FARGO — Pizza, pastries and Indian food appeared to be on the menu for celebrity chef Guy Fieri on day two of his visit to Fargo-Moorhead to shoot segments for his show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” on The Food Network.
Fieri visited Blackbird Woodfire late Tuesday morning, June 23. The restaurant at 206 Broadway N. in Fargo is best known for its homemade artisan wood-fired pizza using North Dakota wheat and milled flour.
Local realtor Erik Hatch, who joked Monday on Facebook that he might have “a celebrity crush” on Fieri, was tipped off by a friend that the chef was at Blackbird and posted about his "brush with greatness" this morning on Facebook.
Following the stop at Blackbird Woodfire, Fieri and his crew made the half-mile trip to Nichole’s Fine Pastry and Cafe at 13 8th St. S. Nichole’s is a frequent winner of The Forum’s “Best of the Red River Valley” contest in the category of “Best Desserts.”
While there, a small crowd gathered to catch a glimpse of the spikey-haired star. Superfan Addie Loerzel, the Moorhead teen who met Fieri Monday while he shot at Sol Ave. Kitchen in Moorhead, was asked to come to Nichole’s to pick up T-shirts and other swag Fieri had promised her.
After meeting with a production assistant, Addie and her mother, Marisa Bengtson-Loerzel, hung out for a while.
“When he (Fieri) came out of Nichole’s, he saw Addie right away, and the first thing he said was ‘Is that my No. 1 North Dakota fan right there?’” Bengtson-Loerzel said.
After he finished filming, she said, he called Addie over and they recorded the show's tagline together.
“He was so sweet to her. He helped her practice a couple of times to make sure she had it down,” Bengtson-Loerzel said.
From there, Fieri and the production crew went to Passage to India, which specializes in authentic Indian food, at 855 45th St. S. in Fargo.
A crowd of people gathered and were eventually called inside the restaurant, presumably to be diners in the episode.
Two people who remained outside were Jake and Macy Quinton, a young married couple who decided they’d try to catch a glimpse of one of their favorite celebrity chefs.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there was no word on whether their wish came true.
According to a behind-the-scenes video on The Food Network, “Diners Drive-ins and Dives” started in 2007 with Fieri and a small crew visiting one restaurant a day. Thirteen years later, a multi-camera crew shoots in at least three locations in a day, and with Fieri’s visit to North Dakota and soon South Dakota, he will have visited more than 1,200 restaurants in all 50 states.
The restaurants featured on the program tend to see a spike in sales shortly after their episode airs.
So when will Fargo-Moorhead’s episodes be on? The Food Network media relations team has not confirmed an air date, but according to reports from previous shoots, the air date is usually within two to three months of shooting.
Yesterday, Fieri visited Sol Ave. Kitchen and Rustica in Moorhead and Pounds in Fargo. It's unclear if he has more Fargo-Moorhead restaurants on his schedule.