The Travel Channel caught wind of one of our very own Island restaurants — 7a Foods. In early November, 7a owner and head chef Dan Sauer received an email from O’Malley Productions, the company that produces the Travel Channel’s hit show “Food Paradise.”
“They said they wanted to come here and feature us,” Mr. Sauer said. “I thought it was a joke at first.”
According to Mr. Sauer, the turnaround was quick. About a week later, the Los Angeles–based team from “Food Paradise” came knocking on 7a’s door with their heavy equipment, ready for interviews, shooting, and tasting.
“Food Paradise” chooses two dishes to feature at every restaurant it visits. At 7aFoods, they went with the famous Liz Lemon sandwich ($10.95), and the equally famous Meatball Sub ($10.95).
The Liz Lemon is made with hot housemade pastrami, turkey, swiss, coleslaw, Russian dressing, and potato chips on rye. The meatball subs are made with beef, pork, and ricotta meatballs with Parmesan cheese on a fresh sub roll. Hungry yet?
“We try to find fantastic dishes made by charismatic chefs,” “Food Paradise” producer Chris Lehman told The Times.
The bulk of the “Food Paradise” team is based in LA, but they have partners all over the nation. Assistants, audio technicians, and camera operators came in from Providence, R.I., Brooklyn, and other closer-to-home locations. The team did all their shooting and interviewing in one day. The episode aired on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 8 pm.
The show has been running since 2007, and is in its 12th season. They’re working on a special featuring three Islands and their most popular restaurants. For this segment, “Food Paradise” landed on the Florida Keys, Santa Catalina, and Martha’s Vineyard.
The show heard about 7a Foods by word of mouth. After all, it is one of the Island’s most popular dining spots. This past summer, Mr. Sauer and his wife opened up a new BBQ restaurant in Oak Bluffs called Sea Smoke, giving this foodie duo all the more reason to be featured on national television.
“From the second we walked in, we felt like family,” Mr. Lehman said. “I can see why people like it here so much.”
“My son and I watch ‘Food Paradise’ all of the time,” Mr. Sauer said. “There’s marathons on Saturdays. We’re psyched to be featured.”
New episodes of “Food Paradise” air every Sunday at 8 pm on the Travel Channel. The Martha’s Vineyard feature hasn’t been posted online yet, but keep checking travelchannel.com to tune in.