Food worth filming: ‘Secrets of Bluegrass Chefs’ visits two Danville restaurants
Published 1:23 am Friday, January 20, 2017
Two men with cameras, wearing shirts bearing “Secrets of Bluegrass Chefs” move about the tables at Cue on Main, talking to patrons at tables and the bar, filming and photographing food as it leaves the kitchen, and doing their best to capture the feel of the place.
Owner Jerry Houck also moves among the tables, greeting regulars who came out to support him Tuesday night, in anticipation of seeing their favorite local place on television.
“It’s exciting — very exciting,” said Houck.
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Cue on Main and Nellie Burton’s Steakhouse on Fourth Street, both owned by Houck, will be featured on an April airing of the television show, Secrets of Bluegrass Chefs.
Houck, who has been in the restaurant business for more than 25 years, opened Cue on Main Aug. 26, 2013, and Nellie Burton’s on Aug. 27, 2016.
Jennifer Mueller, market manager for BMB Productions LLC, which produces Secrets of Bluegrass Chefs, said they had heard “buzz” about the restaurants and their owner, Houck, as well as Cue on Main Chef Corey Kinney, who was in Lexington prior to joining the Danville restaurant.
“We sought them out,” Mueller said.
They found out the history of Cue, its former life as a billiard hall and a bowling alley, and the popularity of the place now. Mueller said pairing Cue’s history and the new steakhouse provided a good angle for the show.
“We knew it would be a great story,” she said.
Houck said the restaurants’ staffs are what make them successful.
“We’re a big family,” Houck said. “Everybody knows everybody else.”
Regular customer Robin Moler was interviewed for the show while seated at the bar, enjoying an appetizer of figs wrapped in bacon.
“I’ve never had anything here that has not been fabulous,” Moler said off-camera.
Houck, who catered before opening the restaurants and continues to do so, catered Moler’s daughter’s wedding, she said.
When Cue first opened, Moler lived in an apartment nearby. She said that’s when the place became a regular spot for her, and the employees became like her family. She likened it to Cheers, saying they all know her and her children, now grown, when she walks in the door.
“You can get comfort food anywhere, but here you get comfort food served by comfortable people. I love it,” Moler said.
That comfort is part of what drew the show to both restaurants, said Michael Lattin, creator and executive producer of BMB Productions and Secrets of Bluegrass Chefs.
“We love it. There’s a lot of character, a lot of hospitality,” Lattin said. “We’ve found everyone to be hospitable.”
The goal of the show, Lattin said, is to find “hidden gems” in Kentucky. Initially, the show started as Secrets of Louisville Chefs, but expanded to traverse the Bluegrass region, including Lexington — and now, Danville.
Show host Tim Laird will visit the restaurants at a later date for a closed filming. The show will air in April. Secrets of Bluegrass Chefs airs Sundays at 11 a.m. on ABC 36.
Follow Kendra Peek on Twitter, @knpeek.
SO YOU KNOW
Jerry Houck, owner of Cue on Main and Nellie Burton’s Steakhouse, was the recipient of the Restaurateur of the Year Award from the Kentucky Restaurant Association.
Cue on Main manager Tiffany Bonney received a second-place award for Manager of the Year. Cue on Main chef Corey Kinney was nominated for Employee of the Year.
Restaurants from across Kentucky are part of the association, including those from Lexington and Louisville, and were competing against Houck, Bonney and Kinney.
“To be able to compete with those restaurants and be able to walk away (with these awards) is huge,” said Houck. “It’s not me by myself. There are 40 people that work as hard as I do everyday.”
Houck and other winners were recognized Monday night at the Restaurateur’s Gala held in Louisville.