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Triple D Does Oahu

March 5, 2010
 

Sundays are my lazy days - the days I use to catch up on my guilty pleasures – trashy reality shows and fun Food Network shows that make my mouth water. Somewhere between “Keeping Up with The Kardashians” and watching “The Real Housewives” duke it out, I always make time for my favorite Food Network show, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” 

If you’ve never seen the show, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” (DDD) is hosted by Guy Fieri, a bleached blonde, spiky haired California dude with a laid back attitude and rock star style and energy, who travels the country in search of the best local favorite restaurants.  The show is captivating, addictive and introduces its audience to great eats that don’t usually receive a lot of national attention. Don’t watch on an empty stomach! If you do, be forewarned that for the rest of the day all you’ll want is to eat a big, juicy, sauce-dripping-down-your-face cheeseburger and other deliciously dangerous foods.

While spending a Sunday afternoon watching DDD, thinking of all the yummy food I could eat at home on Oahu – boneless chicken plate from Rainbow Drive In, pork chops and sizzling rib eye at Side Street Inn, fried rice and Nalo greens house salad with seared ahi from Kanpai Bar & Grill, a SPAM musubi from Fukuya – I realized that Oahu has some really great diners, drive-ins and dives. Plate lunch-type food is one of many things that makes Hawaii special and is a part of our culture that should be shared with the world. 

Keeping this in mind, I returned to work on Monday with a new goal – bring “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” to Oahu! The OVB team worked together to pitch the show’s production company, Page Productions, on filming a few segments on Oahu. We thought it would be an easy sell – why wouldn’t a crew from frigid Minnesota and a character like Guy want to visit Oahu?! It turned out to be a lot tougher than we thought. While the producers loved the idea of filming DDD in Hawaii, they were reluctant because of the costs and transport difficulties, the biggest of which was figuring out how to ship Guy’s Camaro. 

In addition, the show had a long list of specific criteria that each restaurant had to meet in order to even be considered for the show. Criteria included food made with fresh (not frozen) ingredients and made from scratch, a historical or intriguing aspect about the establishment, and a camera-friendly character who is excited and capable to appear on TV. This was more difficult than we expected! We researched dozens of restaurants on the island, doing everything from trying their most popular menu items (it was a very caloric but delicious few weeks!) and speaking with their owners and reading online reviews, in order to compile a list of the best restaurants on the island that fit the show’s criteria.

Our PR team spent countless hours researching, planning and finding some creative solutions, and after almost two years and many, many emails and phone calls… mission accomplished! “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” came to Hawaii in October 2009 to film an all-Oahu episode and additional segments to be used in other episodes during the show’s eighth and ninth seasons.

DDD 1

The DDD/Page Production crew films at the Honolulu Fish Auction.

On Oahu, Guy visited Hank’s Haute Dogs, Highway Inn, Murphy’s Bar & Grill, Nico’s at Pier 38, Poke Stop, Rainbow Drive In, and attended a luau. From what we saw during filming, Guy really hammed it up with the restaurant owners and chefs. At the fish auction, Guy was caught playing with leftover fish fins and playfully throwing fish guts at his camera man. He was so much fun to be around and genuinely as nice as he seems on TV.  He and the Page Productions crewmembers made the entire filming experience great for everyone involved. We loved working with them!

DDD 2 

Guy Fieri and Nico Chaize, owner/chef of Nico’s Pier 38, inspect an Opah at the Honolulu Fish Auction. Guy called the Honolulu Fish Auction the equivalent of shopping on Rodeo Drive for chefs.

So what kind of car did Guy drive around Oahu?  What dishes did he eat at each location? What goofy things did Guy do on air? Some of you may know, but to those who don’t, you’ll just have to tune in to DDD to find out!

For more information about the show's filming on Oahu and a schedule of when the all-Oahu and additional segments will air, check out HawaiiMagazine.com

Make sure to watch these Oahu “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” take the spotlight on the Food Network this Spring and Summer!  We’ll be tuning in too with the Oahu Visitors Bureau, and watching our hard work pay off.

-- MLT