From TODAY producer Josh Weiner
Between brewing coffee and roasting a panini, we caught up with Christina Cirulli, who runs TODAY's on-set catering operations at the Olympic green compound in Beijing.
Q: You have a long table with chairs and a seemingly endless supply of food in your trailer. Who comes through here?
A: Everyone from crew to guests to talent. I stock the green room trailer with food, but a lot of the athletes who are on the show find their way in here anyway looking for snacks.
Q: What are the most popular items for the anchors?
A: Well Matt (Lauer) and Al (Roker) really like to put peanut butter on plain Saltine-like crackers. The only time Meredith came in she wanted some roasted vegetables.
Q: What other foods go quickly?
A: Frappuccino and Powerade. Oh the cheese platters with grapes and crackers, too! Brian Williams apparently likes these cheese platters a lot.
Q: What's the most surprising thing you've seen in your 10 days on the set?
A: The skinny Chinese models – they came in and attacked the Snickers, chips and candy. It was shocking but great!
Q: I heard Michael Phelps spent a good amount of time in here?
A: He was charging his cell phone – he must have gotten a lot of calls after winning all those golds. He also changed his clothes, but I looked the other way.
Q: How do you help the chefs who come in before their cooking segments?
A: I get them what they need, like knives or woks. One time they were making dumplings in here. Natalie Coughlin was in here making her dish and she had to practice pronouncing the Chinese ingredients.
Q : What have you learned here?
A: You have to multitask and be creative every night. Live TV is very interesting!