Tony Trimm longed for something more entertaining while watching cooking shows while at home during the pandemic. So Trimm, who grew up in Des Plaines, used his creative ingredients to launch his own cooking show on YouTube – a blob of cooking, a touch of horror, a skosh of science fiction, a pinch of psychedelic and a bit creepy cats.
A viewer from France praised Trimm’s “Home food” as “a psychotronic cooking show,” which sounds pretty much right for Trimm, who is 40 and lives in a two-story apartment in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. Episodes are filmed in Trimm’s kitchen or across the street in an old tattoo parlor with green screens and lots of special effects.
The ever-changing setting for the show could be a post-apocalyptic kitchen, hell, a spaceship, a time travel machine or just the hallucination of a guy who has had too many drugs. The host, Survivor No. 1, uses a time machine, and his closets and refrigerators are portals to other worlds.
To pick up bacon at the request of his dogs – Chicharron, a deer head Chihuahua and Nacho, a white Chihuahua-Jack Russell terrier mix – Trimm jumps into his fridge and lands in a tundra where he grabs bacon and other ingredients he has need . He crawls back to his kitchen portal before a roaring yeti can grab him.
As the protagonist of his post-apocalyptic cooking show, “Home Feed,” former Des Plaines resident Tony Trimm must endure monsters, explosions, spooky cats, time travel, and other obstacles to put a meal on the table and try to make a human connection.
– Brian Hill | Staff photographer
Each show counts the days from an unknown event. His third episode, the Halloween special titled “Sushi Dinner,” takes place on Day 658. Trimm plays the main character.
“He’s trying to make a human connection. That’s why it’s called Home Feed,” Trimm says.
Born as Anthony Kim, by Korean immigrants Doo Hyun and Jae Eun Kim, he was nicknamed Trimm and decided to keep it in his professional career. A 1999 graduate of Maine West High School, Trimm was an established DJ when he enrolled at Southern Illinois University, where he met people who remain friends and creative partners. He graduated from Chicago Columbia College with a degree in journalism.
He has toured with the rapper Serengeti and comedian Hannibal Buress, both he met at SIU. He has directed some music videos, worked as a DJ and taught himself to be a sound engineer and film editor. His showlist friend Ted Park, who died in June, as an executive producer and has appearances by well-known chefs. James Beard Award-winning chef Abe Conlon is listed as a creative consultant, delivering recipes and was also the first to feed Trimm’s interest in spooky cats by gifting him an inappropriate toy.
“It’s supposed to dance, but it’s just starting to jerk,” Trimm says of the vibrating cat playing a god-like character in some episodes. A villainous monster, Abaddon, wears a terrifying cat mask. Trimm’s most sinister cat is a stuffed animal wearing a dress and a bonnet.
“It’s made of real cat fur, so the creep factor is getting worse and worse,” says Trimm, whose editing skills give that cat a working human mouth.
Using his sound design and film editing skills, Des Plaines resident Tony Trimm transforms these innocent cats into a trilogy of terror for his post-apocalyptic cooking show titled “Home Feed.”
– Brian Hill | Staff photographer
The cat trio competes for airtime with its dogs, spacewalking astronauts, fires, coronavirus models, giant insects, monsters, volcanoes, explosions and general weirdness.
“I want there to be so much eye candy that people will come back to see it again to see what they missed,” Trimm says. “Every action is with a sense of urgency. Will the power be cut off? Is the signal strong enough? Will the furnace go out? Will Chicharron and Nacho be ready this time? Will evil forces attack? Again?”
The guiding message is that “sharing delicious discoveries from the mundane in a seemingly hopeless and gloomy world is the beacon,” says Trimm.
As Trimm sets his time machine too far into the future, his father appears as an older Trimm. A post-it note hanging from a blackboard in Trimm’s studio reads, “Mom is in a jar making kimchi.” He sees her as a recurring character. “My mom in the jar screams at me in Korean when I reach in for ingredients,” he says.
In addition to help from Conlon, other chefs appearing in episodes include Won Kim and Margaret Pak. Trimm’s friend, comedian Meechie Hall, plays a buddy who comes over for a dinner of canned sardines and oysters until he gets lost in the woods outside Trimm’s kitchen window and is unleashed by Abaddon in a scene that Trimm describes as “cartoon violence”.
Trimm makes fun of the way the word “oriental” has become a derogatory term, and makes “Oriental Ramen” and notes that he does not find the word derogatory. “I go to the local Asian market and everything says ‘Oriental,'” Trimm says.
Trimm ferments his own kombucha in large glass jars and often uses his greenscreen talents to put less appetizing items in glass, and his language sometimes goes beyond the vocabulary allowed on most food programs.
While his character struggles to make human connections, Trimm seems to preserve his. For the theme of his show, he uses the song “Drought,” by the post-metal band Pelican, featuring bassist Bryan Herweg and his drummer brother Larry Herweg, who went to Maine West with Trimm.
His cooking show, “Home Feed,” is filmed in his kitchen and a former tattoo parlor across the street, but all the editing magic takes place in Tony Trimm’s studio.
– Brian Hill | Staff photographer
Trimm has outlined 10 episodes between six and 20 minutes long, including a Thanksgiving special that introduces a stop-animation sweet potato like the evil “Mr. Jenkins” who comes to life after Trimm injects him with an elixir. “This has a ‘Reanimator’ https://www.dailyherald.com/” Frankenstein “feel to it,” he says.
That episode will also introduce an angry duck. “I go hunting ducks with a slingshot, but things turn around,” Trimm says.
Viewers will not learn how to cook a meal just by watching the show, but he does include actual recipes homefeedshow.com.
Trimm says he does not know where the show may lead him.
“I’m just trying to make an entertaining cooking show,” Trimm says. “It’s like a cooking show with a story that’s fun to watch.”
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