Great Moments in Melt History – “The TODAY Show” or, “Who Flies to New York City with Three Loaves of Bread?”
2014 was the year that gave us the phrase “polar vortex” and the ice bucket challenge. And Melt Bar and Grilled owner and founder Matt Fish boarded an airplane for New York City with three loaves of bread.
Also in 2014, TODAY Show producers were putting together ideas for a National Grilled Cheese Day episode. “One of the producers on the show was a Cleveland native and loved Melt,” says Fish. “She contacted me to gauge my interest in coming to New York City to appear on the TODAY Show for National Grilled Cheese Day. The conversation was quite surreal actually; I did not know what to think at first until it sunk in. I was actually being asked to appear on the highest rated morning show in the country!”
“I was contacted approximately 2 weeks prior to the appearance and I gave them a list of ingredients to purchase in New York” continues Fish. “They purchased the cheese but I was very firm on bringing our bread from Mediterra because it is the “official” bread of Melt. I actually took 3 loaves of bread on the plane with me to NYC!”
Seriously. He carried three loaves of bread on the plane. That is the level of dedication to which Matt Fish approaches doing grilled cheese right.
“The segment was filmed in the show kitchen of the NBC studios at Rockefeller Square in NYC,” says Fish. “The kitchen is on the second floor with big windows that overlook the square. I met the producers the evening before the morning appearance to go over logistics and to check out the equipment, kitchen and ingredients they purchased. There was not a “script” which surprised me a bit, but they gave me direction to show how to make the perfect grilled cheese, so I had to basically “wing” it.
“I originally went to the show thinking we were going to feature a few grilled cheeses but they brought bacon so I figured we would showcase the Wake & Bacon. No other sandwiches were considered because the segment had to be very quick.”
Coincidentally, while Fish was at 30 Rock that morning, his favorite band was too. “The day was incredibly bizarre and surreal! I was on the same episode as KISS, Sting and John C. Reilly. The producers found out I was a huge KISS fan and offered to send me downstairs to meet them before my appearance but I was too focused on the appearance, so I declined. Meeting KISS would have been amazing but the TODAY Show appearance was so incredibly important that I did not want to take any of my attention or focus away from nailing the appearance. In hindsight, I made the right decision but having a photo with KISS from that day would have been the icing on the cake!”
“The buzz was already incredibly strong for Melt at the time and I think the TODAY Show appearance legitimized us as a culinary force in Cleveland and nationally.”