Camera, action, eat

Brandi Laffins

Photo by Kevin Fuller

Local real estate agent Brandi Laffins doesn’t like to cook. So, naturally she’s well-versed in the local restaurant scene. That’s exactly why she and her team started Chico Chow, a video series that highlights local restaurants. “I have absolutely no background in food,” Laffins says. “Our background is we like to eat. I try to avoid cooking if I can.” The series has featured eateries such as Wine Time, Lovely Layers Cakery, The Coffee Ranch and Pop’s Pizza. The video series is developing a following on Facebook, where the videos are hosted. Laffins recently sat down to discuss the project with the CN&R.

What gave you the idea for Chico Chow?

There is another realtor in San Diego that was going around town and interviewing specific businesses. He’d put it out on Facebook and where he got the most views was when he went to restaurants. We wanted to copy that idea and focus on restaurants. We’re always, “Where should we go today,” kind of looking for places that people haven’t thought of or people forgot about or the ones that are popular and we just want to highlight them because they have great food. That’s why we did it.

What does your production look like?

We pick a day when the entire team can be there. It only takes an hour and a half or less to shoot it. We have three little segments we have to shoot: Us walking into the restaurant, the interview with the restaurant owner or manager, and at the end we do our “ciao for now” and start eating the food. And we really do eat the food. That’s pretty much it.

What have you discovered about the Chico food scene that maybe you didn’t know before?

I think we’ve discovered that there’s a lot of really amazing food out there. There are some great restaurants in our small little town that have a lot to offer. And they’re all really different. A lot of restaurants are going to vegan and gluten-free. There’s a lot more of that out there than I realized. And, how many use local products. We try to always feature that in the show.

What are you hoping to accomplish with the project?

I think what we want to do is just be part of the community. We are also starting a Santa shuffle. We are going to start doing 5k fundraisers throughout the year. We just want to get involved with the community more than just housing. Any way we can help with fundraising events, and/or, in this case, just enlightening the community about different restaurants in the area.

What kind of feedback have you gotten?

They’re very grateful that we are there. They feel like it’s a great opportunity for the exposure. We are getting anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 views on Facebook. We have a few people who are asking us if they can be a part of it, which is great. I think they love the idea of it. It’s a really fun thing for us to do.