Saturday, September 29, 2007

Food Network focuses on Tahoe

unedited Tahoe Mt. News Sept. story

Food Network dines in South Lake

By Kathryn Reed

Tahoe’s culinary delights have come of age – just ask the Food Network.
A production crew was on the South and North shores in late August filming a segment of “Rachael Ray’s Tasty Travels” which is slated to air in January.
“It’s a great compliment considering she is so widely popular,” said Tyler Cannon, owner of Sprouts. “This is a pretty big deal. The Web exposure is even larger. It’s like Oprah (Winfrey’s) hot reading list. (Travelers) look at her list for places to eat.”
For two hours on Aug. 24 the crew shot footage at the local eatery – about an hour longer than what they had told Cannon to expect.
He had sent them a menu before their arrival, talked to them about popular as well as colorful dishes, and had his veteran staff preparing for the visit about four days in advance.
Cannon selected the Breakfast Special (a toasted bagel, onions, tomato, avocado, melted Jack cheese, organic egg salad, sprouts, salsa, guacamole and green onions), Nachos, Mexican Volcano (sesame chips, spinach, beans, cabbage, carrots, onions, tomatoes, sprouts, salsa, guacamole, green onions and honey mustard dressing) and the Tuna Burrito.
“One of the neatest things about Sprouts is the local feel. You don’t find it anyplace else in the country. They picked up on that,” said Cannon, who has run the joint for 17 years, admitting he was nervous before filming started.
Ray was not part of the crew. Cannon said she will do a voice-over for the show. The network employees stayed at the Marriott Grand Residence and visited a slew of spots around the Lake. Sightseeing included Emerald Bay and a ride on Heavenly’s Gondola.
They showed up at the Ketch at about 5:30 p.m. the same day to sample dinner fare. Chef Domi Chavarria whipped up a batch of Cioppino for the Food Network cameras, as well as Halibut with Coconut Fruit Salas and Fish Tacos. The latter has been a signature dish at the Ketch for eons.
“Cioppino is a good dish to be filmed making because a lot is going on there. The glazed pan gets a little flame, it’s a more theatrical dish,” Chavarria said. “I spent time making the dish and doing the interview. They cruised around the restaurant and interviewed customers.”

Breakout box:

The Food Network crew went to the following locations around the Lake:
• Heavenly Gondola
• Burger Lounge
• Fresh Ketch
• Zephyr Cove Stables
• Vex Nightclub
• Sprouts Natural Foods Café
• Naked Fish
• Fire Sign Café
• Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge
• Jake’s on the Lake
• Gar Woods Grill & Pier Restaurant
• Lone Eagle Grille
• Log Cabin Café

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