebak is beloved locally and across the country for making unusual television programs that feature his trademark friendly narrative style. His down to earth and quirky documentaries celebrate overlooked aspects of American popular culture and the unexpected charms of Pittsburgh.
If there’s ever a week to follow Rick around town, it’s this one. His two brand new documentaries, “A Few Good Pie Places” and “A Few Great Bakeries” premiere on WQED and PBS stations nationwide on Tuesday, August 25th at 8 p.m. Written, produced and narrated by Rick, the programs highlight sweet and tasty offerings from around the U.S.
Monday, August 24
This will be a bit like Christmas Eve, the day before a big event. I’ll be up early to be at Minerva Bakery in McKeesport by 6:30 a.m. to pick up bakery treats to take with me to Q92.9 FM downtown. I’m scheduled to be on with Jim Krenn & The Q Morning Show at 8 a.m., promoting my two new PBS shows (one about pie places; the other about bakeries) that are premiering tomorrow nationwide, and it would be bad form to show up without significant goodies. Minerva Bakery is in my show, and this way I’ll beat the rush at this beautiful little bakery.
It’s my first time on Krenn’s new show. He and I go way back, but I haven’t seen Jim in five or six months. He’s a good friend, and I’ll make him eat a donut (even if he’s dieting).
After the broadcast, I’ll head to WQED and make sure my editor Kevin Conrad has everything to finish the DVD extras we need to send to PBS today.
He and I go to lunch almost every day with Minette Seate, and it’ll be quick today, probably Lulu’s Noodles on Craig Street. My associate producer Matt Conrad will stop later to make sure everything’s OK with the DVD extras. He’ll compress and upload them to PBS. When we work Monday nights, I get us dinner from Oishii Bento on Oakland Avenue. Chicken katsu bento for him, galbi bento for me. We’ll work till 11 p.m.
Tuesday, August 25
I’m up at 5 a.m. again to get another box of goodies from Minerva for the gang at WDVE radio. I’m on at 8:45 a.m. with Randy Baumann, Bill Crawford, Val Porter and Mike Prisuta. I’m extremely grateful to them for having me on their Kennywood show earlier this month. Today I expect we’ll laugh about crusts and croissants.
The party was Matt’s idea, and we considered many spots before deciding on The Loft with two big-screen TVs. Hootie from Blowfish BBQ will supply chicken drumsticks, pulled pork and smoked mac’n’cheese. We’ll gather at about 7 p.m. The shows are at 8 and 9 p.m. We’re not sure who will show up, but if you’re free, you’re welcome to come by. Seriously. If you’ve read this far, you’re invited.
Wednesday, August 26
I’m sleeping in. I will be late for work. I will make it in time for lunch. Maybe we’ll celebrate with spicy food at Thai Gourmet in Bloomfield. At 2 p.m., a Pittsburgh Magazine photographer is coming to take my picture in my messy office for a list of “hidden” Pittsburgh places. That’s all I have scheduled.
But Andy Wincko at Pittsburgh Smokehouse on Lower Rodi Road always has a Wednesday night special, and it’s been too long since I’ve been there.
Thursday, August 27
There’s always clean-up and paperwork at the end of a project, and today we start that.
I will avoid lunch because at 5 p.m. I have to be at Stage AE where I’m lucky to be a judge for Savor Pittsburgh, a celebration of great food in Pittsburgh. I look forward to this event every year, and I will “taste” too much.
Friday, August 28