Real Food, Real Kitchens, Real UCF

Craig_5My favorite thing about UCF is admiring the beauty of campus and thinking, “Anything is possible here,” said Craig Chapman, ’97.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he commenced his journey full force in the entertainment industry. He began his career working in marketing for Nickelodeon Studios, which led him to work for MTV. During his time at MTV, he worked on many of the reality shows such as “Room Raiders” and on the Video Music Awards from 1997-2008. Having worked in freelance film and television production, he decided to journey into the world of magazines. He became the fashion & beauty editor for InTouch Weekly and later the lifestyle editor for Seventeen Magazine. With all of this experience, Chapman decided the time was right to step up in his career and started his own production company. He is currently the owner and producer of his own production company called OEG Media LLC and the creator/producer of the series “Real Food Real Kitchens.”

By attending UCF, Chapman found himself in the university of opportunity. After getting his AA degree from Brevard Community College (now called Eastern Florida State College), he continued his education at UCF. Ever since he graduated, he has continued to maintain a connection with the university by coming back to speak to current students at and offer advice based about on his career experiences. He shares with students his experiences in different fields of communication, which includes film & TV production and magazine editing, and how he started with his own music ‘zine’ at a young age.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

The best part about my job is meeting new people all the time and being able to tell people’s stories and preserve a part of their life that is important. Especially with Real Food Real Kitchens, it really captures a moment that people cherish: sharing a meal with their family, learning how to cook for the first time from their mother, and preserving deep rooted family dishes and traditions. I also love getting to travel.

What piece of advice would you give to current students as well as UCF alumni?  I have a couple pieces of advice I always give…

o     One is to fail, learn from it, then try again and repeat the process as many times as it takes. It will look way more impressive to a prospective employer or partner that you actually tried this on your own and learned from the process. More so than any previous job on your resume… I got my job at Seventeen because I happened to have an old copy of the zine I published as a teenager on me one day when I was working at MTV and handed it to my future boss.

o     Don’t be afraid to knock on BIG doors. If you have a question or are looking for advice and you’re genuinely sincere (and not annoying about it), people in high-level positions will surprisingly be very willing to talk to you and help you out. I’ve emailed people who I never thought would respond to me and sure enough, it could be three months later, I get an email back or even a phone call.

o     Success rarely happens over-night; patience is key. When I was younger I used to get overly excited about prospective projects and couldn’t wait more than a day to follow up. Now I give it a couple weeks. People often have more going on in their world than you know about.

If you could have front-row seats to any concert, which would you choose?

That’s easy; I would like to see The Smiths if they were still around but I would settle for Morrissey. Actually, the only time I even saw Morrissey perform was by myself at the CFE Arena coincidentally.

What is something most people do not know about you?

The funniest thing at this point in my life is that I am in no way a foodie at all. Real Food Real Kitchens was just a really good idea to me. I’ve sort of had to get in to food culture now though. Also I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 12 so most everything on the show I haven’t tasted, I just relied on my crew to give me honest feedback. Also, I can be incredibly shy, almost to a fault.

The first series by Chapman’s production company OEG Media LLC is called, “Real Food Real Kitchens (RFRK).” Created in 2008, RFRK is a cooking show that tells the intimate story of a person, their family, their culture and how food creates an emotional bond that connects them all together. The show has been a massive success, with full episodes of season one now available on CREATE TV and Hulu (gaining over 250,000 views in its first year).  The second season is currently in production and the series has been picked up for five more seasons. Chapman has also launched Real Food Real Kitchens magazine, which shares family food stories more in-depth in print and is now available in major retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Barnes & Noble. A second edition of the magazine will be available in early 2014. In addition, Chapman is in the process of producing two spin-off series to RFRK along with several brand new programs. He is also the co-owner of a music/indie culture website that is part of Complex Media called

For more on Real Food Real Kitchens, visit

For more on LX-Goods, visit

For more on Chapman’s work, visit

Comments are closed.