A production crew was on the Big Island this week filming an episode of the Travel Channel television series “Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations.”
The show, a spin-off of the series “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern,” features “not-to-be-missed legendary foods that define a location” and “unique dishes we’re willing to travel halfway around the world to sample,” according to its IMDb page.
Each episode features one location along with several of its “iconic foods.” The show is narrated by Zimmern, a chef and TV personality, though Zimmern was not on location.
The episode underway this week is largely Hilo-centric but features places to eat islandwide. The crew stopped at several East Hawaii hot spots including Cafe 100 for loco moco, KTA Super Stores for lomi salmon, Short N Sweet Bakery &Cafe to feature sweet bread, opakapaka at Seaside Restaurant and Aqua Farm, and laulau at Kuhio Grill. It wrapped up Friday at Randy’s Huli Chicken and Ribs in West Hawaii.
The production spurred some excitement locally.
On Thursday morning, Short N Sweet posted several Instagram photos of filming as it was underway. Owner Maria Short told the Tribune-Herald the show was interested in the history of Short N Sweet’s Kinoole Street location, which is the former Robert’s Bakery where King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread began. Some lucky Short N Sweet customers left with free sweet rolls Thursday morning and the guests overall “have loved it,” Short said that morning.
Cafe 100 also posted about the experience on Instagram, with a photo of customers being filmed as they dug into loco mocos. The photo was captioned “Filming not just for Cafe 100 but for the Hilo town.”
General manager Kyle Wada said crews spent all of Wednesday morning at the restaurant and also took footage of food being prepared in the kitchen.
“It was pretty exciting,” Wada said. “You know, you get kind of nervous all the way leading up to it, but they are very easy to work with.”
The show has featured food in cities spanning the globe, including shawarma in Tel Aviv, Israel, lucuma ice cream in Lima, Peru, and the original root beer float in Philadelphia, according to some of the recent episodes posted online.
“Bizarre Foods” last filmed on Hawaii Island in 2015, when Zimmern made a visit and dived for prawns in Waipio Valley and feasted on tuna eyeballs and Filipino blood pork.
The episode being filmed this week won’t air for at least six months.
Email Kirsten Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.