Food Network show on Chester Creek Cafe airs Monday
When considering memorable moments spent with Guy Fieri while he was in Duluth filming a segment about Chester Creek Cafe for "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," chef Jillian Forte said: "One time I lit the kitchen on fire."
The incident involved parchment paper, brisket and open flame, and while it was a close call, Fieri's signature spiky blond rock-star hair was unscathed.
There is no word on whether this moment will be included on Monday's episode of "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," which Fieri hosts on the Food Network. Viewers will see three of Chester Creek Cafe's popular dishes: Cranberry Wild Rice Bread French Toast, which is served with powdered sugar and either maple or beer syrup; Smoked Braised Beef Brisket Sandwich, which has a barbecue sauce of peach and ancho chilies; and the Red Sea Sandwich, which is whitefish with red cabbage slaw served on toasted ciabatta.
One dish in particular tied the tongue of the quip-dropping Fieri:
"When he ate the fish sandwich, he was silent and ate like four or five bites," Forte said. "(When he saw the ingredients) he was like, 'You're putting that in, and that?' He was dubious at first. But it's a really good sandwich."
"Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" filmed at the cafe in mid-May. The crew spent two 12-hour shifts filming, and Forte slowly went through each recipe. They shot footage of owners Carla Blumberg working in the restaurant's garden and Barb Neubert answering the phone. Blumberg said there was a lot of repetition, and they had to wear the exact same clothes and set up the ingredients the same way for both days of filming.
As for Fieri, the red sports car-rocking celebri-foodie: "In person he's actually sweeter and meeker than you might think," Blumberg divulged. "His schtick is basically just his schtick. In person he's a quiet, sweet little guy."
Blumberg said she thinks customers turned the producers of the show on to the café, which doesn't really fall into the category of a diner, drive-in or dive. The producers did, however, consult with the owners about the farm-to-table concept for consideration as another program.
Chester Creek Cafe is the third Northland restaurant to be featured this season. Fieri visibly drooled over the bison pastrami at Northern Waters Smokehaus on an episode in June; he pattied burgers during a segment about Gordy's Hi-Hat in Cloquet, which aired at the end of July.
There are two spots to go: Duluth Grill owner Tom Hanson said his Lincoln Park restaurant will be featured in November, but they don't have an exact date. An employee at the Anchor Bar in Superior said she did not know yet when their show will air.