Guy Fieri, the platinum-spiked-haired mayor of Flavortown, rolled into Miami to film a few segments for his Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives TV show.
Some people might scoff at the Food Network celebrity for his love of comfort food and brash ways (including the New York Times' Pete Wells, whose review of Guy's American Kitchen & Bar will go down in the history of food writing as the snarkiest piece of criticism), but there's no denying Fieri wields major influence on mainstream America -- you know, the people who actually go out to eat at the diners, drive-ins, and dives his TV show spotlights.
So when Sakaya Kitchen's Richard Hales got a call from producers to appear on the show, he was eager for the opportunity.
For three days, the midtown fast-casual restaurant was turned into a closed set for about six to eight hours each day.
Hales told Short Order that although his restaurant and food truck were filmed for several shows, including Anthony Bourdain's The Layover and Eat Street, this shoot was unlike any he'd experienced. "Most shows film while you're open, with minimal setup. This was filmed like a major production, with nearly everything scripted. In fact, because of the position of the cameras, they had me plating food left-handed, which made for more than a few takes."
Hales says Fieri was extremely hands-on during the shoot and worked closely with the chef/restaurateur to choose the dishes for the show. What made the final cut? "We made the cracklin' herb duck sandwich, ginger Brussels sprouts, chunk'd tots, and pork bao bun," Hales says.
Sakaya's chef/owner had nothing but good words about the experience, saying Fieri was "full of energy and great to meet" and the crew was awesome to work with. "They made it easy."
It looks like the feeling was mutual. Hales said Fieri raved about the food both on and off camera. "Guy gave me some sound advice and talked about the restaurant on camera better than I ever could. He said I was the ninja of Flavortown."
That's how we roll in Miami!