On the set of the Food Network show: “You Gotta Eat Here!” in Ottawa!

Hi Guys!  I might be famous soon. Okay, not really. But you might see me on TV with Eggs Benedict rolling down my chin. Can’t get anymore ‘famous’ than that, right? (ha ha).

I spent the entire afternoon yesterday at one of my favourite restaurants in Ottawa “Wilf and Ada’s Scratch Kitchen” for the filming of the Food Network show: ‘You Gotta Eat Here’.

Since Cowboy and I are regulars at this awesome little brunch spot, we were invited to be customers during the filming. YAY! As an avid foodie myself, I could barely contain my excitement. Owners Jess and Dom are such wonderful people so we couldn’t be happier for them for this exciting opportunity and to be a part of it.

Plus Cowboy and I got to hang out with host John Catucci for the whole afternoon while eating delicious food. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect day, really.


The show is pretty much the Canadian ‘cousin’ of the popular: ‘Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives’–with Guy Fieri. But John Catucci is much more low-key and relaxed than Guy (but then I think anyone would be, really– ha ha!). It’s a similar show where John cooks (and sometimes just watches) the chefs make their signature dishes, and then he chats with customers about why they love coming to that particular restaurant.

I think I’m turning into a Food Network groupie as I was at the filming of this same show a few years ago in Canada’s East Coast. Cowboy and I were in a brew pub in Saint John, New Brunswick (Saint John Alehouse) and low-and-behold— they were filming this Food Network show at that exact moment. Very Cool.

This sorta thing may scare some customers away (they do always ‘warn’ you with a sign at the door), but not us. No way!

While we didn’t get any ‘screen time’ on this particular episode (it was our first time there and we didn’t eat anything) but we noticed later (while watching the episode) that our backs and sides were well-represented in the background.  They had been interviewing one of the regulars who was sitting right behind us. Almost famous!

It was time to change that. At Wilf & Ada’s, it was a private event for regulars only since the restaurant is quite tiny. And since we love both the food and the owners, we were more than happy to talk it up and tell everyone about this place in TV-Land. Well, Cowboy more than I, but that’s only because I’m (video) camera-shy. (No, that’s actually not a joke…feel free to stop laughing anytime now).

We arrived at the restaurant and after we were all seated the  Production Manager gave us all the lowdown of how it all works. As well as a few rules and important tidbits about the filming, too.

My favourite was: “Your face may be shown on TV therefore if you are here with someone you’re not supposed to be with, then maybe you should consider going somewhere else for lunch”. HA HA. No one left, thankfully. But can you imagine a crazier way of getting busted than being spotted cheating while on a Food Network show? Even funnier that they need to warn people of this. I’m actually still laughing as I write this, the next day!

Then the ‘shooting’ began and guess who was interviewed first? Oh YEAH! Cowboy graciously volunteered to be the first one to meet with John and rave about the food on camera.


It was pretty fun watching him get ‘wired up’ (on something besides coffee for once) and getting all ‘dolled up’ for the camera


Here comes the host (plaid shirt guy— sooooo Canadian, I know!) to chat with the first regular: COWBOY (Yipeee!).


Although I was pretty sure the angle of the camera wasn’t directly my way at all, I couldn’t be positive so I was trying to take pictures without drawing too much attention to myself. The last thing I wanted to do was distract the host, and see myself on TV taking pictures of the filming when the episode finally airs. But that would be funny! (ha ha).

So here’s a sneaky pic of John chatting with Cowboy


And then he got to eat the delicious food for the camera. Cowboy said it was hard to look natural and keep his hands from shaking with the camera practically right in his plate.


While he enjoyed meeting John and chatting about the food at this fine establishment, he’s doubtful his interview will make the cut because you really have to talk up the food. He felt that he didn’t describe everything as well as he wanted to.

So maybe his interview wasn’t overly tv-show-worthy (aka ‘dramatic’) but at least he had a lot of fun.


This is what he ate and raved about:  the *very popular* Avocado Eggs at Wilf and Ada’s. Two egg yolks sitting into avocado halves with a delicious Mexican-style salsa on top. Soooooooo delicious. Everything here is made from scratch, too, which I really love.  And it’s also one of the many reasons this place is so popular.



It was pretty neat to watch all the excitement unfold and enjoy the food while watching the cameras rolling (well, trying not to ‘watch’—’cause that might be too obvious). We relaxed and watched quite a few other regulars getting interviewed, too.


We had a fabulous time and we’re so grateful to be part of this awesome experience. If you want to check us out on the TV, the show is “You Gotta Eat Here” and the episode will be the one featuring 3 local restaurants filmed in Ottawa this week.

The awesome thing is that Ottawa is their first stop of their new season (they’re on their Fifth season already…crazy!) but because the season just started, I don’t think the episode will be aired ’til the Fall. But I will let you guys know if I find out the exact date.

And, if you’re in Ottawa, it probably goes without saying buuuuuuut…… You *Gotta* Eat Here!


Cheers from the wonderful land of the Food Network,

Dana xo


4 thoughts on “On the set of the Food Network show: “You Gotta Eat Here!” in Ottawa!

  1. Such fun news!! And Cowboy looks great. I’m very happy I subscribed to this and get to hear about your adventures. Thank you for sharing this.

    Lenka P.s. First two pics are not there.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Lenka, it was tons of fun! Also thanks for telling me about the first two pics, I noticed that last night and it looked like they were showing up, But I re-added them so hopefully they are there now. Take a look, the first one is a good one of us with the host. Hopefully it loads okay this time! 🙂 Cheers!


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