Arts Devo

Shut the front door, it’s Guy Fieri in Chico

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If Trump bungles this one, and Guy Fieri shows up again to cook, I’m gonna lead the charge to secede into Flavortown—Aye Jay (Chico artist)

Welcome to Flavortown A full week before Donald Trump arrived on the Ridge to admonish the devastated residents of “Pleasure” for not raking the forest, another tan-faced man with over-bleached hair already had his boots on the ground in Butte County. Three days after the Camp Fire broke out, celebrity chef Guy Fieri and his crew were set up under a Knuckle Sandwich banner to cook meals for first responders in Chico, and the Food Network star returned a couple of weeks later (along with fellow celebrity chef Tyler Florence) to join World Central Kitchen in making Thanksgiving dinners for everyone impacted by the fire.

Arts DEVO is with Aye Jay on this one; Fieri is the better leader.

The local illustrator’s Flavortown declaration on Facebook in the days after the fire broke out was followed by his kick-ass design of a seal for the new state, and now, with Fieri visiting Chico once again this past week, maybe it’s time we raised the flag of secession.

According to a couple of Fieri’s Twitter posts, he was in town to tape an episode of his signature show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Where’d he stop? I spied the mayor (president? governor?) of Flavortown himself in front of a camera inside Grana Wood Fired Foods (and his red Camaro out front), and also saw a crew breaking down inside Upper Crust Bakery & Cafe. From other social media sources, there was photographic evidence that he also visited The Banshee and The Rawbar, and had photos taken with first responders at various locations. I also heard rumors that he may have gone to Tackle Box Bar & Grill, Sin of Cortez and Momona.

While I have many personal favorites that I believe would best exemplify the show’s title (Gnarly Deli, Nobby’s, Morning Thunder, The Roost, Burgers and Brew, several taquerias/taco trucks), the places “Triple D” did visit will offer a nice representation of our little flavor town. (I just hope Fieri had the bahn mi-style pork tacos or the mac and cheese with bacon at Banshee—both are bomb-dot-com.)

Given the circumstances of Fieri’s recent visits to Butte County and the fact that so many first responders seem to have been included in the taping, it seems fair to guess that the unifying theme of the Chico episode will have to do with the Camp Fire and recovery efforts. And given the usual “Triple D effect” on featured restaurants after the show airs, it’ll be a great thing for the local economy to have tourists bringing their money to our little corner of the world, right in the heart of the State of Flavortown.


• Rescheduled: Two concerts that were canceled in the wake of the Camp Fire have been rescheduled. This Sunday, Jan. 13, Lyrics Born will make good on his show at the Sierra Nevada Big Room, and the new date for the Chris Robinson Brotherhood show at the El Rey Theater has been set for Feb. 21.

• Rad band alert: While headliners SUMAC might be getting most of the attention in advance of the upcoming noisy show at Naked Lounge (Tuesday, Jan. 15), don’t sleep on openers Divide and Dissolve. The duo from Australia plays a brand of ambient droning doom that’s aimed at crushing the patriarchy and white privilege with a deliberate and punishing sound. Not to be missed.