Guy Fieri's 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives' visits two Phoenix restaurants | Phoenix New Times

Watch 2 Valley restaurants on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’ this month

Tune in this week and next to watch the Mayor of Flavortown cook with two Phoenix chefs.
Jennifer Miller's Fry Bread House will appear on an upcoming episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" with Guy Fieri.
Jennifer Miller's Fry Bread House will appear on an upcoming episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" with Guy Fieri. Food Network
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The Mayor of Flavortown is getting another taste of The Valley.

Two Metro Phoenix-area restaurants, Fry Bread House and Hush Public House, are set to appear on the latest season of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” this month.

Fry Bread House will be featured in the “Flavor World” episode, airing on Feb. 16, while Hush Public House will be featured in the “Bird, Belly and Beef” episode on Feb. 23. Both episodes will air at 10 p.m. on the Food Network.

The hit TV show, hosted by celebrity chef Guy Fieri, celebrates “greasy spoon” restaurants across the country. Each episode features a unifying theme and sees Fieri visiting multiple restaurants, often in different cities.

Fieri is no stranger to Arizona. Since the show launched in 2007, he’s visited over 30 Valley restaurants, including Slanted Rice, DeFalco’s Italian Eatery and The Duce. He also has two Phoenix-area restaurants: DTPHX Kitchen + Bar at Chase Field, and an additional location at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

With more than 40 seasons, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” (or, as some fans call it, Triple D) is one of the network’s longest-running shows to date. However, it wasn’t originally predicted to be a hit.

Per a report from Eater, the show’s subject matter deviated from the typical programming at the time, and Fieri wasn’t inherently knowledgeable about diners. However, the production team found their groove early on, creating a foundation that would last for decades to come.
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Fieri will sample pozole and fry bread on the Feb. 16 episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." The Beef Taco at Fry Bread House uses fry bread as the shell and is made with ground beef, lettuce and cheese.
Jennifer Miller

'Felt like divine timing'

Jennifer Miller, owner of Fry Bread House and member of the Tohono Oʼodham tribal nation, is an advocate for championing Native American chefs and cuisine. So when she found out the restaurant would be featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” during November, which is Native American Heritage Month, she was ecstatic.

“It felt like divine timing,” she says.

Over three days, Miller and her team spent nearly 20 hours shooting footage for the episode. She had a particularly enjoyable experience working with Fieri, describing him as “complimentary and encouraging” during filming.

But what struck Miller most about Fieri was how he acted off-camera. At the end of the shoot, he personally thanked every member of the staff and took the time to connect with each individual involved.

“For him to do that without being prompted says a lot about who he is as a person. I really appreciated that,” Miller says. “It’s truly a team effort.”

Miller prepared some of Fry Bread House’s signature dishes for the show – pozole and fry bread – and is hopeful it will inspire new guests to come try fry bread for the first time. If the episode isn’t enough to entice someone, an endorsement from Fieri might do the trick.

“On his way out, he took some [extra food] to go with him,” Miller recalls. "That was a really good sign."

If there’s one takeaway Miller hopes viewers get from the episode, its that Fry Bread House is more than just a restaurant – it’s a community. Since opening its doors in 1992, Fry Bread House has experienced generations of families coming in for a meal, something patrons happily share with Miller and her staff.

“Community was always super important to my parents [Cecelia and Joedd Miller, founders of Fry Bread House],” she explains. “I want people to feel like they’re always welcome here.”
click to enlarge Chefs Dom Ruggiero and Guy Fieri.
Hush Public House will be featured in the Feb. 23 episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." Pictured is chef Dom Ruggiero with Guy Fieri.
Hush Public House

Not your average greasy spoon

Hush Public House is, according to Google, a fine dining restaurant. At the very least, it's certainly not a dive or “greasy spoon” spot. If you run into head chef and owner Dom Ruggiero, you needn’t point that out to him.

“We’ve been getting asked, ‘Which one are you?’ a lot,” Ruggiero says.

Even though Hush Public House doesn’t quite fit the typical description of a diner, drive-in or dive, the team won over the producers during a rigorous interview process involving a thorough dissection of their menu.

“[The producers] made sure that we made everything from scratch. That’s really important to them,” Ruggiero says.

Ruggiero and his team shot their scenes over a two-day period and described the experience as “very organized and easy.” He noted the production team was friendly but regimented, with every scene being scheduled “to a T.”

“You can tell they’ve been doing this for a long time,” Ruggiero says.

During scenes with Fieri, Ruggiero recalls him being professional and knowledgeable on a variety of cooking techniques. But it wasn’t all serious business on set.

“He does crack jokes,” Ruggiero says. “It’s not very often I get made fun of in my own kitchen.”
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The Duck Fried Rice is a staple at Hush Public House. It's made with duck confit, sesame, scallion, house-made Rayu, and topped with a fried egg.
Hush Public House
According to the Food Network's website, Fieri will sample classic Hush dishes the Italian Beef and Duck Fried Rice during the episode. Ruggiero mentioned that Fieri was impressed with the food, as well as the operational nature of the kitchen.

“That’s a very big compliment for myself and my staff,” Ruggiero says.

Like the general public, Ruggiero will see the episode for the first time when it airs next week. He hopes that the episode will help bring more people to his restaurant and highlight the seasonal, scratch-made menu.

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