Guy Fieri hits local spots for upcoming show

Published 4:35 pm Monday, May 22, 2023

Several local businesses in Bowling Green have been keeping a huge secret for the past year — they will be featured in Food Network’s “Guy’s All-American Road Trip,” which is airing June 2 at 8 p.m. CT.

Restaurateur and TV personality Fieri and his family traveled to Bowling Green to film an episode of the second season of “Guy’s All-American Road Trip” last June. They visited the National Corvette Museum and Motorsports Park and Chaney’s Dairy Barn. They set up camp at Thousand Trails Diamond Caverns RV and Golf Resort in Cave City, and had Groovy Gus Donut Bus pull up, as well as Bucky Bee’s BBQ of Cave City.

“We had to keep it a secret for a long time,” said Carl Chaney, owner of Chaney’s Dairy Barn. “We couldn’t talk about it. We couldn’t promote it.”

Food Network spent two days filming at Chaney’s.

The first day was spent filming ice cream preparation. The Fieri family and the five families that they travel with for the show arrived the next morning and competed in an ice cream making competition.

“He (Fieri) is larger than life. It was really, really interesting. They all kind of gravitated around him,” Chaney said.

Groovy Gus Donut Bus pulled up to Thousand Trails Diamond Caverns RV and Golf Resort to serve doughnuts after a long day of activities.

Groovy Gus Donut Bus owners Steve and Cindi Garden said they are huge fans of Fieri and his TV shows.

“We watch every show he has. I mean, we love Guy Fieri,” Cindi Garden said. “The idea was just to meet him and serve him donuts. We didn’t care if we were filmed or not. It was an honor to feed them. He said it was good. … His son loved the doughnuts.”

The Gardens had no idea when they pulled up to the campsite that they were going to part of Fieri’s show. They were under the impression that they would just be serving doughnuts.

“They were filming for an episode and we didn’t even know it. After they told us that, we were like, ‘it’s a good thing we dressed up and cleaned the bus,’ “ Steve Garden said.

Fieri’s team found the Groovy Gus Donut Bus while researching the Bowling Green area. The Gardens were told that Fieri saw their food truck and said that they needed to be in the episode.

“He liked the vibe of the truck,” Cindi Garden said about their colorful 80s themed truck.

Bucky Bee’s BBQ of Cave City also served food for the families at the campsite.

“He said he really loved our brisket, and so I thought that was a really high honor, but it was a crazy experience,” said Ransom Buckingham, general manager of Bucky Bee’s BBQ.

Before Fieri arrived, Buckingham spent the day shooting promo shots for the show. He said he spent from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. shooting and re-shooting those promo shots, but that Fieri was able to do everything in one take once he arrived.

“He was witty and quick on his feet. He never stumbled. He never messed up. He always made sense with what he was talking about and was a really genuinely nice guy,” Buckingham said.

The local businesses were told to prepare for an increase in business after the episode airs.

“People that I talked to tell me that he has a very loyal following, and when he goes places, people really flock to it,” Chaney said.

“We think that it’ll definitely increase our business. I know from people that have dealt with him before that it really helped their business to increase. That’s something we’re definitely hoping for currently,” Buckingham said.

Fieri’s team told the Gardens that once the show airs, their business will be exposed to around 4 million viewers. They were told that some viewers of the show are food truck people and would travel to eat at the Groovy Gus Donut Bus just because Fieri had eaten there.

“We’d like to pick up some more business of course, but it’ll get our name out there to a whole new group,” Steve Garden said.