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Read more about Daymond John’s exciting new partnership at Yahoo! Finance.
The Dragons' Den Audition Tour continues folks. Last week we heard from Charlie Smith who sang the praises of Dragons' Den hopefuls in Windsor. This week we hear from producer Matt Faulknor who's got some tips for you food entrepreneurs. You can also keep up with Matt on Twitter.
The Den is a hot spot for food deals: think Zane Caplansky's deli sandwiches (Season Six, Episode 7) or Holy Crap cereal (Season Five, Episode 7). And every great food pitch begins with a food audition.
This is my second year on the audition tour and I have been pitched food from coast to coast. I've taste-tested cheeseburgers, mushroom cookies, hot pickles, organic trout, rice and beans, mystery meat tubes, salads, and too many gluten-free products to remember - just to name a few. I have also sipped pear coolers, olive oil, avocado oil, and wines. And while I do consider myself lucky to have sampled so many delicious (and free) foods, I feel the need to share a few tips, just to get a couple things straight.
1. BRING THE FOOD
This should go without saying but, you have no idea how many times a Dragons' Den hopeful has pitched something like, the "world's best pizza", and then not brought it to their audition. If you're pitching food, you have an advantage over products or concepts that require imagination or explanation if it cannot be demonstrated in person. Plus, auditions don't allow for breaks, so by the time you audition to us we're most likely famished and/or dehydrated and anxiously awaiting a slice of your "world's best pizza". Bring it.
2. DON'T FEEL BAD IF THE PRODUCER DOESN'T GOBBLE UP YOUR PITCH
We can only eat so much in one day. The idea of sampling your über rich chocolate cake immediately after I've eaten questionable pickled herring and dubious onion-free onion rings, isn't a slight on you, it's me, and my now angry stomach. Also, some producers have allergies and food tastes that might not coincide with yours. Don't worry. There is usually someone close by who would be happy to sample whatever delicious food item you've brought.
3. PLEASE DON'T POISON THE PRODUCER
Audition days can be long. If you've been waiting around for hours and you're pitching a perishable food item, like fish, meat, or cheese, don't let us eat it. I know you really want us to taste your Bubbe's award-winning kishke... but if the food has gone bad and we eat it, we're going to get sick. And as much as I would personally hate to spend an evening vomiting into a toilet because of food poisoning, giving one of the Dragons food poisoning would cost me my job. So, if your food can go bad, bring a cooler filled with ice. Keep it cool. Keep it fresh. Keep the producer alive.
Good luck. And I hope to see you all on audition tour with your delicious food pitches... around lunch time.