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Reader fires back after Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives post

There's more to a DDD shoot than meets the eye, says Jason.

There's more to a DDD shoot than meets the eye, says Jason.

After a behind-the-scenes peek at a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives shoot at Prairie Dogs last week, I wrote a brief observation of what it was like to see things from the other side of the TV set. One reader was not impressed. He says he's not part of the DDD crew but is familiar with the inner workings of the show and wants to set the record straight: 

Your article on Diners, Drive-ins & Dives was misleading and ill-informed. The headline teased that it might be an exploration of the show's filming and/or impact from the perspective of the good folks running the restaurants being featured. Instead it seemed like a (fairly snarky) observation from your limited personal experience as an 'extra' for less than 30 minutes. Disappointing. Also, to help ease your 'envious' feeling, Guy Fieri spends much longer than the 30 minutes you observed at each restaurant he visits. This was a misstatement of fact in your article, rather careless. If you've ever seen the show, he cooks and tastes two, sometimes three dishes, with every chef he visits (which amounts to literally thousands of cooking sessions over nine years of the show's run). This all takes place before the guests are called in for that final half hour of filming that you participated in. Guy Fieri actually spends about two hours beyond what you observed, and also films at three restaurants per day. Adding up to around 7 hours per day of filming at these establishments, along with commute time in that SUV between locations, and you're talking about some busy days, with a lot of coordination among many people involved. The sliver of time you participated in was a fraction of the whole picture. In addition, your article makes it sound, to a casual reader, like the show was in town to feature a single restaurant, Prairie Dogs, when in fact the show usually films at six establishments across two days during each shoot. (This does not include the many more days of filming that are required in each city without the show's host.) Much broader impact than your limited viewpoint provides. If I was another restaurateur that was filmed recently, I'd be very disappointed to read your article and see only a single establishment mentioned. You may or may not know but Guy Fieri's road crew is mostly from the Twin Cities, and has been since the early days when the show was produced in town. (I am not one of them; I am simply familiar with the workings of the show.) Despite not seeming 'warm or friendly' to you, I understand that he's actually quite loyal both to his crews and to the chefs and owners whom he features, kindred spirits joined around the love of food. In a time when most of television exists for pure self-involved entertainment/escape, I challenge you to find many shows that have a real, tangible impact on real people and real lives with real dollars. Guy and his crew have been traveling the country for close to a decade, featuring good, hard-working people who love food and love to cook it for others, and when the show comes through an establishment, it has a measurable impact and benefit on many lives. I would encourage you to open up to things beyond your immediate surroundings in the pursuit of better journalism. - Jason