"Food Wars" films Ju(i)cy Lucy episode

Ever wonder what it's like to be at a recording for a TV show?  Well, it ain't exactly spontaneous.

On Wednesday, Travel Channel set up camp at Cardinal Tavern in Minneapolis to record an episode of its new series, "Food Wars," hosted by Camille Ford.  The show was in town for a Ju(i)cy Lucy face off between the two establishments that claim to have invented the local specialty: 5-8 Club and Matt's Tavern.  Additional footage was also shot at the respective establishments on the previous two days.

Anyone expecting a fast-paced evening was in for a bit of a rude awakening, as recording a half-hour TV show requires hours of waiting around.  However, there were some surprises, including the surreal experience of recording the audience responding to both factions winning and the appearance of Vikings mascot Ragnar as a judge.

Hot Dish was there to record some clips and provide a glimpse into proceedings for the those who couldn't make it there.

The room was divided into two sides, with the 5-8 faithful on one side and the Matt's acolytes on the other.  Ford got things warmed up by bringing out the two restaurants' respective "super-fans" and having them do some smack-talking, although one 5-8 supporter tried pulling out a trump card by exhibiting his baby for the cameras.

Once everyone had gotten good and riled up, it was time to take a break and get everything in order.  Now, for anyone who's watched one of these shows before, the logical next step in proceedings would be to bring out the five contestants for the almighty blind taste test.


Let's not get ahead of ourselves.  Remember, we're in TV land here, which is code for "alternate reality."  In which case, the actual logical next step is to have both sides of the audience pretend they just won the competition, record it, and then have them pretend they just lost and record it as well.  Funny, but fiercely practical - or something like that.  As it was, most people were confused enough by all this that the reactions still managed to be convincing.

Fortunately, none of the charade seemed to spoil the atmosphere very much, and not only was the rivalry good-natured but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, as the long pauses and proximity to the bar encouraged socializing.

Eventually, the contestants were brought out - Make sure you get a couple takes of each contestant coming in so we can edit the best one in later.  Thanks, guys! - and the taste test got underway.  Of course, I wouldn't want to tell you what happened, because that would spoil the show - which, debuts next month and will hopefully end the divisive Ju(i)cy Lucy debate forever.

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