Chef-dude Guy Fieri is in the house (copy)

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri holds up a wine glass he autographed after a demo in 2010, at Caesar’s Circus Maximus Theater in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri dropped in on Bend a few months back to sample a range of the city’s food options. The shows filmed in Bend have been airing this month, with another episode set to hit television on Friday.

Fieri — the flamboyant host of the Food Network’s wildly popular ”Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” — visited Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails, Rockin’ Dave’s Bistro & Backstage Lounge and Dump City Dumplings during his stay in Bend.

The episode that features Rockin’ Dave’s is set to air on the Food Network at 6 p.m. Friday . The show that featured Zydeco aired earlier this month, and the show that features Dump City Dumplings is scheduled to air Nov. 5.

Cheri Helt, the co-owner of Zydeco, called the taping a great experience and said Fieri had “great chemistry” with chef (and her husband) Steve Helt.

During the Zydeco filming, Fieri tried some of Helt’s cooked shrimp and exclaimed, “I would give anything for that to be over some pasta!” Then paused and joked: “I’d put that over a flip flop.”

“It was awesome to watch 17 years of hard work done by thousands of people that have worked at Zydeco be highlighted on a national TV show,” said Helt. “We were glad to be part of it. It was fun. It was exciting, and a much-needed break from the COVID regulations.”

Filming occurred in June at the downtown restaurant, and some of the crew returned in July for more food shots, Helt said. A total of 22 hours of filming was done at Zydeco for seven minutes of TV.

The day after the program aired, Helt said a couple drove from the coast to try the jambalaya that was featured in the show. She said others have come in having watched the show, and jambalaya has been a popular dish.

Shrimp has been in short supply due to supply-chain shortages, so Helt said they have been working hard to make orders and keep up with demand.

“We have seen a rise in the jambalaya sales,” she said.

“It’s a lift for all restaurants,” she added, of the tourists that come from watching the show.

At Dump City Dumplings in the Old Mill District, co-owner Keith Shayon said he was “blown away” to be part of the show and is looking forward to seeing the episode that features his restaurant, and then seeing and what comes next. The shooting went smoothly and took several hours.

“He had a really good understanding of how we make the dumplings and processes we use.He seemed really interested in wanting to know what brought us to do this and what makes us happy from doing it,” said Shayon.

Most of the filming was done with Shayon’s business partner Dan Butters.

“He was delightfully surprised,” Shayon said. “And by the end of it my business partner, Dan, and he were really having a good time eating some dumplings together and sharing our dipping sauces, and he just seemed really excited about it.”

Across town, Dave Flier, owner of Rockin’ Dave’s Bistro on Bend’s east side, is getting ready for the airing on Friday. He will host an open-to-the-public watch party at the Volcanic Theater Pub.

Flier, 46, recalled his meeting with Fieri.

“He was great. He was a class act overall,” said Flier.

But the initial filming was a little awkward, said Flier. He described how Fieri came into the restaurant and started talking to the crew. He was expecting some pre-filming banter then all of a sudden the lights turned on.

“Once the cameras were rolling he turns to me and says ‘Rockin’ Dave! How’s it going!’ and then we did our thing,” said Flier.

Flier said he showed off his bacon cheddar jalapeno Sriracha bagels during the show, a house-made pastrami sandwich and a pork bomb sandwich. It was a notable moment in the history of the restaurant, which Flier bought in 2007 and rebranded with his name in 2010.

After the hard work was done, the pair got to know each other over tequila.

Does Flier think the show will boost his business?

“That’s not what I need,” said Flier. “What I need is a boost in employees. I am going to get a boost in business, and it’s going to be hard for the people that work here.” Still, he is looking forward to the watch party.

“For me, it’s a good community event,” said Flier. “I think Bend is a great community, and it has been good to me over the years, so it will be a fun thing to have.”

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Reporter: 541-617-7818,

mkohn@bendbulletin.com

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