Ottawa: Canada’s Flavourtown?
It just might be, if the appearance of one of North America’s most popular food TV personalities at a downtown eatery is any indication.
Guy Fieri, best-known as the host of the Food Network’s long-running series Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, was spotted on the patio of OCCO Kitchen & Bar on Albert Street Thursday afternoon with a camera crew in tow.
No one at the restaurant or the business it’s attached to, the Albert at Bay Suite Hotel, would comment, but Fieri appeared to be shooting an episode of Triple D, which has gained a huge cult following in the United States and Canada for its focus on smaller, independent eateries that serve up comfort foods such as burgers, barbecued ribs and a host of deep-fried delights.
If OCCO does make its Food Network debut, it will be another big moment in what’s already been a busy year for owner Mark Steele.
The 2017 Forty Under 40 recipient launched his first OCCO location four years ago in Orléans after more than a decade as a chef at the Fairmont, Hilton and Marriott hotel chains. The Newfoundland native opened a second location at the Albert at Bay Suites Hotel this past March, serving up homemade pub grub ranging from fresh beef burgers to cod cakes made from a 400-year-old recipe.
In an interview with OBJ last spring, Steele said he hoped OCCO would entice foodies who’d grown tired of “old, stale, boring” hotel restaurants.
“With this, it’s really exciting,” he said. “It’s a standalone restaurant that thrives on being edgy and inventive. To pair that up with a hotel, I think we’re probably setting a new trend.”
Fieri, it would seem, is a believer.